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Live from Family History Class

Tuesday, 29 Jul 2008 | by Mark Tucker

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We are in class right now talking about blogs and podcasts.

The first line of this blog article was written during our weekly Family History class held during the Sunday School hour at church.  These last two Sundays I was asked to substitute teach the class.  Last week we had each class member bring some documents about their ancestors and we talked about them.  It was fun to see the different types of documents that others had and to learn a little about their ancestors.  That first week, we also talked about the difference between original and derivative sources and primary and secondary information.

This week using an older Dell Inspiron B120 notebook, Sony LCD projector, and a class member’s Blackberry 8330 with internet connectivity, we were able to browse the internet in class and talk about blogs and podcasts.  To illustrate how easy it is to create a blog entry, I started this post during class.  We didn’t have time to write more than the first line.  Our discussion of blogs and podcasts started with a post I wrote back in January highlighting some of the best genealogy blogs and podcasts.  We followed some of the links to give the 9 class members in attendence an idea of what blogging and podcasts are all about.  We first started with the blogs and in addition to those from my previous post, we looked at Stephen Danko’s blog and how he uses it as a research log.  We also talked about how easy it would be to use a site such as WordPress or Blogger to create your own personal or public blog.

For podcasts, I started up iTunes and showed how easy it is to search for genealogy podcasts and then subscribe.  We listened to the openers for The Genealogy Guys, DearMYRTLE, and Genealogy Gems

Next we moved to genealogy videos over at RootsTelevision and showed the first part of “Are You Smarter than a Grade School Genealogist.”

We had just a few minutes left so we looked at some websites that we had mentioned the previous week.  One of the sources that I showed was a picture of grave marker.  A few months ago I searched Find A Grave to see if my great grandfather was listed.  He was not, so I entered Worth Tucker’s information and requested for a volunteer to take a photograph of the marker.  I live in Arizona and the cemetary is in Utah and I am not sure the next time I will visit.  I was very pleased by the quick response.  Another class member also had a great experience with Find A Grave, so we spent a few minutes visiting the site.  Last week a number of class members brought homestead documents for their ancestors.  This week we visited the Bureau of Land Management’s General Land Office records search to look at some land patents.

That is all we had time for so I am finishing this post today.  We have a good class and a wonderful instructor.  I am happy to be a class member.  It is amazing how both the topics and technology that allowed this class to be taught didn’t exist a few years ago.

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