Saturday, April 8, 2017

FGS Regional/WSGS 2017 Gene-A-Rama Conference – Day 2

Today, was day two of a two-day conference of the FGS Regional/WSGS 2017 Gene-A-Rama held at the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells, WI. Here’s the sessions I attended.

Speaker: Curt B. Witcher
“Fingerprinting our Families: Using Ancestral Origins as a Genealogical Research Key”
He has a way of stating facts differently than any other speaker would. Instead of “bread crumbs,” he used “fingerprints.” Really makes you think outside the usual box. Thanks Curt!

Speaker:  Antje Petty
“Max Kade Institute: Resources to help with your German-American Family Research”
Ms. Petty’s talk was an eye-opener. I’m researching my mother’s line of Germans the Rammingers’ of Sheboygan County, WI. Date range 1852-1900. The institute is in the Wisconsin State Historical Society at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I happen to have some German church records that need to be translated. She said to contact her this coming week at the library to take a look at what I have. Good info, handout and talk!

Speaker:  Grace Dumelle
“130 Years of Genealogy Gems: Delve into the Newberry Library’s Treasure House.”
As many times as I’ve been back to Chicago, I’ve never had the research time to visit this library. Glad I was able to hear Ms. Dumelle’s talk. An extra handout was passed out spotlighting the Curt Teich Postcard Archives Collection. She walked us through the special collections; how to register online; what type of ID you’ll need; how to get a Reader’s card; what you can and can’t bring into the library, like personal scanners. I’ll definitely try and carve out some research time for this library.

Last and final speaker of the day: Rorey Cathcart
“After the Fire: Research Strategies for Besting Burned Counties”
Good examples of what could destroy county records, not just fire. Floods, tornados, loss, theft and malfeasance to name a few. Look elsewhere, use substitute records. What exactly was destroyed, what survived? Maybe the records you need were in another building and not in the courthouse after all. Determine if substitute or abstracted records were created. Ms. Cathcart’s handout, suggestions and tips are priceless.

My husband and I drove five days from California so I could attend this conference. The trip was well worth the trek.

© 2017, Gayle Ficarra Wolcott

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