Saturday, October 15, 2011

Family History Day and Digging for Your Roots

I sure put some miles on my car today.  In the morning I taught my online newspapers class at Family History Day at the California State Archives in Sacramento.  Other than starting off the morning by forgetting the handouts at home in Oakland (but I've already e-mailed the file to everyone who attended the class), the session went very well.  More than 60 people were in the class, and we were standing room only at the end.  The classes at Family History Day are only 45 minutes long, so I had to show fewer search examples, but everyone was very enthusiastic about how they were going to use newspapers in their research.

I wasn't able to go to any classes myself amd only had a few minutes to visit exhibitors, because I had to turn around and drive to Concord for the annual Digging for Your Roots one-day conference presented by the Concord Family History Center.  There I gave my newspaper talk again, but this time without the PowerPoint, because we lost power in the building for about an hour and a half!   I was sorry not to be able to show the search examples, but I was able to give the rest of the class as a straight lecture, and it turned out okay.

The second class I taught was a new one about how to approach research when you have very little information to begin with.  The power had come back on by that point, which was good, because the visuals were more important for that class.  People gave me good feedback on what parts of the class worked and where it needed improvement, and said they had gotten some good ideas from it.  I've already been asked to give the new talk to a local genealogy society, so it must have gone well!

After the class was over someone asked for my advice on a project.  He is an officer with the California Highway Patrol and is trying to find photos of all CHP officers who have died in the line of duty, similar to what someone is working on for Los Angeles firefighters.  He is missing only five photos.  When he sends me more information I'll post it, and maybe we can help him find those last five.


  1. You sure were busy yesterday! Wow! I look forward to you posting the information on the CHP.

  2. It sounds like a great lesson on being prepared for anything as a speaker. Missing handouts and building blackouts, oh my!
    Wish I could have made it to either event :( Hopefully next year.


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