A Successful course in practical Genealogy

On Wednesday, 12th November, I concluded teaching a practical course in Family History or genealogy at St Colman’s Community College in Midleton, as part of the Adult Education Evening School. Actually the course had officially finished the previous week (Wednesday 5th) at St Colman’s but the class consented to visit the LDS Family History Center in Cork to look at the resources available to researchers.   The course started on Wednesday, 1st October, and consisted of a single two-hour class/workshop each Wednesday night.

Each class was a divided into a teaching session and then a practical problem-solving session.  Given the mixed nature of the group (raw beginners, experienced reseachers, people who’d hit a brick wall in their research, etc) this structure proved interesting for everyone.  Raw beginners could see how problems could be approached, and the experienced researches enjoyed showing the fruits of their breakthrough in research.  I even gave them a ‘test’ in the last classroom session – find the property occupied by the ancestor of a classmate who had got confused by interpreting the data on the maps linked to the Primary (Griffith’s) Valuation.  The test was to have the class tell ME how to identify the property on the map – going through the procedure step by step!

The trip to the LDS Family History Center was to encourage the class members to use all available local resources first before travelling to, say, Dublin, to look up the source material held there!.  I reckon it worked.  They admitted that it was something they simply wouldn’t have thought of doing.

I hope they will all continue their research and gain increasing satisfaction as they make their breakthroughs and fill in their family tree.   Hopefully they won’t neglect the other aspects of research – finding out as much as possible about the lives of each ancestor.

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