There was a time in the genealogy field when gaining new knowledge for me was limited to the books I could purchase, from attending an annual day long conference in the area, or by trial and error. The cost of going to Salt Lake City was beyond and still is my reach as well as so many of these amazing conferences held in areas like California, Arizona, Boston----well you get the idea.
Those days are gone and I am thrilled. I am actually in learning overload and loving it! There really isn't any excuse anymore for me that prevents my ability to gain further skill sets needed to improve my knowledge, assist in breaking through walls, and further round out the story while practicing the new skills.
And the best part? The cost, which involves nothing more than a pad of paper, a pen or pencil, a possible drive down the street, and some time.
Here is a list a recent opportunities as well as upcoming or continued opportunities:
Family Search has an entire learning center called "Research Courses" and its many categories include Research Principles & Tools (Descendancy Research, Inferential Genealogy, Using Research Logs, using different online databases, as well as other strategies), Reading Handwritten Records, USA Research (census, military, Colonial, Native American are among the list), Foreign Country Research (England, German, Spanish, Ireland, Italy, Russia, New Zealand, and Poland) as well as areas for Professional Genealogists. These are videos, many which include a handout to assist in the process.
Legacy Family Tree has a series of webinars that are excellent and well done. I have attended several and there are some worthy of thought upcoming including "More Blogging for Beginners" by DearMYRTLE scheduled for Wednesday, March 2nd, and "Building a Research Toolbox" by Thomas MacEntee scheduled for Wednesday, April, 6th. What I appreciate is if I am unable to attend the discussion the webinar remains on Legacy for several weeks for review.
I am going to put in another plug for my nearby libraries as well. I am so impressed with the drive they posses to offer services that keep those of us interested in the historical aspects of our ancestors as well as to learn more about the resources that exist locally .
Willard Library (our local genealogical treasure for me) is the host of "Evansville and the Tri-Sate After the Civil War" to be held on Thursday evening, February 24, 2011 at 6:00 pm. Harold Morgan is a local author that has assembled several books including "Home Town History: The Evansville Indiana Area, A Photo Timeline", and "Home Front Heroes: Evansville and the Tri-Sate in WWII". Harold is an excellent presenter and I am sure there will be a crowd to see how Evansville and the area responded after the Civil War.
Evansville-Vanderburgh Public Library is in the midst of a series called "Preserving Our Past" that continues until May the 11th. Upcoming classes include: Maps (learning about our Digital Sanborn and Historic MapWorks collections), Historic Architecture, House Histories (what it is and how it can be used), Local History on Demand (learn about ContentDM), Scanning Documents and Photos, and Textiles.
I know there are other opportunities in each of our communities and online increasing all the time.