Continuing our Genealogical Research during the Shutdown

Are you bored? Are you becoming a couch potato?

Our libraries, historical museums, and Family History Centers are closed. How can we do research?

Actually, now is a great time to do all the research we have been putting off because we did not have the time.

Before the shutdown, there are many online opportunities, and many were free.  Today, genealogy groups and companies are adapting to this new situation and trying to make many more resources available.

From home, we can do the following:

  • Officials have closed libraries, but online resources are still available from your home. An added feature is that Ancestry is allowing access to AncestryLibrary Edition from home. This database is an excellent addition to our online arsenal during the shutdown. Do not forget to scour through newspapers.com pages for your ancestors if your library has this fantastic resource in their collection. HeritageQuest and MyHeritage are two other useful resources that some libraries offer.
  • One downside to having your library closed is no access to Familysearch’s film library. So far, FamilySearch has not flipped a switch and made these digital images available from home. However, you can go to your library’s parking lot and should be able to connect to the library’s server as if you are inside the building. From the parking lot, you should have access to FamilySearch’s film library. This method is not the best-case solution but the only one available.
  • Some people have reported that they have been able to access Family History Files from the parking lot of their Family History Center. However, I believe that you may need a church sign on to do this.
  • Lastly, do not forget the free websites.

The shutdown also gives time to organize our information. This is a great time to organize and start writing your family history. The method I described in previous blogs helps you organize your information to do better research, but it also is the beginning format for your family history. Get organized now.

Now is a great time to improve your genealogical skills and knowledge. Genealogy conferences and local society meetings are canceled, but many groups are going online. Some state societies have been using online webinars, but now I see some local societies begin using this format. In fact, I gave my April program to DuPage County Genealogical Society as an online webinar. I have also seen some groups rescheduling their in-person conference to online webinars.

Other sources for online webinars on videos:

  • The Learning Center on FamilySearch.org has a vast collection of videos on most genealogical topics. This resource is free, and probably my first choice for a genealogical educational resource.
  • Another great resource is the webinar library is at com. This library is a collection of webinars that have been recorded from the live presentation. There is an excellent selection of topics, and all are well-done. The most recent webinars are free to view for a limited time after the live presentation. You will need a subscription to view the entire collection. The subscription costs $49.95 is worth it.

Stop being a couch potato. Keep going on your family history research. You have more time to do more.

Remember to have fun.

Niech Bóg Wam Błogosławi i otoczy opieką

God Bless and Stay Safe

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