Archive for the ‘Genealogy Conferences’ Category

RootsTech Genealogy Idol — At least we won’t be singing

This coming Thursday, 2 February 2012, Legacy Family Tree’s Geoff Rasmussen will be hosting a session at RootsTech 2012 in Salt Lake City: “RootsTech Genealogy Idol.” According to the description on the RootsTech website,

Attend the first-ever RootsTech Genealogy Idol competition as four contestants – 2 live and 2 online – compete for your votes. In the three rounds of competition, contestants will demonstration their gen-tech expertise and try to woo you with their favorite gen-tech secrets. Everyone will learn – but only one will leave with the title of RootsTech Genealogy Idol. The competition will also be broadcast to a live webinar audience who will cast their votes live.

I am excited to have been selected as one of the four contestants. I will presenting remotely from my home in Delaware. The other contestants are Marian Pierre-Louis (one of my favorite fellow genealogy bloggers), who will also be presenting remotely from her home in Massachusetts; and two live presenters, Elyse Doerflinger of California, and Elizabeth Clark of Connecticut.

We will each be presenting three three-minute presentations on the following topics:

  • Round 1: Favorite Technology Tip
  • Round 2: Genealogy Serendipity story
  • Round 3: Technology website or blog

At the end of the final round, the audience–watching live in Salt Lake City and via webinar–will vote on which of us will become the first “RootsTech Genealogy Idol.” I am sure that the voting will be extremely competitive.

If you will not be at RootsTech, be sure to watch the competition from home. To register for the free webinar, visit https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/754294750.

And be sure to vote for your favorite presentations!

See also:

Geoff Rasmussen, “Genealogy Idol Competition – finalists announced AND sign up to watch and vote,” Legacy News blog, posted 13 January 2012 (http://news.legacyfamilytree.com/legacy_news : accessed 28 January 2012).

Marian Pierre-Louis, “Participate in the 1st Genealogy Idol Competition,” Marian’s Roots and Rambles blog, posted 19 January 2012 (http://rootsandrambles.blogspot.com : accessed 28 January 2012).

Elyse Doerflinger, “Who Will Be The Next Genealogy Idol?,” Elyse’s Genealogy Blog, posted 13 January 2012 (http://elysesgenealogyblog.com : accessed 28 January 2012).

Registration for the Forensic Genealogy Institute now open

Today, 21 January 2012, the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy has announced the creation of the Forensic Genealogy Institute.

According to the CAFG website, the Institute “offers twenty hours of significant hands-on instruction with real-world work examples, resources, sample forms and work materials.” This will be an advanced course designed for professional genealogists, taught by working, experienced forensic genealogists. The instructors include Michael Ramage, J.D., CG; Kelvin L. Meyers; Leslie Brinkley Lawson; Dee Dee King, CG; and teaching assistant Catherine W. Desmarais, M.Ed., CG. Special guest instructors may also be announced.

For professional genealogists interested in exploring the field of forensic genealogy, or simply interested in expanding their set of research skills, the Forensic Genealogy Institute should help fill this need. To my knowledge, no other organization offers an advanced course focusing solely on forensic genealogy.

The Forensic Genealogy Institute will be held from 25-27 October 2012, at the Wyndham Dallas Love Field Hotel, in Dallas, Texas. Registration is limited to 25 participants, and is now open.

For more information, read the official press release here, or visit the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy website here.

Registration for the Institute of Genealogical & Historical Research–17 Jan 2012

Registration for the annual Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research will open next week, on 17 January 2012. The Institute will be held at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, from 10 June – 15 June 2012.

