What I Don’t Know, Part 1: Researching in a new area

2014-03-18 08.53.38 am

I know it has been quite some time since my last post. I don’t know if you noticed. It’s been almost 2 months! Well, I took a little break from the blog because some other projects landed on my desk. One of which is the topic of this next series of posts. I was compelled to volunteer for something, that had to be done within a month. I told myself, in order to get my portfolio done, I need to lay off the volunteering. But I did it anyway and I learned a few things along the way and I am able to use it as a sharing/teaching opportunity.

Maybe you are like me, one of those people who finds herself volunteering for things when she didn’t mean to. I have been taking part in a study group that focuses on mid-western research. The first year there were lectures on the various record types to be found in the area. The second year (this year) we’ve been hearing case studies from study group members, one per month on one of the states. It turned out that no one had volunteered to present a case for Illinois. The coordinator was threatening to either cancel or give everyone a homework assignment instead. I watched myself as I raised my hand and volunteered to present on Illinois. I don’t really have any research in Illinois! I had just a few collateral ancestors who I knew at least passed through Illinois but I had not done any research to speak of in the state up until last month.

The next series of posts will demonstrate all of the research points I didn’t know but figured out in about 2 weeks from the comfort of home. This series will show just how much can be done from home using Internet sources and Google searches. It will also demonstrate that not EVERYTHING is on the Internet. There are many records I need to order and more I still need to find. Having very little knowledge of Illinois research when I began the project, I was able to put together an hour-long presentation that shared a good rough biographical sketch of two families that intersected in Southern Illinois, the Scroggins and Dimicks of Hardin and Gallatin Counties.

4 thoughts on “What I Don’t Know, Part 1: Researching in a new area

  1. Hi! I am interested in finding a study group like you mentioned in your post. I live in Georgia but would love to find a study group that focused research of southern states, specifically Mississippi.

    1. Amy, the study group I found was sponsored by a genealogical society about an hour’s drive from me. I found out about it through friends. I suggest joining a local society if you haven’t already, searching for available classes, and if that didn’t work, starting something yourself. In the group I was in, everyone volunteered to teach on one state, so no one was left teaching the entire study group. Give it a try!

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