Friday, May 11, 2012

NGS 2012 Day 2: AM

NGS Official Blogger

Day 2 (Thursday) of the NGS conference began in a much nicer fashion than day 1: not much actual gridlock on the highway and I arrived in time for the first session, which was on BCG certification.  As this is on my 5 year plan, I thought I should get some basics.  I only stayed for the first half of the session (it ran through 2 session times), but learned a lot.  It is time to go through the manual with a fine tooth comb, up my research reports and work on friends research so that I can practice writing “client reports”.

After this, I headed to Indexes! Indexes! Indexes! How to Find People Who Don't Seem to Be There! with Elizabeth Shown Mills.  This was my first time seeing her speak and I was quite impressed by her presentation.  My favorite part was when she mentioned that “Cassell” can be indexed as “Cafell”, which I am hoping will help me with my Casell (but often spelled Cassel or Cassell) ancestors.

The best strategies she gave, in my opinion, was to use wildcards for vowels whenever possible and to consider ethnicity as a surname.  I never would have thought to look for Italian, Marco or German, Nicolas in my search, but if the person taking the information couldn’t understand or figure out the last name, they put it down like this, instead.  If you have had problems finding people in indexes (who hasn’t), I recommend purchasing this lecture CD.

I ended my morning by starting in a session, but by that 3rd hour of sitting, I had had enough, so I went to the expo to index the 1940 census and wander around.  I actually got so caught up in indexing (my favorite part was the indexer who put Long Island as a foreign country from the Bronx-indeed it sometimes seems like it is…), that I was a few minutes late to my lunch lecture.  I will write about this lecture and my afternoon sessions in the next post.

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