Crash Landing

Missouri Capitol Building ca. 1910-1915

Missouri Capitol Building ca. 1910-1915 (Library of Congress)

Feb. 16, 2011

So, last week I attended Family Tree University’s Missouri Genealogy Crash Course webinar. Oh my gosh! If you’ve never taken one of these webinars you are definitely missing out. First of all, the panel of expert instructors was top-notch and included Nancy Hendrickson, an FTU instructor, a writer for Family Tree Magazine and an excellent teacher with an awesome first name. (Just checking to see if you were paying attention.)

The panel also included Angela McComas, a genealogy reference librarian at the Mid-Continent Public Library, and Dennis (another awesome first name) Northcott, an associate archivist at the Missouri History Museum. They presented some basic Missouri history and then so many Missouri resources that it will take me weeks to check them all out.

There was also time set aside for questions — it was a rare opportunity to talk to “locals” about Missouri research without having to actually go to Missouri. After the webinar you get all kinds of good stuff — a recording of the presentation, a copy of all the slides and several bonus PDFs. For the Missouri webinar we got a state research guide as well as an article on searching digitized St. Louis newspapers. And all of this is at a great price. Let’s face it, dinner and movie would cost more, and you don’t get to take the movie home with you!

I’ve already signed up for the next one on Ohio. Honestly, is there anyone who hasn’t had an ancestor in Ohio at some point? I had no idea what a crossroads this state was in American history. I mean, it’s not exactly Ellis Island, but if all roads in the Roman Empire lead to Rome, in America all roads lead to (or through) Ohio! The Ohio webinar is on March 16 – maybe I’ll see you there!

On a personal note, this upcoming weekend is the weekend when my father will finally meet his brother and family. (If you are just joining us, the whole story is here.) I’m so excited I can hardly stand it! First of all, we’re flying to Florida. FLORIDA. After being buried under 2 feet of snow this month, that’s looking pretty good all by itself. But more than that, finding this family is the “first fruit” of my genealogy experience, and I feel so privileged to be able to witness it. I’ll be blogging all about it next week, but if you’d like to follow me this weekend, I’ll be sending out updates at @nancyshively on Twitter.

— Nancy

Family Tree Firsts is an ongoing blog series featuring newbie genealogist Nancy Shively of Skiatook, OK. Read all her posts at Family Tree University.

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