Sunday, May 21, 2017

Book: North Carolina Research; A NGS Conference Purchase

During the recent NGS conference in Raleigh I purchased several books to further my genealogical research. Most of those books were recommended by the speakers during the sessions I attended. The speakers mentioned the books in their talks or listed them in their syllabus or both. I uncovered others during my Exhibit Hall visits. I plan to closely analyze these books over time but here is a general idea of the contents of one of those books [more to come.]

This book was first suggested by Diane L. Richard in her talk, ‘Tarheels in Your Family Tree?’ It was also suggested reading by David M. McCorkle in his talk, ‘Interpreting NC Land Records’. Jeffrey L. Haines listed this book on his syllabus for ‘North Carolina Research’. The list continues but I think you get the idea that this is a highly recommended book.

North Carolina Research
Genealogy and Local History
Second Edition

Research is the diligent, systematic use of available sources and reliable methods to investigate a chosen subject. The subject of historical research is a past event or a series of past events: family historians study events that affected a group of people related to each other by blood or marriage; local historians study events that affected a specific locality and its residents. In both cases, the research goal is a chronicle of the past that is as close to the truth as possible. Although the chronicles written by family and local historians will differ in format and content, the essential, underlying ingredient is always the same – accurate information. 
                                                                                     Helen F. M. Leary

Table of Contents
Part I
            Evaluating Research Data
            Designing Research Strategies
            Using Research Facilities
            Taking Notes
            Reading Handwritten Records
            Writing Research Letters
            Using Computers
Part II
            County Records
Part III
            State Records
Part IV
            Federal Records
Part V
            Private Records
Part VI
            Oral History
Part VII

Sections of this book are useful for genealogists who are researching any area of the country or world. For example, what is the difference between primary & secondary sources? What type of notes should you take for the type of research you are doing? The majority of the book focuses on North Carolina resources on the county, state & federal levels. I look forward to digging into those details. If you want to learn more about North Carolina’s resources browse through this book.

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Monday, May 15, 2017

NGS Conference Day #4: Lectures & Lunch

Is it over already? I enjoyed these last lectures on Saturday...

Courting North Carolina: The Courts of the Tarheel State. Presented by Judy G. Russell

This was my first experience in hearing ‘The Legal Genealogist’ speak. Of course, I read her blog posts & her blog is on My Blog List. Now I had the opportunity to listen to her and to learn directly from her. I thought that listening to a session about court records was something I ‘should’ do. I cannot say I was excited about it. Then Judy began to talk! She told us that court records tell stories you cannot find anywhere else. She pulled me in with her lively lecture and hooked me on court records! If you have the same opportunity, get a front row seat!

South Carolina Research. Presented by Jeffrey L. Haines

On Tuesday I heard Jeffrey’s session about North Carolina Research and this session was equally as packed full of useful research tips. Jeffrey is an engaging speaker a vast knowledge of the Carolinas. For every challenge to research in these states he has a list of opportunities to find the answers we seek. His lecture & syllabus shine a light on those dark holes of record loss.

Spreadsheets for Genealogists. Presented by Tonja Koob Marking

I use spreadsheets. I used them often when I was teaching & I use them in my genealogy. At this session I learned new tricks in using spreadsheets. I would enjoy taking another session to learn even more. Tonja gave great examples of using spreadsheets: research log, evidence analysis worksheets, microfilm lists with notes & family group sheets. Possibilities are many!

Citing Your Sources: Comedy or Tragedy? Presented by Thomas W. Jones

This was presented at the NGS Luncheon on Saturday. It was the last session I attended & it was the icing on the cake! His book, 'Mastering Genealogical Documentation’ was released at the conference & immediately sold out. I was one of the lucky ones who bought the book. And I was one of the lucky ones to hear him speak. He talked about a serious problem among genealogists, ‘Citation Anxiety’, and had us laughing as we ate our lunches. The main message he shared was: Content is More Important than Form. By the end of the luncheon our anxieties were fading and I was actually looking forward to citing my sources. Thanks, Thomas!

Attending g the NGS Conference was a wonderful experience. I still have lots of notes to organize. I have books to read & maps to hang. I hope you enjoyed the conference too.

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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mothers' Day

To celebrate Mothers' Day I am posting photos of:

My Mother, (center photo)
Alberta Joy (Gardner) Brown

My paternal grandmother (left)
Ivy Regina (Mark) Brown
1908 OH - 2003 NY

My maternal grandmother (right)
Helen F. (Coyle) Gardner
1897 NY - 1965 NY

They were all strong, independent women who are great examples for young women in our family. They taught me the importance of family and inspired me to learn more about my roots.

Happy Mothers' Day!

