Another early morning. This morning started with a ProGen breakfast at 7:00 A.M. It was nice to get to visit with other ProGen members and also to spend some time with my mentor, Sandy Clunies. Christine Cook from my group was also in attendance. It was great for the three of us to have a chance to chat.
The first session I attend this morning was Craig Scott’s “Getting Ink on Paper: Publishing Your Genealogical Material in the Digital Age.” Of all the sessions I attended during this conference, this is by far the one that taught me the most new things that I did not know before. If you are even slightly interested in publishing, this is a must-see lecture.
Next, I went to get a seat for Elissa Scalise Powell’s “Eating an Elephant: Managing Large Projects.” This talk discussed methods of completing large tasks such as publication, website building, certification, or society work. Prioritization is key in large project management, as is delegation. Tools such as Storyboard That, Mind View 5, and Scrivener can be very useful tools, as can an old-fashioned notebook with tabs.
The NEAPG luncheon was quite enjoyable. I sat at the Connecticut table, along with Barbara Mathews and Claire Ammon. We had the opportunity to discuss some Connecticut resources. Claire and I worked together to help one of our table visitors come up with a list of possible resources and repositories for New Haven ancestors.
By the time the afternoon rolled around, I was VERY tired but I really wanted to attend “Researching a Community” by David Allen Lambert. David shared the way that he built a website for his hometown of Stoughton, Massachusetts. Oftentimes, there are records in town that no one has digitized. Make it your mission to do it and share it with the world. Even if it’s been digitized behind a paywall, if you go to the original source holder and get permission, you can offer it for free. What a wonderful thing to do for your community.
Heather Wilkinson Rojo was very kind to invite me to attend the banquet with her. She had an extra ticket, which I gather was for Thomas MacEntee. Thomas was not able to fly out of Chicago due to the flooding, so I got to attend in his place. Thank you to both Heather and Thomas!
Milli Knudsen gave a wonderful talk about the homicide cold cases that she works on. Milli organizes all of the details to look for clues and talked about how her skills as a genealogist prepared her for this. Milli calls these cases the “Girls in the Woods.” I was familiar with these, having worked on one of the cases as part of the Boston University Genealogical Certificate Program. I have an interest in both DNA and photography, which are both part of a good forensic genealogy skillset, but the whole “murder” aspect really bothers me.
I truly appreciate the work of people like Milli, but I’m not sure I would ever want to do it. I equate it to being a veterinarian. It’s got to be wonderful to help the animals, but first you’ve got to see them sick and suffering and I’m not the right person for that sort of thing. This talk was very interesting to me, but a somewhat sad way to end an otherwise very upbeat conference! I would definitely love to see more from Milli at another conference, but first thing in the morning would work better for me. I find her work to be very interesting.
Once the banquet was over, I went back to my room and went to sleep. I drove home the following morning, and my children came running out to greet me. It’s great to visit with friends and learn new things, but it’s even more wonderful to return home to the living family who loves me and missed me while I was gone.