Developing a New Thrifty Presentation


Over the past month and a half I have been preparing for my first presentation in over 3 years. Hard to believe it’s been that long! I’ve been reading blogs, Facebook posts, and watching the occasional genealogy webinar over the past year as my interest in rejoining the genealogy world kindled. In January of this year I updated my website to include that I’m now ready to rejoin the world and give some genealogy presentations. Lucky for me, I was contacted by the DuPage County (Illinois) Genealogical Society and asked to give “Genealogy Research for the Thrifty” on October 20th. This is a topic that’s been brewing in my mind for a while, but had not been pulled together yet.

As I started prepping for the presentation and creating a handout I gave it some serious thought. Often the beginner genealogist thinks that the main resource that they need is an Ancestry membership. Or they may have heard of MyHeritage or FindMyPast. These are all websites that have a lot of great resources, but for those on a budget the expense is not manageable long term. I often suggest to those getting started to take advantage of introductory memberships (usually 14 days) on these sites, but then to cancel. The nice thing is that the data you enter in your tree (and the sources) remain even if you are not a paid member. Then when you know that you have a lot of time that you can research again you could renew your subscription and do an intense session of research for a month or two. This is something that I have been doing regularly over the past few years. I don’t always have the time or patience to dig deep.

So after thinking about my experience over the past 13 years of researching… I came up with some key websites and research avenues that are no or low cost. Here are is a sampling of what I plan to present in the webinar.

  1. FamilySearch– For veterans this is an obvious one, but considering that FamilySearch just announced that they have scanned a kajillion of their microfilm records.
  2. National Archives
  3. Newspapers
    1. Google News Archive
    2. Chronicling America
  4. Immigration Resources
    1. Ellis Island
    2. Castle Garden
    3. One-Step Webpages by Steve Morse
  5. Cemetery Resources
    1. Find A Grave
    2. Billion Graves
  6. Local Library Online Resources (YES! Ancestry is available remotely due to COVID)
  7. Local Genealogy or Historical Society
  8. Land Research
    1. Bureau of Land Management
    2. County Auditor or Recorder
    3. David Rumsey’s Historical Maps

I’m very excited to get back to presenting to genealogists! In the past, these presentations would energize me and renew my own interest in the topic. I could use a little inspiration! Could you?

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