Friday, June 10, 2011

A Yankee at Jamboree - Part 2

Day one of the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree, and I attended three excellent lectures.  The first one was “It’s not your Ancestor’s Library” by Patricia Mosley Van Skaik of the Public Library of Cincinatti.  I learned a lot, because this was part of the Jamboree that was supposed to be for librarians- but I went anyways!  It was excellent to learn how libraries are now starting their own digitizing projects, and Cincinatti has one with a new machine that can scan 2,400 pages an hour!  These collections are local treasures, often donated for digitizing by local citizens who are not ready to donate material, but are willing to participate by having it scanned.  There were examples of projects going on at lots of other libraries, and resources that librarians use to search for genealogical information.  She also mentioned several ways to keep up with the wave of new information coming on line, and #1 on her list was BLOGS!  She used Dick Eastman’s blog as an example, but feel free to fill in with any of your favorite genealogy blogs (*ahem!*)

The second lecture was “The Secret Lives of Women” by Gena Philbert Ortega from  She gave a great talk on why researching women was so very different from researching men.  Instead of relying on names, first, she uses locality.  By researching the primary source material of a town, you can find what life was like for women, and maybe even find your female ancestors.  Using quilt and cookbook databases, she showed examples of archival and online sources that genealogists usually don’t examine.  I’m seriously thinking of going to another one of Gena’s lectures this weekend, it was that good!

My third lecture today was John Colletta’s talk on Ellis Island.  He explained the history of Ellis Island and immigration, showing how and why many immigrants between 1892 and 1924 to New York never passed through Ellis Island!  Surprise!  The reasons are good, and may change your family history. I heard John speak twice at the 2011 NERGC conference in Springfield, and he was great here.  He is one speaker I will be seeking out online and at other conferences.

In between I visited the Vendor Hall and “Blogger Island”.  I met many Mayflower Cousins at the California Mayflower table, and I knew some from the 2008 Trienniel Plymouth Congress.  We all plan to meet up for dinner together at the banquet.  I also met Lisa Cooke from the Genealogy Gems, the staff at NEHGS (Gary Boyd Roberts,  Brenton Simons, Tom Champoux, and David Allen Lambert), and I finally met the Footnote Maven and Randy Seaver’s lovely wife, Linda.  The vendor hall is huge, and it will take several trips before I see everything.
Still ahead are the banquet, Thomas’s Radio Show and the Blogger Ice Cream Social Sponsored by !  By the way, I never did get that siesta this afternoon!
Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. Oh my gosh, you must be having a wonderful time! Who can sleep with everything going on around them? It sounds like you will be going non-stop until you get home. ;)

  2. Heather - You are having too much fun.

    Thanks for the update.