Please see part 1 of this series.
The second session of the Genealogy Reference Desk Institute was "An Overview of American Colonial Records" by David Dearborn, staff genealogist at the NEHGS and Fellow, American Society of Genealogists.
David began the presentation by telling us the cardinal rule, "Colonial records were not created for the benefit of 21st century genealogists." A rule that needs to be remembered for all records, in my opinion, not just those of the colonial time period.
What I learned most about these records is that it is important to learn about the area one is researching, as every area is different and borders changed drastically over time. Towns were invented in the colonies. Prior to this, there were ecclesiastical parishes, manors, et cetera, in England, but not a governmental area without a religious basis.
The earlier back your ancestry is in the colonies, the easier it is to find information for a few reasons. First, there were few people here, so it is relatively easy to follow them. Second, land records were very well kept and most people owned land.
My ancestors did not immigrate until long after the colonial period, but it was interesting to hear about research strategies. David also handed out a reading list with many books and articles I will be seeking out.
I will be discussing the third session tomorrow and it was a fantastic one!
Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small began the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge in 2014. I am playing along this year. I wi...
Over the past 6 months I have been getting back into my personal genealogy after a few year relative absence. Part of this started when I ...
I'm back at La Roche College outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for my 4th time at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRI...
Another year has come and come. Another year of not much posting, which I'd like to say will change this year, but we shall see. My a...