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.