Registration for the courses will be staggered throughout the day, as it was last year, beginning at 11am EST/10am CST/8am PST. The schedule for registration will be as follows:

Opening at 11am EST/10am CST/8am PST:

  • Course 1: Techniques and Technology
  • Course 4: Advanced Methodology and Evidence Analysis

Opening at 11:30am EST/10:30am CST/8:30am PST:

  • Course 3: Research in the South, Part I
  • Course 5: Writing and Publishing for Genealogists

Opening at 12noon EST/11am CST/9am PST:

  • Course 2: Intermediate Genealogy and Historical Studies
  • Course 7: Virginia’s Land & Military Conflicts
  • Course 9: Military Records Research III: 1821-1919

Opening at 12:30pm EST/11:30am CST/9:30am PST:

  • Course 6: Advanced Library Research: Law Libraries & Government Documents
  • Course 8: Researching African-American Ancestors
  • Course 10: Tracing Your English Ancestors

Additional details, including a full schedule and instructor profiles, can be examined at the IGHR website: http://www4.samford.edu/schools/ighr/index.html.

If you have never attended IGHR before, please visit the “IGHR 101” page.  This site contains a short guide detailing the online registration process.

This will be my third trip to IGHR, and my first as an instructor. I will be teaching four classes this summer:

Course 3, “Research in the South, Part I” (coordinated by J. Mark Lowe, CG):

  • “Maryland Resources – Part 1″
  • “Maryland Resources – Part 2″
  • “State Archives & Other Online Resources of the South”

Course 8, “Researching African-American Ancestors: Slave & Reconstruction Era Records” (coordinated by Frazine Taylor):

  • “Records of the Slave Claims Commissions”

I hope to provide more updates on IGHR as the summer approaches.

Jean Thomason Scholarship for IGHR

The Institute for Genealogical and Historical Research (IGHR) at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, is one of the United States’s premiere educational opportunities for genealogists. Every year hundreds of genealogy enthusiasts from across the country meet for a week of classes in one of eight courses.

The Jean Thomason Scholarship for IGHR was established in 2007 in honor of Jean Thomason, the director of the Institute from 1997-2007. The scholarship covers the cost of tuition at the Institute. Anyone currently employed by a library is eligible to apply. Applications for the 2012 Scholarship are due by 1 December 2011.

For more information, visit http://www4.samford.edu/schools/ighr/IGHR_scholarship.html.

My experience at the Pennsylvania Family History Day

Yesterday in Exton, Pennsylvania, the Genealogical Society of Pennyslvania and Ancestry.com presented the Pennsylvania Family History Day. I mentioned this event last week in my post “Tips for a short genealogy road trip.” I was honored to be a part of this event, both as a lecturer and as a vendor. I presented the class “What is a ‘Reasonably Exhaustive Search’?,” one of my personal favorites.

My day started early, at 4:30am. I was out the door and on the road by 5:30am. It was still dark but there was no traffic until I reached Pennsylvania. I arrived at the conference hotel by 7:30am.

As I approached the hotel, the first person I saw, loading up her car in the parking lot, was Lisa Alzo, the popular genealogy author and lecturer. A fellow instructor at the now-defunct GenClass and at the National Institute of Genealogical Studies, I have known Lisa for years through online interaction. This was the first time that we have met in person.

At my vendor table, I set up several of my books for sale, including the Genealogy at a Glance: African American Research (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2011), and all three volumes of the Records of the Slave Claims Commissions, 1864-1867 (self-published, 2010-2011). I also printed out the Table of Contents and the Pennsylvania pages of the Online State Resources for Genealogy e-book (self-published, 2011). The final touch was a small sign that asked, “What’s Your Brickwall?” This sign actually brought the most visitors to my table, as attendees asked for advice with their research problems.

Lunch was great. I sat with Lisa Alzo and my friend Shamele Jordon as we listened to DearMYRTLE’s speech about “Genealogy Jam.” At several points throughout her talk, Ol’ Myrt was driven to tears while reminiscing about older family members, including her parents and grandparents. The entire audience was moved.

Unfortunately, because of my vendor table, I was unable to attend any of the other lectures. I would have loved to hear, for example, Lisa Alzo’s presentation on “Immigrant Cluster Communities,” or Shamele Jordon’s presentation on “Visualizing the Past: Maps and Genealogy,” or Curt Witcher’s presentation “Mining the Mother Lode: Using Periodical Literature for Genealogical Research.” Lou Szucs and Juliana Smith presented a track of four lectures focused on locating information on Ancestry.com, while John T. Humphrey and others presented a track of four lectures on researching in Pennsylvania. But from everything I heard from attendees, all of these presentations were fantastic.

