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Follow Friday – The In-Depth Genealogist

DiggingforAncestorsDid you know the In-Depth Genealogist (IDG) just published their first book? Digging For Ancestors: An In-Depth Guide to Land Records by Michelle Roos Goodrum.

First, where can you purchase this book? Visit the In-Depth Genealogist’s Products page and you have the choice of paperback book or E-book. IDG made sure they catered to those of us that still love holding books and those that like their E-Readers.

Navigating land records has never been one of my favorite things. There are a few books available on the subject and I’ve done some online searching to find answers but they still frustrate me. This book however holds your hand and provides friendly “here’s how you do it and what to look for and what this means” conversation. Sometimes THAT is exactly what we need as researchers. There are so many facets to genealogy that some are easy to understand and others not so much. Why is this? Because we all have strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes. I personally prefer military research over land records.

What can you find in this book? There is a section on Tips for Using Land Records, explanations of various land records, property descriptions, using Google Earth for research, and many resources to help you navigate land records.

Now, Harold Henderson wrote a very in-depth review of what is and is not contained in this book. You can read his blog post and comments here. He has a lot of constructive feedback and I suspect IDG may consider a 2nd edition of this book in the near future. Contact them through their website if you have a suggestion.

One thing all readers should keep in mind is that when each of us reads and reviews books, we come at them from different levels of experience and expectations about what the book should include. This book was meant to help beginners navigate the large sea of land records. It was not meant to be the end all be all resource for land records. Michelle really holds your hand through the book and guides you so you have the foundation laid to proceed with your research. To me, that is very important and again, just what some of us need at times in our research.

I encourage you to check out this new book on land records and let IDG and us know what you think. How does the friendly conversation and guidance in this book help YOU research?

© 2013, Sort Your Story, Sonoma, CA

Book Review – The Oral History Workshop

One thing we must all strive to do when researching our family history is interview people. We are taught this from the beginning. We are given lists of questions to ask. We are referred to books and websites for more questions. We are told to record the interview via tape recorder, video, phone, or the camera on our computers. That is all fine but let’s examine this from a different angle.

How about interviewing YOURSELF?

The book The Oral History Workshop by Cynthia Hart with Lisa Samson, walks you through the entire process of setting up an interview, preparing for the interview, the do’s and don’ts of interviewing and provides many chapters full of interview topics and questions. The appendix also holds forms you could create to get permission to interview, hold copyright, and use the information acquired.

You can also use this book for yourself. Start out with the questions that deal with childhood. Work through them in a journal or on your computer. Move into youth and young adult life. And gradually move into other areas. Use the various subjects like school, sports, hobbies, travel, military, holidays, hopes and dreams, and other topics to expand the short stories you write. Use those to explore areas of your life you may not have thought about in years. Use those to discover new hopes and dreams, hobbies, and paths to take in your life.

As you write, think about which pieces you can pass to your descendants or share with living family members. Think about how you wish to preserve these memories. On video, on tape, through a photo book with stories, a written family history or an auto-biography or memoir. Create a plan to do this project and stick to it. Find a buddy to hold you accountable.

As Mary Oliver once said, To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.

Isn’t that what we do as family historians?

© 2013, Sort Your Story, Sonoma, California

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