Monday, June 08, 2015

Jamboree 2015 - What was it all about?

I had a great experience at Jamboree this year although I had a cold the entire time and was constantly being told I looked awful. Now I have the lingering caugh.....

I took full advantage of the Ancestry scanning booth.  The quality of their scans is superior and they are so fast that you can get hundreds of scans. Here are a couple from two scrapbooks I had scanned.

My mother on the left, 2nd Lieutenant Marie Orr abt 1946

My father, James H. McManus, taken 1942. He was just 22 years old.

Conference Resource, who recorded everything that was not live streamed, had a deal for 10 audio files on a flash drive for $69, normal price $11 each, so I purchased 10 audio files to listen to later. But, first, I need to watch the free online streaming of the recorded video feeds that will only be available until July 5 ( We're going up to see our granddaughter graduate from high school and I want the kids to see Matthew Hovorka's Get to Know Your Geezers.

More on the classes later.

Friday, June 05, 2015

Day two of Jamboree

It's been a whorl wind two days. I greatly enjoyed DNA day. I keep taking DNA classes and I learn more each time. I heard two new, for me, genetic genealogists, Kitty Munson Cooper and Tim Jensen M.D. And really enjoyed their talks. I wish I had signed up for the DNA class on Friday with Tim Jensen but didn't get to it in time.  The big take away from Tim's classes is that I need to have my daughter take an autosomal test. Seeing as I have an Ancestry test I'll do it next week. I enjoyed Kitty's presentation style and found that she makes some of the more difficult concepts easy. I also really enjoyed Diahan Southard' Organizing Your  DNA Matches class. She used a metaphor of the First Date to represent her organizational system.  Great teacher.

Today was the first day of the actual Jamboree. The day started out cool but quickly heated up. The tents did not do as good a job staying cool as last year but they were quieter. My sore throat has turned into a full blown cold. Sniffing, sneezing, watery eyes. - I sound like a commercial. What I need is Clariton D but they don't sell it in the little store.  Got my question answered at the DNA round table. All those neat tests and graphs only work on the people who have chosen to share gnomes with you. Too bad all our close matches seem to not want to respond.

I participated the the Society Share with Jean Hibben. Interesting discussion. We need to look into the Barnes and Noble fundraiser. Looks like the majority of societies are now paying $100 plus mileage for speakers. I was surprised at how many meet at the local library for free. I gave WAGS my speaker card so maybe I'll get asked to speak there.

I went to Tom Jones' class on The Jones Jinx: Tracing Common Surnames. Bill was surprised that he wasn't as dynamic as Judy Russell. I told him that Tom is a professor and you need to listen to the methodology. This class had lots of ideas about separating identities of any two same named individuals. I love Toms statement that everyone is unique in the history of the world.

Today was the day I got to give my first Jamboree talk...and I was sick. I spoke at 4-5 to a group of about 30.  My topic as very specific, Homesteading California. I chose this topic because it is not what you associate with California. The processes are the same as any homestead in the U.S. But California was unique in the number of Spanish and Mexican grants and the entire history of land development. I was nervous to start and realized that I couldn't read my notes. I think I'll print them out in 20 pt next time. Once I got started everything was ok. Sheila Benedict who just wrote the book California for NGS was in the audience and her comment was that I really know my stuff. Nice complement. I hope this helps me get to speak at RootsTech and some other national conferences. The next thing I need to do is finish my portfolio and apply for a CG. Opens doors.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Missouri 2015

We got to StLouis Thursday evening in the pouring rain, got the rental car and set off for Nauvoo. The road was totally black, rain was falling in buckets and we got to the hotel at 3am. Friday's weather was not much better but we pushed on. Attended a Temple  session in the morning if you call 11 am morning ( Had to get some sleep). Decided to drive down to Carthage because everything there is inside. 

We met an interesting family having a destination wedding. The young couple had met on a church history site tour and wanted to come back to Nauvoo to get married. Had about 30 people and were touring the sites. We saw them again Friday evening when we were all at the "Return to Nauvoo" musical put on by Nauvoo senior missionaries. Great evening.  

Saturday we started off the day with the wagon tour of old Nauvoo. We met a nice couple who were driving a motor home that they were "transporting". They flew in to Chicago to pick it up and with no cost except gas, they had 17 days to get it to Los Angeles. Sounds like a great idea for next summer. 

We took the Church of Christ tour of the Smith properties. The Smith family remained in Nauvoo after the majority of Saints left with Brigham Young for Salt Lake. Emma was pregnant and in three years had married again. The family never joined the Salt Lake group and started the Reformed Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This church has continued but has made many changes, including their name, and is very different than the LDS church. But, they still own the properties in Nauvoo and you have to take their tour to see them. The tour has a strange flavor, a more earthy view of Joseph Smith, but was still interesting. The houses are beautiful. 

