AfriGeneas Juniors Genealogy Forum
Re: Homeschooling and Genealogy
In Response To: Re: Homeschooling and Genealogy ()
Planning for a Successful Genealogy Research Trip
1. Know What You Want
2. Know What's Available
In addition, check out the county or state GenWeb page to learn more about sources for that specific location. Are there any individuals who will do free lookups for records in the counties you are planning to visit? Getting these lookups done in advance may save time when you get to the actual record site. These sites might even provide links to information about local record sources. It may also be beneficial to check out city or county Web pages to assist in travel preparations.
If you are planning to visit any libraries, look and see if they have a Web page. Do any of the libraries have their catalog available online? Searching the catalog at home, before you leave, will provide you with information about specific books, so you can spend more of your time in the library actually looking at books. Check out the Library of Congress Card Catalog to determine what books have been published on the county or area you are planning to visit. You cannot get them on loan from the Library of Congress, but you might learn of some titles that might be at the county library you plan to visit. Write the libraries that don't have online information to find out about their genealogical collection and hours of operation.
3. What Do You Mean You're CLOSED?
4. Practice Makes Perfect
5. Do I Have it at Home?
Are there any regional archives or special collections that you should visit? Frequently genealogists focus on the courthouse, local library, and cemetery, and ignore other possible sources. There are states that have regional archives or regional libraries that may contain records useful to your search. Perhaps a nearby university library has a collection that may be of use to you in your research.
Take your charts with you, but leave your original documents behind. No one will probably steal them, but forgetting them somewhere is a definite possibility. Fill out the family group charts, pedigree charts, and research logs as completely as you can. Traveling a distance to check a source you have already checked is a waste of time.
Make certain you have all your genealogical and office supplies you need. There are record repositories that do not allow pens to be utilized in the facility, have plenty of pencils. Either bring a sharpener or use an everpoint pencil (making certain that you have plenty of lead). Have a sufficient number blank charts and forms for use during your trip. Family group charts, pedigree charts, research logs, and abstract and extract forms may prove useful. Unless you are traveling to a major genealogical center, forms may not be easily purchased. Laptop computer users should even have some of these forms handy in case of machine failure.
6. How Do I Get There?
To learn more about Gothenburg and Dawson County, I check out Yahoo!. I find a site for the city of Gothenburg. A casual surfing of this site indicates when local festivals are and that the city even has a sod house museum. I next checked into the site for Dawson County on the USGenWeb and located information on the County Historical Museum (with hours) and a link to the county seat (Lexington). The site for the county seat included information about local government, including the address for the courthouse and phone numbers of the county offices located in the courthouse.
I suspected that my ancestors attended a local Lutheran Church and a search on Bigbook, provided the names and addresses of many churches in Gothenburg, including one that was Lutheran. They don't have an email address, but I could write them and inquire about their records.
Traveling to visit an area where your ancestors lived can be a rewarding experience. Seeing the homestead where my great-grandmother was born in Nebraska really added something to my research. Planning for your trip is an integral part of the process. It is one thing to have to take a detour because of road construction. It is entirely another to have to cross a library off your research list because they were closed for remodeling. Good luck and good hunting.
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