Saturday, April 9, 2011: More NERGConference

The morning came fast and I really didn’t sleep that well.  The conference needed help so I opted for collecting breakfast tickets and this means I have to be there by 6:15 am.  My shift will be 6:30 to 9 a.m.

NERGConference 2011

Exhibit Hall

Laura Prescott Friday Luncheon

Paul Milner Friday Banquet

It was fun to stand there and collect the tickets for the Continental Breakfast.  Everyone passed by happy but sleepy.  I gave myself the challenge of holding the tickets in my hand and feeling them grown in bulk as I collected them from the conference goers.  I marvel at the people who work in hotels.  The three young persons who were setting up for the breakfast did so in about 10 minutes. 

The morning went by quickly and it was soon 9 am so I took the remaining tickets down to the Volunteer booth.  Russ my fellow volunteer and taken the bulk of them and wanted to attend a class so I stayed behind that last 40 minutes.  Happily I got about 12 more tickets so I was pleased.

Luncheon was sponsored by the New England Chapter of the APG. I befriended the President at the National Genealogical Conference in Salt Lake City in 2010.  I am his friend on Facebook and I am honored to be included in his large circle of friends.  He is quite the character.  I am certain it will be a success.  His name is Tim Firkowski.  He dresses like Sherlock Holmes!  Tim specializes in Polish research, I believe.  You can learn about his adventures at his website just click on his name. My luncheon was chicken and it was good.

About 3 pm I headed to the Legacy (a genealogy software) booth in the Exhibit Hall and found a large group gathered and crowded around the booth. They were doing the drawing for the Notebook computer prize.  Someone by the name of Debbie was the lucky person.   Hmmmm…..oh well, if it doesn’t have a way to attach a LCD projector than it might just not work for me? Sigh…..!

I opted for the Advanced Deed Class from 4 pm to 6 pm.  This class was presented by Carol E. McCoy, Ph.D.  I did not get a chance to ask her about a “Referee Deed” that I had found regarding Daniel D. Spracklin and his Estate.  At the banquet I had the good fortune to sit across from her so I took the opportunity to ask her what she thought of this type of deed.  She said it was probably a deed to deal with a land conflict.  I have yet to study court documents but I suspected that the heirs were arguing over Daniel’s land.  So this goes on the to-do list for more research and also to send Carol a copy.  She was very interested.  Carol has a website and lives in Brunswick, Maine.  The one thing I came away from this workshop was that I was on the right track with deeds.  They are fun!

Social hour is 6 to 7 pm today again at the Marriott outside the banquet hall on the sixth floor.  The numbers of conference goers was starting to dwindle.  I spotted Beth whom I had met during the conference and went over and said Hello.  We decided to share the evening and sit together at the banquet.  I let her decide and she picked a table very close to the podium. 

The Banquet started at 7 pm an the guest speaker was John Philip Coletta.  John is an amazing lecturer, wonderful and always funny.  I expect to laugh a lot and did. This time it is grilled salmon and it was delicious.  I may have to start bringing my own Tartar Sauce which is a food group.  Somehow I managed to eat the very well prepared salmon. 

Well I am exhausted but happy.  It was a great conference.  Congratulations to the New England Regional Genealogical Conference Consortium.  From what I understand they will be in Manchester, New Hampshire in 2013.  They do this conference about every two years.  The total count was 820 people – a record – and only about 85 people beyond Hartford. 

Time to go back to the room and start packing up and getting ready for the next phase of the my trip in New England.  I am heading east on Sunday to Sturbridge and my destination is the Brookfields.  The next several days are going to be the most interesting and exciting of the trip. 

Time for bed!


Friday, April 8, 2011: Happy Birthday to Me and More NERGC

Today is my birthday and what a wonderful way to celebrate by attending a genealogical conference!

Things start early today with Continental Breakfast which was in the registration packet as an extra item.  I opted for that instead of room service.  It was tasty and the coffee was good.

The lectures started at 8:30 am and go to noon then break and resume in the afternoon. This conference is split between the Sheraton where most of the lectures are held and the Marriott where the luncheons and banquets will be hosted?  So we are moving between the Sheraton and Marriott and it was tricky using the sky bridge so I opted out and just move from the lobby of the Sheraton to the lobby of the Marriott. 

NOTE:  For information about this conference just click on the NERGC logo on the upper right of my blog and it will take you to the website.

My first lecture was Irish Emigrants to North America etc. by Paul Milner.  I have attended other lectures by Mr. Milner in the past.  He specializes in British research and I liked his one on Scottish immigration. “Discovering Old-World Origins with U.S. Records,” by David Oiumette, CG.  This talk was a good review of all the records you need to seek out and he had some interesting comments. 

There was a short break where I wandered the Exhibit Hall for awhile and then headed to the luncheon in the Marriott. The luncheon was sponsored by the Genealogical Society of Vermont.   The luncheon was being held on the 6th floor of the Marriott in the Grand Ballroom.  The only difficulty was getting down the elevator after a big gathering. 

Classes resumes at 3:15 pm and go to 5:45 pm and I opted for “Advanced Probate,” by Michael Leclerc of the NEHGS. Michael is informative and funny. The message is that you really need to understand the law at the time of your ancestor.  I did not realize it but I had talked with the next individual at a past FGS (Federation of Genealogical Societies) about cemeteries and tombstones until she was almost done.  “Iconography of New England Gravestones,” by Donna Walcovy, Ph.D.  I need to get back to her about cleaning a gravestone properly.  I enjoyed this lecture because I will be going into a lot of cemeteries on this trip and this should help me to understand a little of what I am viewing.  Last lecture for today. “Western Massachusetts Migration” again by Michael LeClerc.  Several of my lectures have covered the development of western Massachusetts because I wanted to understand it more in regards to why Philip Goss (IV) who went there.  Western Massachusetts is what is anything west of Worcester County. 

