Friday, May 11, 2012

NGS 2012: Day 2, PM


My afternoon on Thursday began with the Palatines to America luncheon feating Marianne S. Wokeck on “Framing Genealogy: How Family Research Enriches the Ways in Which We See the World".” (If anyone has a copy of the syllabus, please let me know, I was not able to snag one.)  I really enjoyed her talk, particularly the idea that how a person remembers a place changes based on age.  If you moved away at 8, everything in your mind will be bigger due to your small size.

After lunch, I headed to

German Marriage Laws and Customs by Warren Bittner.  I wish I could go to the Palatines to America conference to hear more from him.  This was a fascinating presentation, full of great photographs on the power point slides.

My key takeaways were on “stands” in German society (similar to an Indian caste), to look for word "dispensation" on a marriage record, because the diocese may have much more information on the couple trying to get married and that there was a time when religious ceremony and civil registration dates varied greatly, making everyone involved wonder when they were “officially” married.  This is an excellent presentation to purchase on CD due to the tremendous detail Bittner went into.

My last session was Assumptions: A Genealogical Slippery Slope by Claire Bettag.  This was a very useful lesson on how our assumptions can mean we do not do the best research.  She focused on the importance of collaborating many sources to go the truth.  Surprising to some, even official records can be wrong and they can be wrong on purpose, for reasons of the person it involves (the one often cited is a man lying about his age to go into the military early).  She also mentioned that rejected applications can contain the most information, similar to the dispensations I had learned about in the prior session.

After this session ended, I went to purchase some things from the BCG booth, then headed for dinner with my husband.  After getting lost on very pretty back roads in Kentucky, we found a great Mexican restaurant.  The rest of the night was spent zoning out to Big Bang Theory, Grey’s Anatomy and HGTV.

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