Friday, August 28, 2015

Four Month Presentation Wrap Up

“Thank you so much for your assistance, and sharing your wealth of knowledge about this field.   I have already made progress as a result of your help.  If you do another set of lessons, I will definitely attend.  - Claude Newton

That was just one comment from those who attended four presentations over a four month span that I did here in Middletown, Delaware at the Middletown Historical Society Museum. It always feels good knowing that what I love to do helps others, wither it be in breaking that brick wall or helping them and encouraging them to continue the research that they started.

For a quick look back it all started on the 28th of May with the first presentation title “Where do I begin?” the turnout was fantastic. The presentation was what you read in the title, we covered the research process, where to start and the process of collecting and organizing your research. The feedback and questions were some that many of have heard before, “where do I get birth certificates”, “can I compile all information on one surname into a folder” and “is it better to keep everything on a computer or in binders on paper”.


The second presentation happened on the 25th of June with “Records? What Records?” and just like the last presentation was great. With this one we went a step further and I guess you could say piggy backed on the presentation in May. I mentioned the importance of records in not only the beginning of your research but throughout the whole process. So we went over what records are available, the information that some records contain and how to obtain those records. I have to say the feedback and questions were good, “are the death certificates 100% accurate”, “why are some name’s misspelled from one year to the next on census records” and “why can’t I find a death certificate for all of relatives”.


The third presentation was on the 30th of July “Researching from Your Couch” again another great turn out with fantastic questions and comments. Yes going to a facility to conduct our research is a must for most of us. But at the same time we like to conduct some of our research from the comfort of our own homes. This was the perfect opportunity to take a different approach on presenting. I thought it might be fun to ask those who would be at this presentation to email me someone they would like to receive more information about or maybe a brick wall they have hit. So during the presentation I would actually plug in those surnames into many different research sites. I was a nice new way to present and they not only learned how to navigate some sites but also get some answers.


Then the fourth and final presentation was last night the 27th of August “Middletown’s Treasure Trove” with yes, another nice turn out for the final presentation. For the final presentation I wanted to be able to not only show everyone the wonderful treasures of information that is available in the research room. But I also know that there were still questions about research and I wanted to make sure that everyone had a chance to get answers to some of those questions. The class was split up into two sections and half went up into the research room and took a tour with George Contant, who answered question and showed the request for records process. While the other half stayed with me and took the opportunity to ask questions and get some additional information. Then they switched so everyone had a chance to take a tour and get those answers.