Friday, May 13, 2011

Day Two at NGS Charleston

Well, finally, after being off of Blogger for a day! So I'm a day late (and many dollars short by now).

There are no pictures for today’s post. Because my family took my camera to take pictures at Fort Sumter. Not that they don’t have other options - they all have cameras in their phones. I don’t. (That’s why the other Geneabloggers christened my phone as “the dumb phone.”) So no pictures. Not that I’m pouting or anything.

Presentations: The first presentation I attended was Brent Holcomb’s “South Carolina Colonial Records.” I am amazed at how much he knows about every possible record, place name, and so on in South Carolina. It’s one thing to do all those transcriptions and abstracts, but to remember so much is amazing!

The next presentation was Helen Leary’s “Ancestors in Hiding: How to Help Them Emerge from Statistical Census Returns.” Although the venue, Ballroom A, continued to have sound problems which prevented a number of people present from hearing a lot of the presentation, what we could hear was a great example of using every last bit of information, even from sources that some people think are “useless” - this exhortation was voiced again and again by different presenters. One consolation for not being able to hear parts of Helen Leary’s lecture was that the syllabus summary is excellent. And I love her humor!

By the time Elizabeth Shown Mills made her presentation on “Analyzing Deeds and Wills: I See What It Says, but What Does It Mean?”, the solution to the sound problem was found: combine a body mike with the lectern mike. The subject sounded as though it would be somewhat dry, even with ESM as the presenter, but it was quite dynamic and had us all on our toes trying to figure out what kind of information/evidence was contained in some of the obscure legal terms and formulas.

I attended Thomas W. Jones presentation on “Five Proven Techniques for Finding Your Ancestor’s European Origins” to help my research on my own family as well as my husband’s more recent immigrant family and was not disappointed. When Thomas Jones talks about “casting a wide net,” he is definitely not kidding! So you know how we sometimes get into discussions about getting sidetracked by collateral lines? Well, that’s a good thing!

The last session I attended today was Jim Isom’s presentation on “Carolinians Settle the South” - and he wasn’t kidding. Jim’s lecture dealt with a lot of the whys and wherefores of migration as well as with demographics - all subjects that I love. If you have that Carolinas to wherever (TN, GA, AL, MS, LA, and TX) phenomenon among your ancestors, this is a great lecture. And we got a pop quiz: “What crop accounted for more than half of the South’s agricultural output in the 1850s?”

Fun: Well, eating at Wendy’s can be fun - especially when you find some genealogy blogging friends to have lunch with! I met up with Liz Tapley Matthews and her friend (after delivering a lunch to my under-the-weather daughter in our hotel room nearby), and we all got into conversation with the lady at the next table over (not attending NGS). Funny how much genea-peeps like to talk....

Goodies: I was very good. I did not buy a single book. I just bought one item.

A Flip-Pal.

Okay, so I didn’t wait until Christmas. But I have a good reason! You see, I’m going to meet up with the Norman cousin mentioned in the previous post on our way to Greenville. She lives in Orangeburg! And she has lots of pictures. We are so excited.


  1. I'm enjoying the accounts, Greta, keep them up!

    I think the answer to the pop quiz was rice, right?

  2. Nope! Let's see if there are any other guesses!

  3. Loving the accounts. I'm guessing tobacco since it kept my folks fed for more than a century. Cotton would be my second guess.

  4. Jennifer and Susan - Sorry not to have answered this sooner, but the answer was corn! Apparently it had to do with how lucrative it was to raise livestock.