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Fairfax Genealogical Society 16th Annual Fall Fair "Are You a Hare or a Tor...

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Dunn Loring Fire Station

2148 Gallows Road

Dunn Loring, VA 22027

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Are you a Hare or a Tortoise?

All of us genealogists, including professional ones, eventually wish we had not been so quick to jump to conclusions. We chastise ourselves because we were in a hurry and didn’t write down exactly where we got that deed. Or we’re frustrated that a correspondent sent us an unattributed article or bio and we neglected to find out the date and title of the newspaper or determine what book that bio was printed in. In other words, long after we obtain a piece of information, we don’t know how to get back to it and we expect ourselves, and others, to just trust that we have it right. After all, it’s so fun to gather those birth certificates and baptismal records and tombstone inscriptions, isn’t it! And then we’re off to our next discovery—and eureka moments! Genealogy is exciting!

It’s even more exciting to win that race at a slower and steadier gait (perhaps not as slow as a tortoise, but just as deliberate) because we can then be satisfied that we didn’t skip any steps. We can state with authority whether two women of the same name, born in the same year and living in the same area, are really one woman. Or perhaps cousins who share a common grandfather. Or perhaps sisters-in-law who have nothing at all but husbands in common.

Three sessions are designed to build upon each other and suggest what to do when you cannot answer “yes” to the statements in each of the Lessons noted below.

If you are a member, don’t forget to check out the discount code in the members only section of the FxGS webpage.

Schedule of events:

9:00 a.m.: Welcome Remarks by Fairfax Genealogical Society

9:30 - 10:30 a.m.: Lesson 1: You have created a thoughtful, practical, and productive organizational structure that allows you to find every fact and document you have collected without flailing around

  • You’re happy with your comprehensive filing system for organizing copies of documents and photos in a file cabinet and/or scanned into computer folders

  • You’re satisfied that your tree is stored solely on your computer or in binders, solely online, or a combination

  • You have a plan for backing up your research and follow it

  • You’re pleased with your software and would never change


11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon: Lesson 2: You can convince a professional researcher that the timeline for each major ancestor and links to each generation are airtight

  • You’ve collected and systematically filed different official records that provide proof of relationships and residence at different ages (federal and state census schedules, nonpopulation censuses, vital records and alternatives, land records, tax lists, military service, immigration/naturalization records, court records, etc.)

  • You have gathered supplemental secondary evidence to corroborate official records (tombstones, bios, traditions, land ownership maps, newspaper articles, mentions in another soldier’s pension record, proximity and migration patterns of relatives, online trees, city directories, employment records, FAN Club relationships, etc.)

  • You have logically accounted for discrepancies and contradictory evidence

  • You have assembled all the pieces into a logical whole and made it available for others

12:00 noon-1:00 p.m.: Lunch (included-make your selection when registering)

1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.: Lesson 3: You ascribe to the “two heads are better than one” theory and practice it

  • You have mined your extended family and acquaintances’ memories, attics and basements

  • You are actively collaborating with DNA matches, Ancestry informants, FindAGrave contributors, FamilySearch members, librarians, personal tree webmasters, etc.

  • You are sharing your work and are open to changing your conclusions

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Sharon Cook MacInnes, Ph.D., CG As a Foreign Service spouse, Sharon lived in Japan, Korea, England, Jordan, Israel, and southern Africa, teaching school in most of those locations. Her life as a world wanderer sharpened her desire for roots and sparked a magnificent obsession in 1976 – the one called genealogy. Her greatest joy is researching on-the-ground in one of the 10 states her ancestors lived in. She’s a former co-coordinator and instructor at GRIP (Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh), MVGS VP for Programming, and instructor for the FxGS Methodology and German Special Interest Groups. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the National Genealogical Society and teaches a 14-week “Genealogy 101 Boot Camp” in Prince George’s Co., MD.

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Date and Time

Location

Dunn Loring Fire Station

2148 Gallows Road

Dunn Loring, VA 22027

View Map

Refund Policy

No Refunds

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