Tuesday, May 13, 2014

NGS 2014 Conference: Day 4

Saturday was the fourth and final day of our National Genealogical Society 2014 Conference in Richmond, Virginia.  My dear friend Rhonda Holden had to leave for home Saturday morning.
Due to being up past my bedtime at the NGS banquet Friday night, I began my day at the 9:30 a.m. session S411 "Rich, Poor, and All the Rest: Why Class Matters to Genealogists" presented by Stafani Evans.  We learned that class is a group sharing the same economic group.

The 11:00 session I chose was Julie Miller's S421 "Organizing Your Research without Losing Your Mind".  We learned methods of organizing digital and paper records.

My last session of the conference was at 2:30 when I attended Barbara Vines Little's S441 "Working with Documents:  The Importance of Context in Record Analysis".  We learned to "study the pieces, but look at the whole."

I went to the exhibit hall one last time and bought software, quick sheets, and books I knew I couldn't live without.  I also renewed my APG membership for two years and my Genealogy Gems Premium membership.

I ended the day with dinner at Chili's with my ProGen 22 mentor, Debbie Hooper, where we had a ringside seats to the massive thunderstorm that swept through Richmond.

I was both saddened and excited that this was the end of the conference.  I met a lot of great people, got to spend time with my good friend Rhonda Holden, and learned many new things that I can't wait to put into practice.

Now I can start planning for NGS 2015 in St. Charles, Missouri!

Monday, May 12, 2014

NGS 2014 Conference: Day 3

My Day 3 of the National Genealogical Society's 2014 Conference in Richmond, Virginia started off at 8:00 a.m. with Dawne Slater-Putt's F301 "Indexes and Databases".  She showed us how to find them and gave us tips on using them.

At 9:30, I attended Sharon Tate Moody's "Disputes and Unhappy Differences:  Surprises in Land Records" and learned that their is often a wealth of family information in land records.

The 11:00 a.m. session I chose was Michael Hait's "Of Sound Mind and Healthy Body":  Using Probate Records in Your Research". We learned the many types of information that can be gleaned from bonds, wills and estate inventories.

At 2:30, it was time for Judy G. Russell's "The Seanachie:  Linking Life and the Law Through Storytelling".  We learned that story telling is the oldest form of education and that it is easier for people to remember facts if they are put in the form of a story.

My 4:00 session was "Black Sheep Ancestors and Their Records" presented by C. Ann Staley. She talked about where to find the records that prove the stories of our Black Sheep ancestors.

Friday night my friend Rhonda Holden and I attended the NGS Banquet which was a 50 year celebration for the accreditation and certification programs of the Board for Certification of Genealogists and the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists hosted by David E. Rencher.  I was out past my bedtime, which led to a very long Saturday and the reason I am writing this on the following Monday!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

NGS 2014 Conference: Day 2

Day 2 of the National Genealogical Society 2014 Conference started at 8:00 a.m. with Diane Florence Gravel's T201 "When the Trail Turns Cold:  New Strategies for Old Problems".   Diane discussed many overlooked locations where info on your ancestor may be hiding including the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections http://www.loc.gov/coll/nucmc/index.html.

At 9:30 a.m. I was off to T211 - the BCG Seminar where Elissa Scalise Powell, Judy G. Russell and Debbie Parker Wayne discussed various pathways to certification through the Board for the Certification of Genealogists and how to begin the process.

By 11:00, I was at T226, "Wild, Wonderful West Virginia" with Barbara Vines Little who reminded us that research in West Virginia actually requires knowledge of records in TWO states and shared with us the basics of Virginia and West Virginia.

At noon I attended the BCG Luncheon with Master of Ceremonies for the BCG Panel, Warren F. Bittner. The former and current BCG presidents recapped the past 50 years of the Board for the Certification of Genealogists.  My vegetarian entree was worth the wait.

By 2:00 p.m. I was in the room for the 2:30 p.m. T241, Elizabeth Shown Mills' "Using Evidence Creatively: Spotting Clues in Run of the Mill Records".  By 2:15, all the chairs in the large room were filled and Ms. Mills played to a packed house!  She taught us how to use creative-thinking principles to stimulate genealogical solutions.

My final session for the day was T251, "Finding Thomas's Father".  Pam Eagelson explained how her thirty-year quest for the identity of the parentage of Thomas Stone who died in 1791 in Prince William County, Virginia was solved by searching extant records, patent surveys, and DNA.

