My First Genealogy Teacher

My First Genealogy Teacher

This morning I was thinking about when I first took up genealogy. After muddling around for a bit, I decided to take a home study genealogy course through the Texas Tech University.

I pulled out my materials to see who my teacher was.  Her name was Christine Knox Wood.  I decided to see if I could look her up on the Web.  It’d be nice to write her a note to let her know all the wonderful discoveries I’ve made that began with her class.

Unfortunately, she died in 2005 at the age of 82.  There is a nice write up about her on the Texas Tech University website.  It appears she made quite a contribution to local genealogy as well as to sharing her knowledge with budding family historians:

“The collection is comprised of documents, research material, records, printed material, and notes relating to the Benson family. The materials include over 30 bound volumes of Family Group sheets, bound and unbound copies of several Benson family branches or related lines, and research material and notes collected or created by Christine Knox Wood for her research and compilation of the Benson Magazine of Research, which she edited.  Family Group sheets include information on family members dating back to 1603 and are mostly arranged in chronologic order of beginning sheets.
Author Christine Knox Wood was a certified genealogist and genealogical researcher who shared her experience and skills with others through teaching genealogical research classes. In addition to producing a number of family genealogies, she wrote a genealogical textbook, wrote and published two books of poetry, and compiled indexed volumes of Texas Data. These volumes were collections of data drawn from microfilm records at the Southwest Collection of Texas Tech University, cemetery surveys, and other sources. Christine also edited the Benson Magazine of Research. Christine was a Fellow of the Texas State Genealogical Society and received the Texas Society Award of Merit in 1987 for her book Wood Works, Volume III. Christine was born in Electra, Texas in 1923 and died at age 82 in September of 2005.”

[From the Texas Tech University website.]

Do you remember your first genealogy teacher or the person who taught you the basics?  Was it in a classroom, through homestudy, on the web, or out of book?

Though I live in California and have no Texas roots, the class was beneficial.  There are basic rules to genealogy that can be applied no matter what locality one is researching in.  My first teacher taught me that if you understand the basics and begin with what you know then move to what you don’t know you can learn quite alot about your family tree.

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Genealogist and writer. Creator of the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy and Heritage website,

2 thoughts on “My First Genealogy Teacher

  1. I am sure taking courses or glancing at good books is a good way to begin. I think it builds good habits. I was just blown over watching how far and how fast some men had captured what they needed for the surname they were following. I have to say it affected me. And one always reviews works of others to learn more. We neever stop learning, that’s for sure.

  2. What a great topic, and one I have not seen addressed much. I’d say my first teacher, at least by example, was my second cousin Eunice. Her history for my maternal grandmother’s family was the first family genealogy I ever saw and it was a very good example to follow.

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