Jumpstart Your Eastern European Genealogy Boot Camp
Curious about your East European roots but don’t know where to begin? Many people get interested researching their Eastern European ancestors because they want to learn more about where their family came from—specifically, to find out which ancestors came over from the "old country" and when. Whether your ancestors were Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Slovak, Ukrainian, or hailed from another location in the heart of Europe, this boot camp will help you jumpstart your research. You will learn:
- How to identify your immigrant ancestors in North America and find your family in foreign records
- Ways to locate your ancestral village using maps, gazetteers, and other geographic tools
- Where to find records online and how to maximize your search results
- How to locate and access records in various Eastern European churches, archives, and other repositories will be provided.
- Tips and tricks to bust through the myths and misconceptions of researching in Eastern Europe
Advanced Eastern European Genealogy Boot Camp: Brick Wall Search Strategies and Techniques
Have you hit the proverbial “brick wall” in your search for your Eastern European ancestors? Are you perplexed with sorting out surnames, trying to identify ancestral hometowns, and deciphering old country records to connect families across generations? Then this boot camp is for you. In this boot camp you will learn:
- Strategies for overcoming the most common pitfalls and problems
- How to deal with names, border changes, “missing” records and foreign languages and alphabets
- Creative research strategies for tracing those hard-to-find ancestors
- Tips for contacting possible relatives, writing to foreign archives, and visiting your ancestral homeland
- Additional Resources to help further your research
Are you drowning in a sea of papers, documents, old photographs and other research materials? Feeling like a family history hoarder? If you want to start the New Year off right as a more efficient and organized genealogist, then you won’t want to miss this genealogy mini boot camp. Author, lecturer, and instructor, Lisa A. Alzo will show you how to purge your inner packrat and bust through the clutter. In this 90-minute workshop you will learn:
- How to organize family history documents, photographs, for quick retrieval
- The pros and cons of going paperless
- Stress-free filing strategies and creating checklists to stay on track
- Effective ways for distributing and sharing genealogical information with others
- Tools, apps and resources for taming your paper and electronic monsters
With the Genealogy Clutter Buster Mini Boot Camp you’ll receive 1.5 hours of educational content for a special low price of $5.95! You’ll receive an extensive handout, a special “freebie” created by instructor Lisa Alzo, as well as access to the recorded version of the webinar with no time limit!
Have you ever wished for a whiteboard in the cloud where you could generate ideas, organize your genealogy research tasks, or storyboard your family history writing? Then, say “Hello” to Trello—a free project management tool to help you streamline your genealogy projects, tackle your "to-do" lists, and improve your workflow.
Here’s what you will get in Getting Started with Trello Mini Boot Camp:
- Learn how to set up a free Trello account and create your first project board.
- Discover Trello’s easy project management system of boards, lists and cards and how to customize them for your personal to-do lists and genealogy/family history projects.
- Learn how you can share your Trello boards and cards to collaborate with relatives, fellow researchers, and society colleagues.
- Get tips on using the Trello app to sync your boards on multiple devices to take your work with you wherever you go!
- View a variety of sample projects, and much more!
It’s no secret that following the female lines in your family tree can often be a frustrating process. Most historical records were created for or about men. Men controlled the government and ran most businesses. Property was listed under a man’s name, and it was the male’s surname that carried to the next generation. But while looking for the ladies can be challenging, it’s not impossible. There’s no shortage of available resources to help trace your maternal ancestry—you just need to know where to look!
Here’s what you will get in Ladies First: Finding Your Female Ancestors Mini Boot Camp:
- Learn about solid and successful strategies for finding females in your family tree
- Get practical tips for teasing out maiden names in online and offline resources
- Discover how underused sources such as oral histories, family traditions, diaries, letters and more can help you understand the daily lives of your female ancestors.
- Learn brick wall strategies and creative solutions for solving special research problems
- Find the best way to tell “her” story in blogs, profiles, or in a book through bonus writing tips
Do you struggle with tracking your genealogy research and staying organized? Do you have trouble finding an image or document you downloaded last week? And what about source citations . . . do you panic when it comes time to document your research? You are not alone. More and more genealogists and family historians have a strong desire to break bad habits and research using more efficient methods.
The Research Right Boot Camp offers a simple way to track research, cite sources and analyze data before it gets added to your genealogy database software. Through this special Boot Camp you’ll learn not just better research habits but tips and tricks to become a better researcher.
- Learn how to use a research log that suits your research habits.
- Understand the basics of source citations and become efficient at creating citations on the fly.
