GREENSBORO, NC -- When 2WTK was thinking about a bracket themed week we couldn't help but think of a bracket-type form that is personal to all of us--your family tree.
Arthur Erickson is the Genealogy librarian with the Greensboro Public Library System.
Misconception #1 - -you can find all your genealogy needs on-line. "If only it was that easy." Erickson estimates about 10%-25% of what you need is online. Genealogy is still a paper, records, archives type of practice.
Misconception #2 -- genealogy is too hard. Even if you say your family changed their name at Ellis Island or they were enslaved there are still records and ways to get information. Erickson says just like you shouldn't think it's so easy to find your history, you also shouldn't think it's so hard. One of the best ways to untangle the mystery is to start talking to your family. Asking questions and going back and asking those same questions a short time later. "Often times, once you ask grandma something, she thinks about it agian. So after a week, see what else she has remembered."
Misconception #3 -- my family tells me I'm related to Abe Lincoln I'll start there. Erickson says you always start with you and work backward-- you don't work back to front. "You can do all that work when we start with the famous person and then you find out their tree doesn't really connect to yours. Now you're out a lot of work."
Before you go online or start visiting courthouses-- learn the tricks of the trade from the experts. The Greensboro Central Library hosts a FREE Genealogy seminar every 3rd Thursday of the month. March 20th at 7:30pm is the next seminar. You don't need to be a Greensboro to take part.
WEB EXTRA: Arthur Erickson explains what will be covered in the FREE seminar