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What I learned Wednesday: NGS-HSC Lesson 1

Posted by on June 1, 2011

Let me catch you up with my NGS-HSC progress.  As I mentioned in My Development Plan, I’m currently doing two courses to further my genealogy knowledge and extend my skills to become a professional genealogist: the ProGen Study Group and the National Genealogical Society (NGS) Home Study Course (HSC).

The syllabus for the NGS-HSC describes the lessons and corresponding assignments.  Lesson 1- Introduction and Organization was very straightforward so things got off to, what I thought was, a smooth start (on the assignment, there was resulting angst created by Lesson 1 but more on that later) until I failed.  Failed?  Actually, I received excellent and direct feedback (which was finished with a “Finally, do not be discouraged at having to correct and resubmit Lesson 1!” which was greatly needed by the time I reviewed all my comments, still reeling from the “re-submit” grade).

What I got hung up on (and hang ups are a recurring theme I’m experiencing with this course): Family Group Sheets (FGS) and citations.  It was apparent immediately that I didn’t know, and couldn’t figure out, how to do citations in The Master Genealogist like the ones shown in Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, 2nd edition (affiliate link).  Before my phantom readers ostracize me, let me assure you that there are many citations in GeekyTexan style in my database.

Consequently, that warranted (obviously) many hours of research (aka, mostly aimless Internet browsing) and contemplation (aka, hair pulling).  I selected Legacy Family Tree as my new database because 1) the basic edition is free so I could try before I buy the Deluxe (affiliate link); 2) my local SIG had a Legacy presentation (aka, a sign); and 3) systematic review and analysis led me to this decision.  These reasons are not listed in order of impact to the decisions.  OK, who am I kidding?  They are.

I immediately determined that I needed (aka, wanted) the Deluxe edition (affiliate link).  No time for downloading and learning that (after all, you only have 3 years to complete the graded version of NGS-HSC and downloading would involve more aimless Internet browsing).  Back to the drawing board.  I needed to go low tech for awhile so I used a Word document as my FGS.

I diligently documented my great grandparents’ family.  And documented.  And documented.  And got tired so I sent in the assignment.  And was consequently told to document more.  I went from 35 endnotes to 79 and pulled out the few details I wasn’t able to document.  Woo-hoo!  I passed!

So Legacy (affiliate link) sits there mostly unused (just temporarily though!).  I really enjoyed the amount of focus afforded by the Word document.  The emphasis was on that family (where it should be) and not the tool.  More hours were spent on a system to document outside my database with the database holding only the key elements for charting purposes.  On a Follow Friday coming up soon, I’ll show the blog that gave me the ideas I needed.


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