Monday, March 26, 2012

Geneabloggers Rock!

My first take on a completely delightful weekend in Fort Wayne with other Geneabloggers - I need to do this at least a couple times a year! What seemed self-indulgent turns out to have been a terrific boost. I've enjoyed the conferences I've attended, but the focus there is on learning. And they are e x h a u s t i n g.

This time spent on my own research, surrounded by equally passionate (and entertaining) friends, allowed me to see my work with fresh eyes and kicked my energy level up a notch. I'm a poor bet for the goals, encouragement and accountability Geneabuddies provide for one another (it should be clear to those that attended that my attention span is non-existent), but the laughter, conversations and company of  these folks was fabulous!

The first results -

I realized on the drive home that as much as I want my Rachel Hampton to be the daughter of the Robert Hampton who left a 1796 will, and land, and records, that those same records all but prove she isn't. I still believe she's related (she did name a son Robert Hampton Mulkey, after all), but I need to let go of Robert as her father and move on! Hat tip to Laura at The Last Leaf On This Branch. Just thinking of handing off the research to her to review made it depressingly clear. I did find a new Hampton - Alfred - mentioned with Robert's family in several road orders.

Context is essential. My husband's family settled in Wyoming early in the 20th century. I've heard some stories and seen a few family photographs, but never visited the area or dug into the research. Two hours reviewing the Fremont County books available at the Allen County Public Library let me know just how much I don't know! I need to learn about the legal and commercial relations between the white and Shoshone residents, about the schools on the Wind River Reservation, and fire off some questions asap to his aunt.

For all my complaints about Legacy Family Tree (and they were non-stop) I lost count of how many times I referred to it for a date or name. I concede. It is useful. Those who endured my whining are free to wave this in my face.

I had one "aha" research moment of finding the burial spot for a "lost" great-great grandmother and learned of four previously unknown children. I am not sure why they are buried apart from the other family, but given the 30+ years between her death and her husband's, it's possible they moved or that his second wife determined his burial site.

And finally, I detoured to visit Waveland Cemetery outside Hillsboro, IL on my way home. This is something I should have done years ago. It's only 80 miles from my front door. I found another Jones to research (this is good news) when I realized the only other Joneses in the cemetery were laying next to my husband's ggg grandfather Joseph Jones. Joshua Jones is entirely new to me, but a quick check of census records yields some interesting hints. He is 5 or 6 years younger than Joseph, born in IL (Joseph was born in TN) and lists both parents as born in VA on the 1880 census - as does Joseph. Fun, fun, fun!

All this before I even look at the images and pages I copied. Thanks to Tina Lyons and Terri O'Connell for organizing the Midwest Geneabloggers gathering. Can't wait for the next one!

15 comments:

  1. Susan, I was so jealous when I first heard about the Midwest Geneabloggers meetup--at the Fort Wayne location, of all places! I wished I could have gone...but...too far. That library is so wonderful. An added bonus is that it is in the same town as some of my husband's roots, so research was like doing a hands-on lab or field work at the same time.

    But to hear that, on top of all this--and the cozy picture above--YOU were there! Oh how I wish I could have been there. I would have loved to meet you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The day will come, Jacqi! We'll be gathering again in Fort Wayne in the fall. I am up for coffee, dinner or anything else your heart desires if you're ever passing through St. Louis. And should I land in your neck of the woods you will be my first contact. Promise.

      Delete
  2. Sounds like you guys had an absolute blast and got some serious research done! Sounds so much more fun than the conferences too and no one had to make any presentations either! I'm so jealous! Wish we could organize something like that over here on the mid-east coast, but just don't think the interest would be here. We are much too "serious" in North Carolina ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a wonderful experience! I thought about all of you all weekend. It was still probably a good thing that I didn't come this time, but hopefully in the future.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I totally agree with you, Susan. Being around everyone and relaxing was the perfect environment for all of us to recharge. I thought that we would be a rowdy bunch at the library, but everyone was so energized to get actual research done. I'm glad that you had some discoveries, even if some were negative results. I can't wait to do it again.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sounds much, much better than a conference.

    ReplyDelete
  6. There is nothing better than being in a room full of people who are just as passionate about research as we are ourselves. And, as I 'beat the dead horse', because we work so often and long alone, it's essential to take some time to discuss our lines (or have someone else review them) so we can get additional clarity. Being able to do that in such a lovely library full of amazing resources and even more fun and resourceful genealogists was just the icing on the cake! I'm happy the drive afforded you the opportunity to think through what you uncovered and gave you the time to stop at the cemetery.

    It was such a pleasure meeting you Susan, and YOU gave me the idea to dive into my St. Louis connection next. Can't wait to see what I find! Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Susan, I'm so glad to finally see you! Darling and charming as I figured, after these 2 years. Thanks to you and the others who wrote about the meetup, and it makes me wish I could have attended as well. It sounds like you had a great and productive time.

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a great thing, oh, yes, please, please, let the next me!!

    You had a great weekend, we won't tease about Legacy, sometimes it just takes such an event/time to make us realize what we really have! LOL

    Love the thought processes and the research, and the new ideas.

    WOOT!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. It really was an amazing weekend, wasn't it? I had so much fun, and experienced that same boost of energy you did from being surrounded by like-minded researchers. Glad you made some discoveries. Looking forward to seeing pictures of the cemetery you stopped at. Can't wait to do it again! Next time, though, I'm going to bring some chopsticks.

    ReplyDelete
  10. It was a wonderful weekend and I think you really summed it up for me - the difference between this type of get together and conferences...not that I don't love conferences. Sure hope I can make it to the next get together in the fall!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm glad there was such a successful meetup of Geneabloggers. It looks like you all had a great time, and people are still commenting and posting photos on Facebook and Twitter!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you get credit for getting the ball rolling with the New England Geneabloggers gathering, Heather. We were so very jealous!

      Delete
  12. Just reading about your success is inspiring. How did you prepare? Did you try to concentrate on a specific family or did you have a list of resources to look at for a variety of question?
    I hope to be organized next time . . . there is always hope.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had a list of books and journals held at ACPL that I've long wanted to see. The journals were especially interesting. PERSI searches gave clues that specific articles might be of interest, but not enough to warrant ordering copies. It was very scattershot, not at all focused. Kinda of like a salad bar!

      Delete

Comments related to the information shared here are most appreciated. All comments are moderated, and since I am not actively researching right now it many take a day or two for your comment to post. Please know that it will post, and that I much appreciate the feedback.