NGS: German Day!

NGS 2015 computerEven lunch was schnitzel and German chocolate cake!

I signed up for a special class at National Genealogy Society 2015 conference: “German Studies: Understanding German Records and Methodology.”  It was taught by Warren Bittner, CG, Baerbel Johnson, AG and Carol Whitton, CG.  All were excellent and all were very different in their approach but consistent in their love and passion for German records and research. (my class “station” in photo left.)

Since so many of the US citizens claim Germany as their ethnic heritage, I thought I would identify some of my big “takeaways,” as there were many.

My German Problem ‘child” is Fredrick Eilers, who must be an alien as he seems to drop from the earth, marry my Eda (van Hoorn) Berg and then must have been called back to his planet, as he then disappears from the area.  Eda used his surname on one document but within 7 years Eda reverts to her previous name of Berg and Friedrick is never mentioned again in any record found.

I do know Fredrick’s birth parish, something that others search years for and may never find.

Since I already had “Fred’s birth parish, I didn’t think that Baerbel’s session on “Finding a German Town of Origin” would be a particular interest.  I was wrong! Here are some of the interesting items Baerbel Johnson presented, all of whcih may help me with my problem.

  1. Read the FamilySearch Wiki first.  This has become a go-to site for me and I was glad to hear that she felt that way too. There is a long description of search strategies in Germany on the wiki; just look for “Tracing Immigrant Origins.”
  2. cCeck out http://www.genealoger.com/german/ger_emigration_records.htm for German Emigration Records.
  3. Emigration before 1820 was often clusters of individuals from single areas.  After 1820, individuals became more dominant.  Don’t know how this can help me yet.  I have already traced all the families named Eilers/Eilerts/Ahlers/Ihlers in the Stephenson County (IL) area and I cannot find where they intersect.
  4. Check out the “Fuzzy Gazetteer” if you have names of places you cannot find and suspect that the spelling is incorrect.  This works for all areas of Germany. http://isodp.hof-university.de/fuzzyg/query/

Warren Bittner also spoke in the AM about German maps.  When you see how much the boundaries changed you can understand how hard German research is.

Between the two lectures, I have several new places to look for help.

Happy Hunting!

Jill

What I have done since the last posting:  conducted four lectures at British Columbia Genealogical Society just south of Vancouver on Saturday, 9 May.  It was a wonderful day and I had a great time. Pat and I spent Mother’s Day touring Vancouver.  Went to Granville Island, University of BC, Museum of Anthropology and walked along the seawall in Stanley Park! Had 12 hours to  prepare to leave for NGS 2015!

 

 

BCG: What is on my monthly to-do List?

clock 1As you know I went “on the clock” (OTC) in May.

So, what have I done to advance my portfolio?  It seems like almost nothing!  🙂  But, as I write down what I have done–I am ok.

  1. I have worked on my Dirk article about my great grand uncle who spent from 1872-1905 in three different insane asylums in Illinois.  It is a kinship determination project, but is not one I am submitting for BCG.  By writing it, I have learned a lot about the different numbering systems and put the principles in practice.  I have also figured out how to make Word behave so I can have a + sign, a numeral and a roman numeral all line up vertically in the same line with the text.  Yea!
  2. I attended Warren Bittner’s class at NGS 2014 on writing well.  He is such a fabulous writer.  I am studying his approach to writing, by re-reading my notes and the syllabus and articles he has written.  I am extra lucky that his Büttner article, which won the NGSQ writing award in 2012, was our NGSQ Study Group article for June.  Zola, the leader, formulated great questions about the article to aid our reading and we had a lively discussion.
  3. I have scheduled monthly readings.  I will be reading the BCG rubrics, The BCG Standards Manual, Genealogy Standards and the first two chapters of EE once a month.  I just do not think I can put those in front of me enough times. (Besides, I have heard that the most common reason for not “passing” is that the individual didn’t follow directions.)
  4. I have turned in my assignment (the last) for ProGen, completed and submitted my presentation proposals for NGS, FGS, and OGS. and completed the presentations and syllabi for WSGS and OGSA.
  5. I attended the SCGS virtual conference.  Great presentations.  Some of the best speakers. Since I am a member I will be able to review those, including Warren Bittner’s presentation on writing proof arguments.
  6. Worked on my resume–it did need updating.
  7. Worked on the BCG provided document.  My ProGen experience really helped me here.  when we were transcribing in ProGen I identified some formats I particularly liked.  It was nice to have an example of a format I was comfortable with.

I don’t think that is too bad actually!  Next? –probably the transcription of the document that I provide.

I am also done with the Dirk article–5000 words.  I am fairly pleased with it.  I see some gaps, but I suspect most authors do.  I may be able to fill a couple of those gaps the end of this month when I visit Elgin Hospital and have a tour of the facility by the resident historian.  It should be interesting talking to him.

Happy Hunting!

Jill

What I have done since the last posting (see above):  If you didn’t listen in on the SCGS free webinars you missed out on some very good presentations.  Warren Bittner’s presentation on Proof Arguments is still available at http://www.JAMB-Inc.com (session S-421).  It was presented at NGS in 2013.

[1] Rubrics can be found at

Click to access BCGNewAppRubrics2014.pdf

[2] Board for Certification of Genealogists, The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual (New York: Turner Publishing Company, 2000).

[3] Thomas W. Jones, editor, Genealogy Standards (Nashville: Ancestry.com, 2013).

[4] Elizabeth Shown Mills, Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, Inc, 2007).