Report of 2006 Jamboree in St. George
Just got back late last night from a wonderful genealogy weekend in the much warmer climate of St. George, Utah. Here are a few of the highlights:
DICK EASTMAN looked into his crystal ball and presented a thought-provoking speech at the Friday night dinner. His premise: The role of family historians increases in importance as caretaker of not only the family genealogy but as caretaker of the actual health & well-being of future generations. He cited advances in DNA research that improve our understanding of inherited tendencies for disease.
1,000 PEOPLE ATTENDED. The pronominal success of this large-scale genealogy conference should send a message to others. It isn't necessary to charge $200+ for people to attend a multi-day, multi-track genealogy conference. Also, the keynote address and the vendor areas were open to the general public without requiring the very minimal $25 per day entrance fee. This encouraged newbies to find out about the conference before registering for classes.
VENDORS REPORTED RECORD SALES. Maybe folks had money to spend since they weren't paying a high price to get in the door? Not sure why this is happening, but for two years in a row, vendors have reported record sales from this single venue in particular compared to two other national conferences.
MANY READERS & LISTENERS STOPPED BY OL' MYRT'S DESK. WOW, I sure was amazed to meet so many of you in person. I particularly remember a trucker husband and wife team. He listens to DearMYRTLE's FAMILY HISTORY HOUR on his PocketPC, and she listens on her iPod. Ol' Myrt has neither implement, so I just listen on my computer with the speakers turned on of course!
HUNDREDS COMMIT TO COMPLETING ONE GENEALOGY TASK THIS COMING YEAR. During the keynote address, ol' Myrt asked 13 volunteers come forward and read their "mission impossible" statements. Each took the challenge, but had the chance to exchange with one of the other 13. Hopefully one of these ideas will strike YOUR fancy, or you'll come up with one of your own.
1. Document the story behind a family heirloom, such as a quilt, old hat, pair of gloves, shop tool like a hammer, binoculars or family bible. Also take a picture of the heirloom and share this with everyone in your family.
2. Ensure that every document you’ve collected is listed as a source in your genealogy software program for each ancestor mentioned in the document. Be sure to use proper bibliographic citations, and link to every individual mentioned in the document.
3. Recall a family story told at your last family reunion, family funeral or wedding, telephone call, or visit with a distant cousin and write a report on the conversation.
4. Take one photo for each ancestor and descendant and digitize it. Then attach it as a multi-media file to that individual in your genealogy software program.
5. Work on preserving the original items in your collection. Take photocopies of originals and use copies in your work. Place originals in acid-free archival quality sheet protectors, tissues, boxes, etc.
6. Within the next 6 months set up an interview with 2 other family members. Ask them what they remember about earlier times.
7. Review five generations on your pedigree chart to determine if you have used too much "hearsay" evidence? If so, look again for evidence, focusing on primary, original records (perhaps on microfilm) whenever possible.
8. Take time to gather ALL your genealogy papers, documents, photos, books, outlines and put them in some sort of filing system. NOTE: the "Shoe Box" method doesn’t count!
9. Promise yourself that when doing research this year you’ll make photocopies of the title page, in addition to the pages in the book/microfilm where your ancestor is mentioned. Within 2 weeks of the research trip you’ll transcribe and or scan the information and attach it to the appropriate ancestor’s records in your genealogy software program. AND, you’ll file the document.
10. You’ll create a shadow box using the artifacts for an ancestor, coupled with a scanned image of an original photo. This might include a pair of spectacles, some pearls, opera tickets, or a marriage license and scraps of quilt fabric.
11. Teach a grandchild, niece or nephew to cook something that has become a tradition in your family. Watermelon pickles? Apricot jam or turkey gravy?
12. Make a 2007 calendar with photos of family members, listing important dates for the living as well as deceased ancestors on your family tree and distribute copies for holiday gifts in December.
13. Learn how to create a web site! Include info from non-living grandparents and older relatives. Include scanned images of pertinent source documents. (TNG might help you there!)
The idea here is NOT to become overwhelmed by the challenges of genealogical research. This is a JOY.
Happy family tree climbing!
Your friend in genealogy.