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Learn something new in 2019

For anyone who missed the breaking news part of yesterday’s post about Legacy Family Tree Webinars, let The Legal Genealogist repeat it:

BREAKING NEWS: And just as this post was getting ready to go out by email, Legacy announced the full list of all webinars scheduled for 2019.1

The line-up for 2019 is really amazing — a total of 85 new webinars featuring everyone from Helen Smith on New Year’s Day reviewing Researching in Australian Archives and … well … me, coming right up on January 2 with DNA Rights and Wrongs: The Ethical Side of Testing2 to Kirsty Gray on December 18 explaining How to trace your UK ancestry.

Now… with that kind of a line-up, we’re always thinking about learning something new that’ll directly advance our own family history. But today I want to throw out a challenge: pick a webinar and tune in just for the sake of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. For no better reason than simply to learn something new in 2019.

Comfort zone

Because, as the saying goes, great things never come from comfort zones.

And because no matter what the topic is, no matter how removed it seems from your research, the skills you learn may someday help you break down that brick wall.

Haven’t done land platting yet? Learn about it with one of the best — J. Mark Lowe offers Basics of Land Platting – Part 1 on August 14, and will “help you learn how to plat a deed using the metes and bounds system (and discover) new clues by understanding more about your ancestor’s land.”

Then go beyond the land itself to the geography of the British Isles with Paul Milner’s Are you Lost? Using Maps, Gazetteers and Directories for British Isles Research, on September 3/4 (depending on your time zone) where you’ll learn “how to make good use of these tools to find where your ancestors are, what they did, when, where, and why they may have moved.”

No Italian ancestors at all? Great! Tune in to Melanie Holtz and Italian Civil Registration (Stato Civile): Going Beyond the Basics on October 16. Get a feel for a record set that “can help to fill in the details of an Italian families’ history as well as track them across Italy, and around the world.”

Or, if you’ve figured out your Italians, move on to the Germans with Teresa Steinkamp McMillin’s Boost Your Germanic Research: Understand Historical Jurisdictions on April 17, because your have to “understand who controlled a given area in order to find all possible records.”

Even if you don’t know of a single ancestor who was ever in one, learn about Soldier’s Homes (1865-1930) Caring for our veterans, from Rick Sayre on November 13th, and learn about more than “400,000 records of these veterans … online free of charge.”

You can learn all about DNA Painter from its developer, Jonny Perl, on April 3, in An Introduction to DNA Painter, “with detailed examples of how the site can be used to visualize your matches and help to identify how you are related to each match.”

And if you’ve mastered DNA basics and are just thinking about stepping it up, consider stretching your brain with Blaine Bettinger’s Advanced DNA Techniques: Using Phasing to Test DNA Segments on September 11, to help understand “how phasing and “Your Evil Twin” tools at GEDmatch can help you examine and test shared DNA segments!”

And of course there are all those webinars sponsored by the Board for Certification of Genealogists that we talked about yesterday, on methodology, Native American research, civil law, and so much more, as well.3

With these and so many others — the whole list of upcoming webinars is here, you can register for more than one at a time here and subscribe for these and hundreds of past webinars here — we can of course sign up to learn something directly related to a research question we have right now. And that’s a good thing.

But even better is signing up to learn something that’s going to push us, force us out of our comfort zone, make us learn something new just for the sake of learning it.

And maybe, just maybe, learn a new way of thinking or a new skill that’ll give us the tools we really need to break through that brick wall.

Because, as the saying goes, great things never come from comfort zones.

Give it a try.

You won’t regret it in the long run.


  1. See Judy G. Russell, “BCG & Legacy announce 2019 webinars,” The Legal Genealogist, posted 20 Dec 2018 ( : accessed 21 Dec 2018), and see “2019 Legacy Family Tree Webinars Series Announced,” Legacy News, posted 20 Dec 2018 ( : accessed 20 Dec 2018).
  2. Truth in blogging: I am a Legacy presenter, but the links in this post are not affiliate links. I don’t benefit if you subscribe or register generally, only if you register for or buy or download one of my presentations. So this one link could benefit me, but the others are plain vanilla.
  3. See Judy G. Russell, “BCG & Legacy announce 2019 webinars,” The Legal Genealogist, posted 20 Dec 2018.
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