Thursday, February 16, 2017

An Interview with NERGC 2017 Speaker Edwin Strickland

Edwin W. Strickland II
NERGC 2017 speaker

The New England Regional Genealogy Conference 2017 will be April 26 – 29 at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Massachusetts.  There will be a 94 open sessions, 8 workshops, 3 luncheon, and 2 dinner banquets available for genealogists.  One of those featured workshops will be “Paleography: Reading Old Handwriting” by Edwin W. Strickland II on Thursday, April 27.  It is described in the NERGC brochure schedule as “hone your skills at hand-written documents with interactive games and hands-on practice”.  Are you intrigued?  You might want to attend!  Or learn more with this interview with Ed Strickland below…

Here are the questions and answers:

Question 1.  Although this will be my 5th NERGC conference, I don’t think I’ve met you before.  Can you introduce yourself for the readers of my blog, the NERGC blog, and for people thinking about attending NERGC 2017 in Springfield, Massachusetts?
Edwin - I am a charter member of the Connecticut Professional Genealogists Council; charter member, Past-President and nearly 30 years as Genealogist of the Descendants of the Founders of Ancient Windsor; and Past-President of Connecticut Society of Genealogists.

Question 2.  Your Thursday workshop “Paleography: Reading Old Handwriting” sounds intriguing.  What would you say to convince me to sign up for this special two hour hands-on experience with you?
Edwin - The ability to accurately reading cursive handwriting is essential when working with primary documents.  During with workshop we will look at the development of the roman alphabet, play a few interactive games (maybe with team prizes), and work on transcription of a variety of documents.

Question 3.  I understand you have been researching genealogy for over 40 years.  What first sparked your interest in family history?
Edwin -  I was raised by my paternal grandparents, on my 3rd great grandfathers farm in the Berkshires, so a sense of family history was always there but a wedding present is what really got me started.  When my brother was married in Florida (command appearance), I decided to copy my grandmother’s work on the Strickland family as a unique wedding present (who needs the sixth waffle iron).  This soon put me onto her sister’s work on the Jacob Carter family; a maternal great-aunts work on the Pomeroy, Searle and Strong families (3 of her grandparents); and my maternal grandmother pointing me to a published genealogy reporting the birth of her father.  The real hook then came when I figured out that 8 of Nathaniel Searle’s children married Pomeroys and 5 of those were siblings!

Question 4.  Why did you decide to return to NERGC again this year? How would you describe NERGC to a first time conference attendee? 
Edwin - I’ve attended every NERGC since Falmouth, and this will be my sixth conference as a presenter. In preparing a lecture, I come away with a better knowledge of that topic.  For the first timers, “You’re a kid in a candy store!” You can take something from every lecture!

Question 5.  How important do you believe continuing education, like NERGC, is to genealogists?
Edwin - I think continuing education is very important.  “You don’t know what you don’t know.” Conferences like NERGC give you a chance to explore topics, resources and methodologies with which you are unfamiliar. For experienced genealogists it is a chance to review basics and get new insights into the topics you thought you knew well.

Thank you, Ed Strickland   I can’t wait to meet you during NERGC 2017 [The New England Regional Genealogy Conference, April 26 – 29, 2017 at the MassMutual Center in Springfield.  See the website for more information, for the conference brochure, schedule and online registration at
The conference brochure and schedule can be seen online at this link:

Edwin Strickland will be the speaker at the following presentations:

Thursday T-111, 1:30pm  The handwriting workshop “Paleography: Reading Old Handwriting”

Thursday T-121, 4:30pm  “Saving the Past for the Future: Preserving Family Objects”

Saturday S-306,  8:30am  “Land Records:  More Than Metes the Eye”


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "An Interview with NERGC 2017 Speaker Edwin Strickland", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 16, 2017,  ( accessed [access date]).

1 comment:

  1. Very intriguing workshop on old handwriting. And I'm especially interested in preserving family objects. Thanks for this interview!