After my final session, I met with members of the ProGen Study Group who had the chance to pose for group pictures and break into groups to discuss various topics of interest.  My group discussed the BCG certification process and how graduate of the ProGen Study Group have a higher certification success rate than non-members.

Day 2 ended with a bang!  As we were leaving the Marriott to return to our hotel, a police chase was under way.  A police car was chasing a car as it hit an Omni Hotel van, ran right through the Marriot entrance area and out to 5th Street where in car turned the wrong way on a one way street. It plowed into another car and continued down the street out of our view.  No genealogists were harmed.

More fun tomorrow during Day 3!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

NGS 2014 Conference: Day 1

This morning was the much anticipated opening session of the National Genealogical Society 2014 Family History Conference in Richmond, Virginia. Approximately 2,200 people registered for the conference this year.  Sandra Gioia Treadway, the Librarian of Virginia and State Archivist, spoke on "The Evolving Library:  Planning and Adapting to Meet the Needs of Twenty-First-Century Researchers." Next year NGS 2015 will be held May 13-16 in St. Charles, Missouri and it was announced today that NGS 2016 will be held May 4-7 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The exhibit hall with it's 76 exhibitor booths was mobbed after the opening session by a swarm of convention participants in search of "take aways" and conference ribbons provided by the vendors.  If you are here at the conference, stop by the Colonial Roots booth #615 and see Debbie Hooper, my ProGen 22 mentor.

Since my highest priority at this time is my certification through the Board for Certification of Genealogists, I am following the BCG Skillbuilding Track.  My first session was Elissa Scalise Powell's W121 - "Problems and Pitfalls in a Reasonably Shallow Search" where we were reminded that assumption is not part of genealogy.

Next I went to Thomas W. Jones' session W141 - "New Standards or Old:  Guidelines for Effective Research and Family Histories" where I learned about newly revised genealogical standards and how to apply them to research, compilation and writing.

I finished the day with David E. Rencher's session W151 - "Mining the Destination Data" and how to use all the data available to identify your emigrant ancestors.  Many of the sessions are being recorded and can be ordered through Jamb-Inc.com.

Well, it's the end on Day 1 and tomorrow I get to do it all again!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Ancestors in the Attic Gets a Makeover

Time for a fresh new look for Ancestors in the Attic!  When you see my logo, whether it is here on my blog, on my website, Facebook page, or on Twitter, you will know you are in the right place. 

When I started my blog in the Fall of 2010, I had no idea there was an old Canadian television show by the same name.  Somehow people who are familiar with the show found me.  I almost feel guilty for the traffic it has generated on my website and pages. When I do get requests for assistance with Canadian research, I pull out my list of fellow APG genealogists who actually specialize in Canadian research and try to direct my would be clients in the right direction.

I have posted links to all my pages at the top of my blog.  Please feel free to visit me on any of these sites as I work on improving my brand.  I am always happy to hear from you...even if you live in Canada!  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My Packing List for NGS 2014

Jen Baldwin has gotten me thinking about what I should pack for my upcoming trip to the NGS 2014 Conference in Richmond, Virginia in May.  I thought I should make a list so I don't forget anything important.

  • Crystal Light Energy - Several of the scheduled speakers have that soothing "Southern Drawl" that lulls me to sleep like a baby.  I'm going there to LEARN, darn it!  I have to stay awake!
  • Bottles of water so I don't have to pay $3.00 a bottle for the bottled water in the hotel room.
  • A sweater for those chilly conference rooms.
  • My cell phone and camera for photographing my genealogy idols.
  • Address labels for entering all those vendor drawings.
  • My cell phone my charger.
  • Business cards to exchange with fellow genealogists.
  • Comfortable shoes.
  • My laptop so I can blog about all the fun I am having at the conference.
  • Ear plugs for my roommate.
  • Mastering Genealogical Proof for reading at the airport, on the airplane and anywhere else I want to appear intelligent.
  • Clothes, makeup, blah, blah, blah.
What's on your list?  See you next month!

Friday, February 28, 2014

The Philip Collier and Amanda Judd Marriage Certificate...A Long and Winding Road

Marriage Certificate of Philip Collier and Amanda Judd. 
Deena Lucas Loyd, my friend and mother of my niece Abbi, recently posted on Facebook that she had in her possession three really old books and a marriage certificate. The book in which the certificate was hiding was entitled Physical Geography, published in 1901 and bore the name of Miss Margaret Sells. Deena had been hoping to pass the certificate on to a descendant of the couple. She believed her deceased husband, Mike Loyd, came across the books and certificate in an old, abandoned house while mushroom hunting in the Madison County, Indiana some 30 years ago.

