13 November 2013

100 Years Ago Today

My father was born in this house 100 years ago today.  The house (the building on the left) was part of the compound at the Logan Canyon power plant of Utah Power & Light where his father, Benjamin T. Hegwer, was in charge (I don't know his exact title).  There's another view of the yard and corner of the house here: obviously a different season!  The power plant and the house are still there today.  And, I still miss my dad.  He loved all things mechanical/technical and I know he would have been a blogger....

The neat thing about this photo is how well Daddy annotated it.  As with other photos, I have no recollection of having seen these before he died.  It also strikes me that I actually have photos that are more than 100 years old....

With Veteran's Day always the same week as his birthday and it being a 100th birthday, it only seems right to share some of Daddy's service photos.  This one is dated 2-3-43 and shows Daddy at the USO in Gulfport, Mississippi.  I believe he was at Gulfport for some specialized training.

According to the back, this group photo is an "Official Air Force Photograph" of July 1944 at "Army Air Field / Alexandria, LA."  The 6 men, from left to right, as labeled on the back in my dad's handwriting are:
P.W. Baker, PFC
___ Russel, Cpl
___ Bauer, Cpl
G. Hultman, S/Sgt -- crew chief
H.C. Hegwer, Sgt -- asst crew chief
___ Wilson, Sgt
(Below this list, it says Pfc Lindsey was absent.)

I hope that this photo makes its way to the families of the other men.  As far as I know, my dad was the oldest member of the crew.  

Can any of my dear readers identify the type of plane for me?

[All photo originals in MHD collection.]

11 August 2013

State of the Blog: Fourth Blogiversary!

Wow! Four years can fly by, can't it?

What is the state of the blog?  While my database was out of commission unexpectedly from April 2012 to April 2013, I had a self-imposed moratorium on any new research.  Since last blogiversary, 20 of the 22 posts in the last 12 months were written just since last April.  If I'm not researching, I couldn't justify blogging.  I tried to spend all my extra time figuring out the database problem.

I used to post annual goals for my research, and maybe I'll go back to that now that I'm back researching.  I did accomplish two of my oldest goals: attending a national genealogy conference (NGS) and visiting a new-to-me genealogy library (Carlsbad Public Library).

Giving back: I've made a concerted effort to give back to the genealogy community.  I volunteer for Souther California Genealogy Society, Find A Grave, and at least once a year for British Isles Family History Society.  To celebrate this blogiversay, I have made a proposal (and it was just accepted yesterday!) to lead a series of 4 introductory sessions at my local branch library as part of National Family History Month in October.

Database ramblings  ---  The question is not so much what features a different software package has, but "How well will all the details in an existing database transfer?"  My research was extensively and thoroughly sourced with detailed citations...not one of the dozen new programs I tried fully accepted all my citation detail. There were other problems varying from program to program.  I forced myself to pick a program and began using it to enter new names and other data, thinking I just needed to get used to it.  While doing so, I discovered the depth of the missing citation data.  Long talks with customer service...repeat attempts with previously rejected products...growing frustration with missing features and screen/print appearance....  My solution: give in, run Parallels on my new Mac and go back to Ancestral Quest.  I am happy again.  New Goal: find someone else who uses AQ with Parallels...I know I can refine the process some more!

Newest project:  To support my efforts at verifying ancestors of Isabella Shaw, I am reconstituting family groups of Millers and Shaws in Knox/Morrow County Ohio from 1800 to 1860.  So far, I'm using the numerous county history books and making a database of every Miller and Shaw.  We'll see...more on this one as it develops.

So, Happy Blogiversary to everyone!

19 July 2013

Carr & Causier on FindAGrave

I've spent a lot of time on Find A Grave lately.  This post is the first of probably several about my finds. For some locations, especially Vermont, FindAGrave has become a necessary part of my search regimen.  

For my Carr / Causier lines, my grandmother and all 4 of her direct ancestors who immigrated to the USA are at FindAGrave with bio info and photos of the markers!  Each memorial page includes links to immediate family also at FindAGrave.

I can use the photo of the Carr niche here because I'm the volunteer who took the photo and submitted it to FindAGrave.  Photos from FindAGrave can only be used with the specific permission of the submitter/photographer.

