It's a typical Sunday evening. I'm getting ready for a casual discussion with some genealogy friends on the porch of a Family History "Centre." Our hostess, Clarise Beaumont, will be talking about naturalization records with attendees from Washington, New Jersey, Utah, California, Florida and West Virginia, plus a few from England and Australia.
But even though things are about to get rolling, I'm not driving to the local center. Nope, I'm comfortable at home in my housecoat and slippers sitting in front of my computer, logging on to attend the meeting in the online virtual world called Second Life.
You may think of online virtual reality worlds as the domain of teenage boys playing World of Warcraft and Civilization. But Second Life is ageless and educational: The skills I pick up and the other family historians I meet there boost my own real-life research.