Looking Back and Looking Ahead – Learning from Others

As we enter a new year and I approach the first anniversary of starting this blog, I’m taking a moment to reflect on my research in the past year and to think about some things I’m looking forward to in 2019. Up first – how I’ve been learning from other people.

I love learning new things. I spend plenty of time each week looking up answers to questions that arise, but I also try to make time to read, watch, and listen to content from other people, even if it’s not addressing a pressing question. It’s amazing how often I’ll stumble across something unexpectedly enlightening. With blogs, books, podcasts, webinars, journal articles, and more, it’s hard to take it all in, but I’ll keep trying.

Here are some of the content sources I’ve found value in this past year (not an exhaustive list). My to-read list seems to keep growing too, so I look forward to learning from these and other sources over the next year!

Blogs

Some of these blogs are updated more frequently than others, and for some I’m still making my way through the archives, but I’ll be happy to see more from any of the following.

My favorites for keeping up with DNA news include:

Also, All My Foreparents, segment-ology, Louis Kessler’s Behold blog, and gcbias have some really interesting DNA-related posts.

For general thoughts on the art of doing genealogy research, I’ve been enjoying the archives of Genealogy Certification: My Personal Journal by Jill Morelli.

For tips on Irish Genealogy research, Donna Moughty’s Irish Genealogy blog (and I’m jealous of her research trips).

I’ve only just started going through The French Genealogy Blog by Anne Morddel, but I’ve already bookmarked a couple of posts to keep at hand for future research.

For fun local history stories, I turn to the blog from the Grems-Doolittle Library, from the library and archives of the Schenectady County Historical Society (where I spend a little time volunteering). On my personal to-do list is to look for similar blogs from libraries or historical societies in other regions where I have family history interests.

Books

  • Professional Genealogy, Preparation, Practice & Standards, edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills – I finished my first readthrough earlier this year and have already gone back to consult a couple of chapters again.
  • Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills – I read this book before this year, but I refer to it so often it that would probably make my list of valuable books every year.
  • Fiction – I really enjoyed Nathan Dylan Goodwin’s Genealogical Crime Mystery Hiding the Past, and I got some of his later Morton Farrier novels over the holidays that I’m hoping to crack open soon.

Podcasts

  • The Genealogy Guys – I haven’t gone back through their extensive podcast archives, but I’m always eager to listen to episodes of George Morgan and Drew Smith’s The Genealogy Guys Podcast crammed full of interesting and useful information and to the Genealogy Connection interviews.
  • Generations Cafe – I’ve been enjoying this new podcast from Amy Johnson Crow. Shorter than some other podcasts, I like these focused, bite-sized, episodes with helpful tips.
  • The Genealogy Professional & Fieldstone Common – These podcasts, both from Marian Pierre-Louis, haven’t had new episodes for more than a year, but I very much enjoyed going through the archives to listen to “Genealogists learning from Genealogists” and to interviews “Sharing the Passion for Northeastern History,” respectively.
  • Looking to check out more: The Insight podcast. “Weaving together insights from the fields of genetics, archaeology, linguistics, and paleoanthropology, hosts Spencer Wells and Razib Khan take us on a grand tour of human history.”

Webinars

There are a few collections of webinars that I’ve dipped my toes in, that I plan to return to even more in the new year.


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