After the conference ended, I had dinner in the hotel restaurant with Donn Devine, CG, CGL, and Curt Witcher, MLA, FUGA.

Curt Witcher, Michael Hait, Donn Devine

Mr. Devine is the Archivist for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, a long-standing member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, a Trustee of the Board for the Certification of Genealogists from 1992 through 2006, a member of the Board of the National Genealogical Society from 1994 through 2002 and current chairman of the NGS Standards Committee. He wrote the chapter on evidence analysis in the Elizabeth Shown Mills-edited Professional Genealogy (the object of the ProGen Study Groups). He also currently serves as the General Counsel for the BCG.

Mr. Witcher is the manager of the Allen County Public Library’s renowned Genealogy Center, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He is on the Board of the Federation of Genealogical Societies and is a member of the Genealogy Committee of the American Library Association. He was coeditor of the Periodical Source Index (PERSI) from 1987 through 2000.

Needless to say, it was an absolutely wonderful meal. We didn’t of course limit our conversation to genealogy, but discussed a number of other topics as well.

Once dinner was finished, I started the long drive home. It was dark again. I arrived home a little after 10pm. It was a long day, but one that I will long treasure.

Tips for a short genealogy road trip

This Saturday, 5 November 2011, I will be speaking at the “Pennsylvania Family History Day” event sponsored by the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania and Ancestry.com. This is a very exciting program, including the following lectures:

  • “Getting Started with Ancestry.com” with Juliana Smith
  • “Immigrant Cluster Communities” with Lisa Alzo
  • “Researching Pennsylvania Ancestors” with John Humphrey
  • “Dead Men Do Tell Tales” with Lou Szucs
  • “What Is a ‘Reasonably Exhaustive Search’?” with Michael Hait, CG
  • “Formation of the Pennsylvania Counties” with Susan Koelble
  • “Finding Your US Military Heroes on Ancestry.com” with Juliana Smith
  • “Visualizing the Past: Maps and Genealogy” with Shamele Jordon
  • “Pennsylvania’s Land Records” with John Humphrey
  • “Hidden Treasures at Ancestry.com” with Lou Szucs
  • “Mining the Motherlode: Using Periodical Literature for Genealogical Research” with Curt Witcher
  • “Using the Pennsylvania State Archives and Library” with Kathleen Hale and Aaron McWilliams

This will be a great program, and I am proud to be a part of it. For more information, visit the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania’s Events Calendar.

The conference will be held in Exton, Pennsylvania. According to Google Maps, this will be 91.6 miles–a 1 hour, 48 minute drive–from my house. So I have to prepare for my trip.

Here are a few tips for others making a short trip like this:

Print your directions. I used to have a GPS device in my car, but it died. Rather than buying a new one, I just use the “old” (as in pre-2005 or so) way of not getting lost. I print out the directions from Google Maps, especially if I am going to an area where I have never been before. I learned my lesson on a few earlier trips, when I printed only one-way directions then got lost trying to get home. Now I print directions for both ways, not just how to get there.

Leave early. If you have to be somewhere at a certain time, leave early. You never know when you might hit traffic. Even if you are not on a fixed schedule, you should still consider making the most of your trip. If the courthouse or archives opens at 9am, do you want to get there as soon as it opens, so that you have a full day? Or do you want to time your trip to avoid the rush hour gridlock near a major metropolitan area? You will want to find out about traffic patterns if you can. Living just outside Washington, D. C., for most of my life, I would time my research trips into the city to avoid rush hour. Rush hour traffic in the area could turn a twenty-minute trip into an ninety-minute trip very easily. And it could be far worse if there was an accident.

