Tuesday, May 9, 2017

On the Road to NGS Conference: Lesson Learned

On the road to the conference! I left New York State yesterday and drove to Virginia where I spent the night with our daughter & family. This morning I hopped back in my car and headed south again. 

In my preparations for this trip I had noticed that I would be driving through areas where my ancestors lived. Why just drive through? Why not stop at a county library and check out their holdings? 

I won't mention the county library where I stopped. I found their website before my travels and saw they had a "Vertical File" for my Alford family! This was worth stopping to check out.

Let me describe the vertical file. There was a four drawer metal file cabinet. The young woman at the desk pulled open the top drawer. There were maybe 4 dozen hanging file folders in something of alphabetical order. No Alford file. She said it must be too big for the top drawer. She pulled open the other drawers. They held ancient wide binders of cracked plastic and an assortment of loose papers, fallen from the binders. No Alford.

The young woman stepped over to a desk where a gentleman worked at a computer. She explained that she could not find the Alford file. She explained to him, as I had explained to her, that I had seen the Alford name on their website. He laughed and said something about how outdated their website is. (Note: he KNEW it was inaccurate.) He pulled himself out of his chair and pulled open the same cabinet drawers with the same results. No Alford file.

Lesson: I should have called. I should have spoken to someone at the library before driving out of my way to find this lost folder. I will next time.

I looked through the library shelves for county histories or anything useful. The books were dusty and sad looking. The genealogy resources need someone who cares.

Soon I was back in the car and headed to the Convention Center where I picked up my ID and a bag full of information. I am looking forward to a nice dinner, a glass of wine and relaxing.

Tomorrow the conference begins!

1 comment:

Wendy said...

Wonder where that file went since the last update! And why.