Saturday, April 27, 2013

Last Day of Ohio Genealogical Society Conference

I went to more interesting sessions today at the conference.  The first session was on how to do research for a house history.  I've been wanting to do that for a while with my house, which was built in 1910.  I started the research a while ago, but now I have more good ideas on places to look for information.  After that I went to Colleen Fitzpatrick's session, "Forensic Genealogy:  CSI Meets Roots."  Unfortunately, this really wasn't a talk about forensic genealogy (see my recent post about the Forensic Genealogy Institute I attended two weeks ago to learn more about what that actually is).  Her talk was really about DNA and using science in your research.  So I was a little disappointed, but right at the end of the lecture she talked about her family connection to a surname I am researching in County Cork, Ireland, so that helped salvage the talk for me.

We had a three-hour lunch break today, which gave me time to catch up on four days of e-mails.  After that I headed back downstairs for a case study by Jay Fonkert, where he discussed how he tracked down four wives for an ancestor of his wife's where people originally thought there was only one.  He used several less common record types and had to prove several condlusions through indirect evidence, and it was interesting to see how it all came together.  In the next session James Beidler gave an overview of German Palatines, the area they came from, and the historical governmental structure in that area and how it affects research.  My family, Sellers, which was originally Söller in German, were Palatines.  Currently I have the family tracked back to 1615, but I want to see what else I can find.

The last session was on using estate papers and deeds for Irish research.  Richard Doherty had lots of wonderful information and links, which I hope to use for my research in Cork, Roscommon, and Sligo counties.  The Irish estate records seem to be very similar to the Polish magnate records which many Jewish researchers have been finding in archives.  Feudal landlords preceded governments in many areas; they owned the land, and they kept track of who was renting land, how much they paid, repairs that were made to buildings, etc.  So if you can find out who owned the land, you look for that person (or family's) archives and see if your ancestors appear in the records.  It's an excellent way to look for people who were not landowners.  And to celebrate a great convention, I took myself out to dinner at Ruth's Chris Steak House!  (Well, it wasn't much of a splurge, because someone gave me a gift card, but it was still a treat.)

Tomorrow I have allowed myself more time for research at the Cincinnati Public Library.  I'm going to see what else I can find on my con man and maybe do a little research on my Columbus relatives.  Then I head back to California on a nonstop flight (yay!) and get ready to go back to my regular schedule on Monday.

Cincinnati is a really nice city, and I've enjoyed my visit a lot.  I also got along great with my roommate for the conference, Luana Darby.  She is also a professional genealogist, and it was amazing how many things we have in common -- we've both done musical theater; we know multiple languages; we like NCIS, Criminal Minds, Chopped!, and Iron Chef America; we love to cook and sew; and we love to talk!  We stayed up late talking every night.  I'm glad I got to meet her, and I'm sure I'll see her again at another conference.

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