Archive for ‘Genealogical Education’

September 2, 2010

OBCGS Fall Genealogy Workshop, 18 September 2010

On 18 September 2010, the Old Buncombe County Genealogical Society will hold its annual Fall Genealogy Workshop at the Simpson Lecture Hall on the AB Tech Campus in Asheville, NC, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This year’s theme is Family History in Your Pajamas: Genealogy on the Internet. The cost is $20 per person, which includes lunch and a set of handouts. To guarantee lunch and handout availability, please register in advance.

For more information, see the workshop’s registration page.

August 20, 2010

FGS 2010 Conference, Day 3

Today was a long day. We left the hotel at 7:15 a.m. and didn’t return until after 8 p.m. Whew! Here’s an overview:

  1. The Five Civilized Tribes of the South and Their Genealogical Records by Russell P. Baker
  2. Planning ‘Reasonably Exhaustive’ Research by Thomas W. Jones
  3. “I’ll Fly Away”: Using Souther Church Records in Genealogical Research by Russell P. Baker
  4. African American Families: Using Manuscripts and Special Collections by J. Mark Lowe
  5. The Genealogical Proof Standard in Action by Elizabeth Shown Mills
  6. County Land Records by Christine Rose

Tom Jones and Christine Rose have many credentials which I have not added here, in part because their postnomials are as long as their names. But be aware that, like Mills and Lowe, they are Big Names in genealogy circles. I had never before had the honor of listening to lectures by Mr. Baker, but now that I know he’s on the lecture circuit, I will make a point of trying to attend another lecture in the future.

Also today was the APG luncheon, with guest speaker Elizabeth Shown Mills, and the War of 1812 reception, featuring Dr. George Schweitzer in full Minute Man regalia to raise awareness and funds for NARA’s War of 1812 pension digitization project. I could not find information on NARA’s site about this project, but to learn more about this records set see Genealogical Records of the War of 1812 by Stuart L. Butler

August 19, 2010

FGS 2010 Conference, Day 2

Today was a great day at the conference. The exhibit hall opened up with a wide variety of vendors and societies represented. Best snags: a free t-shirt from FamilySearch and a handful of free records guides from NARA. Today’s classes:

  1. Southern States Migration by David G. Dilts
  2. National Genealogical Society Luncheon with speaker Jeffrey L. Haines
  3. Poor? Black? Female? Slave? Southern Research Strategies by Elizabeth Shown Mills

The last class was two hours, and I have to say, the hype about Mrs. Mills is absolutely correct: her session was well worth the wait.

I skipped the last class so that I could return to the exhibit hall and study a BCG application portfolio.

Tomorrow is a full day, beginning with classes at 8 a.m., running through the APG luncheon (at which Mrs. Mills is the speaker), more classes until 6 p.m., door prize drawings until 7 p.m., and the War of 1812 reception to end the evening.

I apologize for the alphabet soup. As I was discussing with my research buddy and roommate for the conference, genealogists live in a world of acronyms, just like other fields do. Please click on the links to learn more about these wonderful resources.

August 18, 2010

FGS 2010 Conference, Day 1

Just to clarify before I start this post, yesterday was the unofficial start of the FGS conference with the Association of Professional Genealogist‘s Professional Management Conference (APG PMC). I did not attend that, so today is the first day of the conference for me.

And as it happens, today was also the “focus on societies” day, with a wide variety of classes offered that were geared toward historical and genealogical societies. I attended five clases:

  1. Firing Up the Next Generation of Genealogists! (Chuck Knuthson Memorial Lecture) presented by Julie Miller, CG
  2. Developing a Society Website and Blog: Technical Issues by Amy Johnson Crow, CG
  3. Tips for Planning a Successful Seminar by Jana Sloan Broglin, CG
  4. Organizing Your Society’s Library and Archives by Lori Thornton, MLS
  5. Magnify the Reach and Impact of Your Society’s Expertise by Diane C. Loosle, AG, CG1

After the last class, I had the privilige of being involved in a lengthy discussion with Ms. Loosle, Paul Milner, J. Mark Lowe, and a young woman whose name I never caught about the FamilySearch Wiki, the focus of that particular class. Mr. Milner and Mr. Lowe were guest speakers during that lecture, and it was interesting to hear their perspectives on the FamilySearch Wiki, how it works, and how it can aid societies and individuals in building a community of knowledge.

The day ended with an outdoor supper, and a performance by Sheila K. Adams and her son Andrew. Mrs. Adams is a balladeer and story teller. Her down home stories, taken from her own life and lives of generations past, are a bittersweet reminder of a way of life that has nearly been trampled out by modern “progress” and movement of native families out of the mountain areas.

Tomorrow: a lecture by the renowned Elizabeth Shown Mills, and the National Genealogical Conference luncheon.

* * * * *

1. The postnomials defined: CG = Certified Genealogist (earned through the Board for Certification of Genealogists); AG = Accredited Genealogist (earned through ICAPGen); MLS = Masters of Library Science, also sometimes seen as MLIS (Masters of Library and Information Science).

July 25, 2010

FGS Conference Just Around the Corner

In a little more than three weeks, I will be on my way to Knoxville, TN, for the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ annual conference. I’ve been looking forward to this all year. I will (finally!) be able to meet several fellow genealogists whose work I’ve read or with whom I’ve corresponded, attend lectures on a variety of topics given by some of the best speakers of our time, and visit several great Eastern Tennessee repositories. Who could ask for more?

