Friday, May 15, 2009

NGS 2009 Conference Recap for May 15

It feels like I've been here a month! I don't mean that in a bad way. I've just done so much.

I got up early again, so I'd be bright and chipper for the 8 a.m. session. It was called "Of City Slickers and Straphangers: Researching Urban Ancestors," by Laura Murphy DeGrazia, CG. Harry Baerecke made me take this class so I could learn what the heck happened to him in 1890's Chicago. Most of the examples came from NYC, but the presentation was very thorough. I learned some new sources to check and new ways to approach research in urban areas. Degrazia was a good instructor. The biggest point she made was that you must study the area in which your ancestor lived, including culture, ethnicity, geography, etc. That will help you locate appropriate records for your ancestors.

The second session of the day dealt with research plans and was taught by Connie Lenzen, CG. The instructor provided a sample research plan of her own. She also referred to Professional Genealogy's chapter on research plans and the information found at the BCG web site. (By the way, Professional Genealogy is coming back in print very soon. There's an article coming out about the Pro Gen group--I think it will be in APG Quarterly--so they rushed the print order because of that article. The edition will be the same but the price will be higher.)

Session three was on tax records and it was taught by Barbara Vines Little, CG. She's another must-see instructor. Her knowledge of Virginia is vast, so most of her examples came from there. However, the tax information was general so it was very beneficial.

I then attended ther APG luncheon. I met some new people. This event was very well attended, probably because Dick Eastman was the speaker. His presentation was titled, "The Organized Genealogist." The talk was really more about efficiency than organization. He went over some Google tips, RSS, back-up suggestions and digitization. I also chatted with Carolyn Earle Billingsley, PhD and she autographed my copy of her book. Yay! She's a riot.

After lunch I was ready for a nap, but they don't provide hammocks in the convention center, so I went to a presentation about vital records taught by Patricia O'Brien Shawker, CG.

One thing I noticed today was that all of the sessions I chose fell into the BCG skillbuilding track. Interesting. If I had a clone, I would have gone to more map sessions. Choices are tough.

Tomorrow is another full day. Whew! No banquet for me tonight. I'll be having dinner at the bar if anyone's interested.


  1. Thanks for posting these detailed accounts of NGS09! I'm glad I can attend vicariously! I should have done this with NERGC09 but I was lazy :) (and traveling back and forth each day so less computer time)


  2. Thanks to Randy for me also! Read his blog daily and have read all of your postings on the NGS Conference the others, wish I were there. Thanks for taking the time to update us! Like Randy, you are now on my Blogger Reading List!