|BCG Lectures 2016
Michelle Taggart and Michelle Goodrum
For months now I’ve been on hiatus from blogging due to some other things that needed my attention, but there is nothing like a genealogy conference, an institute or really any type of genealogy activity to refuel the fire!
That’s what I really needed and I got it this last Friday when I was able to attend the BCG* Lectures held in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Of course the big draw was the speakers. Any opportunity to hear genealogists such as Elizabeth Shown Mills, Judy Russell and Pamela Boyer Sayre is worth the effort in my book, but being able to hear them absolutely free of charge was an extra bonus!
Pamela Boyer Sayre’s topic was “Enough is Enough, or Is It?” She really hit the nail on the head when she talked about how many love the hunt and gather game, collecting lots of names and documents without taking the time to carefully analyze what they have. It is so easy to fall into this trap, especially when researching someone with an unusual name or when we first begin to research. She took time to share the steps she goes through in preparing to research and shared how much a carefully thought out research plan can help. I realized I need to slow it down sometimes and spend a little more time in the preparation phase of research.
Elizabeth Shown Mills blew our socks off as she shared a current genealogy roadblock she hit and the progress she has made using a combination of the FAN club (friends, associates and neighbors), GPS (Genealogical Proof Standard) and DNA in her lecture entitled “FAN + GPS + DNA: The Problem-Solver’s Great Trifecta.” She carefully outlined the problem at hand, which centered on finding women in a totally burned county, a problem many of us would likely run from. I loved watching how she was able to take a complex problem and using the “trifecta” was able to resolve a seemingly impossible task. I understand she gives more detail in her article in the current issue of NGS and I absolutely kicked myself for recently letting that subscription lapse. Yes, I’ve since repented and renewed my subscription. It’s worth every penny.
In her lecture, “Black Sheep Ancestors and Their Records,” Ann Staley shared the many records created for those ancestors who fall into the category of “black sheep.” I am not sure who was more surprised—the people sitting next to me who realized I had researched my ancestors in many if not most of the records mentioned, or me to realize that they hadn’t. Surely others have colorful ancestors as well! Ann not only shared the type of records to consider, but told us about many websites that help document those ancestors.
Jeanne Bloom talked about “Bringing Life to Our Ancestors: Manuscript Collections.” I have to confess that although I’ve been to similar lectures in the past, this is a weak spot for me. I KNOW I need to utilize these collections more, but to do so feels a little like trying to find a needle in a haystack to me. But Jeanne made it seem do-able and provided many useful suggestions and ways to access manuscript collections.
Michael S. Ramage talked about “Adoption for the Forensic Genealogist.” I found his lecture fascinating as he shared many ways to find information on adoptees. I was really surprised to learn about some of the lesser known records available and to realize how much information can be found by digging in the right places. Of course, depending on time and place, there are lots of records that can not be accessed, but there is more available than I realized. I really enjoyed his lecture.
Of course Judy Russell was, well Judy, which means she is entertaining and funny while educating. I take advantage of any opportunity to listen to Judy because I always learn something and this time was no exception. Through her topic, “When Worlds Collide: Resolving Conflicts in Genealogical Records,” she shared fascinating case studies demonstrating ways to resolve the conflicting evidence we come across. I came away with new ideas for tackling my brick walls.
If you were not able to attend the event, no worries because it is available to watch for free on Legacy Family Tree Webinars until October 17th and then after that, it will continue to be available to those with an annual or monthly webinar membership. The lectures were so good I intend to watch them again even though I was able to attend.
|BCG Lectures 2016
Michelle Taggart and Linda Carver
As my friend Linda Carver and I were leaving at the end of the day, we both commented that it was really a great day. Not only were we able to learn from some of the best in the industry, we were able to associate with other genies! Genealogy can be a bit isolating at times as I often find myself with my nose in the books, on the computer or sitting in the dark, viewing microfilm. But opportunities such as this provide the opportunity to get out and be among others who have the same interests and I look forward to them so much.
For these reasons, I attend anything I can relating to genealogy, knowing that I will come away not only with a deeper understanding of the principles I need to become a better researcher, but also happier for having spent time with my genea-friends.
Coming up, I have the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy on my calendar for January 2017 and Rootstech 2017 on my calendar for February. Will you be there?
* BCG is The Board for Certification of Genealogist
Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2016, All rights reserved
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