Here I am at home returning from the 2016 FGS Conference which was held in Springfield, Illinois. I wish I could have published every day on this blog but that quickly proved to be an impossible task. The first session began at 8AM and the last one ended at 6PM, which was followed by evening events.
This was my first U.S. national conference and I must say that I virtually enjoyed every minute of it. My biggest problem was indeed to choose among the sessions that were offered as too many that I was interested in were scheduled at the same time. Nonetheless, it was nice that I could bring back with me the full conference’s syllabus as it is packed with sources and references which I will no doubt turn to for improving my knowledge.
The following table is listing the conferences I went to:
|Elusive Ancestors? No, They're Never "Too Poor to Trace?"!||Elizabeth Shown Mills|
|Researching the French and Indian War||Craig R. Scott|
|Italian Genealogy Research in Italy and from Home||Mary M. Tedesco|
|The German Immigrant Experience in the 18th Century||Michael D. Lacopo|
|The Wisconsin Historical Society Library and Archives: What is in It? Everything!||George L. Finden|
|Identity Crises: Right Name, Wrong Man? Wrong Name, Right Name?||Elizabeth Shown Mills|
|"That She May Marry Again…"-Private Laws of Federal and State Governments||Judy G. Russell|
|Indiana History & Resources||David McDonald|
|Beyond the Courthouse: The Records of Rural Communities||Karl R. Moore|
|Researching Colonial Occupations||David Allen Lambert|
|Evernote for Genealogists||Jordan D. Jones|
|Using Tax Rolls to Prove Births, Deaths, Marriages, Parentage & Origins||Elizabeth Shown Mills|
|Midwestern Manuscripts: They Might Include Your Family Documents||Paula Stuart-Warren|
|Building Context and Making Connections: Using JSTOR for Family History||D. Joshua Taylor|
As you know, even if I am from Québec and have almost exclusively French-Canadian ancestors, I do a lot of research in the States, following the Tourvilles who emigrated south of the border (from New France or Lower Canada, as the case may be). I have searched a great deal online and at the Family History Library but I got to a point where I need to investigate locally—hence my trip to St. Louis. You know, my passion about the Tourvilles is self-explanatory, but I have so many other interests! I love the sleuthing as much as I am eager to learn and these FGS 2016 Conference sessions will help me to go to the next level for sure.
I was thrilled by every session I have attended but I must admit I was particularly impressed by the ones given by Elizabeth Shown Mills—seeing her demonstrate how she solved her cases using tax rolls and other documents was simply fascinating. I could have listened to her stories for hours. If I was left with one clear message from her, it would be this one: “Read the entire microfilm, do not only scan the page where your ancestor’s name appears but the entire document!”
Besides sessions, there was also the vendor exhibit hall where I spent a few dollars on books and met representatives of various genealogical societies and repositories. And that was where I finally had the chance to meet Genchatter Jen Baldwin from Find my Past and to greet Amy Johnson Crow.
I have nothing but positive feedback to share about this conference. Although… I just happened to notice one strange side effect: After each session, all that was on my mind was to go and search! Am I normal, Doctor?