We had the same presentation to give today in Colombo 1st branch, meaning my branch, that we’ve already given in Negumbo, Colombo 2nd, and Kandy, although I wasn’t at the one in Kandy.
What that boils down to, though, is that I have to give a "This is how you start your family history" class for 40 or so minutes. Something I can usually pull out of my butt.
Today, however, I either had water in my ears, or an ear infection, or something like that, because the one ear was plugged, resulting in distorted sound and dizziness. In other words, it distracted me. Severely.
It still went mostly fine, anyway, and I’m the only one who cares that I felt distracted. The information still got across, and that’s what matters. Man oh man, I am such a family history geek.
See, this is where I admit to absolutely zero prep time for all of these classes. Not even one second. None. Sister Merrell had the pedigree charts and family group sheets photocopied for me, so I can even exempt those. But for me, with this topic, it doesn’t matter. I’ve been doing it for so long that it isn’t worth it. See, this is how you fill out this form. This is how you fill out that form. And you always start with what you know now, out of the top of your head. Write everything down. Abbreviate nothing. When you’re done, go home, and start looking through existing resources in your home. Gather them up all in one place, like a box on the dining room table, and after you’ve gone through the entire house, over a period of weeks or months, then go through all those papers and add the information from that onto your forms. Record all sources. Once you’ve done that, talk to all your older relatives and extract every single bit of information from them that you can. Et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseum.
And we talked about the National Archives here, and how the church went in decades ago and microfilmed a bunch of records – I’m not entirely sure what’s been microfilmed, but I guess I’ll find out soon – dating back from 1502 to a few decades ago, anyway – and someone suggested a field trip to the archives to take a look. Cool. Yeah, why not?
Honestly, even though I personally will never find any of my ancestors there, it’s still a resource I should know a whole lot more about that I presently do. I need to know what I’m talking about.