Genealogy Wise

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No one can be an expert in everything. And it's very easy to gravitate toward what you know. That's certainly true for me! I find myself tracking down more and more census records when really it's a will and probate record that I need, but I just don't feel as confident in that area of research.

Sometimes it's just that the opportunity to learn and practice a new skill set hasn't presented itself. And I think sometimes it's easier to just keep doing what we do well, and bypass the rough spots.

So what's the weakest link in your genealogy skill set? And if you got step by step advice on how to do it would you take the plunge and really dig in?

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Lisa,

My weekest link is military research, especially Civil War research. I know how to obtain Service Records and Pension recodrs but beyond that I get lost. Right now I am dealing with my husband's 3rd great grandfather who was in the Civil War and I am trying to find out what other records are available other than his Service Records that I have. He was a prisoner of war and lived to at least 1900.

So, yes if I could get step by step advice on this subject I would do that.

Melissa Barker
My weekest link is to research systematically and know were I have researcht before. I suppose in some cases I have researched the same several times.
Wow, do I have to pick just one! LOL. I would love to be more confident about searching in archives, the stuff that's not available online. It's a little intimidating.
My weakest link is working with wills and probate records.
Extracting information from a document! I've had my father's discharge papers from the Army for 8 years now and I just noticed he put Amherst Nebraska as his permanent address. Why in the world did he do that?? I tend to pick out the information that jumps out at me rather than making a detailed review of the entire document. Time to slow down and read!
Mine would be ethnic research. Since my ancestry is anglo Western European, I have only dabbled in ethnic research when helping friends.
While there is still lots for me to learn about records of all types, I would have to say most immediately being systematic about how I conduct my research would be my weakest link. A research log would be a good thing and staying focus on one task at a time couldn't hurt. I recently heard Louise St. Denis speaking at a conference in Montreal and she said to write down the task you want to focus on and stick to it. Keep a blank page open on the computer or in your notebook to park interesting but distracting sites or facts you come across as you research but to remain focused on the task at hand. Focus, systematic, research log... I've signed up for the first two methodology courses offered by the National Institute for Genealogy Studies hoping to become more disciplined about how I conduct research.

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