NGS 2014: some personal highlights

First off– i have no proof that any of my direct line ancestors, including my parents, ever set foot in Virginia. Nada. So, what was I doing at a conference in Virginia?

The Virginia “track” is only one of eleven that one can experience and I could easily avoid them if I wanted to and concentrate on other learning experiences. But, I found I didn’t want to. You can see below that several of my favorite sessions were VA related.

Belle IsleTuesday: I had bought my plane ticket early hoping that I would get into the BCG workshop. No such luck. So I walked from VCU to Belle Isle (see photo) and then back up the hill to the convention center to register. (Belle Isle was where Mary’s Union soldier/great grandfather was kept for a few months before being moved to Salisbury after being imprisoned by the Confederates.)  I met up with my friend and mentor (and professional “get on the clock” nag) for drinks before Mary, my gracious host, picked me up to drive to her place where I stayed for the week.


“Hell on the Homefront” by ESM (see pic to the left). A new record set to me about claims made, mostly by Southerners,  to the federal government  for war damages
“New Standards or Old” by Tom Jones. Compared the old standards for evaluation of our genealogy work with the new “genealogical Standards.”   He made the strong statement that these standards are not for just portfolio writers but rather ALL genealogy work.


Indexing NGS 2014Thursday:
“Finding Family History in Published Legal Records” by Sharon Tate Moody, a Virginia based researcher. She gave me confidence to explore the published laws of the state and the nation.  I also enjoyed her presentation on the Live Streaming option on land records.
Exhibit Hall: I spent an hour and a half in the exhibit Hall. I reviewed portfolios at the BCG booth, stopped at the FGS booth (met Rorey there, a ProGen cohort member), entered some names at Find my Past, took a picture of genealogists doing a good deed by indexing records. (see left)

Friday: “Bittner Day!”
Attended three terrific sessions by Warren Bittner– German History ( he should have called it “1000 years of German history in 1″), Using German Gazetteers” and finally “Writing to Engage your reader”. All absolutely terrific.

Saturday: The high level buzz is gone! Everyone is starting to drag.
“Using Case Studies to learn Research Methods” by Tom Jones. This was the Birdie Monk Holsclaw Memorial lecture and Tom presented a presentation that had been given by Birdie  and him in 2000 shortly before her death. This was special to me as Birdie and I started an early computer interest group together in Denver, Colorado. She and I were first time mothers together. Russ, her husband, Pat, Birdie and I had dinners together occasionally to commiserate about the lack of computer software programs which focus on sourcing to the extent both of us desired.

Remember the post about how I make decisions about which sessions to attend? Looking back I believe that I pre-identified about 50% of the sessions in advance which I then went on to attend. I consulted and took the advice of others as to sessions to attend and changed my mind on some. I also attended more on Virginia and German sessions than I had anticipated.

Hope to see you in St. Charles.


What I have done since the last posting: I had trouble getting my draft of this posting (and the next) to upload to the cloud and into my primary WordPress box….hence the delay.  I have been working on my Dirk Bode article.  I now feel I have a draft ready to submit to my ProGen class.  I attended the SGS Spring Seminar.  Jeanne Larzalere Bloom did a great job.  I am now also getting ready for the SGS Board meeting tomorrow.


2 comments on “NGS 2014: some personal highlights

  1. Mary Swenson says:

    Wow..yet more Jens information! So.very.interesting! Thank you!

    • jkmorelli says:

      Not really new—but exactly 150 years ago. That’s pretty cool. Liked the picture of your little tree all decked out in blossoms. Welcome Spring!


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