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From the Green Valley News, Sunday 26 October 2008, page B8

Genealogy Today, by Betty Lou Malesky, CG

Genealogical Show and Tell

Many genealogy societies today are languishing and some have even ceased to operate due to the growth of "Internet" genealogy. We in Green Valley are fortunate that our society is alive and well with over 200 active members. We have a full program October through April designed to educate and instruct both our members and the community in the skills and methods needed to conduct successful family research.

Genealogical research is more than name collecting. Having 50,000 or more names on your family tree is easily possible today if you buzz around the Internet copying from all the family trees others have posted online—but collecting names does not create a family history.

First you need to determine whether the data attached to those names on the Internet actually belongs to your ancestors. You can waste a lot of time researching someone else’s ancestors if you merely copy from family trees on the Web today. Many of these trees have obvious errors, but in others the inaccuracies are more subtle and found only by verifying the facts. Too few of the posters of online trees bother to list their sources so that you can assess the quality of their research let alone verify it.

A family history is more than a collection of names and dates. It tells the story of your ancestry and shows how your ancestors fit into the context of the history of their time. Using existing records you can rebuild the life of someone who lived one hundred or many hundred years ago and create a story family members will be eager to read. Of course, some stories are more complete than others depending on availability of information about the subject.

Green Valley Genealogical Society is sponsoring a Genealogy Fair on 15 November 2008 to give members an opportunity to showcase their personal successes at doing family research. A variety of informative displays will be presented to show and tell what members have done and encourage others to begin or extend their own family search. Related topics such as DNA, genealogy software, using family memorabilia, and historic collections will also be featured.

The Genealogy Fair is open to the public with no admission charge. In addition to the interesting displays, we’ll have mini-classes, "free stuff" including a free raffle, refreshments, and a tour of the Family History Center. Fair hours are from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. in the Cultural Center at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 17699 S. Camino de las Quintas. The church is located in Sahuarita about two miles north of Duval Mine Road off La Canada. Go right on Camino Antigua to the end of the street.

Are you undecided about how to present the family information you’ve collected? Viewing what others are doing will give you ideas you can use to share your research with family members at family reunions and holiday gatherings.

Would you like to become a better informed researcher? Do you have problems in your ancestry that beg for solutions? Do you ever wish you could pick someone else’s brain for their insight and advice? Drop by and see how others have found solutions. Come to the Fair—we’d love to see you there!

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