Monday, February 03, 2014

SLCC Genealogy Course: Post #18 - Geographic Research Binder

This week for the Salt Lake Community College - Genealogy Course for Intro to Genealogy we picked our geographic region we will be working in and started to create our Geographic Research Binder.

The regions are the same for the ICAPGen Accreditation.

New England Region - Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont
Mid-Atlantic Region - Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland
Midwestern Region - Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin
Mid-South Region - Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri
Gulf-South Region - Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas
Great Plains Region - Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas
Mountain West Region - Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming
Pacific States Region - Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington

I was really excited about creating a research binder. Whenever I have attended an ICAPGen class I have been envious of those binders. I'd never seen one, didn't really know what was in one, but I knew it was key to them passing accreditation and being professional.

On the other hand I was really frustrated because I had to pick a region.  This is what I put on the class discussion forum.
I knew this day would come, that I would have to pick a region to focus on. With a lot of protesting my selection is Mid-Atlantic Region. That is because my family has lived in New York since the early 1700's and they still live there. What frustrates me is that my family rarely, if ever, lived in any of the other states in that region. I really want New York to be part of the New England Region. I know it's not officially part of New England but where I grew up in New York, near the border of Vermont, we sure felt like we were part of New England. That part of New York even belonged to Vermont at one time, so I know I have records there. Prior to moving to New York my ancestors lived in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.
I think the New England Historical and Genealogical Society (NEHGS) has it right - they include New York in their collections. I wish ICAPGen, who set up these regions, wouldn't put me in such a dilemma. I know it's crazy silly for me to avoid accreditation simply because I have to pick a region I don't want to totally specialize in, but it's the truth. 
Now that I have come kicking and screaming to the Mid-Atlantic Region, I totally expect to be made to feel stupid about this whole objection by the end of the course.
I have already felt a little stupid by my comment.  I read another student's selection and found out they didn't even have ANY relatives born in the United States. I had never considered things from that angle. So I'm starting to see that maybe the region isn't so important, it's the learning how to create and organize the binder as a reference resource that's important. There is nothing stopping me from creating a New England binder after this course.

The recommendation was to create this Research Binder in electronic format, using word files, Dropbox, or Google Drive. Even though it wasn't on the list I immediately thought of creating mine in Evernote. I created and stacked notebooks together for each of the states. I also created an "About this Notebook" section so I have all the directions and notes to myself about what I'm doing and how things are organized.

I have to say I love my binder already. Using Evernote has made it super easy to move around and look at things. With its great search capabilities and it's cool tagging nothing will get buried inside the binder.  It's also really easy to snip a website and add it to the notebook it belongs to. I went into the FamilySearch Wiki and snipped all the state pages into their own notebooks.

Since I don't know all that goes into this binder yet, I can only be hopeful that Evernote was a good selection for me. It's possible to attach files to Evernote so I think it should cover any possibility. It will be one of those wait and see if it works kind of thing.

Another assignment we had this week was to join a Historical or Genealogical Society. We needed to provide proof of membership and the benefits of joining.
I belong to the Northeastern New York Genealogical Society which was recently consolidated into the Warren County Historical Society. This society has been extremely useful to me because of their newsletter.  It contains transcripts of records I wouldn't become aware of in any other way. There are bible records, family letters, cemeteries records, histories, etc.
I am also a member of the Utah Genealogical Association, even though I do not have any ancestors from Utah. It is a wonderful educational resource. The webinars and the conferences that they offer make membership invaluable to me. Their quarterly magazine CrossRoads is also an excellent educational resource.
Well I'm off to prepare for RootsTech 2014. It's going to be interesting to see if I get this week's class assignment done in time. I figure I will be forgiven if I'm a little late. RootsTech will also meet one of the required conferences assignment for this course, so all isn't lost.

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

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