Last month I wrote about not trusting indexes which was tip number eight in the booklet I received for renewing my subscription to Internet Genealogy Magazine named: 101 Best Genealogy Tips. Today, I will write about four more tips, number 12, Trade Places, number 13, Sign Up for Newsletters, number 15, Join a Historical Society and number 16, Volunteer, but not in the order they are in the booklet.
Join a Historical Society tells about historians being kissing cousins to genealogists as they may be researching in the same area or people in whom you are interested. I was rather surprised in that of all the 101 tips there is none on joining a genealogical society or societies. That is one way to find people with the same interests you have, and maybe researching where you research. Both Historical Societies and Genealogical Societies have seminars where you can learn how and where to research, so joining both have many benefits.
A tip on breaking your brick wall is Trade Places. Find someone to check your research, maybe at your local genealogical society (good thing you joined), or at the genealogical society where your ancestor lived. Another person looking may have some clues, or someone where your ancestors lived who may know sources of which you never thought. Our genealogical society does a sign up for researchers every few years where they have a sign up sheet for each state and most foreign countries, You list the surnames, counties, or parishes where your family lived and then you can get together with others researching in the same area. My great, great grandfather lived near Ursa, Illinois and I found another person who had family in the same area. We are not related, but in a town with a church and a few houses, it is very unusual to find someone with family from Ursa also.
Sign Up for Newsletters. When I was first on-line I would read the weekly newsletter on the Prodigy Bulletin Board, and collected all of them. I later found out I was related to the author, and so we have been close ever since then. Today my favorite newsletter is from Dick Eastman. He writes a weekly newsletter that is free. There is a subscription one also. Ancestry has a weekly newsletter and Rootsweb Review is also a good newsletter. I also like the newsletters from the local genealogical society and the several surname societies to which I subscribe. Do you have a favorite newsletter? Post a note about it on the bulletin board, maybe others will like it also.
The last one is Volunteer. It is hard to believe but you will always get more out of volunteering than you put into it. Doing research for others makes you a much better researcher, while indexing helps not only you, but also everyone else who uses your index. Writing articles for newsletters benefits you, while everyone can learn from your experiences. In February, I wrote articles for four newsletters and all the editors were happy to have the articles. Have you written an article for any newsletter or magazine? What do you do that might interest other genealogists? Newsletter editors are always looking for articles.