Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My Report on FGS 2010 in Knoxville - Part II

OK, I am finally back to continue my report on the FGS Conference in Knoxville. I fell ill on Monday, and it is great to be feeling well again. I thought it was just conference hangover at first, but I believe that I had a 24-hour bug. I left off my last posting with Day One at the conference.

On Day Two, I woke up late once again and missed the 8:00 sessions. I went to breakfast at the Crowne Plaza restaurant and then headed over for the 9:30 sessions. My session was about pension agents, examining surgeons, and pension bureau employees in the nineteenth century and was given by Dr. Kenneth W. Heger of the National Archives. This was also one of my favorite sessions, and fellow geneablogger Tina from Gen Wish List, was there. I learned that I should check the records containing appeals for my great-great-great-grandfather, John Pemberton. He had a very large pension file, and while it looks like most of his appeal info is in his regular pension file, Dr. Heger said that there is a possibility some of the information is in the appeals files, which are not indexed. If you haven't ordered a pension file for your ancestor, I highly recommend it. John Pemberton's was my biggest goldmine yet.

For the 11:00 session, I attended Victor Dunn's session titled "The Research Process." I did not see any other geneabloggers in attendance, but I did sit next to a gentleman from East Tennessee. He asked what surnames I was researching in the area, and when I told him that one was Proffitt, he said that there used to be a Proffitt Department Store in East Tennessee and that there are still lots of Proffitts in the area today. I really liked this session because it was a nice refresher course on the research process as outlined in the BCG Manual. It had a slight focus on tips for client research, which is helpful to potential professionals like myself. I also found out that the presenter was an accountant too, which is always a plus in my book.

Afterward, I attended lunch with Tina, Linda, and Tonia before heading back to attend George Morgan's session on locating Anglican parish records in England. I had heard George give a talk on vital records in England on the RootsMagic Cruise, so I knew that this would also be an informative and entertaining session. We learned the history of the Anglican Church, what information is contained in parish records, and where the parish records are located today. This will help me a lot with my Plaine and Hillman ancestors on my maternal grandmother's side. They immigrated from England to Canada in the 1850s and 1860s.

After hearing Elizabeth Shown Mills the first day, I had to go to her session about The Genealogical Proof Standard on the second day. Just about all geneabloggers were in attendance and sitting on geneabloggers row for this session. Once again, Ms. Mills reminded us that we need to check all records, no matter where they are located and whether or not they are indexed. She presented a wonderful case study on proving the parentage of her client's ancestor.

Between sessions, I ran downstairs to put my door prize tickets in the exhibitors' boxes before the big drawings at 6:00 PM. I was planning to attend the session on land records by Christine Rose, but I had left my belongings with the geneabloggers who were waiting for the session on timelines to begin. I did not have enough time to grab my things and then run back downstairs to Rose's session, so I decided to stay for the timelines session. I learned of a few websites to use when constructing timelines in genealogy.

After this, I headed back downstairs to put in a few more door prize tickets at the last minute. I had procrastinated filling out my door prize tickets b/c I didn't have any address labels. There were some awesome prizes given away, such as an iPad, 5-day genealogy cruise to Bermuda, seven-night stay in Salt Lake City, free conference registration to the Illinois State Genealogical Society conference and the NGS conference, etc. Of course, I didn't win anything. Oh, well. It was fun anyway.

Finally, I attended the War of 1812 reception, where we learned about the digitization project of the War of 1812 pension files. There was also a prize there: 7-night stay in SLC plus airfare, meal cards, and copy cards for the FHL. After the drawing was over, I headed back to the hotel after the longest conference day yet.

As it is getting late, I will wrap this up again. Stay tuned for more reports on FGS 2010 in Knoxville!


  1. Sorry to hear you were ill after the conference, and glad that you are better. It's interesting to hear what the other presentations were like!

  2. Sorry you were sick. I thought you were just kidding about conference hangover.

  3. Linda,
    Well, I was just kidding that morning. I just woke up really tired, so I figured it was just from the conference, even though I felt fine on Sunday when I got home. Then in the afternoon, my stomach started hurting. It must have been a 24-hour bug.

    I agree that it is nice to hear about the other presentations. That way you know for next time whether you want to attend or not if that speaker is around.