Here are links to my Carr & Causier ancestors at FindAGrave:

My grandmother
Bertha Maud (Carr) Causier
Bertha's father, John Henry Carr
Bertha's mother, Ann Matilda (Causier) Carr 
Ann's father,  Charles Causier 
Ann's mother,  Catherine (Hughes) Causier
Many, many thanks to all the other volunteers at FindAGrave who make all this possible! 

26 June 2013

Happy Birthday, Mommy

About 1945
Today is the 91st anniversary of my mother's birthday.  It has been a little over seven years since she died.

Mommy was one of the reasons I started genealogy: she knew nothing about any of her grandparents and she especially wanted to know something about her mother's ancestry.  Later, my research showed that only one of her grandparents had lived to see her birth and that grandmother died when my mom was 18 months old.

It was only when we were clearing out the house after my mother died that we found an old letter literally stuck between two boards in a high closet.  That 'find' eventually led me to connections that proved that my mother's mother's parents were Patrick Keating and Catherine Dooley.  My mother would have been so tickled to have that info.
Summer, 1948; Temple City, California

With every new thing I find, I think about what she would have said and how her face would have looked when I told her.  Here's the earliest surviving photo of the two of us.

I miss you, Mommy.

09 June 2013

Jamboree: Day Three

I'm sort of sad as I write this: home and no more conference to go to... but it was a great last day at Jamboree!

Records of the Poor in England with Kathy Warburton  --  What a great way to start the day! Excellent presentation, excellent notes in the conference syllabus.  She perfectly balanced history with records and how to find them.  I've got lots to follow up on here.  

Lost in Canada? with Dave Obee  --  After walking out of one room, I ended up here and I couldn't be happier.  And I don't have much reason to really research in Canada.... He was absolutely excellent! Syllabus notes, presentation graphics, and his sense of humor were all excellent.  His website, Can Genealogy, is like a Cyndy's List for Canada alone.  The session block was 90 minutes and Dave used the extra time so well that it all flew by.  I'd love to hear him on more topics.

After lunch, I went to the Demonstration Stage in the foyer for

Exciting Way to Use Google Earth for Genealogy with Lisa Louise Cooke.  I heard Lisa on this topic about 3 years ago and went again today mostly for lack of an exciting alternative.  But, I am very, very glad that the genealogy spirits took me back to Lisa!  She had done a lot more work and had new info to share.  As always, she was very well organized and had lots of content with clear examples. Note to self: I must work on using these techniques more and do a family history tour video.  It would be perfect for my Missouri trip photos and showing everything Cousin Donald took us to see.  I'll get Donald to help with annotations! I have to find a way to preserve everything he knows....

So, now, it's over... except for the fun I'l have going over the whole, huge 426pp syllabus and all the goodies from the exhibit hall and the notes I made to myself when inspired in a session and all the new websites and the list of great things goes on ....

08 June 2013

Jamboree: Day Two

I hit the exhibit hall first thing in the morning.  The highlight of that tour was a nice chat in the British Isles Family History Society table.

I was room monitor for a session in each of the next two slots.  Each speaker seemed unprepared for the presentation, one of them even began the talk by saying so!  Also, the content was not really what the descriptions said.  Had I not been room monitor, I would have left after 10 minutes and tried something else.  Consequently, I'm not naming names.

For my third session...
A Look at the FamilySearch Family Tree with Mike Provard  --  Right on topic, well organized, and a good overview.  I've stayed away from FS Tree, waiting for more of the bugs and tips to be worked out.  Now, I think I want to jump in, but there are issues I have to work through.   I'm still a bit bothered by the ease with which other users will be able to change my input.  Also, while gedcom uploads are possible, it doesn't really work with their structure of one tree rather than user "owned" trees.  Fixing the "duplicate" entries that a large upload would create would be awfully time consuming, but the thought of manually adding/checking a large number of people individually would be at least as time consuming.  And, then, if someone indiscriminately changed one of my well sourced entries ... This needs a lot more thought on my part, I guess.

Staying Safe Online with Thomas MacEntee  --  Excellent presentation on an important topic that requires seemingly constant study to stay on top of all the new onslaughts.  Lots of good tips.  I really like his inclusion of prevention and taking action against the perpetrators where possible.  Several helpful websites provided.

The free popcorn in the convention lobby was especially good! Less traffic on the trip home was nice.  Being passenger in a car with good popcorn to eat and little traffic is a great combination!

