September 2009 Out on a Limb: Workshop Talk

By Allison Dolan Premium

I’ve always had an affinity for instructing others (my sister, who’s an actual teacher, would tell you I’m just bossy—but that’s another story). This educational instinct is one reason I enjoy working at Family Tree Magazine. In each issue, podcast episode and online article, I get to share tips and hints that help you trace your families.

Now I’ve got a new way to play tutor: We recently launched a series of online workshops—how-to genealogy tutorials you “attend” over the Internet. They’re a lot like in-person seminars—you watch and listen to the presentation, and have the opportunity to ask questions—but with extra benefits. For example, after participating in the live event, you can watch a recording of it as often as you’d like. Participants also get a PDF of the presentation slides for future reference, as well as a bonus article or cheat sheet related to the workshop topic.
From a how-to standpoint, I’m most excited that these workshops offer us an opportunity to show as well as tell—in ways we can’t do in print. Take the Online Census Secrets workshop managing editor Diane Haddad and I are working on as I write this. In addition to explaining where to look for census records online and how to make the most of those Web sites, we’ll actually be demonstrating search techniques on screen, so you can see them in action.
Recordings of this and other online workshops are available in our online store <>. To view a schedule of upcoming workshops and learn more about how the seminars work, visit
Want to suggest a workshop topic? E-mail me at
From the September 2009 Family Tree Magazine