27 April 2014

Jamboree - Research Assistance

Guest blog post by Jean Wilcox Hibben, PhD, CG

When I attended Jamboree for the first time, I was overwhelmed with the information that was provided. I had done genealogy in the late 1970s to early 1980s, but had been away from it for over a decade while I got my education and worked as a college professor. When I returned, it was a completely different experience. To begin with, computers had infiltrated the field (I had seen that coming, but didn’t realize the extent to which it would impact my “hobby”). Besides that, “vendors” had entered the field (mostly with products to enhance the computer use, but also providing a plethora of books for people of all experience levels). I remember visiting vendor booths and wondering if it was possible to “catch up,” I had been gone from “the scene” for so long.

Perhaps you are in a similar situation. Genealogy can often be a “seasonal” activity: we get busy raising children, making a living, and just dealing with life. Many people move from one physical location to another, causing some things (such as family photos and documents) to be stored in boxes that are shoved into closets. When the time (or season) is right, those boxes are hauled out and the family historian is faced with making sense of it all. Where to start? Or continue? And if you, as I was, have been away from the research field for even a very few years, the new programs and websites may be intimidating. Some folks even shy away from attending a large event, such as Jamboree, because they feel they are “not ready.” If that sounds like you, let me suggest that you reconsider.

Jamboree is a perfect place to “get back in the saddle.” Besides the exhibit hall and classes, there are individuals who are ready, willing, and able to help YOU feel more at home in the ever-changing genealogy world. The Southern California Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists, and others working with that group, have a place where you can get one-on-one help in your roots pursuits. Consider signing up for a personal consultation with someone who is familiar with some, if not all, the new products, options, and techniques for locating your elusive ancestors.

In the very near future, RESEARCH ASSISTANCE will be open for sign-ups on the SCGS website. Watch for the announcement and then, as time slots become available with specifically identified genealogy experts, you can reserve a 20-minute period for your own questions and answers.

Jamboree is NOT just for the experienced family researchers; we want all those who have a desire to learn about their family history to have access to help. And SCGS does not limit that help to just once a year: additional programs are available all year long to aid you, the budding or experienced genealogist, in making your search a success! Check the SCGS website for more information on what is available and visit Research Assistance at Jamboree.

Jean Wilcox Hibben; PhD, MA, CGsm

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