Daddy as Big Brother

Don't you love it when photos are fully labeled?!  This photo shows the Hegwer's in the front yard of their home at the Utah Power and Light Company power plant at Lifton, St. Charles, Bear Lake, Idaho where my grandfather was the superintendent. The fence posts you can see on the right run along the road and the north shore of Bear Lake would be on the other side of the road.  The power plant is a ways behind the photographer.

If Daddy had not labeled this photo, I still would have recognized the location and probably Grandma, but I would never had been sure about all the children, especially my own dad.  All my memories of him are with jet black hair!  I never knew they ever had a dog.

Both the older cursive note and the more recent (1979) printed note are in my father's handwriting.  Daddy has dated the photo as being from the late summer of 1918.  However, the info I've found on the births of the children make me think it's much more likely 1919 or maybe even 1920. If I'm right, Daddy is 6 or 7, the baby about 1, Margaret 4 or 5, and Ray is 3 or 4. And, if it's 1920, Grandma is pregnant with Leila.

If my dad's estimate is correct, he would be almost 5, Margaret 3, and Ray less than 2.  Don't you think Daddy is older than 5? And, Ray older than 2?  And I think it's very possible that Grandma could be about 7 months pregnant....  What I really need is an official birthdate for baby Harry.  My father left me with full birthdates for everyone except Harry, which he wrote only as 1918.  Census ages are consistent with his being born late summer 1919, which fits well with Grandma possibly looking pregnant here.

07 June 2013

Jamboree: Day One

Today was my Day One at the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree!  I'm commuting from home daily...it's only about an hour away except for rush hour coming home today which made it 90 minutes which is still better than the 2 hours traffic could make it.  I'm an SCGS member and one of many conference volunteers.

The Friday morning sessions are free to the public and were well attended.  I was a room monitor and saw both sessions with John Phillip Colletta on NARA.  I have used his They Came In Ships for years, but I restrained myself and did not ask him to autograph it.  I settled for getting to bring him 2 cups of water.  He's very articulate, charming, humorous, and presented oodles of solid content.  His syllabus was especially good.  I learned: There's a 3-volume set of books, Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States from 1995.  Colletta said it deals with each record group and the 3rd volume is an index.  Still being a book-in-my-hands person, I'd like to see this set!

After lunch, I saw and room-monitored:
Organization and Presentation is Everything by Philipp Mayer  --  A career engineer's system for record organization.  Key quote: "You put everything into your database, but what are you getting out of it???" Note to self: I'm not doing enough with spreadsheets to organize my research.

ArchiveFinder and ArchiveGrid by D. Joshua Taylor  --  Well presented.  The relatively new relationship between  WorldCat and ArchiveGrid sounds potentially super for genealogists.  Some of my ancestors were in one of his example slides!  Note to self: Go to ArchiveGrid and search my Connecticut names, especially in the Connecticut Historical Society holdings. I should probably also seriously check out the society's own webpage.

DNA Panel  --  I'm so glad it wasn't beginning beginner's content.  I'm all motivated to get back to analyzing the DNA tests I had done a few years ago.  Note to self: Whoa! This one is potentially a genealogy emergency... I need to get beneficiaries designated on all 4 tests I paid for my cousins to take! Well, actually, I need to get them to specify beneficiaries...even though I paid and I deal with the online stuff, it's still their DNA and rights.

All in all, a great start to the conference!  And, if you've been reading many other blogs in the last few weeks, you know that you can see many of these sessions online yourself!  Enjoy!

05 June 2013

Ohio "County Histories" -- Easy Access

The most recent of the Ohio Genealogical Society Quarterly (2013, Vol. 53, Issue 1, pp. 23-38) has the greatest article about the published county histories of the state of Ohio!  Professional librarian (retired), Robert Foster Seal has compiled a listing of county histories currently available online digitally "free of charge to all researchers" at FamilySearch, Google Books, Internet Archive, &/or HathiTrust Digital Library. I had not previously heard of HathiTrust, but it was the easiest of the four for me to actually use for my counties!

Most of the books listed are available on more than one of the sites.  For instance, the 1881 edition of History of Knox County, Ohio: Its Past and Present is at all four sites, as is the 1880 edition of Morrow County and Ohio.  On the other hand, the Historical Atlas of Paulding County, Ohio of 1892 is available only at Internet Archive.

Each of the 88 Ohio counties has at least one book listed, but many have more than one.  For example, Ottawa County has only one listed, but Knox County has four and Seneca has five!

