Friday, August 15, 2014

WSGC 2014 - Day 1

What a full day! Thank goodness Eric Stroschein is a good speaker because I spent four hours in his classes on methodology today. Each skill-building class built upon the previous class. Using his own family research as an example and an interactive approach with his "audience," he demonstrated the genealogical process, using methodical evaluation of evidence from beginner level to advanced. Everyone, from newbie to advanced genealogist, could see the importance of following a standard. The final hour was an advanced case study using indirect and negative evidence. This is where he brought it all together using Excel tables to analyze seemingly unrelated evidence.

During the evening meal, we were treated to an excellent talk by D. Joshua Taylor about the Y generation and the family tree. Basically, he said that although it may look different than how we do genealogy, the Y generation is certainly interested in family history. Toss that pedigree chart and focus on the stories, adventure and people in the family tree. Our families are more than just names and dates on a chart. Did you know there is a video game called Family House which is essentially a game that creates a family tree? Did you know there is a program called TreeLines that is a story-centric family tree? What a great way to connect the generations and make sure our family legacy isn't lost to the ages. I think those programs are a great idea, not only for the Y generation, but for all those family members whose eyes glaze over when the charts come out.

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