Each attendee was given a nice booklet containing all of Cyndi's presentation notes, which I really appreciated, because it meant I could relax and pay more attention to exactly what she was saying, instead of worrying about taking notes to try to remember it all. (I was also able to do some live tweeting, too, which I enjoyed!)
Here are a few main points of her talk that really stuck with me:
- Even when you go through an entire database and find NOTHING helpful in learning about a particular ancestor, it is still a step forward as far as your research process goes. (So many of us get discouraged when this happens, but now we are free to "check off" that record set and move onto the next potential source of information.)
- Take research notes along every step of the way. Cyndi referred to it as 'having an ongoing dialogue with yourself.' This is so important when you have to leave your research alone for a period of time. We need to know exactly what we were working on and where we left off in the search, especially so we don't backtrack and search the same database or record set AGAIN to no avail.
- Genealogy research is a circular process; there is no end. She showed us this GREAT graphic from the FamilySearch.org Research Process Wiki, which really helped me better visualize what a successful research process looks like.
- Speaking of visualization, she reminded us to try to visualize our research as much as possible. Using timelines and maps of migration and immigration patterns can all be extremely helpful when we are trying to put all the pieces of the puzzle together.
If you ever get the chance to hear Cyndi speak live, please be sure that you do! She is an engaging speaker and you can tell that she really loves what she does. After her seminar today, I am so much more motivated to put more of my research in Evernote, and to be more meticulous in making research plans and keeping better research notes.
©2014, copyright Emily Kowalski Schroeder