We had our most recent Genealogy Program at the Schaumburg Township District Library on Tuesday evening, September 13, 2011. It was one of our quarterly “break out” sessions. We did not have a speaker for the program. Instead we had our “break out” work groups giving the opportunity for those interested in various ethnic areas of research to sit with fellow researchers and both learn new things about the topic as well as to share items of interest to help make researching the topic more productive.
We had group tables set for:
- Irish Researchers
- German Researchers
- Polish Researchers
- Czech Researchers
- Italian Researchers
- Scandinavian Researchers
- British Isles Researchers
- Colonial American
- General “Troubleshooting” Group
- Beginner’s Group
- We also had the laptop computer set up and connected to the projector to allow anyone to use during the session.
We had a total of 21 researchers in attendance for the program.
We had 4 new people attend the program. I asked them to introduce themselves. Each was given a welcoming package of genealogical material to assist them in their research.
I then minimally reviewed the “handouts” package electronically from what was posted on this blog for this program, focusing just on the upcoming programs for a variety of genealogical societies in the area. Just look at the right sidebar of this blog for an “archive” of past “Newsletters” and “Handouts”. I want to use the handouts to keep those in attendance informed of upcoming genealogy programs, news of note in genealogy as well as some summaries of interesting magazine/journal articles that seemed to really hit home with some new research information on a particular genealogical topic.
I am leaning more to just verbally making note in the Handouts Review of just
those upcoming programs local to our area. Because there is a great deal of detail in the handouts and they are available online for easy access, searching, saving and linking to links within the package, I wanted to forego repeating much of that and leave it to the researcher to review the material in more detail at their leisure. This would afford me the chance to start the breakout groups closer to 7:45 PM rather than 8:00 PM.
I did spend some time informing those in attendance that the LDS has just begun adding to its website digital records of the Catholic Churches of Chicago from the Archdiocese of Chicago. For those of you having Chicago Roman Catholic ancestors, this may be your goldmine of newly accessible online information. Currently, only UNINDEXED data is available in the form of IMAGES ONLY at this time. So you cannot search for your ancestor by surname but you can now look through the images of the records online as if you would be looking at them on a microfilm at a Family History Center. You will want to establish an account with the LDS at the Family Search website at www.familysearch.org. Initially, when I tried accessing the data, I did not sign myself and I did notice that I was receiving a message that said “IMAGE UNAVAILABLE. TRY AGAIN LATER”. It also said “SIGN IN”. Once I understood that, I signed in and was able to access the images with no problem.
So establish an account with the LDS at the FamilySearch site and sign yourself in when you will be accessing any or all of their databases online.
We had about 8 people sitting at the Beginner’s Table listening to me give advice and direction on what to focus on and how to progress with research.
I especially want to say a big “Thank You” to those that were still there at 9:30 PM and helped rearrange the room back to its original arrangement of the tables and chairs. I could not do it without your help!! Thank you, all of you!!
Another big “Thank You” to Beverly G. who frequently takes the time to bake up some nice goodies in the form of cookies to share with those in attendance. Beverly, the cookies sure beat the store-bought cookies hands down!! Thanks again for bringing in your great treats!
I also want to thank those of you that took many of the newcomers under your wings to help them with individual one on one time while I was busy assisting others. You are so sharing! You know who you are! Thank you so much again for offering such personal assistance.
Based on an observation, I would certainly encourage future participants at these quarterly sessions to consider bringing in a laptop or a notebook to have to use at the table you choose to participate at. Because of our wonderful Wi-Fi setup, you can easily tap into our Internet setup directly from your laptop or notebook and not have to worry about using our own laptop/projector set up to show someone some piece of information. It looked like at least one person at each of the major tables had a laptop. It looked like it worked out quite well. Please bring your laptop or notebook to these special sessions in the future because it looks like the work at the tables can be even more productive using the laptop or notebook to tap into the Internet via our own Wi Fi setup.
Please remember that we have these special “break out” sessions in the months of March, June, September and December on the 2nd Tuesday evening of the month.
We certainly had a good turnout of very highly motivated researchers who were craving to learn new things and to share the things they know with others. My hats off to all of you for such enthusiasm you brought to the program.
Thank you again to all of you that came out to participate.
We hope to see you again at our upcoming programs.
Keep coming back to this blog to stay in touch with what is going on about our
genealogy programs as well as other genealogy programs in our general area.
Schaumburg Township District Library