Member-Use Equipment in Genealogy Center

Wood County Genealogical Society members and other researchers have access to this equipment in the genealogy research center at the Quitman Public Library to help with their research needs there:

  • a computer with high-speed internet access
  • a printer attached to the computer with a sheet-feed copy option
  • a scanner to copy material from books and related materials
  • a microfilm/microfiche reader/printer for use with microfilm housed in the center and at the front desk at the library
  • a separate reader-only microfiche machine

    There is also a bank of computers in the library which can be used by those holding a card from the Quitman Public Library. Wood County residents who do not have a library card there can have one on request with proper identification.

    The library also has a wifi internet signal and those with laptop computers can use them in the library if they are wifi enabled. There are electrical connections at the research table in the genealogy area (and elsewhere in the library) for those needing to plug-in their laptops.

  • Wood County in NE Texas Digital Collections

    Wood County Genealogical Society through our association with the Quitman Public Library has entered into an agreement which makes it possible to preserve many genealogical and historical documents in our care and solves the problem of how to make such items available to the public at large. As participants with the Northeast Texas Digital Collection of the Texas A&M at Commerce Libraries, we are able to scan and upload public domain documents at no charge to the society. Once online, they are available for researchers who have a family or historical interest in Wood County.

    Texas A&M-Commerce Heirloom Archivist, Michael Aday, met with society members this fall and outlined how the program worked. He has returned and started scanning items for our area. We will later set up a workshop where he will teach society members how to do our own scanning and uploading.

    A visit to this address link: http://dmc.tamu-commerce.edu/cdm4/browse.php?CISOROOT=/quitman will let members (and the public) see how the work is progressing.

    As a special note to members who have been discussing what to do about our obituary collection, I suggest that while there, you also search for Camp County, Texas obituaries to see how they have approached that issue.

    Genealogy Networking Near and Far

    While some people are reluctant to join Facebook because they think (erroneously it turns out) it’s just for teeny boppers, for dating, or makes them vulnerable to loss of privacy (again in actuality, these are not true), there is a social networking site where we can talk with and explore the ideas, etc. of other genealogists.

    It is Genealogywise, a free site, which some of our own society members have frequented from time to time.

    On top of that, there is a page there set up for members of the Wood County Genealogical society called the Wood County (TX) Genealogy Coffee Klatch. While it has been quiet all this past spring and summer, discussion topics, etc. which are not really appropriate for the society newsletter (that is ideas in the formation stage or those just being floated to test the waters of member opinion) will be posted there starting in October and into the future.

    You are urged to go there and post your own ideas, suggestions, etc. and comment on the ones others post there.

    Genealogywise, of course, is much broader than just our society and includes a variety of topics about genealogy. This month’s Genwise Newsletter, in fact, features a group started by a member of the Wood County Genealogical Society called Save Our (Local Genealogy) Societies. It was started by your newsletter editor, Deason Hunt. (Yes, it seems very strange to talk about myself in the third person.) If interested, you can check it out by clicking the link above.

    SOS(Local Genealogy)sites

    The Genwise September 29, 2010 Newsletter has this to say about the SOS group: Genealogy societies are important partners in our genealogy research. Local genealogy societies can be a place to learn and network and those societies in our ancestor’s locality can be a place to ask for research help. This group started by Deason Hunt is for “Discussion, Tips, and Innovations to strengthen and help local genealogical societies with growth and ideas for activities.”

    Genealogywise is a website worth checking out. Most likely we all have something to add to the discussions there as well as enjoying getting to network with other genealogists online.

    101 Best Free Websites

    Family Tree Magazine’s September edition has been mailed, and it features its yearly best websites article. This year it’s devoted to free websites.
    You can see all the sites with click-on links by going to http://familytreemagazine.com/article/101-Best-Websites-2010. The sites are broken down into catgeories on that page. Clicking a link category there will take you to a description of the those sites and, finally, a link to the site itself.

