The Southern California Genealogical Societies Annual Jamboree has now ended. This was my first time attending Jamboree, and I must say it was a blast!!
I have never met so many so many people blogging about genealogy all at the same time and place. I am not sure exactly how many GeneaBloggers we had there, but there were a lot! I was able to see many who I had already met at previous conferences, and I met a lot who I have seen and follow their blogs, but never met in person.
Friday when I first arrived I met up with Amy Coffin of the We Tree Blog, Holly Hansen of Family History Expos, and Thomas MacEntee of GeneaBloggers. They were sitting near the hotel lobby all on their laptops just typing away. I had met all three of them for the first time at the Mesa Family History Expo in January 2010.
There wasn't an opening keynote speaker like they usually have at all the other conferences I have been to, so that was a little different but nothing heart-breaking. After registration I walked around the exhibit hall to see what kind of new booths were available that I haven't seen at any other conferences. Some of my other blog posts go into a little more about the exhibit hall.
The first class I attended was Lisa Louise Cooke's titled "What You Must Know To Save Your Research From Destruction". Without reading the syllabus to see exactly what this class was about I assumed it was going to have ideas and ways to make your genealogy archival safe from disaster and aging. Rather, Lisa talked about the importance of coming up with a Genealogy Materials Directive and making donations with a Deed of Gift. You can download Lisa's form from Genealogy Gems. Click on the link on the left hand side that says Directive for OGS
That evening a group of GeneaBloggers who didn't attend the Friday Night Banquet, My Genealogy Now and Then, featuring Chris Haley, got together and went to a really good Greek restaurant across the street from the hotel and had a great time visiting and getting to know each other better.
At dinner I met Gini Webb from Ginisology and her husband Steve. I sat by them at dinner and we got to know each other better. Gini and I have know each other for a little while because of our two blogs, but had never met in person until now, so it was really great to finally meet her and become good friends. I also sat next to Steve Danko from Steve's Genealogy Blog whom I had never met until then. Cheryl Palmer from Heritage Happens who is another great friend I finally met was sitting next to him. Other bloggers who joined us were Becky Wiseman from Kinexxions, Susan Kitchens from Family Oral History, Randy Seaver and his wife Linda from Genea-Musings, Susi Pentico from Susi's Chatty Performances, and a couple others who I did not get a chance to meet and visit with.
After dinner we went back to the hotel lobby and visited with one another as well as a few other bloggers. Tami Glatz from Relatively Curious, Kathryn Doyle from California Ancestors, and the famous footnoteMaven. I have been looking forward to seeing footnoteMaven for quite some time. She is such a fun and sweet lady! It will be a lot of fun talking to her and all the others who I have now finally met in person. Late that night as we were all sitting near the lobby, Elyse Doerflinger from Elyse's Genealogy Blog showed up and brought a lot of life to the party! Elyse was not able to attend the conference on Friday because she was at her graduation!! Congrats Elyse!
Saturday morning started off with a great breakfast at the restaurant there in the hotel with Gini and Steve, Cheryl, Elyse, and I. There we were able to again visit and have more fun.
After breakfast, Gini, Steve, Cheryl, and I went to the Blogger's Summit Part 1 where Thomas MacEntee, Stephen Danko, Elyse Doerflinger, and Randy Seaver were on the panel of bloggers discussing what a blog is for those who were not familiar with them, how to set one up, how to make posts, and most importantly what the benefits of having a genealogy blog are.
Right after Part 1 and before Part 2, all of the GeneaBloggers who were around got together for a big group photo. It was pretty crazy trying to get everyone in the picture because there were probably a dozen cameras and as soon as we would take one picture another blogger would walk in and join us so then another picture had to be taken. Sorry if my photo (provided by Gini Webb) does not have you in it!
At one o'clock on Saturday Lisa Louise Cooke had a live recording of the Genealogy Gems Podcast. It was a lot of fun being able to to see the recording of that. Her guests on the show were Suzanne Adams of Ancestry.com, the Photo Detective Maureen Taylor, and Chris Haley.
Suzanne Adams talked about some of the process she went through doing research for Who Do You Think You Are. Can you imagine what it would have been like to help with the research for those celebrities? That would be such a great opportunity to help with that.
Maureen Taylor talked about her new book called The Last Muster: Images of the Revolutionary War Generation. This book is really neat! I was able to purchase a copy of the book at Jamboree and have started reading through the amazing stories of the people who lived during the Revolutionary War. Each story includes a photograph of the person. The book will be available later this month. You can pre-order a copy through Amazon.com
Chris Haley was her last guest on the episode. Chris is the nephew of Alex Haley who is the author of the book Roots. Chris is a genealogist himself as well as a perfumer. During the podcast Lisa asked him if he would sing a song for the audience.
