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It wasn't until a session with Phyllis Quarg, past president of the San Diego Genealogical Society, that I learned something about 19th-century wills. I remember making a copy of my third-great-grandfather's will at my local Family History Center and taking it to Phyllis' house for help with deciphering the handwriting. In addition, she explained to me which things in the will were normal and which were red flags for further research. I was lucky to get hands-on help with my genealogical education.

Because expanding our research capabilities is so important, I recommend that everyone continue their genealogical education. Many local societies, libraries and Family History Centers offer free or almost-free classes. If you can't find any near you, look online. You may be surprised at the number of free classes available on the Internet.

Here are a few of my favorite learning sites:

Introduction to Genealogy

RootsWeb Guide to Tracing Family Trees

Rookie's Guide to Genealogy Research

How to Read Probate Records

Land Record Reference
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