We’ve just finished day three of the NGS 2012 Family History Conference, and genealogists are everywhere you turn in downtown Cincinnati. I’ve enjoyed a number of great lectures and a lot of good company. While my memory is fresh, I thought I’d share some take-away points from the sessions I attended the first two days.
J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA, presented Focusing on Pathways ‘Cross the Ohio River (W127)
Take-away: Use historical maps from the time period your ancestors migrated, such as those you can find on David Rumsey Map Collection, to find the rivers and trails they followed and the towns they may have stopped at along the way.
Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS, presented Genealogical Research and Writing: Are You a Saint, Sinner, or Bumfuzzled Soul? (W141)
Take-away: Changing a few words and citing your sources isn’t enough to avoid the dangers of plagiarism—you also need quotation marks when copying three or more words, and you need to ask permission if you want to use a substantial amount of material.
Barbara Vines Little, CG, FNGS, FVGS, presented Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury: The Evidence Presented Clearly Shows… (W151)
Take-away: In a narrative proof summary, it’s important to discuss all the sources you looked at—including those where you didn’t find any evidence—and explain how they work together to support the claim you’re trying to prove.
|The Exhibit Hall|
Jana Sloan Broglin, CG, OGSF, presented Ohio: The Great Land Experiment (T215)
Take-away: Those looking for a challenge in land record research need look no further than Ohio, the first place land was measured in rectangular townships (oh, right, except for the part measured in metes and bounds) in multiple surveys handled through numerous land offices.
Craig Roberts Scott, CG, presented Pension Research: You Stopped Too Soon (T244)
Take-away: Understanding how the various pension acts affected which Revolutionary War veterans could receive payments, and knowing how to find records such as payment receipts, can lead you to valuable genealogical information.
Claire Bettag, CG, CGL, presented Assumptions: A Genealogical Slippery Slope (T251)
Take-away: Be careful about the assumptions you bring to your research, even unintentionally, in order to avoid making mistakes in your conclusions, and keep in mind that errors may exist even in sources of excellent quality.
I’ll leave you with some pictures from the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, which I toured Thursday evening with fellow geneabloggers and friends Susan Clark (Nolichucky Roots) and Linda McCauley (Documenting the Details). NGS generously arranged for conference attendees to have the facility for the evening. It features powerful exhibits about the struggle for freedom that is such a big part of our country’s heritage, and frequently played out up and down the banks of the Ohio River.
|Original slave holding pen, moved and reconstructed on site|
|Myself, Susan, and Linda|