09 April 2016

Jamboree 2016 - Calling All Genealogists! Research Assistance Volunteer Sign-Up Open

Guest post by Jean Wilcox Hibben,PhD, MA, CG®


I know that you are excited about Jamboree and all the things that are offered there. The educational opportunities are amazing and we want YOU to be part of the Learning Experience for others. For the past few years, the Southern Calif. Chapter of the Assoc. of Professional Genealogists has offered 20-minute, one-on-one consultations for folks with what some call “experts.” Now, I don’t like that term because, for some, it implies a person who knows everything about everything (FYI: there is no such person). We want to call these helpers “consultants.” Think about it: haven’t you been asked (by a friend, family member, or even the clerk at the store) for some genealogy advice? If you have been doing genealogy for more than a year, I’ll bet you have . . . and I’ll bet you’ve been able to help people get started finding ancestors. A lot of “newbies” will be at Jamboree and Research Assistance is a perfect place for that “jumping off point” experience. You could be the one to offer it.

So this is “calling all genealogists” to help out. You have the opportunity to enter your area of expertise when you sign up. If you are still learning (and, by the way, no matter how much a genealogist knows, he/she is ALWAYS still learning), sign up as “beginner help only,” that way you won’t be overwhelmed when asked to translate a Hungarian document! But if you have more experience under your belt, you probably have an area of expertise that is more specialized. Enter that: “Jewish research,” or “Military research,” or “Genealogy website knowledge,” or . . . well, the list can go on and on. And you can list more than one specialty.

This is the moment to select a period of time (these are set up in 30-minute increments, but we are asking you for just 20 minutes of your time . . . people need the extra 10 minutes to close up the laptop and let the next person set up). Or you can sign up for a longer block, but when we open this to “clients” to come for help, we are asking that no one person take more than 20 minutes of your time at a setting. We want everyone to get a chance. You are not expected to DO their genealogy, just give these folks some ideas of where to go next. We will have Internet access but not computers there; you need to bring your own laptop/netbook/tablet and we’ll give you the sign-in code. But even if you don’t want to do that, just your experience and suggestions, sans computer, is perfectly acceptable.

For those of you who do this genealogy thing for a living, who knows? You might just get a paying client or two from the experience (we do not permit you to charge for these short consultations, but we encourage you to bring your business cards if you do client work). And anyone getting help is encouraged to say “thank you” by contributing to the War of 1812 Save the Pensions Project (we will have collection boxes available for that).

Here is the sign-up URL:

Do it NOW, before you forget. We need you.

And thank you.

Jean Wilcox Hibben; PhD, MA, CG®
VP, So. Calif. Chapter of APG

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