Saturday, July 7, 2012

Northern California Family History Expo Day 1

I'm tired, but it is the good kind of tired (the kind you get from a day of fun and learning).  Where to begin?

Well, I arrived a little after 1pm at the Crowne Plaza in Sacramento.  I quickly got registered and then wandered a bit before the keynote speech began at two.  Our keynote speaker was Dean McLeod who provided the perfect start to all the fun ahead.

After the keynote address ended, I made a bee line for the Family Roots Publishing booth.  I wanted to see if they had some titles I was specifically looking for and if so, I wanted to snap them up before they were gone.  Luckily, they had a wonderful selection and were very friendly and helpful when it came to a book I had wanted but they didn't have.  I ended up getting three titles I had been wanting for awhile (and I might get more tomorrow if funds permit): Genealogical Proof Standard - Building a Solid Case by Chrstine Rose, Genealogy As Pastime and Profession by Donald Lines Jacobus and The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy by Val D. Greenwood.

After my book haul, I wandered a little bit, then chatted with Sheri of The Educated Genealogist for a few minutes and also met Kim of Le Maison Duchamp.  Then it was time for my first class: How to Document your "Common Man" Ancestors in British Land Records by Arlene Eakle.  As with all the Arlene Eakle classes I've gone to, I left feeling inspired and excited to begin a whole new (to me) area of genealogy.  This class concerned British land records and the fact that even if your ancestor was a "common man" you can still find information about him in these records.  I thought it was especially interesting to learn that when the rent was raised, many left to come to America, Canada, etc. where they would purchase their own land.  I also have to chuckle because we learned that American Dream was a horse, a cow, a home and land to farm I remembered that I have a family picture that depicts this "American Dream" to the letter.

My next class also concerned land records.  It was Deeds and Land Records by Billy Dubois Edgington.  More than anything, this class was a good refresher as I had not realized how much I had forgotten.  I also learned a lot, especially terminology and jargon that go along with these records.  One thing I was never clear on before this class was "quitclaim."  Now, I'm selling the Golden Gate bridge, who wants to buy it???

Following a dinner break, my next class was another of Arlene Eakle's, British Isles Migration Patterns to America: Documenting "Original" Settlers to New England, New Netherlands, and The South.  I think of all the classes, this one was my favorite.  I learned about many new books as well as some of the reasons different groups chose to migrate (for example, the Scottish were usually merchants and came for the money while the Scots-Irish came for the land).

After this class, I visited some more exhibits before heading in for my final session of the day, Angela Kraft's Beyond Names and Dates: Building Your Ancestor’s Profile.  It was a good class to end the day on: laid-back and fun.  It was mainly a refresher to me, but I think it would be quite valuable for a beginner to genealogy.  One thing I really liked about this session was the long Q&A period which seemed lacking in the other sessions.  We were a pretty chatty group and the presenter was more than happy to answer questions and keep the flow of conversation going among us.

With sessions done for the day, I ended up at the doTerra booth talking Italian genealogy with the folks there.  I learned about several new websites here and got to see pictures of a variety of Italian records.  I also got some ideas on where the go with my brick-wall Italian ancestors.

All in all, I had a wonderful day.  I'm torn about tomorrow's schedule though, because I'd like to attend all the sessions - if only I could!  Maybe after I sleep on it, the decisions will be clearer (though I doubt it!).  I can't wait until day 2!

Disclosure:  I am a Blogger of Honor for the event, see here to learn what this entails.  I have no affiliation with any person or company linked to or mentioned in this post.  Beyond what I received from Family History Expos, Inc. I received no further remuneration of any kind from anyone for writing this post.

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