The chronicle of this woman's perpetual game of hide-and-seek with her ancestors
Hooray! I slept until my alarm went off this morning! Unfortunately, no bacon at breakfast again though. I wept a little.
My first class was with Lloyd Bockstruck on Lineage Societies. I’ve determined that the only lineage society to which I might ever belong is the “You’re Not Eligible For Any Other Lineage Society” Society. Most of my people arrived too late to be pioneers of anything, were mostly farmers (with the exception of a railroad worker or two), and as far as I can tell never did anything even relatively noteworthy from an historical standpoint. There were a lot of relatives in the armed services, but all that was far more recent than the Civil War. Of course, I find it all incredibly interesting, lineage society or not.
Michael John Neill talked about Court Records in our second class this morning. We learned all about divorce, guardianship, and other records that can be found in courthouses and hold valuable information about family relationships that you may not expect.
Lunch was a salad and pizza. We ate indoors because the heat and humidity we were hiding from yesterday only seemed to intensify today.
After lunch, Michael John Neill talked more about Court Records – mostly focusing on probate records and what we can expect to find in them to help show land ownership, relationships, and even when people were born and/or died.
We took our afternoon break and Michael John Neill was back for the final class of the day with Analysis and Correlation of Evidence. He talked about the different classifications of sources, information, and evidence and various ways to rearrange your information to see patterns or find gaps in your research.
At 4:00 p.m., there was a mass exodus from the classrooms when everyone went back to their dorms and hotels to get all fancied up for the banquet at 6:3o. I took advantage of that extra time to make a Wal-Mart run to buy some trouser socks to replace the pantyhose that I brought with me. There was no way I was wearing pantyhose when it was this hot and humid. To be honest, everyone was fairly lucky that I even wore pants. While I was out, I gassed up the car for the trip home tomorrow, so it was one less thing to do on the way home. I still had plenty of time to change and make myself presentable, and I arrived at the cafeteria around 6 p.m.
The banquet meal consisted of a salad course, either chicken or fish (I had fish), asparagus, squash/zucchini/onions, and a dinner roll. Oh, and cheesecake or chocolate cake for dessert (I had cheesecake). After dinner, we heard Julie Hedgepeth Williams talk about the story of her great uncle Albert Caldwell’s fateful trip on the Titanic, the full story of which can be found in her book A Rare Titanic Family. It was a great story, but I could have stood for it to be about 400 decibels lower and about 20 minutes shorter.
All in all, it was a good day and a good evening. Tomorrow is the last day of classes. It’s only a half day, but it starts with John Colletta talking about Newspapers as a Research Source. Lloyd Bockstruck will be doing the second class on Manuscript Collections. After that, we will receive our completion certificates and head home. I’m a little sad that I’ll be saying “adieu” to friends – old and new – but glad that I’ll be able to spend a whole weekend at home working on that to-do list that has gotten so unwieldy in the last several days!
I’ll spend the rest of my evening packing everything I don’t need for tomorrow and getting it in the car first thing in the morning. I won’t be writing a post, as I’ll be driving home and probably taking a nap after I get there.
If sharing my experience as a first-time IGHR attendee has helped anyone get a feel for what this Institute is like, then I have done what I’ve set out to do. I have had a great time here this year and have gotten so much out of it – even more than I get out of the conferences – both in and out of the classrooms. Well-deserved kudos to the staff and faculty, who did an excellent job in keeping everything running smoothly. I highly recommend IGHR, and I can’t wait to come back next year!Do we share any ancestors?