Saturday, August 21, 2010

FGS Conference – Days 1 Presentations

The first and second days of the conference (actually the second and third, but I did not attend any of the events on Wednesday) were busy ones. On Thursday I started out with Thomas Jones’ presentation “Solving the Mystery of the Disappearing Ancestor.” As usual, Mr. Jones gave an eye-opening presentation; he outlined the various ways that we might “overlook” an ancestor and categorized the reasons we might miss them. Even for the category we might think of first – wrong name – he had some intriguing alternations in names and listed some nicknames that I hadn’t known about before.

The next presentation I attended was J. Stephen Cotham’s “The Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection: How to Make the Most of Your Research Time.” I paid close attention to this one, because when I can better pinpoint the location of my brickwall ancestor from Tennessee (Susan Elizabeth Smith), I would like to return and take advantage of the outstanding resources of the McClung Collection.

Following this I went to D. Joshua Taylor’s presentation on “Clustering and More: Successful Internet Searching.” Most of the Google tricks I already knew, but Josh’s methods for keeping records of searches and systematically broadening/narrowing and alternating search terms are a good example to follow. The new information I hoped to gain from this lecture did not disappoint, either: how to use Clusty in searches. This is a site that I will have to start incorporating in my research. I especially like the search result categorization function.

I had originally intended to attend the presentation on the Tennessee State Library and Archives, since that is another resource I plan to use, but realized that we also had a long evening ahead of us and that I should probably rest some before we headed out to the Museum of Appalachia.


  1. Greta, I'm so envious! I wish I could have been there with you. Have been to the Tennessee State Archives but not the Museum of the Appalachia. Plus all of the presentations you attended sound like they were full of good info.

  2. Judy - I so hope that we can attend a conference together some day! Good presentations + company of GeneaBloggers = fun!