Keep cash on hand. I know, for example, that I will hit at least one toll while driving from Harrington, Delaware, to Exton, Pennsylvania. Three weeks ago, driving to Cherry Hill, New Jersey, I had to pay at three tolls each way. You may also need cash for parking fees, public transportation (if you can’t or don’t want to drive all the way to the building), entry fees for some repositories, or pay lockers. Many repositories now allow you to pay with a credit card, but there are still many that use coin-operated photocopiers. You might need cash for these as well.

Turn driving time into learning time. I will be driving for nearly two hours each way. This is four hours of my day not doing anything. Why not take advantage of that time? I can’t read or research while driving, because of course I need to keep my eyes on the road. But I can still use the time to learn. Most of the lectures presented at the national conferences, and some local conferences, have been recorded over the last few years. You can purchase these lectures on CD from JAMB, Inc. Pop a CD into your car’s CD player, and learn from expert genealogists like Elizabeth Shown Mills, Helen F. M. Leary, Thomas Jones, Craig Scott, Barbara Vines Little, J. Mark Lowe, or any number of the other nationally-recognized speakers.

Go before you leave. You don’t want to have to stop halfway through a two-hour drive. ‘Nuff said.

Guest Post: Locating Clent manorial landholdings and SLIG, by Sue Adams

The following is a guest post written by Sue Adams, the winner of my SLIG Blogging Contest Contest! This post originally appeared at her blog, Family Folklore.

Having recently completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Genealogical Studies with the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, I have been looking around for further educational opportunities.

As my diploma dissertation was a study of manorial land records between 1712 and 1927, of Clent Manor, Worcestershire, England, the “Advanced Research Tools: Land Records” track presented by Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) 2012 peaked my interest. The course runs from 23-27 January 2012.

 

Although my study focused on land inheritance, I had originally intended presenting results by mapping land holdings belonging to individuals or families. However, faced with vague property descriptions, I realised this was more difficult than I had anticipated. Of the copyholdings bought, sold or inherited by the Waldron family of the Fieldhouse, I could locate less than half. Below is the map that I did not include in my dissertation because of these difficulties.

The Fieldhouse itself was easy (no 13), it is marked on current maps and the listed building records confirm that the house was built in the 1750s. Some fields that were enclosed and first granted by the Lord in 1788 were described well enough for me to work out their location relative to roads and adjoining property (nos 1-7). Descriptions referring to ancient field names that so not appear on any maps are more difficult, but I managed to find an archaeological report that gave approximate locations for a few names like Kitchen Meadow, Long Meadow and Wallfields. So I could approximate the locations of land (the rest of the nos on the map) with descriptions like the following example:

“three pieces of land called the Halfmoon Hills containing about sixteen acres two pieces of land adjoining called the Wallfields containing about eight acres and Meadow called the Kitchen Meadow containing about six acres and one Meadow called Long Meadow containing about four acres and one close adjoining called Ollerpiece containing about two acres in Upper Clent”

Winden Field is a place name that occurs frequently in the manorial court records, but I do not know where it was. It is thought to be the name of one of the open fields dating back to the medieval farming system.

Occasionally, land descriptions refer to the tithe map. In Clent this dates to 1838 and records the landowners who were liable to pay tithes, a tax collected by the church which supported the clergy. None of the land owned by my study family is directly linked to the tithe map in the court rolls, but it may be still possible to correlate the two.

So what does all this stuff about English land records have to do with and course on American land records? Well the problems are similar and the SLIG course offers some tools applicable to land records anywhere. The Strathclyde program is biased toward Scottish research and records (it is a Scottish university!), which some think a disadvantage for English based researchers. However, I benefited from seeing how English and Scottish records differ and the comparison has deepened my understanding making me a better researcher. American records will be different again, and that is interesting.

As I am based in England the main expense of attending SLIG is the airfare. However, as RootsTech (2-4 February 2012) and APG Professional Management Conference (1 February 2012), follow a few days later, I could attend all three. Now the airfare seems a little less extravagant!

About Sue Adams: My interest in family history was ignited by the death of Raymond Coulson, a cousin of my paternal grand-mother.  Tracking down the beneficiaries of his estate got me hooked and led me on to research the tales passed down the generations.  The story continues …

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