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Living Sources step 3 For Centuries, genealogy was an oral.

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Presentation on theme: "Living Sources step 3 For Centuries, genealogy was an oral."— Presentation transcript:

1 Living Sources step 3 For Centuries, genealogy was an oral tradition. There was a least one person who had the responsibility to memorize the genealogy. Today in some cultures they may still memorize. However, it seems as though one person in a family is the gatekeeper or flame keeper. This person is perhaps the best one to contact in gaining information.

2 Six basic ways of collecting Formal personal interview Informal personal interview Telephone interview Letter writing Querying Electronic correspondence (internet)

3 Equipment Recorders – regular size, mini, micro Video cameras Note paper and pen Laptop computers to type as they tell the stories. Remember to Migrate your old media to new media. Example: Cassette tapes deteriorate over time.

4 Formal Personal Interview Primary goal is to meet with a family member to gather information – –Book “How to Tape Instant Oral Biographies” by Bill Zimmerman Basic Rules – –Contact the person in advance. Explain the purpose and what you are trying to accomplish – –The person must be comfortable with the topics – –Take the time to be well prepared for the actual interview. Write down the questions you will ask. Maybe even provide the person with a copy in advance so they can be thinking about their answers.

5 Make the interview session as comfortable as possible. Visit for a minute or two, do not just jump into the interview. You could explain the equipment you are going to use. Give ample time for the person to answer the questions. DO NOT interrupt the person. If the person mentions something you did not think about, write it down for later. Remember peoples memories are not infallible. Verify the information you get with the correct documents. An Interview is a source and should be treated like a book and should be noted accordingly. Always record the date of the interview.

6 Informal Personal Interview Every family gathering becomes a potential source of information. Carry copies of family group sheets to family gatherings. This way you can update the necessary information. Types of family gatherings: reunions, weddings, baptisms, holidays. Always be well prepared in advance. Record the records on your research logs.

7 Telephone Interview If you can record phone conversations, do so. However, let the other person know what you are doing. Introduce yourself and the purpose of the call Advance work is vital. Telephone interview is identical to the personal interview. Treat this interview as a source of information in your research logs and verify any information given. If a family name you are researching is unique or not. Use the phone book and call people with that name. Web sites: Reverse look up: White pages, reverse look up, international Quest phone directory White pages, reverse look up, international

8 Letter Writing For years that was about the only way you could get information from family members and courthouses. The person receiving the letter has time to think and ponder your requests. No guarantee they will respond, your likelihood of getting a response could depend on:

9 Be Courteous – curt, rude or demanding letters could be thrown in the trash. Type the letter if at all possible. If you handwrite, print it. Be inclusive - Identify yourself and explain the reasons for writing. Try to make the reader connected to your project. Be Specific – Make your questions to the point and do not ask for too much at one time. Be thoughtful – Self-addressed stamped envelope with your request. Be Thorough – Keep a letter writing log. Name, date, sent, date of response, and what you requested. Be Prompt – Answer immediately with a thank you note or follow-up letter.

10 Writing to Public Offices Make sure you have the correct address of the department you wish to contact. – –Public libraries have books that you can find address – –Family history libraries should have the “Red Book” and “The Source” book – –Internet for phone numbers and addresses Make sure you include the correct amount of money for your request. Online sources can help you, or phone the office and find out the costs.

11 Provide specific information for your request – –Specific record type – –Full name of person – –Sex and race – –Parent’s name in full with mother’s maiden name – –Day, month, and year of known events in the person’s life – –Full place name where known events occurred – –Reason you are requesting the record – –Your relationship to the person you are requesting the information about

12 Querying 1 st write down what you know about the person 2 nd write down what you want to learn further You can send these to a newspaper or magazine that publishes such queries. These can put you in touch with new family members working on the same line. A well-worded query can produce exciting results!

13 Internet Queries This has become the leading method of locating specific information or leading you to someone who might have some information. Post to a bulletin board. Many out there – –You have to visit them periodically or check to see if they send emails when something new is added – –Maintain your own website. – –Electronic Correspondence – use the same rules as in letter writing.

14 Query Websites has several inks to message boards Type in your family name They do not delete messages, there are about 5 million postings. Post by in city, county, state and surname Rootsweb Surname list Writing a successful Query Emails – Do a name search in your favorite search engines and look for your family names. When you find one look for an email address and write to them. You can also search at look for email addresses on the pages.

15 Why use the internet to connect? Find distant cousins working on the same lines. Maybe not your direct line but that of your ancestors brothers or sisters. Add names to your family tree. Example: one man added 10,000 names to his tree, and received photos of ancestors born 2 centuries ago. Think the odds are slim? Think again!!! If you go back 15 generations you have more than 32,000 ancestors. Some of them had 10 or more siblings. The chances of finding someone on the internet is great. You might even break through your brick walls.

16 Remember that you can not take everything you read or see, you must document the sources. The task of gathering family information is not always an easy one. But using all the resources available greatly increases the chances of building a solid genealogy.

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