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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sunday Day 3 at Jamboree

Sunday, I was fortunate to be able to obtain a last minute ticket to the NEGHS Breakfast with Rhonda McClure. Rhonda gave a delightful and humorous presentation on one of her ancestors who had almost the same surname as my son's history teacher. We all have those mischievous black sheep ancestors, I guess its part of human nature. During the break, I chatted with a dear friend from the Chula Vista Genealogical Society as she relayed a story of her sister who had Alzheimer's. She taught me that you need to keep your sense of humor to keep from becoming too frustrated. I attended Thomas McEntee's Got Illinois Ancestors? A Guide to Prairie State Genealogy Thomas had alot of information and during the session I recognized a fellow NSDGS member who had Chicago ancestors. Several resources I have previously used but several sites and tips were new to me. Thomas was had a good mix and balance of websites and tips. Sunday I left a little early because I did not want to be stuffed in the shuttle with a ton of tired genealogists or have to walk to the train station. One of my friends told me I won a prize but I don't know what it was. Maybe they drew another ticket instead. I came home with a nice collection of reference books. I purchased the NEHGS guide to New England Research which was newly revised. I found some wonderful copies of a Menonite Family History magazine and Ohio genealogy magazine which gave insight to Ohio in the Civil War. I am still working on the Joel Ward family from Ashland Ohio.

Jamboree Day 2 Saturday June 9

Saturday at Jamboree was very busy and crowded. One of the two morning sessions I attended was Daniel Horowitz: Genealogical Resources in Latin America. Some of my research requests have been for Latin America. The first one I received was from Mexico and I quickly learned where the record repositories were located. Daniel's session included websites for almost every country in Latin America. Daniel had the most web resources from his home country of Argentina but also a good website selection for Latin America. The next session was D. Josh Taylor: A Broader Context: Using JSTOR for Family History. I was amazed at this resource which is not used much by Genealogists. Although JSTOR is mostly available at Universities it may be possible to obtain a University library card and access JSTOR from home. I was excited about this resource and plan to see where it is offered at a University near my home. I love to read historical peer reviewed journals and which is probably due to the years I spent researching at San Diego State University as a student. The last session of the morning was Michael John Neill's: Preparing for Mother's Death. McNeill explained where to search for documents relating to death. Several items he discussed were familiar to me yet he gave other useful tips. After lunch I went to George Morgan's Timelining Your Ancestor George covered some areas of timelines that I currently use but true to his insight, some of his suggestions were along the lines of methodology for genealogy. Another favorite on Saturday afternoon was Lisa Louise Cooke's 10 Ways to Add Volume to Your Family History with Video. Cooke described how to add video and photos to Google Maps, using You Tube for Genealogy and ways to create Genealogy video for You Tube or digital venues. She introduced us to a free screen capture online tool that I will try to learn and implement. I already know how to use Windows Movie Maker and what I like about it is the ability to save it onto a DVD player format for TV. I have used Windows Movie Maker for publicity for non profit events and it is really easy to use. Another video program that is free is Picasa but it does not have as much functionality as Windows Movie Maker. The last two events of the busy day were the Association for Professional Genealogists Southern California Chapter and a meeting of current and Alumni of the Professional Genealogy Study Groups. I finished the ProGen Study group in December and wanted to encourage those who are still working to complete the 19 month commitment.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Jamboree Day 1 Friday June 8, 2012

Jamboree Friday June 8 The first session I attended was Carrie Cook's: Oral History, Theater of the Mind. Carrie was a delightful speaker with insight on oral history. Her personal examples of oral history techniques were humorous as well as easy to implement. I realized that I needed to use more open ended questions while interviewing and its generally a good idea not to use leading questions unless someone continually strays off topic. Carrie's visuals were in tune with the theme of Jamboree for this year "Lights, Camera, Ancestors". The second session was Steve Luxenberg's Lost in the Unknown: The Delicacy of Probing Family Secrets. My Jewish friend told me about Steve and that he spoke at the Jewish Genealogical Society of San Diego. She spoke highly of him. I could really tell that he was an investigative journalist by the way he spoke. I never realized how damaging it can be for a family to keep those family secrets. We all have "skeletons in closet" to some extent. In my family, my mother's family was supportive and nurturing during family crisis and did not tend to hide things. My grandparents on my mother's side were both journalists. I did learn from my mom that obsession with a journalism job can be damaging to a family as well and that my grandfather was more nurturing than my grandmother. This was not really a secret, just a perception of my mother's. My dad's family was not as close. Although, I find it interesting that as people move toward their later years reconnecting with family becomes more important to them. Such was the case with my father's family. The hallways at the hotel for some of the sessions were so packed it was almost scary to maneuver them. I opted out of a session I really wanted to attend: Lisa Alzo's Show Dont Tell: Creating Interactive Family Histories. I guess I was intimidated by the crush of humanity in the hallway. I went to gather books and resources from the exhibit hall for the last session on Friday. Several bloggers and computer users were commenting that the Internet was spotty and slow so I did not attempt to connect while I was at the conference. I chose to spend the time talking with friends and choosing my sessions for Saturday. Saturday's Jamboree sessions will be in a separate post.

Jamboree Weekend Train and Hotel

I took the train to Jamboree. The hardest part was lugging the post Jamboree books up the stairs on the train. Fortunately, I have several friends in the San Diego Genealogical Society and Chula Vista Genealogical Society who helped out. On the way up to the conference I sat with my friend from the North San Diego Genealogical Society and we had a nice time talking about genealogy, travel and our families. Due to the cost of gas where I live I seriously do not think that driving would have been cheaper and parking spots at Jamboree are very limited. Although I had to wait a while and take some luggage to my first classes, my room at the Airport Marriott in Burbank was very nice. I had an allergy free and feather free suite all to myself. The suite was a generous size and there was a little fridge hiding among the cabinets. It was refreshing to have cold bottled water to drink. Some of my genealogy friends were upset that they did not get a room at the hotel and were bumped to another hotel without notice and some had to pay more for parking than was agreed upon for Jamboree. Looking back, I probably did not bring enough snacks and could have used a larger suitcase but that would have made it heavier and more of a struggle with the narrow train stairway. The food at the Daily Grill was pricey but of top quality. I figured that a chicken quesadilla appetizer was more than I could eat for dinner and it was not so painful for the pocketbook. Breakfast at the Daily Grill was Oatmeal, orange juice and fruit. The oatmeal bowl was so large I could not eat all of that meal either. My next post will discuss the Jamboree Sessions I attended for my third Jamboree.