When I attend a conference in Salt Lake City, I usually devote one day for research at the Family History Library. I figure I can always go back during the conference if I absolutely have to find that one record that I really need, especially if I know the microfilm number or book/periodical call number.
So how do I prepare to visit the Family History Library for my one day, and what am I looking for? My usual attitude is "look for records that you can only find at the Family History Library!" These are usually microfilmed records - especially land and probate records for my ancestral families. Sometimes, I search for books on the shelf for specific surnames, or books and periodicals for specific places. I don't use the FHL computers much, except to look up microfilm numbers or call numbers for specific book or periodicals.
To prepare for the FHL visit, I go through the To-Do items in my RootsMagic program. I double check the existing To-Do list items to make sure that their status are up-to-date (open, completed, etc.). If I'm missing microfilm numbers or call numbers, I try to add them using the online FHL Catalog. Then I go through my ancestral families one-by-one, looking for items to add to the To-Do list, and add them.
Last year, I found, photographed, or copied to a flash drive, quite a few documents. I summarized the "finds" in RootsTech 2014 - Day 1 - I Went to the Library! The 2014 "finds" were highlighted in my Amanuensis Monday and Treasure Chest Thursday posts throughout the year on Genea-Musings. Once I transcribe and source these documents, I add them to my RootsMagic database. In essence, the FHL visit "feeds" my RootsMagic database and Genea-Musings. Another win-win!!
What am I looking for this year? Here's a partial list:
1) Search Andrew County, Missouri Deed indexes for Ranslow Smith and Devier J. Smith; find and photograph the deeds if some are listed.
2) Search Sussex County, New Jersey Deed indexes for Abel/Able, Auble names; find and photograph deed index pages and specific deeds for John Auble (1757-1818), John Auble (1780-1831), Anna Auble (1787-1860), David Auble (1817-1894).
3) Search Sussex County, New Jersey Deed indexes for William Knapp (1775-1856) and Sarah Knapp (1784-1878). Find and photograph deed index pages and specific deeds.
4) Search Mercer County, Pennsylvania Deed indexes for Daniel Spangler (1781-1851), Elizabeth Spangler (1796-1863), and Cornelius Feather (1777-1853). Find and photograph deed index pages and specific deeds.
5) Search for Probate records of James Richmond (1821-1912) in Putnma, Windham County, Connecticut. Find and photograph probate records.
6) Search for Probate records of John Seaver (1771-1853) in Bristol county, Massachusetts. Find and photograph probate records.
7) Search Killingly, Connecticut Deed indexes for Jonathan White (1804-1850) and Henry White (1824-1885). Find and photograph deed index pages and specific deeds.
8) Search Washington County, Iowa Deed indexes for David J. Carringer (1828-1902). Find and photograph deed index pages and specific deeds.
9) Search Vigo County, Indiana Deed indexes for David Auble (1817-1894) and Sarah Auble (1818->1900). Find and photograph deed index pages and specific deeds.
10) Search South Petherton Parish Registers for Vaux, Laver, Palmer, Axe, etc. for baptism, marriage and burial records.
There are many more To-Do list items for the FHL - I recently added many more the last time I looked through the resources I have for my ancestral families. My history is that my list is always too long, and I come home with things to do next year from the current list. That's OK - I'll be back, I think. Maybe I'll do a week-long tour one of these years.
Here is the To-Do list in RootsMagic by topic:
Hmmm, I haven't prioritized that list much! I should do that! I should also make the list titles consistent with either the person's name first or the record name first. I prefer the record name, I think.
Here is the first page of the printed To-Do List at the Family History Library (selected all items at the Family History Library):
I will probably try to use a form like that shown in A Workbook for My Visit to the Family History Library by Diane Boumenot on the One Rhode Island Family blog last week. This makes more sense - I can prioritize the forms, and they will be easier to use than the long To-Do list above. I won't make a Workbook for them, however.
So, going to a conference in Salt Lake City is a win-win proposition for me! I look forward to my day at the Genealogy Mecca.
The URL for this post is: http://www.geneamusings.com/2014/12/fgs-conference-rootstech-conference-and.html
Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver
NOTE: I am an FGS Official ambassador, but I don't receive any benefits for being one.