Saturday, August 24, 2013

Society Saturday - #FGS2013

I am typing this as I finish the final session that I am able to attend at the Federation of Genealogical Societies 2013 Conference in Fort Wayne, IN.  I have included the twitter hashtag in the title of this post because I have tried to tweet from most of the sessions I have attended.  Unfortunately, I was only able to attend 2 days of this 4 day conference, having to squeeze it in between moving Amanda into her dorm, and working my "real job".

My first stop was at the Allen County Public Library.  I was looking for some information on a War of 1812 heroine whose grave our 1812 chapter would like to mark.

After that, I crossed the street to the Grand Wayne Convention center for the following sessions:

Efficient and Effective Research by Tom Jones - always an informative speaker, he illustrated several points with a case study.  He said "We are trying to see into the past through an imperfect lens".  and "The past is a foreign country".

At lunch, we learned about the Family History Center of the future.  A more immersive, virtual experience is planned to help interest everyone in their family history.

I learned about some of the treasures to be found in Territorial Papers by Elizabeth Kerstens.  Most of these records are not digitized, or even microfilmed.  I may have to plan a trip to College Park, MD where many of the originals are.

Amy  Johnson Crow gave a nice overview of researching in Ohio.  Even though I've been researching in Ohio for years, I still picked up some pointers.  I had forgotten about their regional archive system - could I find something in Bowling Green?

Similarly, Harold Henderson talked about Indiana research.  I hope to use some of his tips in my search for Matilda.  Probate records were housed at the Court of Common Pleas for a period in the mid-1850's - that could explain why I couldn't find a record for her presumed father.

On Friday, I started with a session on Newspapers.  Unfortunately the presented had incorporated live internet into his program and the wifi at the Convention center was not very reliable.  So, he had to ad lib his presentation.

The next presentation by Dr. Daniel Hubbard was very interesting about using maps to find our ancestors.  Although we may think that maps are exact, often they were used as propaganda or to represent wishful thinking by a government.  In any case, they have hidden gems of information if we just take the time to look.

Eric Basir gave a talk on Image Organization.  Unfortunately he spent a lot of time on metadata and kept getting interrupted by questions, so he never really got to the organizational piece of his talk.

I attended the NGS luncheon where we learned about preparing for a research trip to Virginia, where the next NGS conference will be in May.  I'm excited to start digging into those records for some of my brick walls (including Matilda).  Hopefully I'll be able to attend the conference.

I attended another lecture by Harold Henderson on Midwest Archives - some of which don't  apply to my current research, but I did hear a few more tips.

Then the last session that I could attend before I had to drive home.  While I was getting settled, the fire alarm went off.  Everyone in the convention hall headed outside.  Within 5 minutes we were told we could reenter the building.  Considering the alarm went off between sessions, it wasn't as disruptive as it could have been.

My final session was by Billie Stone Fogarty on 1812 Bounty Lands.  She spent a lot of time talking about the various acts of congress, as well as what we can find at the National Archives.  I was hoping for a clue about where else to look for Samuel Curtiss' supposed 1812 land - another marking our 1812 chapter would like to do.

All in all, it was a good conference.  Hopefully next year I'll be able to stay for all 4 days.

Here is my nametag and ribbons - although I missed the Geneabloggers dinner, Jenny Lanctot gave me a set of beads.  I also missed the ProGen get-together (both were before I arrived), and was never able to catch up with my mentor, so I'm missing that ribbon.

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