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!