Monday, May 14, 2012

NGS 2012: Final Day

2012_NGS_Official_Blogger_LogoIt is hard to believe how quickly Saturday came.  The three morning classes this day were the ones I had most been looking forward to. 

First, I went to Railroad Men and the Records They Left Behind by Patricia Walls Stamm.  My paternal grandfather, his father and his grandfather all worked for the railroad, as did others in his line, so I was looking forward to learning more about the records available for them.  What surprised me the most is that railroad papers traveled with the person in charge of them. You have to look everywhere to find out who currently holds the archives for a particular railroad.  Most railroads have historical societies which can also help with these records.

My second session was Research Reports for Ourselves:More than a Research Log Presented by Paula Stuart-Warren.  I think everyone was surprised by the packed house for this lecture.  It was quite apparent that I am not the only one who does not, as Ms. Stuart-Warren said, treat her work as well as I would a client.

My number one takeaway from this class is to follow the BCG report standards, using proper citations, for all research done.  This will ensure that both I and other researchers know what has been done and what needs to be done in the future.  This class led perfectly into my last session of the morning, Information Overload? Effective Project Planning, Research, Data Management & Analysis by Elizabeth Shown Mills.

This was the best class of the entire conference, in my opinion, and I highly recommend purchasing the CD recording.  The premise of the class was that when genealogical programs came into being, researchers stopped writing research reports and good research logs and instead just entered data into the program and stopped.  Actually, data entry should be the last thing we do, only after all research and analysis is complete.  For more information on what our reports should look like, look on the APG website.  While sitting through this class it was made crystal clear that I need to stop researching and re-enter all of my data into a research log and a genealogy program, making sure all events are caught, that the citations are perfect, that I am looking at FANs and that I am analyzing the data, including writing down further research plans.

After this class I made one more loop around the expo, where I met Katie Chapman, one of the creators of Geungle.  To begin with, Katie is tremendously sweet and very knowledgeable about organizing ones genealogy.  I am very excited for this site to come live in the next few months, as I feel it will be the type of genealogy “program” that will pull together all that Paula Stuart-Warren and Elizabeth Shown Mills spoke of, which helping genealogists collaborate in a much fuller way.

After this, my husband and I headed out of Cincinnati, skipping the afternoon sessions, as I had to work Sunday and it is a long trip back to Syracuse.  I had an amazing time at this conference and cannot wait to attend the 2013 conference in Las Vegas.  I am also hopeful that I will visit Cincinnati again soon, as there is much of the city I have left to explore.

11 comments:

  1. Thanks Amanda, I read them all, and I appreciate your posts. In addition, I followed your tweets, and have them saved (good bits of advice).

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  2. Hi Amanda - your blogs and tweets re NGS have been great, thank you so much. I was wondering if there was any mention in the railroad session about records involving accidents and trains? I had a great uncle killed in an auto/train accident and have not been able to find anything past his obit. Thanks so much!
    Jen

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  3. I have a similar question as Jen - looking forward to your answer! Great post.

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  4. Thanks for all your wonderful updates. I've enjoyed every one of them. I'm definitely ordering "Information Overload."

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  5. @Barbara Poole, I'm so glad you liked them! Hopefully we will get to go to a conference together soon. NERGC 2013?

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  6. @Jen, Thank you so much! She did mention this. Her recommendation was to look for coroner's records in the area that the accident happened. She also said general records of the train company might have information, but those are often harder to find. I would also recommend checking newspapers from the area it occurred in the week after the accident, as things such as this tend to have a lot of press in my experience.

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  7. @Amanda, I replied to Jen, hope it sent it to you, too, but if not, it's here now:-)

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  8. @michelle goodrum, Thank you for reading! I look forward to hearing your thoughts on "Information Overload." Elizabeth makes it sound so easy:-)

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  9. @Amanda E. Perrine, MSLIS, Never thought to check with coroner! Great idea. Have looked through newspapers, and was only able to find his obit. I think because he was 19 yrs at the time of the accident, and the family moved to another county relatively quickly afterwards, it just "got lost". I have been completely unsuccessful with company records (so far, not giving up). Thanks for the info! ~ Jen

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  10. Amanda - it was a delight to meet and visit with you! I am so glad you stopped by our booth to chat. Elizabeth's session was so interesting for me, but I did not make it out of the booth for Paula Stuart-Warren's. Now I am wishing I had been to her session. Being a "vendor" gets in the way of learning what I need to know to build what I need to use sometimes, grr.

    Thanks for your great post - I feel priviledged to be a part of it. :)

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  11. Elizabeth has a gift of making everything seem easy. Maybe it is and we all just make things harder than they need to be. lol

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