- Maintain good research habits and adapt them when encountering new records sets.
- Learn how to state a proof, evaluate evidence and reach a conclusion for each specific data points on records.
You’ll receive over 3 hours of educational content videos, handouts and freebies for one low price:
Using and Managing a Genealogy Research Log
Presented by: Thomas MacEntee
You’ll learn how to access and use a genealogy research log that is spreadsheet-based (either Excel or Google Drive). We’ll also cover other alternatives including Microsoft Word tables. In addition, we’ll discuss the importance of using a “to do list” when attempting to research a specific ancestor. We’ll also track our searches using the Search Attempts tab on the research log. Finally, you’ll learn how to make additions or deletions to your own research log, so you can customize one to your own liking and research habits.
Citing Sources and Evaluating Evidence
Presented by: Thomas MacEntee
You’ll learn how to use the source citation templates, evidence evaluation features, as well as how to add/remove features to create a customized research log of your own. A good deal of time will be spent on citing sources and resources to make the process easier. In addition, we’ll cover how to look at a record and evaluate the evidence to determine if it proves or disproves the proof point. Finally, you’ll see how you can add new source citation templates, add new columns and more.
Are you ready to take your Scrivener skills to the next level? Perhaps you have been exploring how to use this combination word processor and project management tool for your genealogy/family history writing projects. Now, it's time to build on the introductory instruction of the Getting Started with Scrivener Mini Boot Camp and tap into the true power of Scrivener.
With the Scrivener II Beyond the Basics Mini Boot Camp you’ll receive 1.5 hours of educational content for a special low price of $6.95! You’ll receive an extensive handout, a special Scrivener “freebie” created by instructor Lisa Alzo, as well access to the recorded version of the webinar!
Here's what you will get in Scrivener II: Beyond the Basics Mini Boot Camp:
- Review the Scrivener interface, and its four main modes: Outline, Document View, Corkboard, and Scrivenings.
- Learn how to use Scrivener’s organizational tools such as labels, collections, the outliner, project notes, scratch pad, and more!
- Get tips on how the best ways to import research files and other content, and how to customize your Scrivener experience.
- Learn how to do more with the “Inspector” and how to use it to monitor your work.
- Develop a better understanding of working with revisions, printing, compiling, and exporting your work.
- Walk through a mini-writing project from start to finish: starting with a template, and following it through writing mode, corkboard mode, and outline mode.
- And much more!
*Pre-Requisite: To get the most out of this boot camp, it is highly recommended that attendees watch the “Getting Started with Scrivener” Boot Camp video (http://hackgenealogy.com/scrivener-miniboot-camp-started-scrivener/) or have experience using Scrivener on their own. Also, if you haven't done so, it is also highly recommended that you download the free trial version of Scrivener (Available for Mac or Windows) at http://www.literatureandlatte.com/index.php before the boot camp in order to maximize your learning experience.
Bonus Handout: In addition to the webinar handout, attendees will receive a free “Family History Writer Toolkit” complete with links to Scrivener resources and an “Ancestor Profile” template (Mac and Windows versions) [Note: The templates will be .scriv files, designed to work specifically with the Scrivener program].
Back in December 2014, I made a big announcement online and in social media: Genealogy and I are parting ways. Done. Finished. Game over.
Have you ever said to yourself, “That’s it! I’ve had it and it just isn’t worth it anymore!” Well, have you? Sort of like the character Howard Beale in the movie Network when he says, live on air, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”
By the end of 2014, after more than 25 years of researching my own family history, that is how I felt.
My Past Genealogy Research Frustrates Me!
While many who read my post thought that I was leaving the genealogy community or closing down my genealogy business, I had to clarify what I meant by “leaving:” Starting in 2015, I planned on setting my 20+ years of genealogy research aside and starting over. From scratch.
Seriously. How many times have you thought about doing the same thing? Did you start your research the same way I did, by just collecting names, grabbing stuff from other online trees, or pasting text into your genealogy software? Lately, has the prospect of going back and citing sources or proving facts and evidence brought you down and ruined your genealogy buzz? Do you throw up your hands and say, “I give up!” only to return to the same review and edit process days or weeks later?
If you are like me, you need a genealogy makeover. Better yet, a Genealogy Do-Over. That is what I decided to call the journey upon which I embarked in early 2015. Now I want you to come along.
Genealogy Do-Over: A New Journey of Genealogical Discovery
Here is the short summary of The Genealogy Do-Over: I set aside everything* related to my genealogy research including notebooks, papers, and even digitized files and my genealogy database files and START OVER. I’m hitting the reset button. I’m allowing myself to have a do-over! (* certain items such as vital records ordered and paid for or research gathered on long-distance trips can be retained).