The marriage certificate, despite being stained and creased, was in good shape for being 166 years old.  The top section of the certificate was the actual marriage license, issued by James Hazlitt, clerk of the Madison County Circuit Court, to Philip Collier and Amanda Judd in Madison County, Indiana on 04 January 1848. The lower portion of the certificate, stated that Stephen Norman, Minister of the Gospel, performed the ceremony and dated the certificate 04 January 1847, a mistake many of us make when writing the date at the beginning of a new year.

I am familiar with the Collier family of Madison County.  Margaret (Surber) Blake Collier was my 4th great grandmother.  She married married James Foster Collier after the death of her first husband, Abraham Blake.  After a little research, I discovered that Philip Collier was the son of James Foster Collier and his first wife.

I think it is amazing that Philip Collier was the step-son of Abbi's 5th great grandmother.  I believe Mike would be happy to know that the marriage certificate he rescued that day and kept in his house for the last 30 years had a connection to the daughter of his future wife.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Henry Family Bible...Reunited and it Feels So Good!

Teri Wheeler presents Henry Family Bible to Sandy Kinnaman.
Just before Thanksgiving 2013, I was determined to find a family for the old Bible I had rescued from my mother’s garage.  My mother, Mary Ellen (Davisson) Roberts had passed away on 03 September 2009.  She had a small prefab house in Anderson, Madison County, Indiana which she had purchased from her brother-in-law and sister, Calvin Chlorice “Joe” and Sophia Mae (Davisson) Gourley in the 1970’s, in which my brother, Ronald Stephen Roberts, lived.  After my brother passed away on 13 June 2010, my sister, niece and I had the daunting task of cleaning the house to get it ready to sell.

In a dark, dusty corner of the non-attached garage, I discovered an old cardboard box containing an even older, dilapidated and heavy family Bible.  My sister wanted to add it to the pile of items destined for the local landfill, but as a genealogist, I knew that family Bibles can hold a wealth of information not found anywhere else…and I have a great respect for Bibles.  I don’t know how the Bible came to be in my mother’s garage or how long it had been there, but I won my battle that day and the Bible was put with the “keep” items to be relocated to my sister’s garage since my own garage was located in Florida at that time.

Fast forward to 03October 2013…  As fate would have it, my husband and I had relocated to Kosciusko County, Indiana.  My sister, lived a mere two hours away in Muncie.  I was determined to get my items from the “keep” pile from my sister’s garage to giver here more space, so my husband I visited her, took her to dinner for her birthday and proceeded to load up our great grandmother’s antique dresser, the Bible and a few other keepsakes into my husband’s truck.  We returned to our home in Leesburg and unloaded the truck.  Now the Bible sat in my garage!

Shortly after obtaining the crumbling Bible, I carefully took it out of the box for a closer examination and began photographing it with our Sony Bloggie.  The binding and intricately engraved covers were held together with masking tape.  I turned to the title page.  The Bible was printed in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1881 by the Bowen Merrill Company.  No wonder the Bible was disintegrating …it was 132 years old! 

Now for the exciting part…I located the page certifying the marriage of Joseph Milton Henry and Mary Mahala Hunt.  They were married on 07 October 1880 in Eden, Hancock County, Indiana.  Other pages in the Bible listed the births, marriage and deaths of their children and grandchildren.  The Bible also contained a report card, a tithing card, and an obituary.  Even though there appeared to be no connection to my Davisson family in Henry and Hancock Counties, I photographed each page.

After photographing  and scanning the pages and documents the Bible contained, I started a new family tree on Ancestry.com just for the Henry Family Bible.  I made it public so the information will be accessible to anyone researching this family.  It can be viewed here: http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/63474404/family  I also posted the pictures of the Bible to the tree. 

Not long after creating the family tree, I noticed someone else researching the same family on Ancestry.com.  I emailed Judy Parker Walker from Panama City, Florida and asked if she was related to the Henry family.  She told me it could be her daughter-in-law’s family and she would get me in contact with them.  The next day I received an email from Sandy Kinnaman from Eden.  Her husband was a descendant of the Henry and Hunt families.  We made arrangements to meet.

Just before Thanksgiving 2013, I was standing in the Sandy’s dining room in Eden, returning the Henry Family Bible to the family.  As we were leaving Sandy’s house that day, I felt as if I was forgetting something.  I looked back and saw the Bible sitting on her dining room table.  With sadness and joy, I knew my job there was done.