My tentative plans are to attend next year’s National Genealogical Society Family History Conference, held in Charleston, SC, from 11 – 14 May 2011. Aside from all the wonderful opportunities presented by the conference, Charleston itself holds an irresistable appeal, being rich in heritage, history, and lore.

What a fabulous time it is to be a genealogist!

June 16, 2010

Brick Walls and Genealogy Journals

I have been “doing family history” for about 25 years now. I like solving puzzles and learning or trying out different methodologies; in fact, I would even go so far as to say that I crave the challenges presented by a new brick wall.

The problem being, of course, that I’ve been stuck on the same set of brick walls in my own ancestry for quite a while now. (Sound familiar?) Even though I’ve made some headway recently, the fact remains that the names are all the same; after a while, and almost inevitably, boredom and frustration set in.

One way I counter this is by turning to other family histories; not by pursuing new lines of research, but by reading published histories compiled by other genealogists. There are a number of incredibly reputable journals that have been published over the past few decades, and some much longer: The American Genealogist, The Genealogist, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, and The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, to name a few.

My favorite, though, is The National Genealogical Society Quarterly, aka the NGSQ. Part of the reason why it’s my favorite is purely practical: I’m a member of the NGS, and so have ready, online access to all issues of the NGSQ from 1988 to the present. But there are other reasons as well. The NGSQ covers a wider variety of eras and problems than the other named journals, and many of the more recent articles over the past twenty-odd years are “teaching” articles; that is, they were written with the student genealogist in mind, logically ordered so that the whole method behind the madness is explained. This allows others, those who are stuck behind a stubbornly resistant brick wall, to take that methodology and apply it to their own problems.

Each time I read an NGSQ article, I find my mind turning to a similar problem I’ve faced in finding my own ancestors. The Eureka! moment hits (Aha, here’s what I can do to solve that problem), and my fingers itch for pen and paper so I can capture the ideas as they flower. My thirst for the chase is renewed, and I am ready once again to continue the ceaseless battering against the never-ending supply of brick walls my ancestors have thrown up.

February 21, 2010

Georgia Genealogical Society Workshop: Pulling Great Aunt Bertha Out of the Hat

On Saturday, March 6, 2010, the Georgia Genealogical Society will host a day-long workshop featuring Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, reknowned speaker and author, and editor of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly.

Dr. Jones will discuss finding “disappearing” ancestors, avoiding deception on the Internet, ethics for family historians, and techniques for discovering an ancestor’s European origins.

The workshop will be held at the National Archives-Southeast Region in Morrow, GA. Cost is $25 for GGS members and $35 for non-members. Registration must be postmarked by February 27 to avoid a late registration fee. For more information, see the GGS events web site.

February 20, 2010

The East Tennessee Historical Society

In August, I will be attending the Federation of Genealogical Societies‘ annual conference, held this year in Knoxville, TN. While I am looking forward to this event in general, I am especially excited about visiting the East Tennessee Historical Society, home to the McClung Historical Collection, a virtual cornucopia of manuscript collections, rare books, city directories, newspapers, and microfilm. The primary focus of the collection is, of course, the eastern Tennessee counties, but other areas of Tennessee and other states are also represented.

I am currently compiling a list of my eastern Tennessee families so that I can plan my on-site research. Included will be:

  • Mansfield and Harriet (Black) Anderson, who moved from Blount and Sevier Counties (TN) into Macon Co., NC
  • Miranda (Fletcher) Curtis and several of her children, who moved from Macon Co., NC, to Monroe Co., TN
  • Samuel Hopper, who possibly lived for a short time in Claiborne and Giles Counties, TN
  • Various children of William Morgan, who died in 1809 in Jackson Co., GA

The FGS 2010 Conference theme is “Rediscovering America’s First Frontier.” The conference runs from August 18 to August 21. For more information, see the FGS conference web site.

November 2, 2009

Sitting Up With the Dead, Friday, November 13, 2009

The Northeast Georgia Genealogical Society is partnering with the Hall County Library in Gainesville, GA, to host “Sitting Up with the Dead” on Friday, November 13, 2009, from noon until midnight. Cost is $12 per person; entry fee and registration must be received by Monday, November 9, 2009.

This is a wonderful opportunity for area researchers to explore the Sybil Wood McRay Genealogy and Local History Collection. For those who have never used it, most of the resources located therein are catalogued in the Hall County Library System‘s catalogue.

More information is available through the Northeast Georgia Genealogical Society’s web site, above.

September 20, 2009

OBCGS Annual Workshop A Rousing Success

Yesterday, I was priviliged to be able to attend the Old Buncombe County Genealogical Society‘s annual Fall workshop. This year’s speakers were archivists and librarians from Western North Carolina colleges and universities, with one speaker who holds an archivist position at both a college and a private high school. Each shared information on his or her institute’s genealogical and historical holdings, particularly within the Special Collections. The speakers and their respective school were as follows:

1. Dr. Karen Paar, Mars Hill College, Mars Hill, Madison Co., NC
2. Dr. Helen Wykle, University of North Carolina, Asheville, Asheville, Buncombe Co., NC
3. Kathy Staley, Appalachian State University, Boone, Watauga Co., NC
4. Diana R. Sanderson, Warren Wilson College and Asheville School, Asheville
5. George Frizzell, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, Jackson Co., NC

The collections described were remarkable; I will be making future posts on each institute.

The workshop itself was well-organized, and well-attended by a good group of researchers. It was held in the current OBCGS library, located on 128 Bingham Road in Asheville. Topics for next year’s workshop are now being considered, and I look forward to attending it next September.