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What I’ve Learned Doing My Family History That Has Nothing To Do With Family History

When I began working on my family history, I learned or re-learned a lot of skills and topics.  I don’t know if people are aware of all that genealogy entails that really have nothing to do with genealogy, yet can have everything to do with it.

Here’s a list.  You may think of some that I haven’t included.

  1. Computer skills-using the computer, printing, scanning, copying, saving images, documents, and websites in folders instead of printing them, minor computer fixes and maintenance.
  2. Typing
  3. You don’t always have to type.  You can do a lot with the mouse.
  4. Using not only genealogy software but also using non-genealogy related software, such as a word processor
  5. Photo imaging-working with old photos, especially fixing old photos
  6. Crop it
  7. Snip-it-saving images with Snip-it and then cropping and enhancing them in a photo imaging program.  Great for census and newspaper images.
  8. Copy and paste
  9. Research
  10. Spell check
  11. Mapping
  12. Geography
  13. History
  14. Writing-writing up my research, blog posts, articles, lectures, and books
  15. Critical thinking
  16. Advanced internet searches
  17. Saving and sending through the cloud (Drop Box)
  18. Making and using PowerPoint presentations
  19. “Reading” cemeteries
  20. Organizing (paper files, One Note, folders for e-mail, photos, and documents)
  21. Understanding court and legal records
  22. Understanding deeds and land records
  23. Scrapbooking
  24. Communication-through letters, e-mail, online mailing lists, message boards and forums, the phone, social media, and in person
  25. Using a GPS
  26. Genealogy is not about the dead.  It’s about the living.  I found many “cousins” and made many friends and hopefully, you have or will, too.

About Deborah Carder Mayes

Deborah Carder Mayes
Debbie is the author of IDG’s monthly column, Beyond the Obituaries. She is also the editor of The Buckeye Mayflower, newsletter of the Ohio Society of Mayflower Descendants, the co-editor of Allen County Ancestry, the newsletter of the Allen County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society and writes a blog, Rambling Along the Ancestral Trail, (http://cardermayes.weebly.com/blog.html).

3 comments

  1. You said it! I have learned many of the same skills just from working on my family history. And I’ve found living cousins, too, some not that far removed either. That’s the best part. :)

  2. Yes, I agree. That’s the best part.

  3. I’ve re-learned French, except this time I liked it!

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