Wednesday, January 30, 2008

"Research in New York State" presentation at CVGS today

We had our Chula Vista Genealogical Society program meeting today at the Chula Vista Civic Center Library. This was our first meeting on our new day (last Wednesday) and new time (12 noon to 2 PM). The change (from the last Monday at 10 AM) was caused by the Library changing its open hours. We had 35 in attendance, which is fairly typical of our meetings.

Our speaker today was our own Shirley Becker, who presented "Research In New York State - not in New York City." She used a Powerpoint style presentation with many maps and photos, and reviewed the history timeline from 1609 to 1845, discussed the different administrative entities in New York (county, town, city, village, hamlet - different from all of other states), and covered the different types of resources available for New York State research. I now have a much better understanding of "how things happened" with respect to the Dutch, German, and English settlers, and the events leading to development and settlement of the western part of the State.

Shirley provided a 10 page handout, including a timeline, four pages of New York Internet resources, and five pages of a Bibliography list of books and periodicals by subject.

Shirley covered quite a lot in her hour-long presentation, but this subject could easily take 8 to 10 hours or more. In her talk, she showed maps of the New York counties over the years, and made the point that records for a certain town may be in several different counties, especially in the early years of settlement.

The attendees now have a better understanding of the available resources and research techniques used for researching this "Black hole of genealogy research" (Shirley's description!).

Now I have pages of resources to go search through in my pursuit of my elusive New York ancestors, including Russell Smith, James Bell, William Knapp, Cornelia Bresee and several others.

1 comment:

Thomas MacEntee said...

Great wrap-up Randy. It sounds like it was a great presentation.

And I am not surprised about the counties in New York - it is something that has driven me up the wall during my research!