Sunday, August 22, 2010

Last Day of the FGS Conference

The last day was another “not together enough to get to the 8:00 presentation” day. Instead we had our last breakfast at Pete’s (which is closed on Sundays). We bid a fond farewell to our fabulous waitress and told her that we’d be back to visit some day. I’m missing my Texas toast already.

For the 9:30 presentation I decided to go to J. Mark Lowe’s “The Land Grand Processes of North Carolina and Tennessee.” This time I was alert to look for other GeneaBloggers and, sure enough, found “our row.” We compared our evolving strategies for selecting lectures to attend. In addition to delivering a great presentation, Mr. Lowe recommended a number of publications of the North Carolina Genealogical Society for reference. This group has some great publications, and I always like to see what new books Bruce Pruitt has put out.

Next came Christine Rose’s “The Anatomy of a Will and the Records It Spawns.” Ms. Rose explained various aspects of wills and what we should look for to indicate the existence of additional documents. I am taking her book on courthouse research with me to Greenville.

Afterwards we all went to Market Square (Amy, Missy, Jennifer, Tonia, Linda, Tina, her husband, me, and my husband) for lunch. It is so much fun to talk with other genealogy people! We all have some “wild and crazy” ancestor stories; Linda and I compared stories of her relative who was hanged and the guy connected to one of my lines who was the first man to be executed by electric chair in Oklahoma. We also talked about relatives and other people interested in our ancestors who will not accept the less-than-glamorous truth about those ancestors. The two “genealogy widowers” (Tina’s husband and my husband) were able to talk about non-genealogy subjects. My husband thinks that the big genealogy conferences should include a “genealogy widow/widower” track for spouses who don’t do genealogy. I told him there is enough history in these conferences to keep him happy, but he isn’t convinced, yet.

During lunch my husband and I were outed as thorough Mac-a-holics, and after lunch I went to Donna Moughty’s presentation on “Tools for Macintosh Users.” Donna is such a power user! I am inspired to actually take advantage of some of the neat applications. This was a very enjoyable presentation and the level of enthusiasm was very high in the audience.

My next two presentations involved the Scots-Irish: David Rencher spoke on “From Ulster to the Carolinas: The Scots-Irish” and George Schweitzer delivered a smashing performance/presentation on “Scots-Irish (Ulster) Genealogy.” There must be something about Scots-Irish and humor. Mr. Rencher’s presentation was fast-paced and informative, yet he managed to sneak in some very dry humor from time to time. And Dr. Schweitzer? He is just amazing. If you ever have a chance to see him speak, do. I confess that I decided to attend this last presentation of the last day when I was attending a presentation in the room next to the room where he was speaking on the preceding day; quite frequently we could hear the audience breaking into laughter. You feel as though you are “raht thar” hearing an old Scots-Irish backwoodsman delivering his version of the history of the Scots Irish in Ulster and this country.

My husband and I ended the day with dinner at The Butcher Shop, which is right behind the hotel. Below are pictures of the fountain in the World’s Fair Park on the way to the restaurant and the old train station right next to the restaurant.

Instead of Highway 81, we decided to take Route 11 and other less traveled routes home. Below is a picture I took at a gas station up in the mountains. (I think “American Pickers” is starting to have an influence on me.)


  1. I'm so sorry I missed the David Rencher session on the Scots-Irish in North Carolina. I made a last-minute schedule change, which was a mistake.

  2. I so wish I could have been in Knoxville, but then you mentioned US 11. That brings back even more memories than thinking of Knoxville. We drove it twice a year long before 81 was built. Long, lazy, lovely drives through East Tennessee and Virginia, squabbling with my sister most of the way. The good old days ;)

  3. Thanks so much for the great updates. For those of us who couldn't be there it was great to get updates from all the bloggers in attendance. And btw - I LOVE American Pickers! :-)

  4. I'm glad the boys got to talk at lunch instead of having to endure more of our genealogy talk.

  5. Greta, I forgot to tell you that I thought it was so funny how your husband walked so far ahead at lunch. I am so glad I'm not the only one whose husband is a fast walker. I'm always being left in the dust. Now my son is growing up the same way. They're always turning around and staring at me impatiently. :)

  6. Tonia - I wish you could have been there, too; it was an excellent session.
    NR - We like Route 11 much better than 81. And those backseat squabbles - ah, yes...
    Diana - American Pickers has me so hooked, too! Now I want to go around taking pictures of that stuff (but NOT buy it!).
    Tina - Yes, it was great not having to feel guilty!
    Amy - I'm so glad to hear I'm not the only one! And I'm also the slowest at the dinner table, so my family spends enormous amounts of time looking at me and waiting for me to catch up. Oh, well...