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Swift Current Genealogical Society launches new initiative

Posted on 21 April 2022 by Matthew Liebenberg
Swift Current Genealogical Society President Dawn Rogowski looks at a map in the organization's downtown location showing countries where society members are focusing their family history research activities.

The Swift Current Genealogical Society is launching a new initiative to help those interested in researching their family tree.

It is offering a series of eight informative sessions starting April 25 to provide participants with hands-on information for their research.

Swift Current Genealogical Society President Dawn Rogowski said the initiative, called Genealogy for Generations, is a completely new endeavour by the group.

“They’re going to be one-hour sessions and it’s free of charge,” she noted. “The only thing that we ask is that people register ahead of time by phoning me, because we need to know how many people are coming. They call before each session.”

She series of sessions will start on April 25 with an overview of the genealogical research process to create a family tree. Rogowski will be making a presentation titled “Genealogy basic needs” to provide attendees with a broad understanding of what genealogy is and the procedure to find information about their family history.

She felt the first session will be a good starting point for anyone interested in attending all or some of the other sessions to follow.

“If somebody is interested, it doesn’t matter to what session they want to come, come for the first one,” she said. “At least then you know what we’re going to be talking about for the other ones.”

This session will include an overview of the seven basic genealogical sources and there will be some key words of advice for anyone starting this interesting activity to discover your family roots.

“They say it’s one of the biggest growing hobbies, if you want to call it a hobby,” she said. “It’s more than just a hobby. It’s very time consuming, but at the same time it’s enriching and I find I learn more about history.”

Information will be provided at the end of this introductory session to also help attendees to prepare for the next session on May 30, which will be a workshop format about genealogy forms and charts. These are the basic documents used during the research process to collect and organize a family history and to create a family tree.

“For May 30, where it’s forms and charts, we’re going to have them bring their own family histories, a little bit of the information that they know,” she said. “Then they’re going to be creating their own forms and charts to start their family trees.”

Each of the following sessions will take participants further down the research path towards finding details about their family. The order of the sessions will assist participants to identify different and potential information sources.

“If you’ve never done family tree history or family histories of any kind, I would suggest they come to each one,” she said. “That’s why we put it into this order. It’s only an hour, and then they can go home and work on it. It would be better if they can attend each one, just so that they can get an idea of what’s going on.”

There will be a break for the summer period and the sessions will resume in the fall. The third session about history books and other records takes place Sept. 26.

This will be followed by a session on Oct. 24 about obituary files, both on paper and computer. The Nov. 28 session will provide details about cemetery and funeral records.

There will then be two sessions in 2023 about searching online and using different online genealogical sources and websites. The Jan. 23 session will include details about the websites Family Search and Find My Past, while the Feb. 27 session will refer to the website Ancestry.

Rogowski noted these sessions about searching online have been scheduled towards the end of the workshop series for a specific purpose.

“We’re putting those towards the end, because you’ve got know the information first of all so that you can put it into Ancestry or Find My Past or Family Search, and then that will lead you to different things,” she explained.

The final session on March 27 will provide information about citing different sources of information used during genealogical research. The process of family research might lead to conflicting information about dates or events that must be verified through additional work to find details in other sources.

“Depending on how far you go back, where you got the information is important,” she said. “If you go online to say Family Search or Ancestry, then the first thing they say is what’s your source.”

Rogowski has been doing research about her own family for 12 years and she is currently working on four family trees.

“I’ve got some of the family trees back as far as the 1400s,” she said.

She has discovered a variety of interesting details about her family, including a family connection with the American author Edgar Rice Burroughs, best known for his Tarzan novels.

She is passionate about genealogy and she hopes these sessions offered by the Swift Current Genealogical Society will help others to develop an interest in this engrossing pastime. The information sessions might help to raise the public profile of the society in the community and perhaps result in a few additional members joining the group.

Funding for these information sessions is provided by Saskatchewan Lotteries and the City of Swift Current. The Swift Current Genealogical Society is a non-profit organization that has been active for over 40 years. It currently has 11 members.

All information sessions will take place at 7 p.m. at the offices of the Swift Current Genealogical Society, located at 164 1st Ave. NW above Office Outfitters. Their office has been located here since 2016 and there is an extensive collection of information for genealogical research.

For more information about the society and to pre-register for the information sessions, contact Rogowski at 306-741-1024.

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