Saturday, May 12, 2012

NGS 2012 - Day 4

A busy day started out with my getting up late.  Last night some band was playing about 3-4 blocks away on an outdoor stage.  I couldn't hear the music but I could definitely "hear" the bass sound.  Then at 11 pm fireworks because the team won.  Not being a baseball fan, I didn't even know they were playing.  Anyway, I slept in late.

But I'm so glad I didn't miss my first session.  The room was full, even at 8 am on Saturday morning.  Patricia Wells Stamm spoke on "Railroad Men and the Records They Left Behind."  Using the records may not be difficult IF you can find them.  This was a great presentation with some good references.

Next I was torn between two courses.  I attended "Indirect Evidence:  What To Do When Perry Mason Isn't on Your Side" by Harold Henderson.  Not a lot of new information here, but I loved the t-shirts on his slide that said "Department of Hints."  I often wish there was a service desk in the next room.

I ordered the CD for Elizabeth Shown Mills' "Information Overload?" and attended the session by Laura Murphy DeGrazia on "Should You Believe Your Eyes?  Sizing Up Sources and Information."  She provided some of the most concise definitions of Source, Information and Evidence that I've seen.  I would have liked the talk to be a little more at the intermediate level, but that's just me.

During and after lunch there seemed to be a lot of discussion about how uncomfortable the chairs were in the conference rooms.  Lots of us were having hip and back problems.  I don't know how these chairs were different, but it seemed like more of us were uncomfortable.  But, then there are only 2 more sessions.  I can do this.

So on the "Online State Resources for Genealogy" by Michael Hait.  Michael said he has subscriptions to all  of the major web sites, but he was going to talk about those "other" places to look.  He provided a few specific web sites but then also suggested that we look at county government web sites and reminded us that some counties have archives.  He also suggested looking at branches of county governments for possible probate and land record indexes online, and then university and public libraries.

The last session of the last day:  Rev. David McDonald filled in for another speaker who had a family emergency.  So there were no pages in the syllabus and he lost the file for this presentation.  He couldn't find it on his computer.  Well, if you think this was going to be horrible, you're wrong.  David's topic was "Top 10 Tips to Concluding Effective Research."  A syllabus was passed out that listed and explained 10 tips.  For me, this was a perfect way to end the NGS 2012 conference. A way to decide when "enough is enough." 

I'm going to have dinner, catch up (perhaps) on email, index (perhaps) a couple of batches and PACK.  I need to leave the hotel about 7 am so the packing must be done tonight. 

I have so many new ideas, and ways to be a better researcher and a better organizer and a better evaluator, etc.  And, as many of you know, there just aren't enough hours in a day or days in a week, to do it all.  But I will get started and I know I won't be sitting around "eating bon-bons" and being bored.

I hope to see you at Jamboree next month or in Las Vegas in one year.