Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sentimental Sunday- Final Day of FGS Conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner-Benward


 Final day at conference in Fort Wayne Indiana, but there is still a lot going on today, people to talk too, exhibitors to see, sessions to go too, one more luncheon and other things to do........ 

"USING THE INTERNET TO RESEARCH SCOTTISH ANCESTRY" with Robert McLaren- Bob is always at the National Conferences and Southern California Jamboree (and I am sure he attends a lot of others) In the exhibit hall he sits with FamilyTreeDNA.

Lots of great supporting information. Finding aids are FamilySearch and Family Search wiki,, Scots Parish List, ScotlandsPlaces, and of course ScotlandsPeople.  For helping with handwriting (omg, it sounds a lot like German)  and oh so much more.     
I can hardly wait to try out these websites and resources. 
 George GARDNER, Jane SMITH from Scotland, and son Harry GARDNER from Glasgow Scotland - BIG mystery since GARDNER doesn't seem to be of Scottish origin.

"AMERICAN RECORDS OVERSEAS: THE UK NATIONAL ARCHIVES" with D Joshua Taylor Sessions, Luncheons and discussions with Josh Taylor are always really good. He is a young man, a the 21sters, who speaks genealogy as a second language. But he brings to the table great ideas, forward thinking and with all the old fashion research options. Very refreshing. Mainly we talked about The National Archives in London England. A lot like our own National Archives except their archives has information on 'the colony's'. I would not have thought about this but it would make sense. Before our independence we were British subjects so all reports about anything were sent back to England and they have preserved a good part of these reports, lists, conflicts, disputes. There is no index of SURNAMES but people are mentioned throughout these papers. You can start by looking up the files that start with CO= colony. Some of the people went to the America's and some came back and some stayed. But then what about the people that didn't go to the America's but waited for their spouse, brother, father to come back.  How exciting! am anxious to look through these resources. Will be searching for my LITTLE & BRISTOL families,  

LUNCHEON: New York Genealogical and Biographical  Society - Stumbling Around New York: How the NYG&B Helped  Me Crack the Case" with D Joshua Taylor ---  Food was not that exciting but the presentation with Josh was great. He went back to his early days (12yo) when he first started getting interested in family roots with his grandmother in New York. He went through how he progressed, the pitfalls, his learning curve, his close relationship with his grandparents. Great stories.

"OVERLOOKED AND UNDERVALUED LOCAL GOVERNMENT RECORDS IN NEW YORK" with Karen Green sponsored by NYGBS ......  more on New York. Yes I have ancestors and family in New York. Basically the LITTLE family... starting in Cuba, Allegany Co, NY and continuing in Dryden, Tompkins Co, & Cortland, Cortland Co, NY. It seems that upper New York (everything but New York City and the 5 boroughs) is difficult to research. Documents and databases were not kept, a lot of the counties did not comply with state laws, and documents and journals and books were passed down to "how ever" and some are in basements, attics, in a spare room of someone's home (boy this is sounding more and more like parts of Pennsylvania). So there are few items indexed and very little digitized. Each county handles this process different and the documents may not be in areas where you would normally find them in other states. Well this really is discouraging. Looks like you will need to go county by county, approaching each one separately. I have had some success in New York but simple items. But she was right information and documents are  not kept where you would imagine.   

"ENGLISH PARISH REGISTERS: HOW TO ACCESS, USE  AND INTERPRET"  with Paul Milner WOW the last session of my day. I almost did not attend, and was going to spend my time in the exhibit hall but the exhibit hall closed mid afternoon so I went. I AM SO GLAD I DID. This was a great session and well worth the time. Paul Milner is a very good speaker with a good sense of humor and really knows his topic. He is Scottish and is from and lives in Scotland. The information we received from him was invaluable. We went through several case studies and looked over many samples of documents. VERY GOOD!! Paul Milner

The FGS Conference has ended. Exhibit hall closed and most everything moved out of that room already. What a great week it has been. Weather was really nice. In my room on the top floor (6th) at the Courtyard faces the Parkview Field ballpark (GO TINCAPS) which gives me a birds eye view of fantastic fireworks each night. What a great way of ending each day.

I will be coming home tomorrow (Sunday). I really have enjoyed my time here but am looking forward to coming home ......I am pooped Out energized to go through my syllabus and notes and do some family research with some success

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  1. Sandra, I have very much enjoyed your commentary on highlights of your FGS2013 experience.

    Regarding the British Archives, perhaps you missed that this collection is in Kew, not in London. And the gigantic record group under "C.O." is "Colonial Office." A few stalwarts have mined these records for various types of material about the present United States and Canada, nearly unimaginable quantities yet remain. I particularly long for material about prisoner release and exchange during and after the American Revolutionary War, for starters!

    Hope your trip home will be a safe and relaxed one.

  2. Sandra, I really appreciate your recap of these sessions. If I hadn't felt compelled to do research next door at ACPL, I would have been at the Scottish and UK sessions. Definitely agree that Josh Tayler is an engaging speaker. Looking forward to his being on Genealogy Roadshow in September!


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