Since I started my initial research, much has changed in the areas of genealogy research methodology and education. I now realize the need to collect facts and track them properly, including the use of source citations. I now understand the process of analyzing evidence and proving facts to reach a conclusion. In essence, I know a lot more about the “process” of genealogical research and I want to put it to use.
This is not to say that I have not been following proven guidelines when it comes to finding family history. For my research clients (mostly pro bono), I actually employ all the methods advocated by many in the genealogy community. However, when it comes to my own research from years ago, I am not walking the walk . . . I have just been talking the talk.
It is not always easy to “walk backwards” and review every bit of information gathered over the years. Instead, I wanted to do more than re-walk a trodden path: I wanted to head out from the same starting point and see where the journey took me. I knew I would have access to better tools, better knowledge and be better equipped for each twist and turn. Now, I encourage you to join me on this journey.
The Genealogy Do-Over journey is constructed of 12 mileposts or journey markers that are laid out over one year. You can choose to pace yourself differently. You can even decide to drop some of the less important tasks and add your own. Do whatever it takes to ensure that you are on a firm footing to finding your ancestors.
A short synopsis of the route:
- Take inventory of what you have, box up the physical items and set them aside.
- Move all digital genealogy files into a HOLD folder.
- Gather tools to research.
- Set research goals.
- Start with your own knowledge and write it down.
- Start tracking research.
- Interview family members.
- And more!
And then, month by month, continue with research, add more skills and areas of focus including citing sources, tracking searches, building a research toolbox, creating an educational plan, researching offline as well as online, and more.
By the end of the year, hopefully you will have completed a review of a firm foundation in genealogy and family history research skill building. I realize that some focus areas may differ; anyone along for the journey has the freedom to add or remove content. This program has to work for you and should not be something that you dread each week or that you find you are working against.
You’re Invited – You Get a Genealogy Do-Over Too
I created The Genealogy Do-Over as a collaborative community effort to re-examine the way in which each of us has personally pursued our genealogical research. My intent was to be honest with myself without beating myself up. I wanted to feel the joy of looking at one small fact and perhaps realizing that I never looked at it from all angles. I wanted the discipline of not following a possible lead just because it shakes or makes more noise than other leads.
Most of all, I wanted to be open to all possibilities on my journey of genealogical self-discovery and to enjoy that journey. This has meant researching genealogy with a plan, with a purpose, with sound practices and with the support of my fellow researchers. I do not intend to make this journey again. The Genealogy Do-Over is my chance, and your chance, to get it right!
In general, most of my readers know that I don’t always follow “the latest big thing” when it comes to technology. My theory has always been: why should I be a bug fixer for Microsoft (or you can change it to Apple, HP, etc.)? I almost never upgrade or buy the “.0 version” of something. You won’t find me waiting in line outside the Apple store for the latest iPhone. I know that I can usually save money by staying at least one version back and waiting for the “.1 version” of something.
However, with Windows 10, things are a bit different due to the way in which Microsoft is deploying the operating system and including a big financial incentive. When Windows 10 debuted in mid-2015, Microsoft announced that qualified users (those on Windows 7 and Windows 8) could receive Windows 10 for free.
So, like me, you probably endured the constant notifications when you booted up each morning asking if you wanted to download and install Windows 10. And like me, you kept putting it off. Or perhaps, you clicked YES by mistake and you then had to deal with fixing lots of things.
And now, Microsoft is enforcing its deadline of July 29, 2016, to get the free upgrade. After that date, you will need to pay $119 USD for the same upgrade.
That’s why I wrote Windows 10 Survival Guide for Genealogists. I upgraded several of my devices starting in December 2015 and while I did lose access to some default settings, and I had to reinstall some software, it was not as bad an experience as I had heard others describe.
However, the hours I spent “fixing” my system kept me from researching family history. So I’ve compiled a list of “annoyances” to check once the upgrade to Windows 10 is complete. In this guide I also offer advice on how to prepare for the upgrade, what to do if you don’t qualify for the free upgrade, and also why you might not want to even upgrade at all!
I’ve pulled together a huge list of resources at the end of this guide, along with additional reading. This guide can’t possibly cover every possible upgrade situation or system configuration . . . as they say “Your mileage may vary.” But, at the very least, you’ll have the tools needed to find answers to your Windows 10 questions.
Learn and benefit from my experiences in going through the Windows 10 upgrade!