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Zoom Genealogy

Across the nation, we continue to self-isolate and maintain social distances during the COVID-19 pandemic. In times like these, how can a genealogical society continue to hold meetings?

We can do it via Zoom, a remote conferencing service. The Colorado Council of Genealogical Societies purchased a subscription for its affiliates to use.

My local Highlands Ranch Genealogical Society gave it a try this month. The previously scheduled speaker for this month, Carol Darrow CG, has excellent computer skills and was willing to make her presentation this way.

Our President, Dave Barton, took the time to set up everything for us. He sent appropriate web links and the program handout out to the membership. On the appointed evening, he acted as the host for the meeting.

Over thirty people signed in. We had our usual short business meeting and then turned the evening over to Carol.

She did a great job with her program on using charts and spreadsheets to organize genealogical research. On my home computer screen, I could see large images of her Power Point presentation. A smaller video feed of Carol appeared on the corner of the screen.

Thanks to Zoom, my local society could hold its usually monthly meeting just as I needed the organizational skill that Carol had to offer. I have already tried one of her techniques.

As I work to fill in my New England family tree, I encounter many people with the same names. How do I differentiate them? Carol had a chart for that!

I tried it first with Samuel Smith, the name of the husbands of two of my distant great-aunts. Did they both marry the same man? The chart helped me conclude that likely they did.

I am so glad I tuned in to see Carol’s presentation.

Our local genealogy club plans to meet on Zoom again in May. After this month’s successful meeting, I have it on my calendar.

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