Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Road Trip to Springfield, MA: My Recap of the New England Regional Genealogical Consortium

This past week I attended the New England Regional Genealogical Consortium (http://www.nergc.org/) in Springfield, MA. It was my first solo road trip to Massachusetts and was overall a great conference.

Here are some highlights from each day:

Wednesday (Pre-Conference Day)
Springfield Genealogical Bus Tour - we visited the Forbes Library to see the presidential Calvin Coolidge collection, lunch at the new Irish Cultural Center, a visit to the Springfield Armory and then a quick drive by the Springfield cemetery. Very fun tour - only wish we had more time to see more.

NextGen Meetup - we had a happy hour meet and greet with a few members and discussed genealogy.

MOSH Reception - meet and greet reception at the Lyman & Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History and Archives. There was also a tour of the local archives and library held at the museum.


Opening session with Mary Tedesco. She discussed how genealogy research has evolved over time from the earliest genealogical society to the GEDCOM file development.

Luncheon with speaker Thomas MacEntee - he discussed how we have more privacy today than our ancestors, where so many details were captured in newspapers

Death Records as a Starting Point by F. Warren Bittner - open discussion on different questions to ask when reviewing a very small death notice record

Genealogy Do-Over: A Year of Learning from Past Mistakes by Thomas MacEntee - this course discusses how to conduct a genealogy do-over and do a "reset" on your research

The Cemetery: A Valuable Resource for Genealogists by Brenda Sullivan (The Gravestone Girls) - this course discussed the different symbols used on headstones that tell more about an ancestors life (occupation, social memberships, etc).


Jewish Names and Eastern European Locations: Who the Heck is Ida Gerskill by Meredith Hoffman - discussed how to search for records using different Yiddish variations and Soundex techniques

Locating Famine Immigrants in Griffith's Valuation by Donna Moughty - excellent course on how to read Griffith's Valuation records

Mapping Irish Locations Online by Pamela Guye Holland - discussed the different locations and jurisdictions of Ireland and how to review each of the maps available.

Jumping the Pond: Finding the Origins of Your Irish Ancestor by Donna Moughty - discussed how to use records in the U.S. to get back to Ireland

Ukrainian Genealogy by Michelle Chubenko - this course had a lot of great information for conducting Eastern European research

Banquet with speaker Kenyatta Berry - she discussed some favorite moments behind the scenes of Genealogy Road Show


NYC Municipal Archives: Undiscovered Collections & Vital Records - gave an overview of the types of records available at the NYC Municipal Archives with some samples from the NYG&B book on the NYC Municipal Archives

Using Online Resources to Find and Analyze the Law - this was an interesting approach that I haven't seen in other conferences about the different legal resources available to look at cases that involve your ancestors

Luncheon with speaker Jane Wilcox - she shared stories from her female ancestors and the types of artifacts left behind that tell more of their stories

Understanding Probate and Deed Records in New England by David Allan Lambert - a great overview of the different types of probate and land records available with most collections available at the New England Historical Genealogical Society

Family Clusters and Chain Migrations: Keys to Tracing Immigrant Ancestors by Shellee A. Morehead - discussed how to trace entire clusters of families, friends, neighbors that may come from the same area of Europe

Banquet with  speaker Thomas MacEntee - he discussed some tips on how to work with other genealogists and archivists

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