Friday, May 11, 2012

NGS Day Two (Thursday the 10th)

Games conferencegoers play: Many vendors and groups have little ribbons that can be stuck on in layers so that they trail down from your NGS nametags. Some folks compete to get the longest string of ribbons. My friend Michael Hait doesn't go for that, but he does have two ribbons that you don't see the same person wearing very often: one identifis him as a speaker (two talks Saturday), the other identifies him as attending his first national conference!

Other things that came my way today:

Jana Sloan Broglin explained Ohio's fantastically complex systems of distributing land in the state. I believe sixteen different systems were tried out. She gave accompanying glimpses of the relevant American history and idiosyncratic Ohio pronunciations (Newark = Nurk, Putnam = Putman). In some counties you need to know both the metes-and-bounds land system AND the rectangular survey system (or an experimental variant) in order to research land records. In her home county of Fulton (as well as Williams and Lucas), early deeds in the northern part of the county have to be sought in Michigan, a result of the Ohio-Michigan War ("a cow died"). If you love land records -- and genealogists pretty much have to -- you'll love Ohio!

Stefani Evans carefully described an ongoing project under the title "Red Herrings and a Stroke of the Dead Palsy," which included a monumental red herring in which a Revolutionary War regiment's record somehow migrated 500 miles! I took away this quote: "If we don't look at each detail in each document, we're going to reach wrong conclusions." Stefani's reflective style itself was a reminder that, as researchers, we need to remain calm in the midst of conflicting and ambiguous records.

The Association of Professional Genealogists' "Gathering of the Chapters" had representatives from all over the US. Many chapters cover a wide area, and the new availability of GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar should make it easier to meet and greet without enduring long car trips. We even had a five-week-old "member" in attendance.

The "night at the library" -- the renowned Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County -- was in full swing when I left early, having located one of my coveted obscure articles. The genealogists outnumbered the staff, who were good-natured about the crowd, and in my case went the extra mile to find a periodical that the regular retrievers couldn't.

Tomorrow's my turn to do some talking instead of listening, with a talk in the 9:30 am slot (Indianapolis Orphan Asylum), so it's early to bed...

Harold Henderson, "NGS Day Two (Thursday the 8th)," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 11 May 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]


zara said...
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Cathi at Stone House Research said...

Wish I could have heard Jana's talk. I may have to get the CD for that one. Knock 'em dead this morning, Harold! Figuratively speaking, of course. Hope your presentation goes smoothly!

Anonymous said...

This is my first conference and I think I'm in the running for the longest run of ribbons. I saw one person with a ribbon about the same length this morning, but at the end was one that just said "DORK". I guess I deserve one of those too. :-)

Laura Cosgrove Lorenzana said...

Harold! We ran into each other as I was walking to a session; don't remember which one. I'm glad to see you blog about the Ohio Land session, I sat in on it and found it very interesting. And today, I found a Deed for an ancestor in Symmes Purchase. What do you think the odds are?