Tag Archives: Genealogy Research

I’m so ready for #NGS2015GEN – Part 2

I am so ReadyPic

Welcome to My Genealogy Obsession blog.  This is part 2 of a 2-part series.  If you want to read part 1, you can find it here.

I also included the addresses that I was able to obtain from some of the census records, but I ended up handwriting that list.  Here is my list of residential addresses.

MOResidentialAddressesOn the left, I have the source of the address and on the right of the addresses are the names of the couple that lived at that address.  After making this list, I then Google mapped the addresses.  The Highlighted ones are the addresses that are still homes.  The  ones not highlighted are homes that have been demolished and replaced with parking lots, medical buildings or freeway overpasses.  I was a bit dissapointed when I found out that two of my addresses were demolished for a freeway overpass.  These two addresses were for my husband’s grandmother.  One house was the house she lived in when she was 1 year old and the second house was the last house I could find her living in before she showed up in California.  I was hoping to be able to visit these houses, take pictures, talk to the owners/occupants and possibly take pictures of the inside in hopes of bringing all of these photos home to my husband.  However, since I am not able to do that, my other idea was to speak to the St. Louis Genealogical societies that will be in attendance at the conference and see if there is any history on the area or the houses.  I will be crossing my fingers.

Now all I need for this adventure is a travel companion.  I have read several articles about planning genealogy research trips and they mostly say that I shouldn’t be alone.  That should be the last thing I need to do with this adventure.

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I’m so ready for #NGS2015GEN – Part 1

I am so ReadyPicI am so ready for the National Genealogical Society’s (NGS) annual conference (#NGS2015GEN).  It is held this year in St. Charles, Missouri and starts in 3 1/2 weeks.  I wish I could attend this conference every year, but that is just not financially feasible for our family.  So, I decided that unless this conference was close to me (within 1 state away, i.e. Las Vegas, NV 2013), then I won’t go unless its in a state where either my husband or I have ancestors in.  This conference, I will be concentrating on my husband’s family who are from Missouri.

I plan on getting there three days before the conference starts.  Well I will have Sunday the 10th for the flight.  This is a non-stop flight but I won’t get in until after 4pm so my Sunday will be spent just getting use to the hotel and nearby food places as I scope out my dinner options.  Monday, however, will be an exciting adventure.  I am renting a car for Monday and Tuesday (Wednesday is the start of the conference) and on Monday I will visit two cemeteries.  These two cemeteries are at the furthest 3 1/2 hours away so it will be mostly an all day adventure.

To get ready for my NGS conference trip, I went through my database and searched for anyone who was born, lived in, or died/buried in Missouri.  Then I whittled the list down to those that I have or could find documents that would show the addresses that they were living at the time.  I first started with the death certificates that I had and found after some research.  The death certificates listed the place of residence at the time of the death and most of them also listed the place of burial.  I made a list of these addresses on this form.

ListofMOCemetaries

On the left is the list of cemeteries where some of my husband’s ancestors were buried.  There are three cemeteries, Rose Hill Cemetery in Brookfield, MO, Pollock Cemetery in Pollock, MO, and Valhalla Cemetary in St. Louis, MO.  Pollock Cemetery is the farthest at 3 1/2 hours away.  It will be the first one I go to but it has no physical address.  The only location information I could find is the GPS coordinates and that it is .5 miles south of Pollock, MO.  This is in a rural area and the cemetery doesn’t have an office.  I am thinking as I drive into town, stop at a gas station and get directions.  Hopefully I will meet someone with some interesting information about the family or cemetery.  After Pollock Cemetary, I plan on visiting Rose Hill Cemetery in Brookfield, MO which is only about 1 hour away from St. Charles, MO.  This cemetery will be much easier to find and navigate.  It’s in town and has an office at the City Hall building.  Depending on how I am feeling after visiting these two cemeteries, I might save the last cemetery for Tuesday morning.  Either way, the last cemetery I will visit will be Valhalla Cemetery.  This is also in a major town, St. Louis, so it would be very easy to find and navigate.  I am planning after my visit to Valhalla Cemetery, to visit some of the touristy places in St. Louis, MO.  I am really excited to be able to visit the Arch!

Do you have any ideas for spots to eat or things to see on the way?  If so, please comment and let me know.  Now if you want to read part 2, you can read it here.

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This time next week…

Jamboree Graphic 2014This time next week, I will be at the SCGS Jamboree which is being held at the Burbank Airport Marriott, June 6-8, 2014.  It is a great source of genealogical education and it is a whole lot of fun too!  I am very excited to attend and can’t wait.

A good friend is joining me at the conference this year.  She asked me what tips I could give her as a first-time attendee.  I started thinking about it and came up with a few so I decided to post my tips here and hopefully it could help others besides my friend.

#1     You will see this on most tips for attending a genealogy conference.  Bring comfortable shoes, dress is layers and drink water.  You will do a lot of walking and being comfortable and well hydrated is very important.  The temperature in each room varies and you won’t know what the temperature will be like until you get the room.  It is best to dress in layers or bring a sweater for when the room is either too hot or too cold.

#2     If the genealogical conference has an app, USE IT!  Its a great tool to help you keep track of not only your first & second choice in classes.  The app is also good for when you have friends at the conference.  Within the app, you can send a friend request to your friends and if they accept your request, you can communicate with them in getting a group together for lunch.  If you are really close with your friend or if you have family attending and you can also share your schedule with each other.  This helps you to see where this person might be at in case you need to get a hold of them or if you want to attend the same class together.  I love using this feature of the app with my daughter so that I can keep track of what classes she might be in and possibly sit with her in a class.

