21 September 2008

14,300 Years Ago!

I read an article today that added a whole new range of time to our genealogical research. Archaeologists and anthropologists have pinpointed proof that humans were on the North American Continent earlier than the previous marker of Clovis, 10,000 years ago. That is, the oldest proof they now have shows that it was 14,300 years ago. DNA research on coprolites determined this. Ouch, how many more generations does that add for family historians, especially those with American Indian ancestors? Who will write the first genealogy how-to guide on this? What genealogy software program will handle this? It's just like we are taught -- you are never finished with the family history research.

Coprolites? You are just going to have to look that up for yourself. I want to see the family history and the source citation for this.

Minnesota Genealogy

This was a great weekend. The Star of the North Genealogy Conference took place at the Minnesota History Center, which proved itself as a welcoming host. The conference was the annual seminar of the Minnesota Genealogical Society. Christine Rose, CG, was the main event on Saturday and I was privileged to be the main speaker on Friday. As always, attending a MGS event was like old home week as friendships were renewed. It was great to see some new faces, too.

At the Friday evening banquet, author and Professor of History, Annette Atkins, PhD, was the speaker. She began by thanking the genealogists for teaching historians like her about research. There was an audible murmur throughout the audience as this sunk in. Thanks, Annette, for recognizing the skills and knowledge of genealogists. In turn, we have learned much from the historians! This almost sounds like "working together for the common good."

Genealogical societies are always looking for volunteers to help run meetings, work in libraries, write articles, publicize the society and events, recruit other volunteers, teach classes and other tasks. One of the best things I ever did was join MGS back in 1982 and place a check mark next to the box that asked if I wanted to volunteer. I served six year on the MGS board of directors and many other years doing assorted volunteer tasks. MGS awarded certificates to an amazing array of volunteers at the banquet. What spirit among them and also of the other award winners from around the state.

I was presented the Minnesota Genealogy Ambassador Award for "Representing Minnesota Genealogy in the Region and Nation and Bringing Honor to Minnesota Genealogy." I told people that being a promoter of MGS, MHS, and Minnesota in general is an easy task. And selfishly, I am fortunate to have worked along side other volunteers who are now part of my greater family.

14 September 2008

The Oldest Genealogical Society in Florida

The Florida Genealogical Society (Tampa) celebrated its 50th anniversary this past weekend. I was honored to be the speaker on Friday night at the banquet and for the seminar on Saturday. I met many nice people and my hosts George Morgan and Drew Smith treated me royally.

I thought I would mention this society so that snow birds from the U.S. and Canada remember that there are many genealogical societies in Florida and Arizona with monthly meetings and seminars during the time you escape the snows in the northern climes. If you winter in other warmer states, you will find groups there. Some sponsor trips to research places in their areas. This would be a good way to keep involved in genealogy during your time away from your main home. You might even be lucky enough to find some kind of index, book, or database that includes distant relatives or is a book that you didn't find in your home area libraries.

To find such societies look at the FGS Society Hall, Rootsweb.com, or type into your favorite search engine, the name of the county or city where you will be wintering along with other terms such as genealogy, genealogical, and society. There are are also many online listings of genealogical events.

10 September 2008

2009 Conference of the Federation of Genealogical Societies

The Federation of Genealogical Societies and the Arkansas Genealogical Society invite you to the 2009 Conference. The conference takes place next September 2-5, 2009 in Little Rock, Arkansas. Check the FGS Website www.fgsconference.org> for details later this fall.

Want to be up-to-date on the news, lectures, exhibit hall, and people connected to the 2009 FGS/AGS Conference? It’s easy! The conference blog debuted this past weekend. We’ll post lots of breaking news, more details on the lectures, speakers, vendors, special offers, conference events, shopping, getting to hotels and the convention center, and the beautiful area around the conference location. This conference will have some special elements never done before at a FGS conference.

Today's posting was about hotel reservations. I have driven to Little Rock from Minnesota several times -- it is a nice drive. You might consider a few days in Branson before or after the conference --but be sure to save some days for traveling in Arkansas. The "Natural State" is quite beautiful.

Bookmark <www.FGSConferenceBlog.org> and visit us often as it will be updated frequently.

08 September 2008

Star of the North Genealogy Conference

Two nationally renowned genealogists will headline the Star of the North Genealogy Conference, September 19-20, at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul.

Minnesota professional genealogist Paula Stuart-Warren will teach a class on finding ancestral places of origin, as well as lecture on tactics for researching Midwestern ancestors with New England roots and easy ways to begin writing a family history. Stuart-Warren is a Certified Genealogist and a former Officer of the Association of Professional Genealogists.

Christine Rose, also a Certified Genealogist, will offer four lectures covering inheritance records, military records, ways to avoid erroneous conclusions and tips for solving complex genealogical problems in 25 hours or less. Rose has written many genealogical research guide books and has been an instructor at the Institute for Genealogical and Historical Research at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama.

“This is a premier family history learning opportunity for Upper Midwest genealogists,” said Robin Panlener, President of the Minnesota Genealogical Society, sponsor of the event. “We invite family history researchers from Minnesota and neighboring states to experience the unsurpassed family history resources of the Minnesota History Center in Minnesota’s Sesquicentennial Year.”

Genealogists and family historians of all experience levels will be able to choose from 12 seminar offerings. Joe Amato, professor emeritus of history and rural studies at Southwest State University and Brigid Shields, Minnesota Historical Society reference librarian will give tips of telling family history stories. Amato is author of Jacob’s Well: a Case for Rethinking Family History.

Other classes will feature three other Certified Genealogists from Minnesota. Tom Rice will teach a class on using the internet to find unusual printed sources. Darlene Joyce will lecture on best practices for family history researchers, and J. H. Fonkert will present an illustrated talk on Midwest historical geography for genealogists.

The Friday evening program includes Minnesota Genealogical Society’s annual awards banquet. Dr. Annette Atkins, author of the Sesquicentennial retrospective, Creating Minnesota: a History from the Inside Out, is the featured speaker for the banquet. Atkins is Professor of History at St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict.

Atkins, Amato and Rose will sign copies of their books at a 6 p.m. Friday reception preceding the banquet.

MGS will present its annual Service and Achievement Awards at the banquet.