Friday, February 5, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Challenge #5

Getting to know WorldCat better is what this week's challenge is all about. On a side note, I haven't received the book I requested in last week's challenge. But I will be patient, it hasn't cost me a dime and I'm grateful the service is available.

I spent some time on WorldCat just plugging in surnames to see what I could find. I found nothing, a lot of books written by someone with my surnames but nothing pertaining to my genealogy.

Next, I began searching using geographic locations. This was very interesting and the amount of information was plentiful. I'm not talking about searching using words like Germany, New Jersey or Missouri. I used specific town names and was very surprised at what has been written about such places, especially for some of the small towns. I found that the small town I live in had three different newspapers in the past. We do not have a newspaper today and it has been ten years or more since the last paper closed. How times change.

Genealogy education was my next choice of search terms. I was expecting to get books such as how to do genealogy research online, using DNA to trace your ancestors etc. The first book returned was a popular book for online genealogy, those that followed were even better. There were books on schools in various parts of the country, city and rural schools, books of graduates and teachers and schools for specific groups of people. This was another reminder that key words used in searches really are key!

With my interest aroused I will spend more time on WorldCat experimenting with various key word phrases and see what I find.