Friday, January 22, 2016

SLIG Wrap-up and More Research

It's taken me a while to reacclimate myself to my normal schedule after the week in Salt Lake City.  My class at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy had me getting up every morning in time for sessions that started at 8:00 a.m. (8:30 the first day), not even close to what I normally do.  (I used to be a morning person, but that was years ago.)

During Thursday and Friday in my class ("Swing through the South"), the outstanding session was one by Dr. Deborah Abbott.  The main title, "Follow a Case with Land", was not as informative as the subtitle, "Identifying Slaves, Slave Owners through Land Deeds and Other Records."  In addition to demonstrating how land records over several decades showed who the slave owners were, when slaves were manumitted (prior to the Civil War), and the close family relationships between the individuals in the example she discussed (including a slave owner acknowledging his children when he freed them), she also made an excellent point about something to keep in mind before you begin this type of research.  She emphasized that you shouldn't go into it being angry and ready to blame someone; you need to be impartial.  That's the only way you'll be able to interpret the records accurately when you find them.

Judy Russell, The Legal Genealogist, was the speaker for the Friday evening banquet.  Her talk, "Suffer the Little Children", was about making sure that we don't forget to tell the stories about the children in our families, particularly those who died young.  Just because a child didn't grow to be an adult and have a family doesn't mean his story is less important.  It often takes more effort to find information about children who died young, but we need to do so to ensure that those stories are not lost forever.

I'm very appreciative of the scholarship I won to be able to attend SLIG this year.  It was a great educational opportunity.

I closed out my trip with a full day of research at the Family History Library on Saturday.  In addition to some client research, I reserved time to look for records for my own family.  The big success that day was finding the birth registration for my great-grandfather Thomas Kirkland Gauntt (father of the grandmother whose birth record I found on Monday), even though it was indexed incorrectly as Garrett.  I almost didn't look at it, but something kept pulling me back to that entry.  I'm so happy I followed my instincts!

May 23, 1870, Thomas K., male, (parents) James & Amelia Gauntt, (father's occupation) wheelwright

All during the week old snow had been on the sidewalks and rooftops, slowly melting and receding.  On Friday we had a new dusting, just enough to land and not melt in some places.  As I left the library Saturday and walked to the Trax station to go to the airport, a good amount of snow landed on my hair and didn't melt right away.  I figured that was enough winter for me!  I'm glad I live in an area where snow is not a regular event.

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