Final day has come and gone. You could feel the urgency in the air. Attendees were making their choices for sessions trying to fit in lunch and the exhibit hall. Attendees wanted to make those last minute purchases, some going to the Birmmingham Library (but ooops it is raining today), some wanted to take advantage of the many exhibitors programs that are free to use on the exhibit floor. The last day of the conference.... wow it was Tuesday and a travel day to Birmingham but now the conference is over and I have my boarding pass in hand, packing my bags and waiting for the morning and another travel day back home....... I really have to say I am on overload and tired, but anxious to do some of my own research too.
While down in the hotel lobby mid afternoon getting my boarding pass, I thought there were dozens of folks checking out or so I thought OH NO at least 50 + people were checking in ...... something about a football game tonight. Turns out it was Alabama vs Michigan. boy they were all really fired up and ready to go.
First session: Overlooked Research Sources: A Gold Mine to be Discovered with Christine Ann Staley.... well alot of the resources are ones that we hear about alot of the time but how many of us are using them or even browsing... Library of Congress catalog and the American Memory Progect, Digital Collections for just a couple of things. Daughtersof the American Revcolution's, resources, Check with local Univerisity Library's. Look through Google Books, City Directories and look at all sections. US GenWeb, Linkpendium and much more.
Second session: Timelining Your Ancestor with our good friend George Morgan......... I love timelines and anything I can do to improve and make it more useful I will do. Organizing information into a chronological biographical profile can help to begin to recognize character trails and patterns...... What a great session, with really helpfull information. Lots of questions , comments and sharing of informaiton. So when you get your timelines of each ancestor done, you will see where you need to do more research, where source citations are missing. AND now you can travel with this updated useful file whether it is on a thumb drive or it is in paper form.
Next session: Thinking Outside the Index: Internet Search Techniques with Elissa Scalise Powell....... well Elissa really nailed it..... you really need to think outside the index boxx .. some people do not have alot of paper trail because there just isn't any or very few ... so looking at other family members and neighbors. A name is spelled 47 differenct ways, now this seems to be a very familar problem.... do some searches using boolean search, or use the * in place of up to 6 characters, and there are others. But don't close your mind to so many variations, be open to all spellings - widen your search to FAN (family, associates, and neighbors), search on first name only, search on last name only, reverse the first and last names in your search. Try something new. Have you tried searching with Mocavo.com.
LUNCH: one my own today... a simple hot dog or two, NO chips available, water and shop through the Exhibit Hall. A little personal researrch time on the computers from FamilySearch, Fold3, and Ancestry. Polished off a couple of batches on indexing at the Family Search indexing stations. Updated my brothers DNA swatch with FamilyTreeDNA from 37 markers to 67. I am ready for lots of hits. Upgraded my DH also. Left my sons DNA at 37for now since he is not getting any hits yet.
Next session: Speaking from the Grave: Exploring Probate Records with Sharon Tate Moody........... this was real fast paced and cover alot with so much more that could not be covered. Statutory Law to Common Law , Probate files, testate to intesate, executors, quick claim deeds, maybe no probate because there was no land/property or they may have deeded property and/or land before passing away. You really have to understand the terminlogy and the process before you can really feel comfortable going to the court house or whereever it is that probate records are kept.
Next session: Doing Scottish Research in a Computer World with Dean J. Hunter........... this was the second session I was really looking forward too. My dad's line comes out of Glasglow Scotland but I have not had any luck in my research yet. I was not too excited about the presentation but thee was good information. The National Archivess of Scotland (NAS) and the General Register of Scotland (GROS) have combined together to form the National Records of Scotland (NRS). Each website is still separate but will be combined soon. Their records or alot of them and more each day are available on a website called ScotlandsPeople maintained by brightsolid company. It is a paid site, you pay so much for so maany credits and then you can view and download documents. The site does keep track of what you have done, what documents you have paid for and those are always avaialaable to you at no further cost. Hunter said that your credits are good for a year, and then they go away, but if you come back and buy more credits the old unsued ones come back to you also. I am not totally clear about what you pay for and waht is free but I am sure I will learn very quickly. I have heard alot about this website and it was all good. Looking forward to doing the research for my Scottish line.
and LAST session of the day and the conference: Facebook for Genealogists with Thomas MacEntee (who else??) .....what a kick Thomas is!! Facebook is a webbased social media website. While he was showing us his place on Facebook, he sent out a message to his followers to come and say hi to his class. AND come they did, message came in from all over the world. There is the power off one. Thomas showed how to set up a facebood account and set up a simple page, security settings, groups, friends, unfriending, what not to do, and adding more pages.... very cool.
Did you know if you follow your favorite stores and companies on Facebook and LIKE them they offer special discounts for Facebook followers only.
It is now after 6pm and I am in my room on the 16th floor just long enough to catch my breathe, freshen up abit and off to dinner with Dick Eastman and 40 or so of his closest and dearest friends. What a great dinner.... catfish, fried chicken and bbq ribs with all the trimmings, plus salad and dessert. Excellent. Dick gave away a number of great gifts .... fllip pal, a couple of gift certificates to JustaJoy.com family heirloom exchange(I need to check this outm, sounds like a great placeand a great idea), a ipod touch- none coming home with me but that is ok.
It is now over but now I am looking forward to putting all this new and renewed knowledge to work when I get home...... I hope you enjoyed these days with me at the Federation of Genealogical Society's 2012 Conference (FGS) all straight from Sheraton Hotel and Convention Center in Birmingham Alabama.Sorry no pictures this time around.
posted for your pleasure by Sandra Gardner Benward