Monday, September 19, 2011

FGS 2011 - Sessions - Friday & Saturday, September 9 & 10

Even though I spent several hours in the Exhibit Hall at the Media Center and exploring the vendor booths on Friday and Saturday I still managed to attend these great sessions.


"After Mustering Out: Researching Civil War Veterans" presented by Amy Johnson Crow, MLIS, CG: "If you get no other Civil War record for an ancestor, get the pension record." Union vets were to register their discharge with their county so those records may still exist in local courthouses. Widows pension applications will have proof of marriage and death of the veteran. Confederate pensions records are not at NARA, check the Confederate state where the veteran lived when he applied. A lady in the audience at this session saw an ancestor listed in a record on one of the slides! Now that doesn't happen everyday.

"Somewhere in France: Researching World War II" presented by Tony Burroughs, FUGA: Unit and regimental histories can put your ancestor's World War II experience in context. It's extremely important to find a discharge certificate because it gives the service number that can be used to find other records. Military records are available from St. Louis National Personnel Center if it has been at least 62 years since the veteran's discharge - make an appointment before visiting or order the records by mail. Veterans Administration (VA) has records that can be released through Freedom of Information Act. 

Dr. Jones (on left)
"Using 'Correlation' to Reveal Facts That No Record States" presented by Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS:  "Correlation is the process of comparing information items to identify connections and contradictions." No record type is always accurate. A key to using correlation is to identify two completely independent sources. If two records have the same basic source, they are not independent. For example, if the same person provided information for a death certificate and for an obituary, then those are not independent sources.   

"GenSpiration Session: Blogging Best Practices" facilitated by Amy Coffin: "GenSpiration" sessions were new to FGS at this conference and if this session was any indication, they are a great idea. About 15 people attended. The discussion included the ins and outs of running ads on your blog, information that should be available on blogs (about me/blog, disclosures, surnames) and how to promote your blog. This discussion could have easily gone on for another hour or more. (I can't believe I failed to get a photo.)


Mark Lowe (on right)
"Developing a Basic Research Plan" presented by J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA: "Only believe what you see with your own eyes and have your eyes examined regularly." Having a precise statement of research goals and reasoning for the process increases the probability of a successful research project. Identify the focus of the research, recheck what you think you know, determine if you are working with any undocumented facts, decide what you need to find and where that information could be located. A research plan is really an ongoing process. Once you have an answer to your question, summarize the new findings, add them to what you already know and develop a plan for the next step.   

(This was one of seven two-hour workshops offered for a small fee. Having an extra hour allows the speaker to delve deeper into a subject. I will definitely schedule other workshops in the future.)

More photos from FGS 2011.
DisclosureI was an Official Blogger for FGS 2011.


  1. Linda - you have done a great job as an Official Blogger - your posts have been most informative

  2. Thanks Jill. Hope to see you at RootsTech.