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What I learned Wednesday: NGS-HSC Lesson 3

Posted by on July 6, 2011

The third lesson in the NGS HSC is “Interviews, Correspondence, and Queries.”

What I got hung up on: interview questions.  I decided I needed a master database of key interview questions.  Immediately.  I Googled and found, well, a million, give or take five or so.  I consolidated a few comprehensive lists, added categories, and removed the duplicates.  The categories I used were: yourself, family, grandparents, childhood, friends, transportation & surroundings, traditions, education & career, marriage & dating, adult life, philosophy, legacy, and history.  You’re right, the categories aren’t perfectly discrete but it’s good enough allow me to quickly pull out a bath for customization.  This was not part of the assignment.  The assignment was to develop an interview plan which I did for my grandmother, specifically in regard to her relationships with her sisters.  Hope to get that done soon!  (Conducting the interview wasn’t actually part of the assignment, but they may assume, probably correctly, that if you’ve done this exercise, conducting the interview itself is a piece of cake.)

The query portion of the assignment was easiest since I dusted off an old query (which had been written to their specs even in 2002), updated contact information and submitted for the assignment.  Maybe I should be writing this on a “Sentimental Sunday” post since it’s been nearly 10 years since I posted a query!  I really need to re-vitalize this component of my research because it always bears fruit – new info, new cousins.

Here’s the query I used for my assignment.  The other ones I’ve used in the past are obsolete since I actually received information off the original queries to move a generation or two beyond.

BURNETT KY->TX: I’m looking for information on Matthew BURNETT (b.1795 or 1796 KY, d. Nov1842 TX). Matthew married Sarah “Sallie” SIMMONS abt. 1818 in Arkansas or Louisiana. I believe he had three brothers, Crawford, William, and Alexander. Unsure about Alexander, but the other three were all born in Kentucky and eventually arrived in Texas. Looking for names of parents and a more accurate birthdate for Matthew. Thanks in advance!, GeekyTexan, somewhere in Texas, email

My assignment was marked complete (as in accepted) on the first submission!  Woo-hoo!

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