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.


  1. Sounds another excellent NERGC conference. Really wish I could have been in the room for Elissa's two talks in particular. Looking forward to your next posts from the conference!

    1. Sorry you couldn't be here, but I know you're a busy genealogist! Glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for commenting!

  2. I've been "avoiding" the NERGC conferences because I don't have any New England ancestors. But, it looks like such a great conference - AND the topics are so widespread - that I think I'll consider this for next year. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Dana - do consider attending a NERGC conference. They're only every two years so you have plenty of time to plan for April 14-17, 2021, in Springfield, Massachusetts!