This was my first full day at FGS2011 and I had a blast from plenary to most of the way through the Society Showcase—I did sneak out before 8 pm. My session choices for the day were:

  • The Jones Jinx: Tracing Common Surnames presented by Thomas Jones
  • Searching Your African American Roots on Ancestry.com presented by Lisa Arnold
  • ICAPGen Application Forms Presented by Kelly Summers
  • Getting Beyond the Bare Bones presented by Thomas Jones

I enjoyed and got a great deal out of all of them, but I think my pick of the day would have to be “The Jones Jinx.” So, a very big thank you Kris R. who told me that Tom was great when I told him I’d been going between that and another presentation! The case study layout of the presentation—a walk through on finding the parents of his relative, C. R. Jones—was one that particularly clicked for me. I came out with a list of things I wanted to work on with various ancestors (common surnames or otherwise)—including looking at the set date of birth that H. R. Allison/Massy uses all over the place that doesn’t quite match up with other information I found. Or starting over completely on my Johnson women in Arkansas—a current brick wall line. If you get a chance to see a lecture by Tom…Go!

The Ancestry class wasn’t really new material for me but it was still interesting to hear and it reminded me that with all sites: you’ve got to keep checking back to see what’s going on. I’ve been so focused on what’s worked for me (ex. FamilySearch.org’s Arkansas Marriage Records) that I sometimes forget to check out the updates elsewhere that may move me along in my research.

The ICAPGen session was interesting, not because I’ve decided to get certified but, because it helped me to think about the range of resources and geographic areas I have worked with over the years—as well as the range of courses I’ve taken.

And finally, I attended Tom Jones second presentation because I loved the first one. And I wasn’t the only one, because that room was absolutely packed! This was, again, very practical advice but it was laid out with examples that I found personally useful as well as interesting to hear about.

So, I’m deeming it a successful day. I’ve met and chatted with tons of interesting people and already learned a lot… And there’s still two days to go.

Happy Hunting from Springfield!

Jess

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