Sunday, March 27, 2016

Women's History Month 2016: Tip #26 Old, Tried, and True

This weekend I traveled back in time.

Yes, a real live record store in 2016. Rhino Records in Claremont, California (c) 2016 Gena Philibert-Ortega

I went to a ...record store. Yes, a record store. When I was a teenager we had records. And if you didn't want to buy a whole LP you bought a single on a 45. Just explaining that to my teenage son made him give me a puzzled look and then ask if I also rode a dinosaur to school.

At some point, technology marched on and we gave up our LPs for CDs and then over time we, for the most part, gave up our CDs for MP3s.

And now, they are selling records and record players again.

Research reminds me of records. In the good old days people learned how to do research differently than what is taught now. Today, those new to genealogy use online census records and some of the other "low-hanging fruit" found easily and quickly online. And in some cases, if they are lucky, that's how they become addicted to family history.

But there's so much more to research than that.

What about research in the pre-Internet days? Some of us remember that. And those techniques are important to learn when you get stuck on your research today. You see, there's nothing wrong with the old ways, but we tend to like the new ways because they make life easier.

Even old genealogy books can provide important methodology. (c) 2016 Gena Philibert-Ortega 

To enhance your research, I recommend that you begin by reading some of the standard genealogy texts. Yes, some of the ways we access the records are different today, but these tried and true resources will teach you how to do good, solid genealogy research.

These books are available online and in some cases through a used bookseller.

  • Pfeiffer, Laura S. Hidden Sources: Family History in Unlikely Places. Orem, Utah: Ancestry, 2000

  • Meyerink, Kory L. Printed Sources: A Guide to Published Genealogical Records. Salt Lake City, Utah: Ancestry, 1998

  • Greenwood, Val D. The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy. Baltimore, Md: Genealogical Pub. Co, 1990. 

Do yourself a favor, and read some of these tried and true classics today. As for me, I'll keep referring to these classics and using the great technology we have for research today.

And my future includes buying a record player.

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