Sunday, September 1, 2013

Course Offering dates Fall 2013

WDYTYA? Translation: Who Do You Think You Are?

Every person is a part of history. Why do you have your own last name, and not someone else's? Why do you speak the language you do? Why do you have brown hair, or blonde or red? Are you predisposed to certain illnesses? The answers to these questions have to do with the lives of the people who came before you - your ancestors - and the records created by them and about them. Perhaps your ancestors didn't realize the choices they made would effect so many people. Just by living their lives, they created history. What about you? You, too, are creating history, even as you live it. While you are a descendant of the past, you are a parent of the future.

Records are history's best storytellers. It is therefore necessary to develop research skills and become a good 'detective'. It is also a great deal of fun! These classes are designed to develop your research skills & teach you to think like a researcher. The classes enable you to decide what records to search for, why you need each of these records, and how to find them.

Have you been watching the television series of the same name? Pretty interesting isn't it? Well I can't promise you within an hour you'll have the same results as the celebrities who appear on this show have!! Let's be honest - those results took thousands of hours of research by numerous professionals to achieve. BUT, it is possible to trace your families throughout history AND you can do the research yourself. In a one hour TV show, probably more like 35 mins. when you factor out the time spent on commercials, they have only been able to show one or two ancestors for each celebrity. Each of us have many ancestors, each with their own stories.

Fall of 2013 Courses
Unpuzzling Your Past
You will NEVER regret building a strong foundation!! What if you had to prove a major event in *your* life? How would you do it? With records. Your ancestors also created records. They did many of the same things you do. Later in their lives they may have married and had children. Some of them hunted for gold, others worked in mills or farmed, still others left their homeland to make a new life in North America. If you had to prove your ancestors had these experiences, that they actually lived, how would you do it? Well, you would become a family history detective.

This class is suitable for beginners and the advanced who’ve hit that ‘brick wall’. This is a good 'starter' class, and the one you should start with, but it is also designed to assist more experienced researchers who are at a stand-still with their current 'brick wall'. I will say again - You will NEVER regret building a strong foundation!!

For most us the great fun of genealogy & family history research is in the thrill of the chase - the search for new details. We gather reams of photocopies. We have copious numbers of binders full of hard copy. We have too many notes scribbled on too many scraps of paper, and we carry impossible numbers of facts/dates/locations in our heads. Sometimes we are overwhelmed by the amount of information we have collected or inherited. Sometimes we have nothing. Obviously the more we know, the more we have to work with. BUT, I started with only my parents and grandparents names, two possible locations, a few unconfirmed dates, and that was it!! It *is* possible.

This course has been thoughtfully developed to help those with too much or too little information. If your research has progressed over a long period of time, do you still have some spaces you've had to leave blank? Learn how to start, organize, document and source properly. Discover those missed clues or miscellaneous errors, and learn about new sources recently made available to the public (including many on the Internet). Learn how to do all this in the most cost effective manner possible! There are times when you must pay for an official search. There are many *more* times when you can perform that search yourself, if you just knew how. This course will teach you those 'how's'.

Experienced genealogists
Take a look at all the work you've done or inherited and think of what you might yet accomplish! Is part of the reason you do family history research so it will be preserved, passed on and added to? Is your work clear, concise and presented in an organized, understandable format? Will the next person who looks at, or inherits it, be able to understand exactly what you found, and exactly where you found it? Will they be able to, and want to, continue your work? Do you have any recorded information, but are unable to remember where you found it or who told it to you? Have you been given any names, dates, locations but you have no idea where that information was found? If you knew, you could go back to those records, double check for accuracy and perhaps add some new details the original researcher, or story-teller, missed, misread or misinterpreted!

Only you know how much time, expertise, money, frustration, and intense happiness you will or have invested in researching and preserving your family history. Wouldn't it be terrible if it was all disposed of because it's value was not readily apparent? It happens every day. How many precious old photos, books or other memorabilia have you seen in second hand shops or garage sales? Your talents and your hard work need to be preserved and your descendants will thank you - after all, how much would you appreciate even one piece of well documented research?

If you are just getting started, congratulations, as you have no bad habits to break and this class will teach you all the good habits. For those of you whom have spent decades doing research, isn't that research worth the investment of a little more time in order to preserve it for future generations? Do not despair if you're body of work needs attention - you are certainly not alone - but Do Not Delay any longer. Get into this class - quick! Student enrollment is kept low to accommodate student/instructor interaction. Students work on their own family research.

This is the course you should start with – whether a beginning genealogist or a seasoned researcher. You won’t believe what you’ve been missing until you begin using the most up-to-date methods I teach! Locate reliable records – many available for free on the Internet – once you learn where to find them and how to use them. This is a fun, exciting course that helps you: build your solid foundation, avoid common errors, begin finding and using dozens and dozens of free and trusted genealogy web sites, or even break down some old brick walls! It also supplies you with the knowledge to progress to the next level of courses. Students work with their OWN family research. No matter how much, or how little, you have – do NOT underestimate the importance of this course!! Extensive Internet usage.