#3     This next tip really depends on your note taking habits.  Usually you get a syllabus book/binder free with your registration but if the organization putting on the conference is trying to cut down on costs, you might just get a CD copy instead.  I like to obtain the syllabus and mark my first and second choice in classes, then when I attend the classes, I write on the syllabus for each class itself.  It helps me to keep up with what the speaker is saying and to keep the appropriate notes  and what the speaker is saying together.  HERE IS MY TIP: If you are not able to get a printed copy of the syllabus, go into the app and on each of the classes you want to take, if there is a PDF symbol, you can email the handout to yourself, then print them before attending the conference.  You still get the syllabus for each class and to write on each of the appropriate speakers outline.  You also are helping  by not printing out every single page of the syllabus.

#4     Don’t be afraid to start up a conversation with the people sitting around you.  You might find a cousin sitting right next to you!

#5  Don’t be afraid to network with other genealogists outside of the classroom.  There are some genealogists that do get paid for the research they do, but if you meet others who are researching the same area as you, they might be helpful when you have hit a brick wall.  It is also a good idea to keep their contact information handy too.

I hope that these tips have helped you and my good friend as well.  If you have any other tips for first-time attendees to a genealogical conference, please list them in the comment section so that others can use your tips.

Happy Ancestry Hunting!

Tricia

 

What lectures are you looking forward to attending at #NGS2013?

As time flies by and the NGS Family History Conference gets closer and closer, what lectures are you looking foreward to attending?

This is my first time at NGS Family History Conference and I am very excited for all of the lectures I plan on attending.  However, there are a few speakers that I am looking forward to.

Elizabeth Shown Mills – I know, she is a well-renowned speaker on genealogical things.  I have become a stalker, er, fan of her work and I am excited to hear a few of her lectures.

Lisa Louise Cooke –  I have been looking to learn how to use Evernote with my genealogy research and when I saw that Ms. Cooke will be conducting a lecture on it, I knew that I wanted to attend it!

Thomas W. Jones –  Even before they announced his new upcoming book to be published soon, I had a few of his lectures highlighted.  I had heard from other genealogist that he was an excelent speaker.  I am looking forward to his methodology lectures.

These are just a few of the speakers that I am looking forward to attending their lectures next week.  Who are you looking foward to hear speak next week at NGS Family History Conference?  If your not going, who would you like to see if you were able to go?  Let me know!

Tricia

My Top 10 Tips for attending a Genealogy Conference.

In two weeks from today, I will be attending the opening session of the NGS Family History Conference in Las Vegas, NV.  I am really excited because this is my very first national genealogy conference.   In the past, the national conferences were not held near me and were too far for me to attend.  I have been planning for this conference since the day they announced that it was going to be held in Las Vegas, NV.  The last time this conference was on the west coast was in California in 2004.

Now that I am 95% done with my move to our new house, I can concentrate on the trip to Vegas.  I have developed some tips for the new attendees (like me) that I thought would be helpful.  These are based on my experience in attending the local conferences in the past.

 1.            Dress comfortably and wear good walking shoes.  I just purchased a pair of flip flops that are so comfortable!  I feel like I am walking on clouds!  There is a lot of walking involved at a genealogy conference so make sure you’re as comfortable as you can be.

 2.            Bring a sweater.  It would be better to dress in layers but for me, I prefer to bring a light sweater.  The lecture rooms have a tendency to be either too warm or too cold.  For me personally, I am good if it’s too warm, but if it’s too cold, I will use my sweater.

 3.            Bring some water.  Just as an opposite of tip #2, it can also get very warm in a lecture room too. One way to combat the warmness of a room is to carry a bottle of water just in case. 

 4.            Bring items to take notes with.  Now, I ordered a printed syllabus only because my process of learning means that I take a lot of notes on the syllabus page itself.  All those who didn’t register as an early bird will just have the syllabus on a flash drive.  So if you didn’t get to order the printed syllabus, you should bring with you a form of taking notes (ipad, laptop, or pad of paper with pen.)

 5.            Arrive early for your session.  Sometimes, especially if the speaker is a popular one, the rooms will fill to capacity.  When that happens, the room will be closed to anyone who does not have a seat.  This is due to fire regulations on the capacity of the room and NGS can’t make any exceptions.  If they do, they could get in trouble with the Fire Department and/or be fined.  I am a fan of Elizabeth Shown Mills and I know that she is a popular speaker.  I plan to get to her lectures early.  I know that her lectures will fill up fast and I want to make sure to have a seat.

 6.            If you have calling cards or business cards as a genealogist, bring them.  It will help you to network with others even if you aren’t a professional genealogist.  You never know you could meet a distant cousin and want to stay in contact.  Vista print offers an inexpensive way to order personal calling cards and business cards and your order can be expedited (for a fee of course!)

7.            Network!!!  Along those same lines, collect business and personal cards from others.  You never know when you might need some help in a distant area and they could get a copy of a document for you.

 8.            Don’t be a wallflower!  If you have questions, ask the person next to you.  It’s a great way to make new friends and you could have found someone to talk to about the same genealogy interests as you do.  This comes in handy when your family is tired of hearing you talk about genealogy.

 9.            Remember to be courteous to the speaker.  Don’t take pictures, unless you ask first.  Don’t get up to leave the room in the middle of their lecture, if you can help it.  The speakers put a lot of time and effort into their lecture and more often than not, they don’t get paid enough for it. 

 10.          Have Fun!!!  Yes.  This conference is a learning experience, but there are new people to meet, vendors to see and new speakers to listen to.  Relax and enjoy it all!

 I will be there attending my list of classes, but if you see a Hispanic lady walking around with a pink purse and in flip flops, tap my shoulder and say Hi.  Or better yet, email me before the conference and we can meet for lunch.