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09 March 2016

NGS Conference Streaming Announced

This is the same post as on my main business blog, blog.jpgenealogy.com. This is relevant to Occasional Genealogists (OGs) because it may be the best way to fit it several lectures in a condensed amount of time.

In my series "For the Genealogist Who Doesn't Know Where to Go Next," I wrote about national conferences and mentioned online access options. NGS has announced the live streaming options for their 2016 conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. There are two tracks you can watch on two different days (so you can pick either or both). You get access through August 7th, so you don't have to watch live.

Both tracks look fantastic. The first is about land records and includes both mapping, records, and Google Earth. The second is titled "Methods for Success" and is more about meeting the standards for quality research. Check it out, though, it includes lectures about evidence standards but also conveying what you've done (sharing), using autosomal DNA, and ethics. If you have never attended a lecture (or read a book, not just one article) about the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS), using negative evidence, or similar topics, you will really benefit from learning about these techniques. You may even find this frees your from the research plateau you've been stuck on and helps you finally progress on some of your harder problems.

This second track is the type of lecture I will attend over and over again (I will even attend some lectures repeatedly when it is literally the same lecture I have heard before). Meeting the GPS becomes more complex as your problem becomes more complex. Because of that, it's necessary to refresh your knowledge on what it really takes to solve a complex genealogical problem. It's not uncommon for the same researcher to make solving one problem too easy and solving another problem too hard. Every problem is unique, and we all have our quirks which can lead to under researching one problem and over researching another.

Attending lectures by a variety of presenters (which both tracks provide) helps you identify the skills or techniques you underutilize or misuse. For me, I underutilize writing in my personal research. I often get interrupted when working on my own genealogy and never get back to writing a conclusion. When I do write up my results (even incomplete results) it always makes a huge difference. In the "misuse" category, I tend to go more for "exhaustive research" when it is supposed to be "REASONABLY exhaustive research." Not surprisingly, if I'd write, it'd make it obvious when I've reached "reasonably" exhaustive. I also know I will misremember or forget key points due to working on one problem extensively. What I misremember or forget is influenced by the problem. That means I don't have the advantage of knowing what mistake I am probably making. A refresher lecture helps reorient my brain, so my personal quirks have as little negative effect on my research as possible.

You can get the full details of the live streaming options at the NGS Conference blog, conference.ngsgenealogy.org (click here for the live streaming info page).

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