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Taking the Time

Several years ago, I adopted a genealogy mantra I first heard from genealogist Pat Hatcher, “Until you look, you don’t know what you’ll find.” Her point was to look at every potential source, never casting aside something just because you do not think it likely you will find anything of interest. You may be surprised at what you find when you take the time to look.

I try to follow this guideline in all things genealogical, not just in research. This week I applied this philosophy to my decision on whether or not to attend this month’s Germanic genealogy meeting at the Denver Public Library (a 45-minute drive one way for me). My first reaction when I discovered that the speaker would be someone I had heard just a year ago speaking on the same subject was to skip this meeting and work instead on getting ready for my upcoming trip to Salt Lake City. What benefit could I get from spending a morning listening to the same old thing I had heard before?

But then I remembered my mantra, “Until you look…”, and I wondered what I would find out if I took the time to drive over for this meeting. Our programming chairman must have scheduled the same speaker again so quickly for some reason.

I found that this speaker had thoroughly updated her presentation. It was totally different and packed with new information. I came home with several useful new genealogy tools to use. Here is a one she showed us, a tutorial on how to read old German script: https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/lesson/german-script-tutorial/91 Not bad for a morning’s work.

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