Saturday, May 12, 2012

NGS Day Three (Friday the 11th)

At this stage of a national conference, many of us are operating like the elevator we tried to ride down in our hotel this morning: arriving at the 3rd floor, it announced the 1st floor, but never actually reached the first floor (we got out and took the escalators). Like that elevator, we're still in action, but not necessarily functioning on all cylinders due to information and sociability overloads.

My talk on the Indianapolis Orphan Asylum and its records was cordially received. It was part of an all-day same-room Indiana track, beginning with Dave McDonald on Indiana history and settlement patterns, and ending with Michael Lacopo on tips and advice in hard-core research in the state. His tour of courthouse records was very informative, especially the figures that less than 5% of 19th-century Hoosiers left wills, and perhaps four times that number had probates. "You can never have too many records."

For me as spectator Friday was Law Day. Michael LeClerc gave a virtuoso performance on Advanced Probate, minus his slides which had just been eaten by Dropbox. Two of many points to remember: read Inheritance in America, and be aware that when an estate has to be re-administered or is contested, the case may go direct to the appellate court without any obvious signals in the regular probate records.

After lunch Debra Mieszala gave the most fact-packed lecture I have yet had a chance to hear this week, on taking the "awww" out of the law library. I am looking forward to upgrading my legal knowledge and application. Knowing the difference between slip laws, session laws, code books, and annotated statutes will definitely help. (They're all good, but in different ways.)

The evening was spent in many pleasant conversations in the Hyatt lobby, the NGSQ centennial reception, and the ProGen Study Group dinner. Tomorrow is the last day of a conference that on Tuesday seemed like it would last forever.

Harold Henderson, "NGS Day Three (Friday the 11th)," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 12 May 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

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