It is a great treat to have this resource list readily available in one place.  The journal editor added a note saying that OGS will add Seal's list to their website and will accept additions of listings for other histories available at free sites.  I am so glad I am an OGS member! I think this article alone was worth the price of my last renewal....!  Thank you, OGS, and thank you very much, Mr. Seal!

01 June 2013

Founders Memorial Park: History to be Repaired!

For a little over a year, I have been volunteering with Find A Grave, answering people's photo requests for cemeteries near here.  I enjoy it a great deal and people are always very appreciative.  I hope it, at least partially, repays the kindness of all the volunteers who have fulfilled my requests across the nation.

One of the first requests I received was for a cemetery in the city of Whittier that I had never, ever heard of and that was supposedly in the same neighborhood as my dentist's office.  How could that be?

Long story short: Founders Memorial Park, aka Whittier Cemetery, was actually two adjacent cemeteries near Uptown Whittier that were abandoned by the 1930s.    The earliest burials were from the early 1880s and continued until at least the 1930s (and possibly into the 1950s).  In 1968, the city took over and eventually made them into a beautiful park of about 4 acres.  Attempts were made to contact family members.  Remaining headstones are now kept at the Whittier Museum.  The museum website includes a brief story of the cemeteries and a listing of all the known burials.  I had been driving by this park every six months and had no idea of its history!

Each cemetery is commemorated with a large,  double-sided memorial. There are a few benches and some paved pathways.  It was purposely kept simple and meditative.  There are no picnic tables, no playgrounds, and no ball courts ... just lots of older trees and the very appropriate memorials.

The memorials feature large bronze plaques with the names of those who are buried at the site.  Unfortunately, just a few days before my first visit to the site, vandals had defaced one side of the Mount Olive memorial and stolen the title plaque and 5 of the name plaques, probably for their metal value.  In my September 2012 photo showing the defaced side, you can see how lovely the overall park is and you can make out the Broadway Cemetery memorial in the distance.

But driving by for my dentist's appointment in November 2012, something didn't look right from the road. I parked to investigate and was extremely saddened and very angry to see that the remainder of the plaques had been stolen and both memorials attacked ... for lack of another word.  Here is what was left of the 4 sides of the 2 memorials:

I was so very upset. Last month, though, there was finally some good news!  The city of Whittier has just made their budget for 2013-2014, and although it will require going into the reserves, repair of the Founder's Memorial Park memorials has been approved.  The estimate is that repairs will cost $50,000 (boy, that seems low...) and insurance may cover some of it.  The newspaper article did not say how or if the repairs will attempt to prevent such damage in the future....

21 May 2013

Celim H. Porter: Last Will & Testament, 1898

Lac Qui Parle County, Minnesota
Will Records Volume A, 1886-1918; Will Books, pp. 122-123

File #400

In the matter of the Estate of Celim Porter  --  Deceased
Last Will and Testament

filed for record the 16th day of June AD 1898
John F. Rosenwald / Judge of Probate

In the name of God, Amen I, Celim H Porter of Big Stone City in the county of Grant and State of South Dakota, being of sound mind and memory, and considering the uncertainty of this frail and transitory life, do therefore make, ordain, publish and declare this to be my Last Will and Testament. 
First, I order and direct that my executrix, hereinafter named, pay all my just debts and funeral expenses as soon after my decease as conveniently may be. 
Second, After the payment of such funeral expenses and debts, I give, devise and bequeath to my wife Clara E., all my real estate, personal property notes goods, and any other valuable thing during her natural life, except that she shall pay to George C., my oldest son Ten Dollars to Frank F., Ten Dollars when he becomes of age, to my son Roy Bernard Ten Dollars when he  becomes of age, to my daughter Cora, Ten Dollars when she becomes Eighteen years of age, and to my son Willis L., Ten Dollars when he becomes Twenty one years of age, and it is further my will that Willis L., shall have the undivided one half of about Eleven acres of Land in Lac qui Parle County in the State of Minnesota as recorded in Book "U" on Page 261 [or is it 26 comma ?] and was deeded from Purlee Baker [Boke ? Boker? Bake?] a widower to CHPorter being the maker of this Will, on the condition that my son Willis L., shall remain with his mother Clare E., until he is Twenty one years of age, and for the faithfulness of his labors in her behalf he shall receive this 1/2 undivided above described Eleven acres. 
Third, I bequeath and give at the death of my wife Clara E., an equal division of all my property which may remain after her death to my Four herein named sons and my daughter Cora M. or to their heirs all of my remaining property 
Fourth - I hereby bequeath to my wife Clare E., all my right and interest whether it be in cash, notes, lands buildings or any thing else of any valuation or considerations, everything and anything that I may become heir to from my father, Homer before or after his death 
Lastly, I make, constitute and appoint my wife Clara E., without Bonds to be executrix of this my last Will and Testament, hereby revoking all former Wills by me made.
In Testimony Whereof, I have hereunto subscribed my name and affixed my seal, the Eleventh day of March in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Ninety Eight. 
[signed] Celim H Porter [word "seal" with looped circle around it]
This Instrument was on the day of the date thereof, signed, published and declared by the said testator Celim H Porter to be his Last Will and Testament in our presence, who, at his request have subscribed our names thereto as witnesses, in his presence and in the presence of each other.
M. McNamara residing at Big Stone City So Dak
SRGold residing at Big Stone City So Dak
Clara E Porter residing at Big Stone So Dak

