Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Happy 4th Blogiversary to From Maine to Kentucky

This is blog post number 290 over the past four years. Although I slowed down during 2014, I expect to increase the number of posts in 2015 because of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge, in which I am writing about various direct-line ancestors once a week. I also hope to get a few Surname Saturday posts in, among other interesting posts.

My most recent posts of interest came from the fact that I attended the 2015 New England Regional Genealogy Conference (NERGC), which I enjoyed and blogged about in three posts: NERGC Day 1, NERGC, Day 2, and NERGC Day 3. I hope I was able to give a flavor for what the conference was like. I hope to attend in 2017.

In reviewing my statistics for the past several months, I noticed that I am receiving more traffic to my blog. I believe that it's in part due to my being more consistent in sharing my posts via Facebook (with family and those Facebook friends I know are interested), Google+, and Twitter (not particularly active, but generates a little bit of traffic, especially if I write an engaging tweet). Hopefully this means I am reaching more readers (and potential cousins) because people are adding me to their blog readers and coming back for more.

I also recently received the best compliment: My mother told me that since I have been writing my blog that my writing has improved. Thank you Mother!

Family members are always welcome to request a blog post about a particular line or ancestor and I will see what I can find out and share!

Thank you for reading my blog. I hope you continue to read and enjoy!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Abigail Blodgett Greeley Lived To 94 - 52 Ancestors #16

For this week's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from blogger Amy Crow Johnson of No Story Too Small, the theme is Live Long.

I figured out how to look at the age at death for my direct ancestors by creating a custom report in Family Tree Maker. No centenarians in my direct ancestry, but there are several who lived into their 90s.

The one direct ancestor who lived the longest (for whom I have relatively good records) is my 5th great-grandmother, Abigail Blodgett, who was born in Dunstable, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, as the middle of seven children of Joseph and Dorothy (Perham) Blodgett, who were originally from Chelmsford, Massachusetts, a town just to the southeast of Dunstable.

Dunstable Vital Records show Abigail's birth date as February 18, 1723/24.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

NERGC Day 3

View of Providence from Prospect Park
I wrote about my first day at NERGC here and my second day here.

I chose to take a break from attending sessions (and the weather was beautiful), so my third day started with a walk up College Hill which was near my hotel and the Convention Center. At right is a photo I took from Prospect Park towards downtown Providence.

Following are descriptions of the sessions I attended on this third and last day of NERGC 2015.

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Navigating A Billion+ Hidden Records on FamilySearch with Robert Raymond was my first session of the day.

Using an example from his own family research, he showed how to use what he referred to as "hidden collections" on FamilySearch.org to find the will of his ancestor who lived and died in the 19th century. He used many screen shots from FamilySearch to show how to navigate this free website. He covered indexes, original records versus transcriptions, and what to look for once a researcher is exploring a particular collection. (i.e. be sure to click on "learn more" when looking at the information page for a collection.)

Also using his example, he reminded us that when we find a will, we need to follow the GPS (Genealogical Proof Standard) to ensure that we have found the right person. (Same name doesn't always equal same person!) Because using the index within these "hidden" collections is so important, Robert spent quite a bit of time sharing examples of the variety of indexes that can be found in these online collections, as well as how to navigate through the images rather than clicking "next" and viewing every image.

This was a very useful session for any user of the FamilySearch.org website.

Friday, April 17, 2015

NERGC Day 2

I wrote about my first day at NERGC here.

My second day started with Creating Maine Towns: The Process and the Records with Carol Prescott McCoy.

Carol loves Maine and it showed during her presentation about Maine town records and all of the interesting things that can be found in them, including historical events (earthquakes), first settlers (and their families), and town laws (where not to cut wood), among many other things.

Take-aways include:
Many towns were created from other towns so be aware of these divisions and the many name changes that happened.
Between 1689-1713, there were only three permanent settlements that were continually inhabited: York, Kittery and Wells. 1713 was when there was more of an effort to increase settlement in Maine.
Carol covered the variety of typical town officers, which included tithingmen, hog reeves, and fence viewers. There were also Highway Surveyors, who had to make sure the town's roads were passable (think spring mud season).

She also explained where a researcher has to go to find these records (i.e. specific Maine towns). After listening to Carol, I want to go visit Litchfield, Buckfield, Norridgewock, Calais and Lee, Maine (among others) to explore their town records and see what goodies I can find on my Maine ancestors!

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

NERGC Day 1

I am attending my first New England Regional Genealogical Conference. (And my second major conference - I attended the IAJGS Conference when it was in Boston in 2013. I blogged about that conference here and here.)

I arrived in Providence this morning and during today I attended several sessions, as well as met up with many, many other genealogists. A summary of my genealogy day follows:

My day started with a welcome to the attendees (there are over 950 registered to attend during the three days of the conference, although not all are here yet) and then a presentation by John McNiff, who, in the character of Reverend William Blackstone (1595-1675), described what life was like for early immigrants to New England. His description of life on board an early 16th century ship for two months on the way from "Old England" to "New England" was quite descriptive (wearing the same clothes, no opportunity for bathing, being constantly wet, rotting food…). He then went on to describe his early life in New England: in Boston, Plymouth, and Rhode Island, as its first settler, dealing with the natives as well as the "wilderness" of the area.