Sunday, January 12, 2014



Yesterday I attended a genealogy seminar here in San Diego County.  This was not my first seminar, nor will it be my last.  This seminar was put on by the San Diego Genealogical Society, of which I am a member.  Our society has two seminars each year, one in January and one in September.

Our speaker yesterday was Lisa Louise Cooke who is the owner of Genealogy Gems, a genealogy and family history multi-media company.  She is the author of several books, hosts a genealogy podcast which is seen in countries around the world and is a recognized speaker.  She is engaging, energetic, funny and incredibly knowledgeable.  Instead of me telling you all about her, please go to her webpage and read all about her and her products. 
How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers (paperback)
The Genealogist's Google Toolbox (paperback)

I am fortunate to live near a city with a large genealogical society and several other  good size societies in neighboring cities.  The advantage to that being the ability of the larger societies to host annual or bi-annual seminars with speakers who are very well known in the genealogical community.

This is not to say that smaller societies are in any way not as helpful or important.  They are very important.  In fact I encourage each of you to join your local genealogy society and societies in areas you are researching.  This not only shows support for the organizations, it also lets law makers and others get an idea of our numbers across the country and the world.  This gives us a bigger voice as laws change or are being changed.

Yesterdays seminar was very rewarding because I learned about many things I either didn’t know about or did not know “enough” about.

Here are a list of the four sessions Lisa shared with us.

1.  Get the scoop on Your Ancestors with Newspapers
2.  Google Search Strategies for Common Surnames
3.  Inspiring Ways to Captivate the Non-Genealogists in Your Life, including how to create a virtual tour using Google Earth.

4.  What You Must Know to Save Your Research from Destruction

In each of these sessions I learned something I didn’t know before.  I learned about new ways to search, new websites to visit, great ways to share our work without getting “the look” from our family & friends and how to be sure all our work is not destroyed after we are gone.  

  • To increase my knowledge and be a better researcher.
  • To interact with other genealogists who can be valuable resources.
  • To support the organizations that sponsor and put on the seminars
  • To support the speakers who sometimes come from a long distance to share with us.
  • Because I enjoy a day hanging out with other researchers. 
  • Learn new research strategies
  • Learn new websites to use - we can't possibly keep up with all the new sites coming online all the time
  • Learn how other researchers knock down their brick walls
  • Meet cousins you didn't know about
  • Learn the history of the area you are researching
  • And so many more...................
Can you think of societies, either genealogical or historical that you can support in your area?

Are there any seminars held in areas near you?

HEY!  How about a webinar?  That’s just a seminar held online.   Very helpful if you can’t get to a seminar in person.  

Need to see a list of webinars & online courses?  Cyndi’s List is a good source.

I’ve been doing genealogy research for over 10 years and one thing I know for sure is that there is always more to learn.  Whether you read a book, go to a society meeting or seminar, attend an online webinar, read a blog or meet with other genealogists, you WILL become a better researcher.

I do practice what I preach as I attend two seminars each year, go to monthly meetings, watch webinars, have read many books and belong to several organizations.
In fact, here is a list of the organizations I belong to.  I live in San Diego County, CA., but most of my research involves other areas.
I have, in the past, had membership in the Detroit Genealogical Society and the New England Historical Genealogical Society. 
Most organizations have newsletters or monthly or quarterly magazines, which can be very useful.

So, go out and mingle, join, attend, listen and LEARN.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

DISCLAIMER - I do not work for, nor am I affiliated with Lisa Louise Cooke.  I am receiving no remuneration for any items mentioned here.  I have included links so that you have easy access to some of the items I learned about yesterday.  I make no claim as to the any successes you may have or the quality of the items.  

Copyright ©  2014   Diane Gould Hall

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I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.