My Comments
The FamilySearch index to the Minnesota Will Records led me to the Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul who kindly sent me a copy of my Great-grandfather's will for $40.  A very nice note was added, saying that they do not have Probate Court case files and to look for them in the Lac qui Parle courthouse in Madison, Minnesota.

According to family notes, Great-grandfather Celim died 23 March 1898, just 11 days after this will was written.  I should try to find a more formal source for his death.

My records would give the children named these ages when the will was written: George 25, Frank 23, Roy 19, Cora 16, and Willis 14.  I'm surprised that Frank is not yet considered "of age."  According to Clara's entry in the 1910 census, she had had a 6th child, but I don't have any additional data.

I would like to find land records for the family in South Dakota and Minnesota.  I knew they were in South Dakota by 1884, but this will is the first indication I've seen for Minnesota.  Big Stone City, South Dakota is directly across the state line from Lac qui Parle County, Minnesota.

Line of Descent
Dr. Daniel Porter   =   Mary
Dr. Daniel Porter   =   Deborah Holcomb
Capt. Thomas Porter   =   Mary Welton
Ashbel Porter   =   Hannah Norris
Thomas Porter   =   Abigail Bates
Homer Thomas Porter   =   Dolly Ann Bates
Celim Homer Porter  =  Clara E. Davison

18 May 2013

NGS: UNofficial Surprise

The string is broken: I have won a prize from putting my info in at a genealogy convention booth!  I'm probably something like 1 out of 5,000 now over 15 years...I'm considering quitting a winner.

I had originally planned a post about the NGS exhibit hall and give little prizes like prettiest brochure and best candy.  But I just let it go after I got home from Las Vegas.  I sort of figured that, after already being included in Randy Seaver's Genea-Musings as someone who blogged about NGS, why go any further?

Then, yesterday, I received the nicest email from Cynthia Richardson of Genlighten, announcing that my name had been drawn from those submitted at their booth. The email was striking in that she took the time to write a very warm note rather than just a simple announcement.  She also had the great courtesy to ask my permission to publicly announce that I had won.

DISCLAIMER: I am not associated with Genlighten and my having a blog did not affect the drawing.  They didn't even know I had a blog until I asked permission to post my winning.  Entering nor winning was not contingent upon posting anything or on anything else.  

PS: Prettiest Brochure would have gone to Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department.  I don't even have ancestors from Oklahoma and picked up the brochures for a friend.  Both of the brochures I picked up are absolutely beautiful, filled with content and no fluff.  And, entirely coincidentally, Best Candy would have gone to Genlighten for yummy chocolates. 

13 May 2013

Great Books: NGS Conference Souvenirs

What's a genealogy conference with out buying books?  I went with a list of 3 books I was looking for and came home with 4, but only 2 of them from the original list.

The Great Migration Newsletter: Volumes 16-20 by Robert Charles Anderson.  Boston: NEHGS, 2012.

This one brings me up-to-date on the newsletter compilations, a must have for anyone with early New England ancestry.  It's nice to have a book from a highly reliable source with one of my ancestors in every issue if not every page!  I enjoy reading these even when not actively researching a specific individual.  The locale info is always especially worthwhile.