Social Hour is 6:00 to 7 pm followed by the banquet again at the Marriott.

The Banquet was at 7 pm and it was sponsored by the New England Historic Genealogical Society.  Paul Milner was to be the featured speaker.  I ordered the steak dinner and was thinking it would be a great way to celebrate my birthday but it was not that good.  It was still good company and a excellent day.  Facebook is a kick.  I had about six HAPPY Birthday wishes. 

Time to get ready to for bed and the next day.

Thursday, April 7, 2011: The Opening of the NERGC!

Today it was time to attend the opening ceremonies of the New England Regional Genealogical Conference.

My breakfast was late, cold, the wrong receipt and no coffee.  I was not too happy.  The Sheraton and I are not getting along – again.

The opening address was to start at 10 am.  The opening speech can be good or bad at a conference you never know. 

Registration Booths

Opening Comments – NERGC April 2011

Queries and Messages

NERGC – Society Fair

Josh Taylor of the NEHGS did a wonderful job.  I enjoyed his opening lecture very much.  It covered the history of genealogy since 1890 and went through the years and described a little about how it was done back then in different time periods, then he moved into the current methods and then into the future of genealogy describing some of the technology he foresaw.  I wonder if he will write and article on this topic?  I’d read it again! 

The lecture sessions officially began at 12:15 p.m.  My first lecture was On the Path to the Right Courthouse etc….by Edwin Strickland.  He really got detailed about the movement of state boundaries and county boundaries.  The 2nd Lecture was Genealogy and the Law by Helen A. Shaw CG, MA.  The message was read the laws of the time period of your ancestor to be able to understand the rules at that time. 3rd lecture and last of the day Connecticut Town Meeting Records during the American Revolution by Jolene Mullen.  She really had dug into these records.  There were 88 towns at the time of the Revolution in Connecticut of which 77 had town records.  Barkhamsted, Lyme’s town records had been stolen.  Waterbury’s cannot be found at this time and she said she really tried to search them out.  She gave examples, a list of the different jobs of the town, abbreviations and what they meant.  It was a study in the way the town functioned.  Very good.

My friend Barbara was going to come and had been planning for 4 years to do so.  We had shared a room  FGS (Federation of Genealogical Societies) in Philadelphia a few years ago and some of her family live near me. We had fun!  I was a bit disappointed at first but I am looking forward to having the room to myself and spreading out. Apparently critical family business had prevented her from participating. 

I ran into Tim Firkowski, President of the New England Chapter of the APG. We talked about blogs till I had to head out. Here is their link:  I picked up one of their business brochures and it is really nice.  Has two parts, the second part having the names of the chapter members.  Here is the link to the National APG  Click on Chapters and you will find them there as well as the Puget Sound Chapter of APG  I was at the NERGC when it was in Hartford a few years back and there was no APG presence there.  I am happy to see a booth here sponsored by the New England Chapter.  They are sponsoring the luncheon on Saturday as well.  Good Job!

The NERGC Blog had a appeal out on it before the conference asking for all descendants of the Deacon Samuel Chapin to meet at the statue in Springfield at 4:30 p.m. for a photo op.  I thought it was a great idea and quickly responded. 

The time had come to walk to the statue and since I knew where it was so that was easy.  The day was beautiful, sunny and pleasant.  I arrived a little before 4:30 pm and waited impatiently.  A little while later two people came up State Street and walked over.  It was Heather Rojo and her husband.  So it was just the two of us who made it but that was still a good thing.

We chatted about the history of the statue and began to walk back to the hotels.  Along the way I discovered that Heather is a blogger as well.  I have put her blog link over on the right with the other blogs – Nutfield Genealogy.  We both descend from Catherine Chapin so that was good thing.  See Heather’s comment on my last post. 
Dinner was at the Sports Bar in the Sheraton, a bad idea.  They were flying around and didn’t have enough help.  I am not unhappy with the employees, they are trying, but management…hmmm…?????
5:15 pm is the Society Fair which features various family, genealogical and historical societies in the area.  I cruised up and down chatting with the different members.  The Exhibit Hall was opened at 6 pm and it was like a sea of people moved from the outer area and all was deserted in the outer area. The Exhibit hall was hummming with activity.

The Connecticut Historical Society had a booth and a woman with the name Elizabeth was standing there and I realized she was the person who had been so helpful when I had visited them back in 2007.  She helped with the Jacobus collection.  They have his genealogical correspondence and I was interested in the Goss file.  I have a good 15+ letters from that file in which Paul H. Goss corresponded with Donald Lines Jacobus about the family line from about 1937 to 1940.  According to Elizabeth, he Jacobus, rarely made mistakes.  He is consider the father of modern genealogy.  There is a Jacobus Award given out at the American Society of Genealogists.  Along the top of their websites are selections and over on the very right side is the Jacobus Award.  I found a few names I recognized. 

The Connecticut Gravestone Association is where I purchased two books:
1.  The Original Proprietors, Society of the Descendants of the Founders of Hartford, Inc. after 1986?
2.  By Their Markers Ye Shall Know Them A Chronicle of the History and Restorations of Hartford’s Ancient Burying Ground, William Hosley and Shepherd M. Holcombe, Sr., 1994.
I am of course, up to something but when I get to it later in the trip I will explain. HA!
There were Special Interest Groups from 7:30 to 9 pm and I was interested in the one on Scottish Research or the one on Connecticut Research but by the time I had negotiated the Exhibit Hall I decided it was time to retire to my room.  Tomorrow Friday was going to be a big day!
Check email, a few chores and then time for bed!