I picked up some useful tools in Pamela Cooper's "Pathfinders, Guides, Finding Aids, & Catalogs: Strategies for Genealogy Success." So many libraries and archives aren't part of WorldCat, but there may still be finding aids for their collections. Pamela told us how to find them. I'm going to be putting these tools to work in the very near future.
Next I learned the nitty-gritty of using occupational records to place my ancestors in historical and social context in "Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker: Using Occupational Records" with Amy Johnson Crow. This was one of the most interesting sessions I attended all week.
At 11 a.m., I heard John Phillip Coletta present case studies using various sources (original records and published materials) to tell the stories of three immigrant ancestors. John is an excellent storyteller and it was so easy to follow the logical progression of his research.
After lunch, I got to hear Elizabeth Shown Mills present "Elusive Ancestors? There's No Such Thing as 'Too Poor to Trace'." Even though our ancestors may have been considered poor simply because they didn't own any land doesn't mean there aren't records. ESM told us where to find such records.
My last session of the day was with J.H. Fonkert, presenting "Genealogical Fingerprints: Matching and Separating Identities in Family History Research." Jay gave examples of how to solve a variety of identity problems using analysis of different records.
It's been a long week, but a productive one. I've gotten a lot of good information and useful tools (and TONS of freebies). I've made several new friends, and reconnected with some old ones. I'm a little sad, but I'm also anxious to get home and start putting some of these tools to the test. I'm looking forward to Fort Wayne in 2013!
Do we share any ancestors?
Please email me at lostancestors [at] gmail [dot] com