I got a pretty late start on Thursday and missed the Keynote Session. But I did arrive just in time to attend the press conference that we put together for the local media at 10am (for a clip of the local news, click here). Then it was off to sessions and the exhibit all for the rest of the day.
Immigrant Cluster Communities: Past, Present, and Future – Because immigrants traveled together, they usually settled together. Analyzing these communities, that is, beyond your own ancestors, could mean breaking down a brick wall. Lisa Alzo provided several strategies for studying immigrant cluster communities. In addition, she provided examples from her own research, which helped illustrate her points. I myself have only struck the surface of cluster genealogy and plan to take Lisa’s strategies and apply them to my own research in hopes of finally breaking through my German brick walls. You can purchase the recording of the session here. Or, catch Lisa on September 21 in a live webinar on the same topic, hosted by the Southern California Genealogical Society.
Going Beyond the Bare Bones: Reconstructing Your Ancestor's’ Lives – Genealogy is more than just names, dates, and relationships. In this lecture, Thomas Jones goes through a variety of sources that can be used to shed light on the lives our ancestors lived. For example, court records could reveal the details of the dispute and the parties involved, financial status, occupation, property value/description, and more. Using these sources and their information collectively can make for a rich story. Tom also discussed different approaches to use when crafting a biography, one of which I had not previously considered. You can purchase the recording of the session here.
In addition to these sessions, I attended the Illinois State Genealogical Society’s luncheon. Speaker, Dr. Michael Lockett, presented Strange, But True, Stories of the Civil War, which was fascinating. While I wasn’t attending sessions, I was mingling with the crowd and vendors at the exhibit hall. Finally, I wrapped up the evening at dinner with fellow bloggers, Carol Genung, Kathryn Doyle, and Paula Hinkel.