Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Burbank Jamboree

Well, my weekend was busy with attending the Burbank Jamboree put on by the Southern California Genealogy Society. Let me tell you-this conference did not disappoint. Every talk I went to was great! If the SCGS, http://www.scgsgenealogy.com/, still has a syllabus you can purchase, I would recommend it! This conference had it all, great topics and great speakers.

For a great summary of some of the speakers and their presentations, see Steve Danko’s genealogy blog at http://www.stephendanko.com/.

One of the presentations I saw was Bill Dollarhide’s State Census and Substitutions. Basically, this is an overview of what he refers to as “name lists” that you can use as substitutes to the U.S. Federal Census. If you do New York research you really need to get his book New York State Census and Substitutions. He did a great series in his Genealogy Bulletin on each state and the “name lists” for that state. The Genealogy Bulletin was a publication of the now defunct Heritage Quest magazine. Bill had the series on sale at his booth at the conference.

One website he mentioned that I was not aware of was HistoryKat, http://affiliate.historykat.com/index.php, this website provides digital images of historical documents. It is a subscription site but at $24.95 for a year, it is an affordable one. Right now they have a little over 30 databases including some state censuses for Colorado, Illinois, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin. They also have the War of 1812 Bounty Land Warrants. For those with postal employees as ancestors, check out the 10 databases they have for postal employees. The State Census records are also on Ancestry but if you don’t have an Ancestry subscription and you have ancestors in those 4 states, you might want to pay for a subscription. I did notice that some images are “browsable” and some are “indexed.” So I believe that means that there is not an every name index, which could be a problem in searching through a large document like a census.

Of course, when I go to a conference I immediately check out the vendors selling books. The Genealogy Shelf, http://www.thegenealogyshelf.com/, was there with some of their many genealogy and history related books. One of the many books I bought was Finding Indiana Ancestors: A Guide to Historical Research edited by M. Teresa Baer and Geneil Breeze. What a fabulous resource on researching Indiana ancestors! This collaborative works includes chapters by historians and genealogists. Chapters include information on Indiana resource such as the Indiana State Library, the Indiana State Archives, Indiana Historical Society, Society of Indiana Pioneers as well as non-Indiana repositories like the Allen County Public Library, the National Archives, Great Lakes Region, and the Family History Library. All types of sources are discussed including manuscripts, artifacts, maps, church records, court records and military records. Ethnic groups and industries are also covered. My feeling is having glanced at the chapters but not having a chance to sit down a read them yet, this is a great resource even if you are not researching Indiana ancestors because of the thoroughness of the discussions and how they could easily apply to a wide range of ancestors from all over the United States.

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