Wednesday, May 10, 2017

NGS Conference Day #1: Behind Every Door is a Story

Today was a busy day, learning the layout of the conference center, hopping from one session to another & visiting the Exhibit Hall. It was fun, exhausting and I can hardly wait to do it all again tomorrow.

Opening Session: Family History Lives Here. The seats in Ballrooms A & B were almost all filled for the opening session today. The President of the NGS started off the session with news of new publications, locations of future conferences (Grand Rapids, MI in 2018 & St. Charles, MO in 2019) & awards. Soon we were learning about the story behind the photo of the little boy on the program brochure. “Behind Every Door is a Story.” We saw a movie about high school students and their genealogy/history project where they told stories about their families. These enthusiastic teens researched their histories, assembled posters & recorded stories of their ancestors. We will be able to see those posters at the conference. Lets hope those students continue with their genealogy research and learn even more stories behind more doors.

I chose sessions today that focused on North Carolina research.

Tarheels in Your Family Tree? Presented by Diane L. Richard.

Buckle your seatbelt & hang on! Diane shared loads of information on North Carolina research in the hour allocated. She was upbeat, informative and fun. Of all the tips and guidance she shared one item she considers ‘critical’: Be aware of County Formation history. Borders changed, counties split or disappeared. I know that my families can be found in several counties without ever moving. Besides a top notch talk, Diane provided many resources in her syllabus. The copy I downloaded and printed is already well marked and worn from use.

Interpreting NC Land Records. Presented by David M. McCorkle

What is the difference between a land grant, a deed and a headright? What was the land grant process? Where can you find the documentation related to each step in the process? I wondered about these questions but David answered them, clearly and with many resources for even further research. His syllabus includes a basic land records glossary that is handy for research in any state.

NC in the War of 1812. Presented by Craig R. Scott

I am not certain if any of my North Carolina family served in the War of 1812 but now I know where to look to answer that question. Craig is clearly an expert in the field and happy to share his expertise. He spoke quickly and I could not take notes quickly enough. Hopefully his syllabus will fill in where my notes dragged.

Did I mention how friendly everyone is? Just sit down in a lecture room or take a break for a snack and you will soon find someone sitting beside you, sharing their conference experience. Remember: “Behind Every Door is a Story.”

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Marian B. Wood said...

Sounds like a great mix of hands-on practical techniques/resources and historical background. Actually I wasn't aware of NC's involvement in the War of 1812. Looking forward to following along with you for the rest of the conference.

Colleen G. Brown Pasquale said...

Thanks, Marian!