My first session was “German Research for Everyday Americans” with Karynne Moses. I attended Karynne’s presentation on reading German handwriting yesterday, so this was a natural follow-up. Karynne is still finding her way as a presenter, this being only the second time ever she has presented.
She provided some good resources of places to look for records such as
naturalization records, immigration, and church records. I had never heard of the Meyers Gazetter, having always used the one on Jewishgen.org, so that was interesting. I found the slides on how to use the Family Search catalog to locate German records most helpful. Unfortunately she had no information on how to determine original homeland of those who emigrated from Germany to England in the mid-1700s, so the search for where Moses Samuel came from continues!
We weren’t going to the Keynote so that left us a nice chunk of time to explore in the Expo Hall. Here are some highlights.
I really connected with Devin Ashby’s session ” The Science of Family History.” The premise of the talk was that sharing family stories can be beneficial to our mental health. This theory has gotten quite a bit of press lately and is something I believe to be true. I saw it the faces of the high school students I worked with years ago, when they felt a connection something they discovered in their family’s past. I feel it at family gatherings – stories start flowing. Often the same stories time and again. The stories are told, the laughter ensues, and the stress levels decrease. The quotes from Devin’s presentation bring the point home.
Legacy FamilyTree Webinars will be hosting a webinar of today’s talk sometime in the future. If you are at all interested in this topic, I suggest you keep an eye out for it. (I’ll try to remember to post info when I learn of the date.)
My last class of the day was on a related topic. “Tackling Difficult Chapters of Our Family History” was presented by Cheri Daniels. Cheri covered this complex topic with thoughfulness, stressing that “We are not our ancestor’s therapist.” She feels, as do I, that the difficult stories need to be told. “Dialogue is the route to healing” sums it up beautifully.
After two deep-thinking sessions, I needed a little fun. Luckily, Cheryl came through! She had discovered a booth, where you could have a flipbook produced from a 7-second video. The ladies at “Flip Out” explained their company is a franchise operation. For a fee, they go to events, set up their station, and video you using props or whatever for a 7-second video. They then print a little flip book , that, when you flip it looks just like the video!! Remember making those when you were a kid? (Oh – I’m speaking to my generation – not you millenials out there!!)
We spent a little more time in the Expo Hall and then headed down the street for dinner. We actually ate at the same place last year! They just moved locations!!
Tomorrow, we are thinking of spending more time at the Expo Hall and then do some research at the Family History Library. Only two days left!!