Friday, January 28, 2011

Arizona Family History Expo Wrapup

Now that I've had a few days to recover and reflect on the Arizona Family History Expo, I'd like to share with you which lectures I attended and something I learned from each. I hope you find this helpful.

Friday began with Nancy Loe's, Organize Your Genealogical Research, where I learned it's perfectly OK to arrange your digital and paper files differently. In fact, that's what she recommends. I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I heard this. The other organizing presentations I have attended and reading I have done on this topic have all recomended organizing paper and digital files the same way. Unfortunately, I realized, after I had re-organized my digital files several months ago, that I had done them each differently. I am having absolutely no problem finding anything, so based on Nancy's recommendation, I am not going to worry about it. Whew!

Since I am not particularly familiar with tax records, I stepped out of my comfort zone and attended Leiland Meitzler's, Using Tax Records to Extend Your Genealogy. Here I learned you can figure out how old a man was depending on when he began appearing in the local tax records, if you also familarize yourself with the local laws, for that time period. The laws of the time tell when a man had to begin paying a tax.

Next up, Arlene Eakle speaking on, Track Hard-to-Find Southern Ancestors in Land and Property Records: State by State. My ears perked up when Arlene explained there is a relatively new resource available that will allow researchers to connect their Tennessee ancestor to North Caroline during and after the Revolutionary War, if he claims military service from North Carolina. Maybe I can finally make some progress on my Low ancestors from Knox County, Tennessee!

I ended Friday with Pat Richley, aka Dear Myrtle, and her talk 7 Habits of Highly Effective Genealogists. She compiled her list based upon the recommendations of her genealogist colleagues over in Second Life. Pat spent some time talking about Gensmarts and how it can help you research more efficiently. I like efficiency!

Over the course of the weekend, I attended Bridget Cook's talks which you can read about in Post 1 of the FHE.

Lisa Louise Cooke started my Saturday off with How to Create Awesome Interactive Family History Tours with Google Earth which I wrote about in Post 3.

The last presentation I attended was Dear Myrtle's, How Ancestry Trees Can Jumpstart Your Research. She did a live demo for us so we were able to see just how quickly those "shaky leaves" begin appearing once you upload your tree. I was glad I heard this presentation since Pat had some great tips and explained the difference between the shaky leaf (quick and easy data base results) and the magnifying glass which gives the results of a deeper search.

I hope this information is of help to you in your research. If you have the opportunity the listen to any of these presenters in the future, I recommend each and every one of them.

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Disclaimer: As a Blogger of Honor for the Arizona Family History Expo, I did receive a free registration and dinner. This in no way influenced my opinions expressed herein. In fact I would have attended the Expo even if I would have had to pay.


  1. Michelle, you are getting to be an old pro at these Expos, before you know it, you'll be a speaker! Enjoyed your article, as always.

  2. Can't remember if I mentioned this in another comment, just in case I didn't - I'm sorry we didn't connect up at the expo. I stopped by the Blog House and asked about you...the lady there said she'd tell you hi for me. Hope she did. I was only able to attend the "RootsMagic" was very informative since I'll be using this program, as soon as I get over my computer problems. Also had fun wandering around talking to the vendors. Drooled a lot over the 'Flip-Scan'...or whatever it's called.

  3. Mary, You did mention it and I was bad and didn't respond. I'm sorry I missed you! I was keeping my eyes out for you so. If you go to the Dick Eastman seminar for the FHSA of March surely we can meet then!

    Barbara, I would love to become a speaker when I grow up! I always wanted to be a teacher. It's something to strive for.

  4. I'm glad you found my session on organizing helpful. That presentation usually gives people permission to do what is right for them!

    I hope next conference we have time to talk.

  5. All helpful info. I have so much primary material, it's crazy (24 bankers' boxes) and while we have all the broad categories highly organized, drilling down & getting the details recorded properly is quite a challenge. (See what I mean at my site). I'd love to know more about the "organization" lecture. Anything on line about that?

  6. Linda, The only thing I see online about Nancy Loe's organizing lecture is at her blog. She has a new e-book. Here's the link to that particular post. I haven't seen the book yet. Hope this helps.

  7. Linda, I thought of something else regarding organizing. Lisa Louise Cooke has done quite a bit with that subject on Genealogy Gems Podcast and her other podcast Family History Genealogy Made Easy. She also has some videos out on the subject. I'm sure you can find them at her Genealogy Gems website. Good luck. You and I seem to be in the same boat with massive amounts of material needing to be organized!