Archive for category Genealogy Resources

NERGC 2013 – Day 2

Posted by on Friday, 19 April, 2013

Today was my second day at the New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC). There were more than 30 different lectures and seven tracks available for the attendees to listen to. The seven tracks were Skills & Methodology, Occupations, “DNA, Genetics & Family Health”, Online Research, New England Research, Military Research and Expanding Your Knowledge Base.

The first of the lectures I attended was by Stephen P. Morse and was entitled “One-Step Pages: A Potpourri of Genealogical Search Tools”. Virtually everyone who’s been doing genealogy for some time has heard of and most likely used Stephen’s One-Step website. If you haven’t, be sure to check it out. It adds a lot of value to popular online databases. The topic described many of the popular one-step options as well as a few of the lesser known options. Stephen added a mixture of appropriate humor timed very well throughout the lecture.

In the afternoon sessions Laura G. Prescott presented a lectured called “ Using Our Nations Library Online”. I have to admit that I have not utilized the website in my research a while lot. Laura presented a wide variety of areas to explore. There were various prints and photographs which are not copyrighted available, digital newspapers and much much more.

After Laura’s presentation I was off to a presentation by David Ouimette called “Overcoming Spelling Problems and Unlocking the Power of Names”. David did a great job describing various name origins and how family names may change over time. He provided me with an idea to find my own Irish ancestors. I know my ancestors surname along with the surname of his wife and the county they came from. Is that enough to find the proper parish where they are from? Perhaps by looking at the popularity of surnames by parish looking at both surnames it would narrow down the possible parishes to look at. It’s certainly something I had not thought of.

The last lecture of the day I attend was “Finding the Only Child’s Niece”. It was presented by Debra Braverman. Debra researches for the next of kin in many court cases. Using common records and research skills she demonstrated what it takes to find the next of kin. This same methodology can be used to find living cousins as well.

Thankful Thursday: NERGC 2013

Posted by on Thursday, 18 April, 2013

Today was my first day at the New England Regional Genealogy Conference. It is being held at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, New Hampshire. The theme for this year’s conference is “Woven in History – The Fabric of New England”. It’s not too late to attend. If you will be in the Manchester. New Hampshire area come on down for the day. A full day of lectures are scheduled for Friday and Saturday.

My day started off with a 3.5 hour drive from my home in the western part of Connecticut to Manchester, New Hampshire. I arrived well before the 10:00am opening session and checked in. The opening session was presented by Sandra MacLean Clunies, CG. It was about the “Millhand Migrations to 19th Century Lawrence and Lowell”. Although, I did not have ancestors or related relatives who worked in mills in Lawrence or Lowell, many of my ancestors worked in mills elsewhere in New England. It provided a glimpse of what life was like moving from a rural farmland into a city and why women of the time were drawn to this type of work.

There were 20 difference lectures offered in the afternoon at various times. I was able to attend three lectures. The first lecture I attended was “Not Just the Facts Ma’am, Give me the Big Picture”. Colleen Fitzpatrick does a wonderful job at analyzing the photographic evidence of a man sitting on a dead horse. Using forensic methodologies, she has narrowed down the date and time the photo may have been taken one of two dates. The lecture shows how paying attention to details within a photograph may lead to surprising discoveries.

After that lecture, I attend one by Laura Murphy DeGrazia, CG. Her talk was about “What is a ‘Reasonably Exhaustive’ Search?”. This is one criteria to adhere to the Genealogical Proof Standard. The case Laura was describing started out with what seemed to be reasonable conclusions based solely on looking at some of the standard genealogical sources, census records and some primary records. However, this did not represent a ‘Reasonably Exhaustive’ Search. After looking at more records we found that a second marriage took place and that the children who at first seemed to belong to one parent actually belonged to a second spouse. It demonstrated that in order to draw correct conclusions a ‘Reasonably Exhaustive’ Search must be undertaken.

The final lecture I attended for the day was “Complex Evidence – What it is? How it Works? Why it matters?”. It was given by F. Warren Bittner. This was the lecture I enjoyed the most today. Warren takes a case study to find the identity and prove the relationship of one individual with her parents. He shows how the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) is applied to a real life case study. The GPS standard consists of the following;

  • Relatively exhaustive research
  • Complete citations for each source
  • Analyze and compare the data
  • Resolve conflicting evidence
  • Write a conclusion based on the evidence

Warren demonstrated that no one source really proved the identity or relationship. However, when about thirty resources were put to the GPS standards and cross referenced to each other you can draw a correct conclusion. This analysis involved looking at primary and secondary sources, direct and indirect evidence as well as original and derivative evidence.

After the lectures were completed for the day, the society fair with a happy hour and later the exhibition hall was opened. There were a lot of genealogical vendors. It was great and I enjoyed walking through and stopping at each booth to see what each vendor had.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s day at the conference.

Wordless Wednesday: Unknown couple before 1900

Posted by on Wednesday, 13 March, 2013

unknown couple before 1900


Society Saturday: High School Theatre Productions

Posted by on Saturday, 16 February, 2013

High school theatre performances happen in almost every high school almost every year and have been going on for ages. Do you know if your ancestors took part in any high school theatre performances? Even if they didn’t they may have gone to see their friends and fellow students perform.

Do you remember your own high school days? What plays or musicals did your high school produce? Were you a part of the cast or crew? Did you end up going to see the high school’s production. I never was a part of the high school productions when I was in school but some of my brothers and sisters were.

My daughter took part in last year’s Oxford Connecticut High School musical production of “Guys and Dolls”. This year the Oxford Connecticut will be putting on the musical of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”. There will be three performances. The first will be on Thursday evening March 14th, the second Friday evening March 15th and the last one will be a Saturday matinee on March 16th. Come check out this high school musical or one in your home town. Tickets are available at


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