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Showing posts from April, 2013

NERGC 2013: Day 3

Saturday morning meant the end of NERGC was near.  I began with the New York track, starting with “But She Died in Upstate New York in the 1850s: How Can I Identify Her Parents?” By David Ouimette.  New York state is not the easiest to research in.  Vital records did not start until 1880, were not prevalent until the early 1900s and even though they are open to researchers, they are not available to browse, instead you have to fill out a form and hope.This means that you need to use alternate records and get creative in your search.  David discussed the importance of cluster genealogy, looking at neighbors, checking neighboring localities and going forward in order to go back, since you never know what information a descendent might have that can help you.  My favorite thing he said, “the search for an individual is the search for the family” is one of the most important things to remember when conducting genealogical research.  Even professional genealogists do not know everything.  …

NERGC 2013: Day 2

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Day 2 at NERGC began with the “Evidence Analysis” workshop by Barbara Mathews.  Barbara started by giving us a list of useful books, all of which I happily have in my genealogical library, that explain the terms used for evidence and sources.  We also got a sneak peak at the new terms Tom Jones has put in his new book out in just a few weeks (have you pre-ordered yours yet?).  She then discussed the importance of evaluating each source and the information found therein.  Next came my favorite part, discussing case studies.  First we looked at one on straightforward information.  This would be something such as looking at the parentage of your parent, where all of the documents match.  Nice and simple, but you still want to write up a proof argument on it.  Next we looked at one involving conflicting evidence, involving inferred relationships on early census records and secondary information from a death certificate.  Worksheets such as census comparison charts helped us figure out who…

NERGC 2013: Day 1

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At the end of the NERGC conference in 2011 I was fortunate enough to win a free registration to the 2013 conference in Manchester, New Hampshire, which began today.  I unfortunately missed the opening session this morning as we arrived at our hotel at 3am this morning, but I attended 3 sessions today, as well as visiting the exhibition hall.The first session was Colleen Fitzpatrick’s “The Dead Horse Investigation: Not Just the Facts, Ma'am.”  Colleen showed how much information you can find to identify a photograph by looking at all the little details and using other sources, such as city directories and census records.Next I went to “What Exactly is a "Reasonably Exhaustive Search"?” by Laura Murphy DeGrazia.  While many genealogists know they are supposed to complete a reasonably exhaustive search, most do not know what that entails.  Since each circumstance is different, there is no checklists or shortcuts, instead, we all need to learn how to conduct a reasonably exh…