Mastering Genealogical Proof by Thomas W. Jones.  Arlington, VA: NGS, 2013.   

A workbook format with glossary, reading list, and answers for the exercises.  Much of this seems to have been in his two presentations I attended at the conference.  It will be great to have the content in a book format. Besides an overview of the Genealogical Proof Standard, each element gets its own chapterI'm really looking forward to reading this one, probably over and over!

Becoming an Excellent Genealogist: Essays on Professional Research Skills edited by Kory L. Meyerink, Tristan L. Tolman, and Linda K. Gulbrandsen.  No location: ICAPGen, 2012.

I spotted this at their booth, thumbed through, slept on it, and bought it on Day 2.  On Day 3, I went back and told them that after only 2 chapters, it seems like a great book!  The font for the chapter titles and sidebars is irritating, but otherwise, I'm really, really looking forward to reading this one! Contributors include Kitzmiller, Russo Adams, Daynes, and Wight.  Essays are in categories including methodology, records, and recording.  Specific topics include migration, medieval research, jurisdictions, writing, and accreditation.

NGS Research in the States Series: Kentucky by Bettie Cummings Cook. Arlington, VA: NGS, 2012.

More a pamphlet than a book, I find myself going back frequently to the other items in this series.  So, it's good to have Kentucky. I'm determined to apply thorough research processes to the Richardson ancestry there and I'm optimistic this guide will help.

10 May 2013

NGS UNofficial Blogger: Day 3 & a hotel comment

Another great day!  Maybe not as overwhelmingly wonderful as the first two, but still great!!  I attended 4 conference sessions and 2 exhibit hall presentations at the FamilySearch booth:
America's Expansion: The Ohio Country 1783-1812 with Jana Sloan Broglin  --  Excellent, well-paced combination of early history of the early Ohio area and the records that resulted from all the different levels of jurisdiction.  Lots of good ideas for things I need to do now.... 
iGenealogy: There Is an App for That with Shamele Jordon  --  Wonderful presentation: lots of info clearly applicable to genealogy and charmingly, humorously presented.  I'll be sure to look for this speaker in the future.  I was committed to using EndNote after Day 1 with Cooke, but this made it even more attractive! 
Genealogical Applications of Historical Geographical Information Systems with Rick Sayre  --  I got to this one a bit late after walking out on one that was starting much, much too introductory.  Very interesting examples.  I'll have to try lots of these websites when I get home. 
Planning 'Reasonably Exhaustive' Research with Thomas Jones  --  Perhaps not as tightly organzed as his session yesterday, but still extremely useful.  Some of it was a tad repetitive, but it's the sort of info that needs repeating, given how important it is. I'm eager to read his new book.
The 2 talks I heard at the FamilySearch booth were very interesting and well done.  I was able to ask questions and see more of the new features in action.  I must join the indexing....

Still no sign of The Ancestry Insider.  Oh, well... that's about the only conference goal I didn't meet.

Non-Genealogy comment, in the category of "It's not me, is it?"   --  The hotel has a "Going Green" program.  Guests receive an $8 coupon for everyday that room housekeeping service (ie, towels changed) is not used.  Great environmental effort! But, tonight we ate at the gourmet burger restaurant.  Food and service were excellent, as expected given the price.  The striking thing was the glass of plain water requested for my beverage was delivered in a plastic bottle with an LVHotel label and 2 plastic straws.  Not terribly environmental.  But the really non-environmental part was that, according to the label, it was bottled in Los Angeles! So, water from the Colorado River was 'aquaducted' to Los Angeles, bottled, and trucked back to Las Vegas.  I don't think that's so green.... even as I used my GoingGreen coupon to help (just a bit) pay the bill....  And, now, I wonder where the tap water I've been drinking in the room came from....

09 May 2013

NGS UNofficial Notes -- Day 2

In my self-titled role as UNofficial Blogger at NGS, one of my main goals is to find the Ancestry Insider   (love that blog!) ... a goal still not achieved....so far, we have not attended any of the same sessions.  My biggest problem is, though, that I won't recognize him unless he's wearing the paper bag head gear....

