Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tuesday on the TMG Cruise

Tuesday morning had two lectures by John Cardinal on “TMG Utility” (a stand-alone modification tool that fixes TMG database problems using rules and filters – it’s useful for fixing problems that affect many persons) and “Second site” (a stand-alone program that creates web pages from a TMG database). These appear to be powerful tools, especially the Second Site software if a TMG user wants to create a web site with linked pages between people and events in a project database.

Megan Smolenyak presented “Right Annie, Wrong Annie” about the search for Annie Moore and the ensuing family reunion, NYGBS presentation, the plays in DC and Ireland, and the dedication of the monument in Calvary Cemetery in Queens. Megan showed the research performed to prove the wrong Annie wasn’t the right one, and the research done by several contributors to find Annie Schayer in Manhattan, and her unmarked cemetery plot. This talk was the SCGS Jamboree dinner talk that I missed, so I was happy to hear it. Linda came to this talk and was moved by it. This talk really brings out the best in genealogy, I think. This was in the Palm Dining Room, so everyone was gathered in close to the small screen. Here is a photo of Megan discussing the Annie Moore statue at Ellis Island:

Megan wore her Annie Moore T-shirt and I got a picture with her:

John Titford was next up with “Migrants on the Move: “Bounce Backers.” This title refers to English ancestors of John’s that traveled within England, but always came back to the Bratton, Wiltshire and Frome, Somerset ancestral homes. John used five examples from his own research from 1547 to 1757. The lesson here, for me, was that people were not always static – they moved about, up to 100 miles or more sometimes. In addition to the standard parish registers and wills, he showed that there are other resources that can be used to find information about persons in this time frame. Here is Bob Velke introducing John in the Princess Theater:

After lunch, Elizabeth Shown Mills was back for “The Identity Crisis: Right Name, Wrong Man? Wrong Name, Right Man?” She used seven case studies to illustrate her points that names can change for a number of reasons – including step-fathers and liaisons, patriarchal reasons, borrowed or alias names, taking a father or husband’s given name as a surname, patronymics, “dit” names, and translated or transliterated names. The case studies are fascinating – many of them are from NGSQ or TAG articles.

Craig R. Scott presented “Researching Your Revolutionary War Ancestors.” Craig is an expert in military records, and it shines through in this talk. His counsel was to check all of the papers in Compiled Military Service Records and Pension Applications – including those of other members of the soldier’s company and regiment. He noted that not all soldiers have a Compiled Military Service Record, and that there may be records in State Archives, the Library of Congress and the National Archives. Craig noted that http://www.footnote.com/ has the compiled military service records, Continental Congress papers, RevWar rolls, and RevWar Pension files online. Indexed and searchable. He warned that HeritageQuestOnline has only selected pension papers online – not the complete pension file.

The last presentation today was by Tony Burroughs on “Did Your Ancestor Serve in the Civil War?” He started out with an excellent summary of how to find if you have a Civil War ancestor – to use interviews with relatives, family papers and records, cemetery records, birth, death and marriage records, and census records to work your way back to 1870 in order to determine which males might have served in the Civil War (essentially those aged 23 to 53 in 1870). Then check the 1910 census (Column 30), the 1890 Union veterans census and the online NPS Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System at www.nps.gove/cwss/soldiers.htm to determine if they were Union soldiers. The Compiled Military Service Record and Civil War Pension applications index can then be used to find records for the soldier. The records will have to be found on National Archives microfilms or at Archives centers and copied for a fee. Tony mentioned that State Adjutant General Reports can also be used. Tony covered records available for Union soldiers and seamen, Confederate soldiers, and African-American soldiers. He provided an excellent bibliography.

We went to dinner and sat with several TMG Conference attendees, and then went to a forgettable comedy and singing show in the Princess Theater. I felt better today.

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