Concurrent sessions…which ones to attend??? Conferences are difficult that way. The choices were outstanding and I tried to get to as many sessions as possible at the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree. Along with visiting with fellow genealogists and vendors it meant lots of jogging (well, in that slow meandering way genealogists jog 🙂
Here are the sessions I attended along with one Genealogy nugget from each of them. Over the next few weeks I’ll expand on this as I put into action some of what I learned at the Jamboree genealogical gym.
Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak: Cases that Made My Brain Hurt– I had never heard Megan speak live so definitely wanted to hear a talk from one of the most prominent American genealogists. She didn’t disappoint.
Genealogy Nugget: Use your social networking to help solve difficult cases. Pressed for time researching the genealogy of television news anchor Hoda Kolb, Megan turned to her connections around the world to help work the case. I also learned that in earlier census years, it was prestigious to be considered an elder, so people would up their age a few years. Look for the ‘rapid aging’ phenomenon.
David Rencher: Methodology for Irish Immigration and Emigration – David is the Chief Genealogical Officer for FamilySearch. With Irish ancestors on both sides of the family this was one of the highlights of the conference for me. Knowledgeable and innovative are the terms that come to mind as he showed us how to use epidemiological techniques to do a double surname study.
Genealogy Nugget: Use Surname Finders as Emigration Tools and develop a table of weight ranking to determine highest concentration of your two surnames in a particular area. Stay tuned as I will demonstrate this technique in a future blog post using two of our Irish surnames. For more information go here or page 123 of the Jamboree syllabus.
Maureen Taylor: Identifying and Dating Family Photographs. Who doesn’t have an undated, unidentified photo? Every one does. This was a fascinating look at an internationally recognized expert’s methodology for identifying old photos using the combined knowledge of history, genealogy and photography.
Genealogy Nugget: Use the types of photograph (Daguerretypes, Ambrotypes, tintypes etc) to help you identify the era. The text and placement of the words “Place stamp here” can be significant in dating old postcards. Maureen has several excellent photo detective books to help one identify photos.
Chris Haley: My Genealogy Now and Then – Keynote speaker at the Friday Night Banquet. Chris is a funny and talented speaker. He is the nephew of Alex Haley, the author of Roots. Chris can sing too!
Genealogy Nugget: Use that little white swab to make DNA connections you could never imagine.
To be continued….