After the PBS television show, Faces of America, and the NBC television show, Who Do You Think You Are?, in the first four months of 2010, many genealogical societies were surprised by a sudden upsurge in interest by people who had not pursued their ancestry or family history before.
The Chula Vista Genealogical Society had planned ahead, and was ready to offer a Genealogy 101 -- A Beginner's Workshop during the month of May 2010. There were four two-hour sessions on Tuesday evenings, with former CVGS President, Randy Seaver, as the instructor.
The curriculum included segments on:
* What is Genealogy?
* Step 1 - The Treasure Hunt
* Step 2 - Organize Your Information
* Step 3 - Find Records and Resources
* Step 4 - Share Your Information
* Step 5 - Join Genealogical Societies
* Genealogy Education
* Vital Records
* Census Records
* Effective Online Searches
* Genealogy Software
* Book Resources
* Military Records
* Immigration and Citizenship Records
* Demonstrating Websites in Computer Lab
* The Genealogical Proof Standard
* Online Family Trees
* Newspaper and Directory Records
* Land and Property Records
* Probate and Court Records
* Parting Thoughts
We had 19 attendees in this class - nine were beginning genealogists, five were new CVGS members with little research experience, and five were longer term CVGS members with some research experience. All were enthusiastic to learn about how to pursue genealogical and family history research. Seven of the nine beginners joined CVGS in the past two months. Randy prepared a class syllabus that totalled almost 70 pages to cover the subjects listed above, and used Powerpoint to teach the class, including many examples from his own research.
At the end of the fourth class, we had a graduation ceremony with each attendee receiving a certificate of completion and a name tag with a golden G affixed to mark their course completion. We also had a class photograph taken: