July 16, 2012
The Rockdale County Genealogical Society has invited me to speak at their monthly meeting on Sunday, 12 August 2012 at 3:00 p.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Flat Shoals Road in Conyers, GA. The topic will be “Poor People, Rich Records: Researching Georgia’s 19th Century Poor.” The meeting is free and open to the public.
This lecture will include a brief overview of research strategies as well as information on specific records useful to researching the poor.
July 2, 2012
On Saturday, 22 September 2012, the Old Buncombe County Genealogical Society will host its Annual Fall Workshop. This year’s guest speaker is Nancy Tychonievich, of Patron Services, FamilySearch, who will present the day-long seminar “What Family Search Can Do for You.”
Topics covered include: Search Strategies; Records Collections; Online Lessons; the FamilySearch Wiki; and many others.
The workshop will be held at the Simpson Lecture Hall on the A-B Tech Campus in Asheville, NC. Registration check-in begins at 9:00 a.m., while the workshop will be held from 9:30 to 3:30. Early-bird registration costs $25 and ends 22 August 2012. The registration fee after 22 August is $30. Registration includes lunch.
For more information, including links to a registration form, see OBCGS Annual Fall Workshop.
June 17, 2012
This whole week has been so action-packed that I’ve had a difficult time narrowing down topics to write about. I met so many people, made friends and important contacts, and learned at least a small something from each topic covered in the course I took. All that aside, I couldn’t wait to get home. This morning was a short one, and once certificates were handed out, goodbyes said, and the car packed, I gladly hit the road eastbound toward home.
June 16, 2012
Of all the things we covered this week, there were a few lessons I learned that had very little to do with Southern genealogy. Case in point: I’ve been invited to speak at the Rockdale County (GA) Genealogical Society this coming August. I hope to have a powerpoint presentation ready to illustrate various items in the lecture, and I know I’ll need to create a really outstanding handout as well. So, I spent a good deal of time studying the format of this week’s lectures, the various types of slides used, and comparing syllabus layouts with the needs of my target audience. I learned quite a bit about the process during this week, but I’m fairly certain our instructors didn’t have those lessons in mind when creating their lectures.
June 14, 2012
I know I’ve talked about Michael Hait a lot in the last couple of posts. While Michael and I have met online and even corresponded a time or two, we had never met in person. He introduced himself Tuesday, and we’ve had several conversations since then centered around, you guessed it, certification and records, in particular records pertaining to slave and/or African American research.
June 13, 2012
One of the hot topics amongst this week’s IGHR participants is certification. This comes up even in casual conversation, and because most of the genealogists here have a certain level of osity toward the subject, I doubt many realize how frequently it’s mentioned.
Tuesday night, Dr. Thomas W. Jones and Elissa Scalise Powell moderated a discussion about certification through the Board for Certification of Genealogists. This particular session deviated a little from the usual more formal format in that certified genealogists who were in the audience were invited to share their reasons for seeking certification. This was followed by a short conversation by Michael Hait and Harold Henderson on how not to submit an application for certification.
June 13, 2012
A few years ago, I attended the Federation of Genealogical Society’s national conference in Knoxville, Tennessee. I had never been to a national conference before and wasn’t sure what to expect. I kept looking around and thinking, is this it? I mean, don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed the conference, met some fantastic people, and learned a lot, but it wasn’t the kind of education I really needed. Although a growing number of lectures at national conferences are geared toward advanced topics and/or professional genealogists, most have the beginning or intermediate genealogist in mind. And since the lectures are short (generally 45 minutes in length with a ten or fifteen minute Q&A, although not always), the speakers don’t necessarily have time to give more than an overview of the subject being covered. A really good overview, but not generally the kind of in-depth discussion I was hoping for.
At IGHR, I’ve found that in-depth learning experience. The people here are absolutely amazing, from the institute’s staff to the course coordinators and teachers to the students. In between classes, everyone is in conversation, and most of it centers around genealogical issues. For those who are new to the institute (like me), some of that discussion revolves around getting to know researchers on a personal level, or meeting researchers in person with whom one has only ever corresponded before.
June 10, 2012
Today, I drove to Birmingham, Alabama, to participate in my first Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR), held annually at Samford University. The campus is small but lovely, and everyone seems very nice. Classes start in the morning. I’m taking Course 3: Research in the South, Part 1, led by J. Mark Lowe, the course coordinator. We have a bevy of other good speakers for this course, namely Linda Woodward-Geiger, Deborah Abbott, and Michael Hait. I’m looking forward to hearing what these fine researchers have to say about the records, resources, and history of my native land.
March 13, 2012
This past Saturday, I attended a workshop presented by the R. J. Taylor Jr. Foundation in Marietta. I went specifically in the hopes of being able to discuss various aspects of the publication process, from transcribing and abstracting to the finished product, with three of the ladies I knew would be attending: Vivian Price, Linda Woodward-Geiger, and Faye Stone Poss.
I was not disappointed. Each of these women took the time to answer my numerous questions with patience and grace before, during, and after the two programs (one by Linda on transcribing and abstracting, and the other by Vivian on building a manuscript). This was the second time I attended a Taylor Foundation workshop. I learned quite a bit both times, not only from the presentations but also from one-on-one discussions with Linda, Vivian, and Faye.
For those who don’t know, the Taylor Foundation provides grants to cover many of the costs of publishing transcriptions, abstracts, or indexes of Georgia records pertaining to those who lived there prior to 1851. There are limitations, but for those willing to do the work, the rewards can be fulfilling if not actually lucrative. If you’re a Georgia researcher and have easy and regular access to Georgia records, then you’re missing a wonderful opportunity by not taking advantage of a Taylor Foundation grant. Here are the rewards I hope to gain:
February 27, 2012
It’s been a busy few months here in the Watson household.
We just ended basketball season. My sister is the head coach of the local high school varsity ladies basketball team. In the past four years, the Lady Cats have won 88% of their games, gone to State tournies all four years, and reached the Elite 8 three of those years. A phenomenal program. We try to get to every game, or as many as is possible. Those Lady Cats put on a heck of a show and we sure are proud of each and every one, coaches and players alike.
On the book end, Rabun County, Georgia, Newspapers, 1894 – 1899 is at the printers. I hope to have proofs in my hand within three to four weeks, and the finished product for sale another three or four weeks after that. For those who are interested, I’ve already put up an index of death notices and obituaries published in the three newspapers covered by this book.