Thursday, July 2, 2015

GRIP 2015: Day 3

For my first post on this year's Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), go here.

Apologies for the late  posting, I couldn't put down The Girl on the Train.

Day 3 began with "New York Land: Patroonships, Manors, Patents, Rent Wars, and Land Companies" by Karen Mauer Jones.  The amount of information given was a bit overwhelming, as records change through time and are different depending on the area of the state and if it is an urban or rural setting.  Records in Western New York are often rich, since they went through the Holland Land Company.

Next up was Jane E. Wilcox's "Looking for your NY Tenant Farmer: Little-Used Resources."  This looked more in-depth at manors and patents that were also discussed in the first presentation of the day.  These records are invaluable for people with pre-colonial ancestors in the Hudson Valley area.

After lunch Thomas W. Jones presented "Workarounds to New York Record Shortages: Greenfield Examples."  This was a fantastic presentation that showed how to reconstruct a person's life using a lot of indirect evidence.  I found it particularly interesting that outside of DNA, all of the records have been available for over 100 years, so even though we do research online now, it still comes down to those same records and how we assess them.  He has a related article to this presentation in the June NGSQ (in the mail now) and is hoping to publish the entire case study in the NYG&B Record in the next year or so.

The last presentation of the day was "Urban Research Strategies" by Rick Sayre.  This focused on New York City research and spoke of the importance of knowing your ancestor's address in order to do urban research.  He also spoke of using Excel sheets to keep track of people in city directories, census records, and tax records.

It amazes me that we are almost done with this week.  I already have a lot of ideas on how to continue my research.

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