Sunday, April 30, 2017

NERGC 2017 ~ Day 3

After two days at NERGC of really exercising my brain (see Day 1 and Day 2), I decided to listen to some general-level sessions with particularly excellent speakers for my last day.

Elizabeth and Thomas
Thomas MacEntee, founder of Geneabloggers, spoke on Managing the Genealogy Data Monster, a topic that genealogists at every level can use at least some help with! Thomas is very organized, providing lots of wonderful suggestions on how to work with a research log, as well as sharing tips on file naming conventions. The main takeaway there is to just be consistent. (I've got some work to do...)  If you ever get a chance to hear Thomas speak, be sure to do so!

I then got to hear Diahan Southard speak on Your DNA in Action: Real Time, Hands-On Fun. I had interviewed Diahan for this blog in February, so it was great to meet her and see her present in person. This was a class where attendees could login to their own AncestryDNA accounts and follow along as she explained how to pose a genealogical research question and begin to answer it using the searching and filtering features at AncestryDNA. I picked up a few tips and tricks in this session that I look forward to using!

After lunch, where we heard from Jane E. Wilcox speaking about Forget Me Not: Remembering Our Grandmother's Stories, I volunteered to help out at the booth for MSOG, the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists.

The exhibit hall at the conference was free and open to the public and I could see, especially on Saturday, that there were lots of visitors who came who were not registered for the conference.

Here is the MSOG booth at a rare down time that it was not full of people, either MSOG members meeting up or attendees looking to join this great group. Even if you do not live in Massachusetts, the membership is worth it (only $25 for a year!) because of the webinar series that is offered only to members. In fact, if you join now, your membership will be good through the summer of 2018.

I had to leave the conference before the end of Saturday, knowing that I had made many new genealogy friends, as well as renewing some friendships over the subject we all enjoy.

Looking forward to NERGC 2019 in Manchester, New Hampshire!

Friday, April 28, 2017

NERGC 2017 ~ Day 2

Friday was the second day of NERGC and was just as busy as Thursday. (See my Thursday summary.)

After a brief walk outside (it was a foggy morning so I didn't get to see the Connecticut River which divides Springfield from West Springfield), I started my morning with A Virtual Tour of New Hampshire's State Archives with Diane Gravel. Now I'm inspired to pursue my New Hampshire ancestors more deeply (and maybe break down my Thomas Wells brick wall there...).

Then I got to hear Marian Pierre-Louis talk about Breaking Down Brick Walls with Collateral Research. She has done this talk before, but she gets so excited sharing her finds that it's inspiring!

After some time exploring the exhibit hall, I attended the NEAPG lunch "Table Topics," where I sat at a table with others who are researching Connecticut ancestors. Now I'm excited to explore my ancestors in that New England state after hearing more about some great research repositories there.

After lunch, I heard from George Findlen, Ya Gotta Use ALL the Records, from Pam Stone Eagleson on Confronting Conflicting Evidence, and F. Warren Bittner on Complex Evidence: What it is, How it Works, and Why it Matters. These were all advanced-level sessions on understanding and evaluating evidence to come to a genealogical conclusion. My brain certainly was exercised this afternoon!

At this evening's banquet, I sat with two other eastern Massachusetts genealogists who are also taking the Boston University Certificate in Genealogical Research course this summer. Yes, my blogging may get even more sparse because this is going to be taking up much of my time in the next four months! The speaker was Kenyatta Berry, another wonderful host from Genealogy Roadshow.

One of the best things about genealogy conferences is meeting friends, old and new, who all share my love of genealogy! We learn a lot from each other.

NERGC 2017 ~ Day 1

I got to Springfield, Massachusetts, on Thursday in time for the opening session, which included hearing from Mary Tedesco (of Genealogy Roadshow). She is an engaging speaker.

At lunch, I finally got the opportunity to meet the founder of Geneabloggers, Thomas MacEntee, who spoke about privacy and genealogy and how the concept of privacy has changed over the centuries. (He recognized me and remembered my blogs!)

In the afternoon, I heard Carol Prescott McCoy speak about Finding Someone Who Eluded Census Records. She provided a good overview of census research and then offered some creative suggestions for finding those hard-to-find ancestors in the census (and some other census alternatives).

Jane E. Wilcox (of the Forget-Me-Not podcast) spoke about New York State Repositories, inspiring me to find out more about my ancestors who migrated through New York from New England to Illinois.

Brenda Sullivan, one of the Gravestone Girls, spoke about the history of graveyards and cemeteries (there is a difference) and what you can find out about your ancestors on a gravestone.

All of these speakers are worth learning from if you ever get a chance to hear them speak.

After supper, I joined other genealogy bloggers in an informal SIG: Special Interest Group meeting where we chatted about our blogs and encouraged a few attendees to start their own blogs. It was great to finally meet in person Marian Burk Wood of Climbing My Family Tree and John Tew of Filiopietism Prism, as well as see longtime blogger friends, Heather Rojo of Nutfield Genealogy, Sara Campbell of Remembering Those Who Came Before Us, Cindy Shenette of Heritage Zen, and Pam Carter of My Maine Ancestry.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Six Years of Blogging!

This is blog post 392 over the past six years. Although I have slowed down, I hope to continue with at least two to four posts a month.

As I recently noted in a comment on another geneablogger's post about the slowing down of genealogy blogging (see Julie's Genealogy and History Hub), it was easier to blog when I started this blog - sharing census records and some of the many photographs was relatively easy and fun.

Now that I spend my genealogy time exploring my DNA matches and trying to contact them, I don't manage to find as much time to write blog posts, unless I get really excited about a new discovery.

Some of my favorite blog posts from the past year include:

Dad's Pet Goat
From July 2016: Dad's Pet Goat - This is now the fifth top-viewed post of all time on this blog.

From September 2016: David Freeland - 4th Great-Grandfather - I confirmed his burial location this year, as well as expanded the branch of his family tree with more descendants!

A follow-up to my November 2016 post about the Short Snorter with my Dad's signature - one of my brothers purchased it to give to another brother so it is now in the family!

From December 2016: DNA ~ Visual Phasing is one of my favorites of the year (for the DNA geneageeks in my audience). I have almost completed this project for all the chromosomes for me and my two brothers. I hope that known family members who have tested at AncestryDNA will upload their DNA to FamilyTreeDNA or GEDmatch which both have chromosome browsers. This will help me to fully complete this project and help me figure out how I am related to the genetic matches who contact me.

From March 2017: I Found My Great-Grandfather on DeadFred!

Looking ahead, I have taken advantage of the DNA sales going on right now and have purchased DNA tests for my sons. (Son #1 actually asked about it!) With three of their four grandparents having tested, it will be interesting to see how much DNA they share with each grandparent and with their uncles!

Next week I will be at NERGC and I will blog about it. (To get in the mood for NERGC, see my interviews with The Photo Detective, Maureen Taylor and Your DNA Guide, Diahan Southard.)

Thank you for continuing to read my blog and I hope to keep sharing family photos, family finds, and educational DNA posts.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Searching for Adsit in The Courier-Journal just updated its collection of issues from The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY). (Click on the image to go right to searching this newspaper. This is a subscription website.) My great-grandmother was born in Kentucky and I have found her in this newspaper in the past. (See Bowmie Ashby's 1890 Wedding.)

The update includes issues into the 21st century with the Plus subscription, but I haven't found any close relatives much past the following 1918 find.

Since I am easily distracted into doing newspaper research, I decided to see what I could find by searching on Adsit, one of my more unusual ancestral surnames.