Saturday, April 29, 2017

Education overload

Institutes, conferences, webinars, certificate programs, online classes, online study groups, Google Hangouts, seminars, workshops, lectures, how-to books, podcasts—I am sure there are many more types of genealogical education out there.

I love learning new things but there comes a point when you are spending more time trying to attend the latest and greatest educational opportunities and less time doing actual research.

You need to formulate a focused educational plan that takes into consideration your level of expertise, what types of research you do, and specific gaps in your knowledge. No one can learn everything there is to know about everything so a shotgun approach to education isn’t going to work.

Here are some resources that will help you design a personalized educational plan:

Sometimes the best education is simply diving into a new project and learning along the way. This will work for you if you have access to a good reference library and you have good general research skills. 


  1. I guess that is my new approach too! I was totally blown away when my 91 year parents recently agreed to take a DNA test. So I watched all the webinars I could on Legacy on the recent week-end when they were free. I also bought and am reading carefully Dr. Bettinger's book on DNA. I am also translating the instructions for my folks to take their test and hope the kits make it through custom. There is A LOT to learn still!!!! Annick H.

    1. Every genealogist needs at the least a basic knowledge of DNA. This is one of the areas of education that you do need to pay attention to. Blaine's book is an excellent resource as are his Foundations in DNA series (Legacy Family Tree Webinars). If you watched those and you have his book you have done well :)

  2. Great points! We do need to create a balance between learning and doing. I'm sure some people overdo one side of the equation, while others overdo the other!

  3. I was just thinking this the other day because I'm a webinar/seminar junkie. All I do is save web links, file away years seminar notes & have never just buckled down & got serious doing my research. Heck half my family isn't in my Legacy database yet! Now with the Legacy 9 shiny object I must do this! I've backed off doing many bible studies for the same reason. I'm learning but not doing what I've learned. Thank you for the kick in the pants! LOL!

  4. Thank you for the wakeup call! I recently decided this was my problem. I'm a webinar/seminar junkie. All I do is save weblinks, file webinar/seminar notes & the sad part is I haven't added but a few people to Legacy. I've got paper trees but can barely read the scribbling & of course not a source in sight.
    I recognized that I am also a bible study junkie & have narrowed it down to one at a time instead of nearly every day just for conversation. Now I just do Scripture reading. I was learning but not doing. What good am I if I don't do it?
    Now the Legacy 9 shiny object is calling me. I started yesterday using it on my immediate family tree & gosh, DOING genealogy is fun! LOL!
    Thanks for the kick in the pants!