Genealogy was the fastest growing hobby in 2012, producing new genealogists who need help as they learn about their family tree. Terri Meeks teaches amateur genealogists how to navigate the maze of records available for research with The Beginners Workshop.
“The Fort Worth Genealogical Society's Beginners Workshop is a series of lectures designed to introduce the study of genealogy and family history by presenting the various large record groups available for research,” Meeks said. “These records are a starting point for gathering the facts about the lives of our family members which will hopefully lead us to create and understand our ancestors' life stories.”
The Beginners Workshop is a series of eight free presentations open to the public. The sessions are offered on the fourth Saturday (not the last Saturday) of the month from January through August. Workshops are held at the Fort Worth Public Library (main downtown branch), 500 W. 3rd St., from 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Topics and dates for the 2013 workshops are:
- January 26: How to Get Started and Organizational Hints
- February 9: Using the Federal Census for Family Research (this is a change from the normal schedule)
- March 23: Researching at the County Courthouse
- April 27: Information from Archives and Libraries
- May 25: Church, Cemetery, and Vital Records
- June 22: Immigration, Emigration, and Naturalization Records
- July 27: Using Military Records as a Research Tool
- August 24: Leaving a Legacy
Meeks said The Beginners Workshop is a popular annual event.
“The event is sponsored by the Fort Worth Genealogical Society and the Genealogy and Local History Department of the Fort Worth Public Library. Both of these organizations recognize that genealogy is one of the most popular hobbies and that the records associated with our ancestors and their families need to be safeguarded and disseminated,” she said. “The workshop is designed to show people how to use these records to discover where our ancestors came from, what their lives were like, and how their lives shaped our lives.”
Meeks has been in the beginner’s seat before. She was a workshop student before she was a teacher.
“I was introduced to genealogy by a co-worker in 2000. I started attending the general membership meetings of the Fort Worth Genealogical Society and learned to start with census research,” she said. “Because my grandparents were all immigrants, I quickly ran into a brick wall. I turned to the Beginners Workshop taught by Betty Richhart. Her classes were so informative that I sat through them two times. I discovered that I shared her passion for genealogy and that I wanted to share that passion and enthusiasm with others.”
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