The entire site is similar to Williamsburg but not commercial. The LDS part sells nothing and charges nothing. The missionaries are great and having a lot of fun. We closed the site at 5 o'clock. 

Sunday we attended the Missionary and Visitors Ward. Lots of people. If it weren't for the wedding group with two children, there would have been none. Last week we attended a ward in Mesa Arizona and attended a ward that was filled with children. Quite a difference. The Young Performing Missionaries who are training to be in the summer shows, including the pageant, sang one hymn and were unbeleavibly good. We really wanted to applaud. Some day we will come in the summer. 

We left Sunday after Church for St. Louis. 

Monday, April 01, 2013

ProGen 14 - Finished! - What did I learn?

I can't believe it's over! Today was our last ProGen 14 talk.  Eighteen months of working through the book Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians with accompanying assignments and chats has been a wonderful experience. We started out with a group of eight and lost three along the way. It is a lot of work but any real learning experience is a lot of work.  

What did I learn.   
  • First I learned that I have a lot to learn. As much as I know, there is always more to learn.   
  • Research takes a long time.  Doing it right takes a long time.  Writing good citations takes a long time. Writing for peer review takes a long time. It all takes a long time. 
  • I learned that letting others see what you have done can make it better.
  • I became a better researcher and writer.  
 I need to thank the following people for their dedication in making these groups happen.
  • Angela Packer McGhie - Administrator of ProGen
  • Rebecca Whitman Koford - coordinator ProGen 14
  • Linda Woodward Geiger, CG - mentor ProGen 14
 If you have any designs to become a certified genealogists or to do professional research, then you should become part of ProGen.  It is a great association of researchers. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Why do I join genealogical societies and why do you?

A number of my society memberships are coming due this summer and it made me reflect on why I join these societies.  One of my main reasons for joining societies is for the publications, blogs, and webinars.

I am a member of the Utah Genealogical Association. I have no ancestors from Utah. I enjoy my membership because of SLIG, their quarterly magazine Crossroads, and their webinars.

I'm a member of the Ohio Genealogical Society. My husband has ancestors from this area but I really like their publications the Ohio Genealogy News and Ohio Genealogical Quarterly.

I'm a member of the California State Genealogical Alliance.  I live and research in California so this is a big reason. I also like their California resources on their website and their blog.

I'm a member of the California Genealogical Society and Library. I joined because of my research in California and I also like their The California Nugget.

I'm a member of the Southern California Genealogical Society. I joined because of Jamboree.  I love their website and the information it provides. They have a great blog and webinars as well as their actual library. The Searcher is a great publication frequently focusing on Southern California research.

The New England Historic Genealogical Society was one one of the very first societies that I joined. Both my husband and I have ancestors from New England. I've been fortunate to be able to visit the library itself twice and it really started me on my husband's Mayhew research. At this point they have everything: the library, The American Ancestors website and databases, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, American Ancestors Journal, and American Ancestors.  So much for an unbelievable price.

Of course I'm a member of NGS.  The reasons? Too many to count but they include NGS Magazine and National Genealogical Society Quarterly,  UpFront with NGS blog, access to archived magazines, the NGS conference.

I'm a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and our local Southern California APG chapter.  For a number of years I was a "publications only" member subscribing to the APG Quarterly. As a member, I have access to the members only section of the website, I get to post my business,  to attend the Professional Management Conference, and I still receive the APG Quarterly.

I'm a member of the Genealogical Society of North Orange County California and the Orange County California Genealogical Society for the talks and for the camaraderie and because they are my local societies.

My question now is... Why do you join genealogical societies and which other ones should I consider joining? 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

FamilySearch WIKI-California

I was asked today why I was working on the Orange County and San Bernardino County, California Wikis. What was in it for me?

 That's a good question and my first thought was ...for fun. But as I thought about it I realized that I do get something else out of working on the FS Wiki. First, I like to learn new things, and I now know quite a bit about how a Wiki works. But, more than that, I am increasing my own knowledge about the State of California. I could just decide to read a few books but this way, I still read the books, but there is a product and I am contributing to a greater project as well. I grew up in California and learned about the state in 4th grade, in high school, and then again as a student in a state university. I've traveled extensively throughout the state so I think I'm pretty knowledgeable but, having a purpose always makes learning more successful. In education we called this project based learning. If the end product is actually useful then that's even better.

What this really says for everyone else is that you don't need to be an expert to work on the FamilySearch Wiki, you just need to find a county that no one is working on and start researching. A wiki is a community project so you don't need to know it all, you can work on the county by doing research on the Internet and at your local library. Pick an area in which you have a research interest and learn a little more.