Monday, April 22, 2019

Eight Years of Blogging!

I started From Maine to Kentucky eight years ago. No real excuse for not blogging much recently, but I have been busy participating in the online ProGen Study Group, working my way through Professional Genealogy: Preparation, Practice & Standards, edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills.

As I look back on what I shared since last April, I see that I did participate in quite a few 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks posts (writing prompts courtesy of Amy Johnson Crow). Some of my favorite blog posts of the past year include:

Aunt Mary Fights Standard Oil, where I corroborated a family story about my maternal grandmother's sisters with newspaper articles from 1952.

Ogontz School Yearbook 1926, where I shared my grandmother's yearbook page and included the names of her 41 classmates in hopes that someone searching for their ancestor's name will find it.

Paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Adsit
Grandparents of my Grandparents, where I shared childhood photographs of each of my grandparents and reported on which of their grandparents I believe that they knew. (See Libby's photo at right.)

Great-Grandmother was a Golfer, where again I corroborated a family story about Mary Bowman (Ashby) Adsit with newspaper reports from between 1898 and 1903 (where she is named as Mrs. C. C. Adsit).

And of course all my NERGC posts: I interviewed three genealogists who lectured at the New England Regional Genealogical Consortium Conference: Elissa Scalise Powell, Shellee Morehead, and Lindsay Fulton.

I also blogged about my three days at the conference: Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3.

I do have more family stories and photographs that I hope to share in the coming months. Thank you to those who continue to follow my blog.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

NERGC 2019 ~ Day 3

This last day of NERGC was again, a very busy day. (See NERGC Day 1 and NERGC Day 2.)

I heard Ann G. Lawthers speak about Colonial Migration Patterns which is inspiring me to think about researching some of my more distant ancestors in New England, as well as those ancestors who migrated from Virginia to Kentucky after the Revolution. An interesting takeaway is that, before the Revolution, it was the German and Scots-Irish immigrants who tended to be farmers with pioneering skills, willing to venture further inland.

I then got to meet and introduce D. Joshua Taylor, President of the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society (NY&GB) before he spoke about Pathways from New England to New York. This is one of those subjects I need to explore in order to understand hows and whys of the migration of some of my ancestors who moved from New England into or through New York on their way to places further west. For example, the Adsits, Chapins (paternal side) and Greeley (maternal side) went to Chicago, Illinois. Some family lines continued further west.

D. Joshua Taylor
Saturday's luncheon had another great speaker, Robert Charles Anderson of the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), speaking about the Great Migration Study Project that he has managed for thirty years.

Friday, April 5, 2019

NERGC 2019 ~ Day 2

Today at the NERGC conference, I was extremely busy with learning and connecting with genealogists.

Donna Moughty
I started with Seeking Your Scots-Irish Ancestors with Donna Moughty, an experienced Irish genealogist. I believe I have some Scots-Irish ancestors (James McAlpin and Jane Hunter on my paternal side and Samuel Hunter on my maternal side) and wanted to learn more about this group of people who initially came from Scotland into Northern Ireland, then to America.

Donna is a fabulous speaker who really knows her stuff. She provided lots of resources.

I volunteered for an hour in the exhibit hall at the booth for NEAPG, the New England Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists. (I forgot to take a photo of this booth.) Are you looking for a professional genealogist to help you with your New England research? Are you looking for a speaker or a teacher in genealogy? Or are you a longtime professional genealogist or an aspiring professional genealogist looking for camaraderie and support? Check out their website.

Jenifer Bakkala, president of NEAPG
The luncheon, hosted by NEAPG, was their "Table Talk" luncheon and I hosted a table for those interested in discussing Jewish Genealogy. If you don't know, my husband has Jewish ancestry and my other blog, A Jewish Genealogy Journey, shares some of the stories and interesting finds that I have made while researching his ancestry.

After lunch, I volunteered again in the exhibit hall, this time for MSOG, the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists, for which I am the current recording secretary. It's great to meet other genealogists and encourage them to take advantage of what MSOG can offer.

MSOG booth in Exhibit Hall
If you have Massachusetts ancestors or if you live in Massachusetts, you're a member, right? I hope to see you at a MSOG chapter meeting soon!

Next, I heard Kathryn Lake Hogan, a well-known Canadian genealogist, speak about I've Got a Loyalist in the Family?! She provided a good history of what happened to those who were not Patriots at the end of the Revolutionary War as well as provided useful research resources - both online and on the ground. (I need to visit Nova Scotia one of these days...)

I then attended Proving It! Arguing Conclusions Without Direct Evidence with Nora Galvin. She walked through one example of resolving several items of conflicting direct evidence to come to a conclusion about a woman's maiden name and her marriage date. Her other case study was an example of using several items of indirect evidence to solve a research question about the parents of a Connecticut-born woman who died in 1941. That was a tricky one, but she did a great job of explaining the use of indirect evidence to come to a conclusion.

The Friday Banquet speaker was Blaine Bettinger, The Genetic Genealogist, whose topic was The Helen Marley Story, a case study using indirect evidence, along with mtDNA and atDNA to help identify the mother of his adopted great-grandmother. It took many years for all the evidence to come together, showing that sometimes genealogists need patience and time to solve some of our research questions.

Whew! An exhausting, but very interesting day!
(See NERGC Day 1 and NERGC Day 3.)

Thursday, April 4, 2019

NERGC 2019 ~ Day 1

I've been looking forward to the NERGC conference for several weeks. (NERGC stands for New England Regional Genealogical Consortium and is pronounced NERK.) It started yesterday (Wednesday) with several optional pre-conference tracks, like Military, Beginning DNA, Librarians & Local Historians, Society Management, and Professional Genealogist.

Leaving Massachusetts early (Thursday), I made it to Manchester, New Hampshire, mid-morning and visited the Exhibit Hall first, exploring the many offerings and genealogical societies. More about that tomorrow.

After the luncheon, where we heard from Jennifer Zinck about DNA Testing: What Did I Sign Up For? I got to meet one of my February interviewees: Elissa Scalise Powell. In fact, I got to introduce her at her session entitled Deeper Analysis: Techniques for Successful Problem-Solving.

Elissa Scalise Powell
Elissa talked about the details of the research process to solve a genealogical problem. My takeaway was that good genealogists need to gather a variety of evidence, analyze the conflicting evidence in order to resolve the conflicts (i.e. explain them), and, of course, write down the conclusion. She shared several strategies, using examples, of how to analyze evidence, using charts, timelines, and migration maps, among others.

Then more brain exercising with Thomas W. Jones and Kinship Determination, where he explained methods for determining genealogical relationships, using the five steps of the genealogical proof standard and three processes: "Research, Reasoning and 'Riting." Again, writing down your genealogical analysis and conclusions was emphasized.

Thomas W. Jones
Tom makes these concepts seem so easy. For examples of kinship determination, he recommends reading articles in the NGS Quarterly, the NEHGS Register, and the NYG&B Record, all of which I subscribe to and read. These peer-reviewed journals are excellent learning tools.

Then back to hear from Elissa again when she spoke on Thinking Outside the Index: Advanced Search Techniques. I have heard variations on this lecture and it is always good to hear some of these tips again.

After a dinner out with genealogy friends, I was looking forward to some sleep! Tomorrow will be a busy day.

See NERGC Day 2 and NERGC Day 3.