Friday, May 12, 2017

NGS Conference Day #3: Technology & Treasures

The NGS Conference in Raleigh, NC continues to be a fun way to learn new research skills. These are the sessions I attended today:

Create a Free Map Collection in Google Earth Customized for Your Genealogical Research. Presented by Lisa Louise Cooke

Today I made sure I was at the Raleigh Conference Center early because I was eager to learn about Google Earth maps. Lisa did not disappoint. Before coming to the conference I had downloaded Google Earth Pro (free) and followed the syllabus for the class. I had not been able to get far but Lisa’s demonstration quickly showed us all how to access historical maps and how exciting they can be. These old maps can be overlaid on current maps to show us where our ancestors lived. From there you can share those maps with others to excite them about the family’s history.

Southern Claims Commission: A Treasure Trove of Civil War Ancestors. Presented by Ruth Ann (Abels) Hager

Ruth gave a well-organized talk about claims presented following the Civil War. She gave us a background on those claims, described the claim process, detailed the records created during that process and told us where to access those records. Any ancestors who lived in the south during the Civil War might have filed a claim for possessions that were taken by Union troops during the conflict. Even if the claim was not granted the records are filled with genealogy information. Ruth taught me a great deal today about a resource I had not known existed.

Researching a Revolutionary War Ancestor in North Carolina and Virginia. Presented by Craig Roberts Scott. This was my second session with Craig. On Day #1 I heard his talk, “NC in the War of 1812”. I’m glad I attended both sessions. Craig is certainly a military expert. Today’s session told us, step by step how to conduct our Revolutionary War research and the best places to search. I will be using his syllabus as a research tool often!

Two States, Multiple Counties – What’s a Border? Presented by Diane L.Richard

This was my second session with Diane. On Day #1 I listened to her talk about ‘Tarheels in my Family Tree’. Once again, she was brimming with information. Do not assume that your family member only generated records in one area. Maybe the court house in the adjoining county or state was actually easier to access than the one he should have used. Look at maps. Be familiar with the area, the courthouses, churches, etc. that he could have used. Despite having a sore throat and a raspy voice, Diane gave us many interesting examples of multi-county families and tips for researching.

Online State & Federal Resources for Genealogy. Presented by Michael Hait

By 4:00 this afternoon I was tempted to call it a day and head back to my hotel. My mind was overflowing with lots of new information. However, I am very glad I stayed for this last session of the day. Michael told us he was not going to talk about the major genealogy sites. He talked about record repositories and what they offer, on the state and federal level. For example, the Library of Congress has railroad maps, Civil War maps that show homeowners in battle areas, and much more. I had no idea those were available online. His syllabus gives us state and federal sites to search, examples of what can be discovered there & the web addresses for those sites.

The Conference App. If you attend a NGS conference you want to have the app handy on your phone or iPad. There have been several room changes and the app shows them all. One session had three room changes and I would have missed it without the app. The app also shows maps, vendors, all the sessions, your own schedule, a place to take notes & more. Very handy!

Tomorrow, last day! I will be packing up & heading north again after the conference. I probably won’t have time to write a post…

Thursday, May 11, 2017

NGS Conference Day #2: A Day of Experts & Education

I must admit to moving slow this morning and missing the earliest sessions. However, the sessions I did attend were excellent. Below are details on the sessions I did attend.

Land Grants in North Carolina. Presented by A. B. Pruitt

Listening to Brian Pruitt was a wonderful way to start the day. He is a delightful, intelligent gentleman with a dry sense of humor. His talk was organized, even paced and brimming with information. He explained how the land grant process changed over the years; details of the process and where to find the records of that process.  His syllabus summarizes his lecture and gives information about his website which has a lengthy list of books about land entries, warrants, surveys and deeds. Later in the day I went to the Exhibit Hall and visited Mr. Pruitt’s booth where I purchased two of his books: North Carolina County Maps, 1800 & Creeks and Rivers in South Carolina. I might have to visit that booth again tomorrow.

North Carolina Research. Presented by Jeffrey L. Haines

This fact filled session began with a brief history of North Carolina. Mr. Haines told us his session would be like a buffet dinner where you take a little bite of the food but cannot sample it all. We would look at a little of each part of NC research but we could not go in depth. Fortunately, the syllabus gives many opportunities for more in depth study. They will be well used. Thanks, Jeffrey!

The Virginia North Carolina Connection. Presented by Barbara Vines Little

Barbara, in her bright red jacket and wide brimmed hat, began sharing with us even before the official time began. She began by explaining that the VA/NC border was, for many years a line that was hard to define. People who lived in the area might be recorded in one state, the other, or both. Maps of the Great Wagon Road, the Great Indian Trading Path and Rogues’ Road/the Carolina Road showed us the most likely paths people took between the states. Barbara shared the major sources she uses for her research. I’m sure she could have continued the session for another hour and we would have enjoyed it.

I have visited the Exhibit Hall each day. During the lunch break the hall is a mob of people and it can be difficult to browse but if you visit when most people are in sessions you can take your time, ask questions and gather important resources for research. After the conference I hope to blog about the items I have gathered.

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