In connection with their BBC1 series Who Do You Think You Are? the BBC have put together short videos on genealogy basics. You can get to them on their web site and follow the link to Video: How to Get Started.
The information content is provided by Britain's premier media genealogist, Nick Barratt. He gives clear explanations of the fundamentals, with a presentation that is not at all stuffy. There are segments on census returns, death records, personal memorabilia, historical context, immigration, oral history, birth records, marriage records, tracing relatives, and wills and probate. Some material is repeated between segments, not a bad idea as, despite it being out of fashion, repetition aids memory.
The video borrows video techniques from a generation nurtured on MTV. Humour and some good motivation are thrown into the mix. If you're looking to see a different approach to learning about family history you can't go wrong with this series.
It's worth exploring the rest of the web pages too. There's more advanced material on, Localizing Your Ancestors, 'What's Been Done Before?', Using Libraries, 19th Century Immigration, Directories and Periodicals, Church Courts and, 19th & 18th Century Sources written by Else Churchill who is Genealogist with the Society of Genealogists. Material on Crime, Family Secrets and Professions is authored by Nick Barratt.
Wednesday, 13 September 2006