    Brigham Young University Genealogy Resources

    It’s hard to avoid getting excited in the weekly workshops taught by new member Vickie Petersen at the public library in Mineola.

    Sharing that excitement usually starts with someone making a “Eureka, look what I’ve found” noise like “wow” or a similar noise. Sometimes, however, it’s just finding a new resource.

    One such experience last Thursday (note: meeting Thursdays 10-noon at the library near the genealogy room) was when Vickie shared the Brigham Young University genealogy resources pages. You can get there by going to familyhistory.byu.edu. We started out on the page where you can print free blank forms to use in research at http://lib.byu.edu/sites/familyhistory/print-forms-research-helps/, but starting anywhere will give you lots of links and pages to explore.

    If you want to take a look, set aside some time. There are links all over the first page (and subsequent pages) which can take you to interesting and helpful information and resources.

    This is not the FamilySearch or New FamilySearch site, but there are links that will take you there and to lots of other trustworthy and interesting genealogy sources. Some are pay and some are free, but even the pay ones will let you look around at some things without any charges.

    Yet Another Online Learning Opportunity

    When I posted the previous item on online self-study resources for getting started in genealogy research or getting a refresher, I did a pretty extensive search. However, I have found another thanks to Leah of “The Internet Genealogist” blog at http://shbwgen.blogspot.com/2010/05/follow-friday-familysearch-online.html

    She points out in a blog post which you can reach by clicking the link above Self study lesson and videos on FamilySearch.com at this address: http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/education/frameset_education.asp?PAGE=education_research_series_online.asp%3FActiveTab=2

    I tried one of the videos and learned something in the first few minutes. Exploring these resources could prove a valuable use of your computer time online. They include videos and/or non-video lessons for techniques, tips, and research specifics about areas in the U. S. and in foreign countries.

    Free Getting Started – or Refresher – Lessons

    Just starting out in your family history search or wanting to to refresh your memory on researching how to and techniques is often available from classes or one-on-one tutoring. There are some online sources, however, which you can access at home (or library) on your own computer and at any time convenient to you.

    Among the various choices, four seem to stand out in terms of organization, simplicity of use, and overall value.

    Researching Your Family Tree at learnwebskills.com meets all of these criteria and offers exercises to practice what it teaches. It is easy to follow, and you can do one exercise, go off and do other life things for an extended time, and pop right into the next step with little difficulty. The lessons offer a LearnGen Group at Yahoo groups.com which does not seem to be too active, but you could always share you results and questions with us here with an email to the bulletin. (Our email address is netexas@gmail.com). You can access the Researching Your Family Tree lessons at http://www.learnwebskills.com/family/intro.html.

    A long time standard of the genealogical community online is Kimberly Powell of genealogy.about.com. She has posted information and tips on a regular basis for many years. Her Introduction to Genealogy series takes a slightly different approach to the beginning or refresher lessons, but they are rich in content and easily understood. Either by themselves are in conjunction with the Researching Your Family Tree lessons above, they are going to give lots of information, tips, and ideas. You can access Kimberly’s lesson series starting at http://genealogy.about.com/library/lessons/blintro.htm.

    The Rootsweb Guide to Tracing Family Trees has also been around for a while and proved it’s worth. Like the others, it offers lots of basic information and is easy to follow. Rootsweb is a premier free website devoted to genealogy and is the source of all kinds of resources which help beginning and advanced researchers. You can access the Rootsweb Guide to Tracing Family Trees at http://rwguide.rootsweb.ancestry.com/.

    Also, if you have high speed internet at home (or can go to a library computer) you can access the RootswTV video series Research Process Overview. It’s a movie (and a talkie) which covers the basic getting started concepts and interviews various genealogists to illustrate the topic points of every lesson. It is also graphics-rich so that you can see examples of topics and techniques. You can access this RootsTV series at http://www.rootstelevision.com/players/player_howto3.php?bctid=232.

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