Friday, August 29, 2014

Gone to Texas - FGS2014 Day 3

Today was the halfway point and the beginning of the end.  There are just too many choices and too little time!  Every day there are 42 speaker sessions and 4 workshops.  There are also 8 presentations in the Exhibit hall and 4 different luncheons with speakers!  How does one even begin to choose where to go.  The luncheons and Workshops are chosen at the time of registration but the rest you can pick and choose on a daily basis.

Today I got there early to catch Tom Jones speak on "Can a Complex Problem Be Solved Solely On Line"  Using a case study Tom showed how online records could be used to establish parentage and marriage but ti fill in all the details you would need to use some off line records.  In determining parentage one tip was to search the census before the birth to see if there was a likely family then.  George Edison was born in 1861 so the idea is to search the 1860 census in the reported birth place to see if there is a likely family there.  He also suggested to note place of birth and occupation. So the answer is Yes...But!
Elizabeth Shown Mills

Tom Jones

Next I attended Elizabeth Shown Mills session on "Sources and Citations Simplified: from memorabilia to Digital Data to DNA".  Elizabeth said that while the genealogy vendors have gotten the message about creating source citation templates, they haven't attached them to the family group sheets and we need to keep on the vendors about attaching source citations to the family group sheets even as a second page.  She commented that most people have a difficult time selecting a template.  To that end she said "look at what you are holding" is it a book, microfilm, a family heirloom?  That will help you determine the correct template and remember that a website is a publication.  We use citations to keep ourselves straight.

At lunchtime I attended the luncheon sponsored by the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History (ISBG&FH).  Paul Milner spoke about "The Messages our Ancestors Leave Behind" His talk covered the necessity of writing the stories of our ancestors and including the details of there lives to preserve the details of their lives.  His mantra of the talk was "But they never told me!"  At the end of his talk there was a drawing for a subscription to the ISBG&FH website and the the winner was Cyndi of CyndisList.
Cyndi and I
The last session I attended was "Guardianship: Look Closer at the Documents" with Cindy Foreman.  Cindy eaplained what the Guardianship documents are, why they might have been created, and where to find them.  Census records often reveal if someone in the household was blind, deaf. insane,  Guardianship might have been established for orphans, or others needing some kind of protection.  Even a widow under the age of 21 may have a guardian.  The guardian appointed usually had no financial interest in the case and was required to file an annual report.  Look to the probate files at the county level for guardianship levels.
Cindy Foreman
Finally I ended the day by working at the hospitality booth which mostly involved giving directions to the Exhibit Hall and manning the Lost and Found.