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Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday at FGS!

First off, before I start on today’s adventures, let me remind everyone that I am live tweeting from the event.  Don’t have Twitter?  Never fear, they are also being posted to my Facebook account.  So go over there, like my page, and follow along with my antics in real time. You know you want to.

Now…where was I…Oh yes?  What has happened today at the conference so far?

After dragging everyone out of bed at O ’dark thirty this morning, drinking 3 cups of coffee, and driving on over to the center, the boys and I attended John Phillip Colletta’s session “The 17,000,000 stories of Ellis Island: What’s Fact? What’s Myth?”  It was really good.  So good, in fact, that it kept the attention of my oldest child the entire time.  If you can get the attention of a middle school kid you are doing something right.  He even took notes and I am surprised that I didn’t fall over in shock!  As for me, I knew a lot of the information, but my boys wanted to hear it, so why would I say no?  I did enjoy the images, the humor, and the lighthearted way he was just telling us all a story. 

Next we walked to the opposite side of the building to hear “Lou” D. Szucs present “Finding Ethnic Origins and Naturalizations in the Midwest.”  While it was mostly a refresher of things I have read or heard in the past she did have a few resources that I didn’t know about.  Particularly concerning records here in Indiana.  I am still hunting down my elusive Hoosier ancestors and, fingers crossed, this information will help with a few breakthroughs.

After lunch I was able to squeeze into Judy Russell’s, aka The Legal Genealogist, talk on “Roadblocks, Red Lights, and Detours: Records Access Issues.”  This one was eye opening.  While I have tried to stay on top of a lot of the issues that could affect my research in the future, a lot of it I was completely unaware of.  She made what could have been a dry and boring topic very educational and entertaining.  There were at least 2 mentions of the zombie apocalypse.  Her call to action was very powerful, which means you all should expect a blog post in the future on this subject alone.

Image from the Library of Congress
Believe it or not I was able to attend one more lecture before the boys revolted.  We attended J. Mark Lowe’s presentation “Whiskey, Brandy, and Family Migration” with my mom and dad.  The boy thought it was wonderful too as a matter of fact.  Just so you all know, my parents have been talking about this one since they received the syllabus.  There were known moonshiners and bootleggers in my family…we know about this stuff.  Plus my first job was in the quality control lab at a corn processing plant where we made corn based alcohol.  Yes, I can tell you all about distillation.  Now I really want to take all this new information and see if I can prove which of my Indiana kin were in the business.

We even had an official FGS photo taken of me, mom, dad, and the boys.  Three generations at the same genealogy conference.  I have to say that it was a neat experience, even if the boys don’t like to have their pictures taken.  It has been a pretty big deal, bigger than I would have thought, that not only are my kids but also my parents are in attendance here.  I really didn’t think it would have drawn this much attention from exhibitors, attendees, and others.

So here I sit, catching you all up while my parents and boys nap.  At 6pm is the 1812 save the pensions event.  We are all going to that before dad takes the boys back to the hotel.  Mom is going to stay with me until midnight to research the ACPL.  Wish us luck!

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