Sunday, September 19, 2010

My Report on FGS 2010 in Knoxville - Part III

Ok, so I know everyone has moved past the FGS Conference last month and are now blogging about other things. I'm trying to savor the moments I had there by dragging out my posts. Actually, the truth is that as of two weeks ago, I have started studying for the CPA exam. That has taken up the majority of my time, which is why I haven't blogged in about two weeks. Now, if I could only remember what I did on the last day of the conference....

Well, lucky for you guys, I have a pretty good memory. This is the only day of the conference where I made it to an 8 AM session. I attended the War of 1812 session by Christine Rose. Missy Corley of Bayside Blog was in attendance. I really wanted to see Christine Rose, which is the only reason I woke up so early. I love her book on courthouse records, so I figured her lecture would be great as well. She did not disappoint. She described the causes of the War and also informed us about bounty land records, including unindexed bounty land warrant applications based on service between 1812 and 1855, which are available at the National Archives.

I really wanted to attend the 9:30 AM session on North Carolina and Tennessee land grant processes, but I had to skip breakfast in order to make it in time for the 8 AM session. I was so hungry that I had to leave the conference and walk to Pete's for breakfast, so I had to miss the 9:30 session. I arrived back at the convention center around 10 AM, so I had an hour to browse the exhibit hall. I spoke with Louise St. Denis, the director of the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. I had been eying their 40 course certificate program for awhile, so I talked to her about the cost of this program. She told me that she would be raising prices around September 1, and that there was a 10% discount and one free course for conference attendees. She also told me that I could take as long as I wanted to complete the certificate program. Hmmm...something to think about.

Next, I attended the 11 AM session on organizing materials electronically by Josh Taylor of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. The most important concept I learned in this session was about metadata. Metadata is data about data. Josh showed us a spreadsheet that he keeps about the kinds of documents he has found on an individual or family. The spreadsheet has the name of the digital file, format of the digital file, the document name/type, individuals referenced in the document, repository, source citation, date created/found, and date edited. I need to do an analysis to determine whether my Clooz software is sufficient for storing metadata, or if I need to create spreadsheets as well. I have an inkling that Clooz is sufficient, but the accountant in me loves spreadsheets.

After the 11 AM session, all the geneabloggers ate lunch down in Market Square. This was our last day together :(.

I decided to skip the 2 PM session to further contemplate and calculate the cost of signing up for the 40 course certificate program at the National Institute. I finally decided that it would be a great deal financially to at least sign up now and receive the 10% discount plus the free course, especially since prices were on the rise. I knew I would be studying for the CPA exam soon and that I wouldn't have much time for anything else, but if I could take ten years to complete the certificate, I might as well sign up now to receive the special discounts. So I returned to the exhibit hall and signed up for the certificate program in American Records.

My final two sessions I attended were on finding Kentucky Civil War ancestors and on finding records for ancestors that worked on the railroad.

That evening, I attended a party at the home of Missy Corley's sister, who conveniently lives in Knoxville. I picked up Amy Coffin of The We Tree Genealogy Blog from her hotel, and we headed to Missy's sister's house. (Most of the other geneabloggers had left to head back home after lunch). We had some of Missy's yummy taco recipe that was passed down from her grandmother. The party was really fun, and we got to meet some of her sister's community theatre friends. We also met up with Madaleine Laird of kInfolit at the party. This was a great way to end a great weekend.


  1. Hard to believe the conference was a month ago! That War of 1812 session was really useful -- I found bounty land warrant files for a client at NARA after attending that session. So glad you guys could come to the party! -Missy

  2. Well, I'm still happy to read about the FGS Conference! I agree with you about Christine Rose - love her courthouse research book, and I went to her other presentation. Good luck on the CPA exam!

  3. Jennifer...thanks for checking out my blog (My Genealogy Girl). I used to be an accountant too - I think those skills help our family research...but genealogy is MUCH more fun! Suz

  4. It really is hard to believe it's been a month. I'm ready for another conference!

  5. I'm glad you wrote this post even if the conference was a month ago.

    I've been working on my certification from NIGS for 3 or 4 years now. I'm almost done. I did the same thing as you by purchasing the whole thing at a discount. I've learned a lot from the various courses and I'm sure you will too.

    Good luck on the CPA exam. I'm glad that is water long gone under the bridge for me.

  6. That was a great time, wasn't it? It's nice to read about it again.