Saturday, September 6th, 2008
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Posted by Linda in Lancaster under Conference
, Genealogy 1 Comment
Since I attended by myself, I had the liberty of not being tied to somebody else, doing what they wanted to do, meeting them for lunch, etc. I wandered, I sat, and mostly I listened. I heard a lot. A lot of excitement from some, complaints from those who do that, but mostly sharing of things they had heard in sessions they had attended.
Those who had never been to a conference before were excited. Some seemed almost overwhelmed with the offerings and were glad they came. I spoke with one woman who said she had trouble picking sessions since there were so many they wanted to attend. I had that problem myself for one time slot, so I could understand exactly what she was saying.
I liked the sharing. I met one woman who said she was going to a session the next morning that was being given by a person that she had been impressed with that afternoon. She said her knowledge on the subject was unsurpassed. Another shared information with me about websites she had learned about in one of her sessions. The sharing of information is what the Genealogy community is really about, isn’t it?
The complainers. You run into them everywhere you go. I heard one woman say she wasted her time and money because she knew “everything” she had heard. I find that hard to believe. I think you can always learn something, if you listen and are receptive to a new view. She went on to say that she had been doing this for so many years, that she knew just about all there was to know. Now really! I’ve been researching for almost 20 years, and I’m still learning. But then, I’m listening, too.
This morning I attended Debra Braverman’s “Vital Records at the New York City Municipal Archives.” I learned a lot, since I knew virtually nothing about this subject. Since I’m looking my great-great grandmother’s death, and I’m sure she died in NYC, I was interested in this subject. What I learned is it’s not going to be easy to find. Not impossible, but not easy. I’ll give it a try someday. . . .
The second session I was going to take had to do with German Church Records. Since I’ve been researching these for quite awhile, I decided not to attend and go upstairs and have a personal demonstration of the FTM 2009. The only thing that bothers me is how Ancestry.com runs in the background, searching my database for connections in theirs. That scares me just a little. . . . The rest of it looks fantastic. I’m going to have to really think about this.
What did I come away with from this conference?
- I came away with a new spin on German Migration patterns. The Why and Wherefore of my ancestors travels to the new country.
- I came away with a new technique for fitting a person into my family. The keyword here is FIT. It must fit, not kinda fit.
- I came away with a new tool to use in my genealogy . . . . Google Earth.
- I came away with new places to look for information on my great-grandfather, at one time an employee of the Post Office Department.
- I came away with a knowledge of exactly what is contained in those other enumeration schedules.
- and most of all, I came away with an appreciation of all those people who work so hard to put this sort of thing together so if we are receptive, we can all come away with something!
Thanks, guys, for a job well done.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Friday was a full day! Each session I chose to attend was informative and had a lot I would put into use in my research.
First of all, I was so “into” the day’s offerings that I did not take time to take pictures. <GASP!!> Linda didn’t take pictures?? <FAINT!> <WHAT???>
The first session was another full one and excellent. “Inferential Genealogy: Deducing Ancestors’ Identities Indirectly” was given by Thomas W. Jones. As it turns out, I’ve done this! He was excellent and full of tips. Your conclusions must be documented and you must be aware of the sources, reasons and triggering events for each record. I hated to see this one end.
. . . . and I didn’t want the second session to end, either! “Plot your Ancestors Using Google Earth” was given by Connie Reik. This one was so full that we had to switch to a bigger room, change the equipment and then the show got on the road. I was thrilled to learn everything this program has to offer and will definitely put it into use in my research and documentation of immigration patterns. This offering was way too short.
The third session of the morning was one I almost didn’t attend, but was glad I did! “Carriers of News and Knowledge: Post Office Records” was given by Julie Miller, CG. At first I thought it was just going to be about mailmen and Pony Express Riders, but was I ever mistaken. Since my ancestor had a rather high position in the Post Office Department in Washington, I asked before I sat down. She assured me that it covered all Postal records and I stayed. . . . and was glad I did.
She went through the History of the Department and then the records kept and the location of the same. She showed us examples of some of the record groups at NARA and gave us other sources that also had information and records that would be instrumental in our research.
A satisfying morning. I was ready for lunch so I headed back to the market and got a ham and swiss on rye. Wonderful choice ~ then for the second half of the day!
The first session of the afternoon (and I only went to two this afternoon since the second one got over at 4:30) was “What’s New on Ancestry.com” and was given by Suzanne Russo Adams. She showed us how to access some things many of us never knew existed and showed us the new look of ancestry.com. An hour well spent. I have no idea how anybody researches without ancestry.com. It’s an excellent tool for that late nite researching.
The fourth and final session I attended on Friday was given by Curt Witcher, Genealogy Center Manager of the Allen County Library in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. “All that Other Stuff!! Other Enumerations Beyond the Federal Population Schedules!” gave me a new perspective on what I termed census schedules and thought couldn’t possibly apply to my family. Wrong assumption.
This man is an excellent speaker. I had heard him in SLC several times and knew without a doubt that I would learn something in this session. Boy did I! I learned there are many other enumerations taken at the time of the census and each one may offer us clues. The Non-Population Schedules offer a wealth of information regarding our ancestors, as well as many other types of records that he went through. Another hour that went by way to fast!
I am ready for Saturday morning and have two sessions picked out that I’m sure will be as good as the ones I attended on Friday.
Bring ‘em on!