Report of 2006 Jamboree in St. George
Just got back late last night from a wonderful genealogy weekend in the much
warmer climate of St. George, Utah. Here are a few of the highlights:
EASTMAN looked into his crystal ball and presented a
thought-provoking speech at the Friday night dinner. His premise: The role of
family historians increases in importance as caretaker of not only the family
genealogy but as caretaker of the actual health & well-being of future
generations. He cited advances in DNA research that improve our understanding of
inherited tendencies for disease.
PEOPLE ATTENDED. The phenomenal success of this large-scale genealogy
conference should send a message to others. It isn't necessary to charge $200+
for people to attend a multi-day, multi-track genealogy conference. Also, the
keynote address and the vendor areas were open to the general public without
requiring the very minimal $25 per day entrance fee. This encouraged newbies to
find out about the conference before registering for classes.
REPORTED RECORD SALES. Maybe folks had money to spend since they
weren't paying a high price to get in the door? Not sure why this is happening,
but for two years in a row, vendors have reported record sales from this single
venue in particular compared to two other national conferences.
READERS & LISTENERS STOPPED BY OL' MYRT'S DESK. WOW, I sure was
amazed to meet so many of you in person. I particularly remember a trucker
husband and wife team. He listens to DearMYRTLE's FAMILY HISTORY HOUR on his
PocketPC, and she listens on her iPod. Ol' Myrt has neither implement, so I just
listen on my computer with the speakers turned on of course!
COMMIT TO COMPLETING ONE GENEALOGY TASK THIS COMING YEAR. During the
keynote address, ol' Myrt asked 13 volunteers come forward and read their
"mission impossible" statements. Each took the challenge, but had the chance to
exchange with one of the other 13. Hopefully one of these ideas will strike YOUR
fancy, or you'll come up with one of your own.
1. Document the story behind a family
heirloom, such as a quilt, old hat, pair of gloves, shop tool like a hammer,
binoculars or family bible. Also take a picture of the heirloom and share this
with everyone in your family.
2. Ensure that every document you’ve collected
is listed as a source in your genealogy software program
for each ancestor mentioned in the document.
Be sure to use proper bibliographic citations, and link to every individual
mentioned in the document.
3. Recall a family story told at your last
family reunion, family funeral or wedding, telephone call, or visit with a
distant cousin and write a report on the conversation.
4. Take one photo for each ancestor and
descendant and digitize it. Then attach it as a multi-media file to that
individual in your genealogy software program.
5. Work on preserving the original items in
your collection. Take photocopies of originals and use copies in your work.
Place originals in acid-free archival quality sheet protectors, tissues,
6. Within the next 6 months set up an
interview with 2 other family members. Ask them what they remember about
7. Review five generations on your pedigree
chart to determine if you have used too much “hearsay” evidence? If so, look
again for evidence, focusing on primary, original records (perhaps on
microfilm) whenever possible.
8. Take time to gather ALL your genealogy
papers, documents, photos, books, outlines and put them in some sort of filing
system. NOTE: the “Shoe Box” method doesn’t count!
9. Promise yourself that when doing research
this year you’ll make photocopies of the title page, in addition to the pages
in the book/microfilm where your ancestor is mentioned. Within 2 weeks of the
research trip you’ll transcribe and or scan the information and attach it to
the appropriate ancestor’s records in your genealogy software program. AND,
you’ll file the document.
10. You’ll create a shadow box using the
artifacts for an ancestor, coupled with a scanned image of an original photo.
This might include a pair of spectacles, some
pearls, opera tickets, or a marriage license and scraps of quilt fabric.
11. Teach a grandchild, niece or nephew to
cook something that has become a tradition in your family. Watermelon pickles?
Apricot jam or turkey gravy?
12. Make a 2007 calendar with photos of family
members, listing important dates for the living as well as deceased ancestors
on your family tree and distribute copies for holiday gifts in December.
13. Learn how to create a web site! Include
info from non-living grandparents and older relatives. Include scanned images
of pertinent source documents. (TNG might help you there!)
The idea here is NOT to become overwhelmed by
the challenges of genealogical research. This is a JOY.
Happy family tree climbing!