Tuesday, 5 January 2016

My genealogy education plan for 2016

Happy New Year, everybody!

My year is off to a great start, as I will be flying to Salt Lake City the day after tomorrow to attend the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy next week. What a wonderful way to start the year! It will be my first genealogy institute. If you're there too, please come and introduce yourself.

I will be participating in the Advanced Evidence Practicum, where a different genealogist will throw a case at us every day, which we will attempt to solve. The next day, we will discuss and compare our methods and outcomes, and learn how the original researcher solved the problem. The practicum is unlike any type of education I can get in Europe, so I'm really looking forward to it.

Unfortunately, educational opportunities in the Netherlands are limited. Most genealogical lectures and workshops are aimed at the beginner or intermediate level. There are online courses from overseas institutes like Boston University in the US or the University of Strathclyde, but they are intensive, expensive and are not specialized in the Netherlands, where I do most of my research. Still, good methodology is pretty universal, so that would be a good choice, but I can't afford to spend that much time and money while building my business.

So I'm relying mostly on self-study. I attend webinars, read lots of books and have several dozens of subscriptions to journals and magazines. I don't limit myself to pure genealogical literature but am also a member of several historical societies which have nice journals that explain the local circumstances.

View of New Amsterdam (now: New York City), by Johannes Vingboons, about 1674
This year, I will focus on learning more about New Netherland research, researching Dutch immigrants who settled in North America in the 17th century with a focus of finding their place of origin and parents in Dutch records. I love doing these projects; the puzzles are so interesting! Unlike British Colonial lines, often there hasn't been much original research done in records in the country of origin, so there are great opportunities for discoveries. For the dozen or so New Netherland projects I did for clients so far, I managed to find the immigrant ancestor in Dutch records in each case. It's wonderful to see how the skills that I built doing other types of projects translate so well to New Netherland projects.

My intention is to learn more about New Netherland research by:
  • Reading the books about New Netherland and the Dutch West India Company in my own library. I purchased several books over the couple of years that I haven't read cover-to-cover yet. Mostly, I've just searched the index for specific names. 
  • Listening to all the "New Netherland Praatjes" podcast by the New Netherland institute. 
  • Reading the old issues of "New Netherland Connections," a magazine that existed between 1996 and 2010. These are available online at the American Ancestors website, which I can access as a member of the NEHGS. 
  • Reading case studies involving New Netherland families in the New York Genealogical & Biographical Record.
  • Doing more New Netherland projects for clients. 
  • Creating my own research guide for New Netherland research. I think systematically going through all the sources will help me with my own understanding, and might help others too. 
How do you educate yourself? Any plans to visit institutes?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hello, thanks for leaving a comment on the World Wide Genealogy Blog. All comments are moderated because of pesky spammers!

Best wishes
World Wide Genealogy Team