Pat wants you to enjoy the classes, ask questions, laugh, learn, and take part to the fullest without having to take notes. After each class Pat writes up extensive notes of everything covered, including the links to each website discussed with full instructions on how to use the websites, and emails the notes to each student. You will end up with a book of professional information that you can refer back to ... forever!

Pat Ryan is a professional genealogy instructor and researcher as well as an experienced genealogy conference speaker who has presented from Whitehorse Yukon all the way to Scotland. She is a 1st generation Canadian who has found THE most amazing things and will help you do the same, no matter where your ancestral roots lie!! AND you’ll have tons of fun and meet like-minded people!! For full details about this course and additional courses, keep checking here, or email , or phone [cell] 306-533-3941 or [office] 306-695-2241.

Instructor – Pat Ryan

Tuesday September 17, 24 October 1, 8 7:15 – 9:15pm @ Arcola East Community Centre [Jack McKenzie School, 3838 Buckingham Drive East, Regina SK].
Cost - $160.00

In this second course we begin to delve deeper into the most useful record types we all need. Two of the classes will be held on-site, and two classes will be held online.

Saskatchewan Archives Board Regina
The Provincial Archives has a long history of providing assistance to genealogists. Unfortunately, researchers often arrive at the archives believing there is one big file or a giant computer database that will tell them everything they want to know about their ancestors. In fact, researching at the archives may involve consulting a number of different sources, and usually involves considerable time and effort. The answer lies in knowing what is available; how to locate each record; and then how to use the information gleaned from one record to move onto the next - each step taking you closer to the answer(s) you seek.

People sometimes think of the archives as an intimidating place to go, or that there is nothing there for them. The SAB holds vast amounts of genealogical materials, although the majority of these materials are behind closed doors, seemingly inaccessible to the public. So, how do you request a file when you don't know what is available? This is what these classes deal with. You will learn about some of the resources available. Things like old Saskatchewan newspapers, directories, photograph collections, ships passenger lists, Saskatchewan census, maps, school, rural municipality, church, citizenship, military, land, sound recordings, government records, and private collections.

Land records are some of the most valuable record types available. Western Canada & the USA were settled primarily by homesteaders – often including not just 'wanna-be' farmers, but also teachers, ministers, shop keepers, and town folk. A file was created about each homesteader including former residence(s), family content, dates, buildings, types and numbers of livestock kept, acres of crops planted and harvested, signatures – plus often big surprises. There is so much more here than meets the unknowledgeable eye! These files may lead to unknown locations, family relationships, special maps and more! Lessons on US land & property research included in your notes.

Pat has also arranged for a Private tour of the Sask. Archives ‘hidden’ records for the students of this course. We will be taken behind the locked doors, where few have ever been, and led through those wonderful records led by a very knowledgeable Provincial Archivist who will explain the contents.

There is extensive Internet use in this course. The class size is limited, and is Not suitable for beginners. Completion of Unpuzzling Your Past would be MOST beneficial.

The second part of the OUT & ABOUT COURSE
O’ Canada! Making Sense of the Canadian Census 1666-1901
The census is the first, and possibly the most valuable, resource every genealogist should use – but there are pitfalls!

Scrawled upon some of Canada's historical documents are your ancestors' names, along with personal data about them. Perhaps you have never thought of the federal census records as historical documents, but they certainly are. They also are invaluable to genealogical research as they were taken every 10 years - in Canada since 1666. The recently released 1921 federal and special* (for the Prairie Provinces only) censuses are available (microfilm and/or FREE on-line); however, some are only partially indexed and you cannot search the films by family surname.
* The 1906 & 1916 Censuses are a "portrait" of a region that, at the time, was rapidly changing as hundreds of thousands of people from around the globe and other parts of Canada were choosing to settle in the Prairies. The provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta had just been established one year before the 1906 census was taken. Late in 2013, we have finally gained access to the 1921 census.

The evening of Nov 6th we will meet at the Prairie History Room at the Regina Public Library head branch downtown Regina. PHR is our genealogical treasure! Learn what’s in this world renowned collection, not just for the Prairie Provinces, but other parts of Canada and the world; then how to find and use these resources. Do not prejudge what is available! Local/family histories; newspapers; immigration; directories; vital records; indexes; maps; hands-on use of Canadian censuses. We will have a fun working tour designed for you to learn the collection, how to locate what you need, and how to search it from your home!

Emphasis is on hands-on research, with professional guidance, of your OWN family across Canada. Extensive Internet use. Class size limited. Not suitable for beginners. Completion of courses Unpuzzling Your Past + Sask. Archives would be MOST beneficial. We must learn how to read and understand legal land descriptions & associated maps before we can use the Canadian censuses. This is why I teach the Saskatchewan Archives course first. You will end up with a rather large 'book' of notes, instructions, examples, along with tons of hints, tricks, and tips that you can use forever as your personal, professional guide book. Pat Ryan

Emailed lesson [teaches land records and begins your online land searches] Oct. 16th
Saskatchewan Archives, 3303 Hillsdale St, Regina Oct. 23rd morning
Emailed lesson [teaches free census searches online] Oct. 30th
Regina Public Library Prairie History Room [downtown branch] Nov. 06th evening
Cost: $200.00

Questions and registration available by email or by phoning 306-695-2241 or 306-533-3941.