On Sunday morning Gini, Cheryl, and I went to Geoff Rasmussen's class titles "Timelines and Chronologies: Secrects of Genealogical Success". I have attended a couple of Geoff's classes at previous conferences, but none of them have been about the Legacy Software. I had never even seen Legacy in action until this class. I must say, I found it to be a very cool software. There are many great features I liked about it that aren't found in other genealogy softwares. The main purpose of his class of course was to demo and emphasize the importance in timelines in your research. Most of the time we look at Family Group Records and Pedigree Charts, but those won't give us information as to where other important events took place to tell us where to look for records. I thought it was pretty cool. I am going to have to play around with Legacy and check out it's other features.
Geoff also did a demo on two other softwares called AniMap and Centenia. Both programs I had never heard of but they are a must for every genealogist! Have you ever had an experience where you were looking for a record in a specific county during a certain time frame? Then, after searching for what seems like forever you find out that at the time record was created is wasn't the same county or even state that it is today? You didn't even know the boundaries had changed? AniMap and Centenia can help you figure out boundaries of the places you search for. I will be posting a later blog entry about AniMap in more detail after I play with it for a while.
People started to filter out throughout the day on Sunday as they were heading home. Jamboree was such a fun conference and it was great to be able to meet all of the GeneaBloggers who I had not met before and to be able to see all the friends who I have met at other conferences. If you have never been to Jamboree, I highly recommend it for next year. I will definitely be there!!
One of my favorite parts about doing genealogy is finding photographs of my ancestors and the places they lived. Once I find a photo of an ancestor it makes their research more personal. I can actually picture what the person looked like and get a little idea of what kind of person they were.
During Lisa Louise Cooke's live recording of the Genealogy Gems Podcast she interviewed Maureen Taylor, The Photo Detective. Maureen talked about her new book The Last Muster: Images of the Revolutionary War Generation. The book contains images she collected of people who lived during the Revolutionary War period along with stories of their lives durin that period.
I am excited to read this book because I have always been interested in learning more about the various wars and the people who served. After I finish the book I'll have to give a review. The book is not yet available for sale but you can pre-order it on Amazon right now. For those here at Jamboree, you are lucky enough to actually buy the book here at the conference. The book is for sale at the NEHGS booth, is if you're lucky Maureen will even sign the book for you. She is at the Family Tree Magazine booth.
To pre-order the book click the link below:
Recently I finished the book "Who Do You Think You Are" by Megan Smolenyak.
At first, many people thought the book was just a text version of the TV show that was on NBC this past spring, but in fact, it is a beginners guide to genealogy.
Even though the book is only about 200 pages, I was very surprised at the amount of detail that was included. Writing a "how to" book on genealogy can be very difficult because there are SO many things that can be covered making the book into a number of volumes. But like I said, I was very happy to see the topics that were covered and the amount of detail that she covered. Of course, if you are wanting to go more in depth on the topics she covers, there are a lot of books, websites, blogs, and other resources.
The book includes chapters on preparing for you research, online research, and the importance of passing on and sharing what you find with others. She describes some of the most used and popular records such as birth, marriage, death, census, military, and immigration/emigration.
One of my favorite things about the book is that Megan included a lot of websites, both free and paid, to find the records she was describing. I am always excited to find new websites I can search for records or information about a particular topic.
As I was reading the book I kept telling my parents what a great book it is for someone who is just getting started in genealogy. As soon as I finished it my mother started reading it so maybe me talking about it sparked a little interest in her!
Click here to learn more about Who Do You Think You Are. If you are interested in learning more about Megan Smolenyak, visit her website Honoring Our Ancestors website.
The past few years we have seen a tremendous increase in the amount of books, photos, and other documents scanned and put online. I am continually amazed at the amount of technology there is and how rapidly it is increasing.
I am always taking old documents and records and transcribing them and digitizing them to put them into my genealogy files. Sometimes I scan old typed documents that can be OCR'd while other times I just scan it to have the original and then transcribe the information into a word processor.
Either way, they are both time consuming to do, but in the end I know that I am creating digitized records that can be saved for generations. I only wish I could do it faster! I guess all I need to do is create my own high-speed camera like a group of university students did in Tokyo. "By using a high-speed camera that shoots at 500 frames per second, lab workers Takashi Nakashima and Yoshihiro Watanabe can scan a 200-page book in under a minute. You just hold the book under the camera and flip through the pages as if shuffling a deck of cards. The camera records the images and uses processing power to turn the odd-shaped pictures into flat, rectangular pages on which regular OCR (optical character recognition) can be performed."