I’m playing a game of catch-up as this happened two weekends ago but… I genuinely enjoy going to genealogy workshops and conferences because I get to talk to fellow researchers, bounce ideas of people and reconnect with friends. But, more than anything I pay very close attention to my sessions because even when the topic is a resource I feel comfortable using I always come out with a new way to search, a new trick or just a fresh perspective that leaves me reinvigorated and ready to research.
This year’s Michigan Genealogical Council’s Family History Month Seminar was no exception. I attended five informative sessions—two by keynote speaker Pamela J. Cooper (one on finding church records and the other on the Homestead Act of 1862); a great intro to the Burton Historical Collection at the Detroit Public Library by the Coordinator fo DPL’s Special Collections, Mark Bowden; a session on search strategies for SeekingMichigan.org given by State Archivist Mark Harvey; and a session on Fold3.com (formerly known as Footnote.com) by Kris Rzepczynski of the Library of Michigan.
I’m not going to give a rundown of the sessions other than to say they all are great presenters. In many ways everything covered was really practical but I came out of all of the sessions with plans on how to use what we discussed. At the top of my “To Do” list after the workshop was to order the Land Entry File for Levi Hampton (my great grandfather Harrison Trotter’s uncle) to see what that might include—I’ve had the patent for years but never taken the step of ordering the rest of the file. I’m also very interested in heading back to the Burton to further my Massy family research—I’m still trying to find Naturalization records for Henry or his brothers. And there’s a lot I haven’t done on SeekingMichigan.org and Fold3. And if you read this Kris—I have deleted Footnote (in place of Fold3) more times than it shows up in the published blog post—but really, it hasn’t been that long since they changed their name!
Anyway, I would definitely suggest the MGC Workshops (usually held in October and July each year at the Michigan Historical Center) for beginners and veteran researchers alike. I always come home with new information and a renewed energy in my research.
Now, if I can just carve time for all of my plans!