San Mateo County Genealogical Society's Blog featuring society events, projects, meeting notes and other items of relevance to genealogists.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Bored? Try a genealogical study group

Is your brain on lockdown? Can't get out to the archives? Missing your classmates over the summer?  Try a genealogical study group. These are web-based groups designed around a particular topic or theme.  Here are some examples:

Research Like a Pro® Study Group

with Diana Elder, AG® and Nicole Dyer

Could you use some structure in your genealogy research? Do you respond well to a group study atmosphere? If so, the Research Like a Pro® study group can give you the motivation and the setting to finally make progress in your research. Attend weekly lessons and work on your own project for the assignments. Receive feedback and learn from others’ assignments. Take your research to the next level!

This is a fast-moving, time-intensive study group. You will have five days to work on each assignment, except report writing, which you will work on in both assignment #7 and #8. The time you will spend on assignments will depend on the difficulty of your objective and how much time you need to spend learning to use technology. For easy objectives, expect to spend about 10-15 hours per week, or about 1-2 hours per day. For more difficult objectives, you may spend 15-20 or more hours per week.

Adrienne says:"Research Like a Pro - Nicole and Diana are a mother-daughter team who run the website. They have a great weekly podcast, a book on their research process and various study courses. The main course is their Research Like a Pro study group, offered from March to April this year. They offer the Research Like Pro with DNA study group from Sept. - Nov. I took both of them and I’ve already signed up for the spring group again. The early bird cost for the groups is $299 and $399. They are well organized, personable and knowledgeable. I learned so much! They have a very detailed breakdown of what they will do each week. Each week there is a 90 minute Zoom lecture and a 60 minute smaller mentor group session for questions and feedback. The time commitment is about 10-15 hours/week. They also have an eCourse that you can start anytime"

Mastering Genealogical Proof

Seven-Week Beginning Principles Course – There will be two sessions: Wednesday daytime (lead by Cyndi Ingle of Cyndi’s List), at 3pm Eastern, and Wednesday evenings (lead by Cari Taplin) at 8pm Eastern (so adjust for your time zone).  This is for those who have never studied this book before. We will be studying this from a beginner or slightly intermediate level. If you’ve done one of these groups before and want a refresher, that’s ok too!

Adrienne says:" I have taken a few study groups from Cari Taplin at GenealogyPants  I’m currently in an NGSQ Study Group that meets once a month online and discusses a particular NGSQ article. Cyndi Ingle (of Cyndi’s List) is the moderator for this group. NGSQ runs free study groups as well, although I haven’t tried them yet. All NGSQ groups study the same articles."

GenProof Study Groups are based on the book Mastering Genealogical Proof by Thomas W. Jones. The program is a guided study program supported by material in the book, discussions with peers, and the guidance of an experienced mentor. After completing the program, you will know the tenets of the Genealogical Proof Standard, understand reasonably exhaustive research, be able to write source citations, conduct analysis, and know when to use a proof summary.

Adrienne says: "I’ve also taken the Mastering Genealogical Proof and Mastering Genealogical Documentation Study Groups with Cari. The actual study groups were OK. The main benefit is that it makes you work through the book. The next Genealogical Proof class starts is from April-June and the next Genealogical Documentation class is from Feb.-March. Each class is 7 weeks and costs about $50 (if I recall correctly.) There is another Mastering Genealogical Proof group run by GenProof that runs from May-June (8 weeks) that I’ve heard is good. "

All these learning opportunities are great, but the bigger problem is, when we don’t apply what we’ve learned, we tend to forget it. That’s where the Genealogy Scavenger Hunt comes in!

Through this annual subscription, you’ll receive a hands-on challenge each month. You’ll follow clues to a freely available genealogy record and use it to answer a series of questions.

Adrienne says: "This year a friend recommended to me the monthly scavenger hunt at Genealogy in Action, which she said was really fun. I signed up for this year haven’t done January’s hunt yet, but am looking forward to it! The cost is $47/year."

Our thanks to Adrienne Smith who has tried these courses and provided her comments on each.  

1 comment:

Sara Hayden said...

Wow, Adrienne! Thanks for sharing your experience with us. I'm going to tuck these away for future use.