One new book (more on this later) and five sessions for me today:
Maximizing Your Use of Evidence by Thomas W. Jones --  Very well presented and good handout in syllabus.  Excellent discussion/examples of the distinction between information and evidence. Extremely well attended, especially considering that it started at 8am....
Life after the IGI by Robert Raymond  --  Fairly brief presentation but then he fielded general FamilySearch questions.  I definitely learned some useful tiny tidbits about the current operation of what "was" the IGI. And, it is still there!
Were Your Ancestors Friends? Finding and Using Their Quaker Records by Kay Haviland Freilich  -- I've only recently seen info that seems to imply that I have Quaker ancestors, so I thought this would be a good way to get background info and it definitely was!  Very well done and quick moving.  She started early and ended early but stayed for individual questions up front--the line quickly got too long for me.  Lots of info and sources to follow up on here.  Probably the main things I learned revolve around the different meanings Quakers used for some words in their records.
Information Overload? Effective Project Planning, Research, Data Management, and Analysis by Elizabeth Shown Mills --  I'll only be hearing 2 of her 4 presentations at NGS, so I'm not a certified groupie ...  yet.  Just as well done as yesterday's!  She emphasized steps and tips in writing research reports.  Individual research summary/reports were also emphasized.  The main idea was you have to do something to organize everything if you are collecting thorough info on 40 census neighbors for a given target individual!  I would love to attend a full session on each of the types of reports discussed this time: the presentation was so full of detail that I need to hear each one with more examples and time for questions along the way.  I know there are sample docs at the APG website that I've read, but now i must go back and look at them again!!
FamilySearch Community Trees: What, Where, How to Use Them, and Why I Want To by David S. Barss  --  Probably one of the least-known features at FamilySearch.  Great concept and I need to go check the ones already on the site for Utah and Ohio.  I'd love to do one for Estill County, Kentucky of 1800, but I know I'd have to give up all other hobbies and chores....
One very nice time at the Archives.com booth with Nici trying their website.  My first impression is that the site seems to work well and I need to do more investigating into the breadth of their collection and just how much of it is unique.  There is a 7-day-free-trial that I will probably do after I get home.

Thanks, again, NGS for a great day!  But, since we're leaving early Saturday, time is running out to find The Ancestry Insider....

08 May 2013

NGS UNofficial Notes -- Day 1

It's been a while, but I'm back to genealogy!  To celebrate, I've come to the National Genealogy Society conference in Las Vegas. Needless to say, I am nowhere near one of the select, official bloggers....

We actually arrived yesterday. The flight was a bit rough but our room at the conference hotel is super and the buffet was great, especially the dessert section....first things, first!

Today, I had a great day attending 3 sessions:
How the Genealogist Can Remember Everything with EverNote by Lisa Louise Cooke  --  I've heard such great reviews of EverNote that I decided I had better make a better effort to see if it can't do something for my genealogy.  I had tried it about 2 years ago but it didn't seem worth the effort.  After this excellent presentation, I am going to download it and make it work for me as soon as we get home.  The possibilities seem virtually unlimited.  Cooke said that it can actually use OCR to search the text on screen clips I download from any site!  The tagging and folder options also seem extremely useful.  This was my 3rd time ever attending a Cooke session and she continues to present solid content with great skill. 
The Genealogical Proof Standard in Action: Case Building by Elizabeth Shown Mills.  Yes, the Elizabeth Shown Mills!  This was my first time hearing her in person and that alone may have been worth the trip to Las Vegas! Excellent, succinct overview of the Genealogical Proof Standard with a mini case study example very charmingly presented.  Excellent handout in syllabus. 
ResearchTies: The Power of an Online Research Log by Jill Crandell, the originator/developer of this product for online research logs.  By now, you can see that the theme of my selections for today was all research analysis structure & organization.  The thought that has gone into this new (and still developing) product is awesome.  The plan is to eventually have it integrated with genealogy database software.  Right now, I don't think it's quite where I'd like it to be for me to jump in.  Best wishes to Jill and I will definitely keep checking back with ResearchTies.

I spent a bit of time in the exhibit hall and already have 3 new books to take home with me (more on that later).  I also have new pens, highlighters, catalogs, and other goodies to examine!

Overall, this looks like my first venture to a national genealogy conference is successful.  It is very well organized and great attention has been paid to details.  The syllabus was in my registration bundle on a flashdrive.  I am writing this post from the free WiFi hotspot sponsored by FamilySearch, NGS, and FindMyPast.com: I'm surprised how easy it was to get on and how fast it is.  Thank you, NGS, for all your hard work!

Have a great night and I'll see you tomorrow!