16 May 2012

Favorite Tweets from the NGS 2012 Conference

Warning! This is a very long post!
If you would like to link to this post, please email me.

Over the week of 9-12 May, I anxiously anticipated news and updates from participants at the 2012 NGS Conference in Ohio. Watching Twitter, reading blogs, checking on Facebook updates. All of this has allowed me to accumulate a few "gems". Here are my favorites from Twitter. (All of these were captured from using #ngs2012.)

FYI, they are all in one post mostly for my own use. However, Accessible Archives made it easy on all of us and put all the tweets into a downloadable spreadsheet. Check it out.

Image: factfriday.com

9 May:

  • @amandaea129 "Bloom: After you write the proof argument, think of ways others will pick it apart, then go do that research"

10 May:

  • @accessarchives "Bettag: 'Negative findings are valuable... but do not constitute proof'"
  • @amandaea129 "Mills. Research is a gourmet meal, and we pay a lot for that meal."
  • @lfmccauley "An index is not the record. Finding Paris on a map is not the same as going there. ESM" (ESM meaning a quote from Elizabeth Shown Mills)
  • @lfmccauley "Substitute vowels when searching indexes. Looking for Allison, also look for Ellison. ESM"
  • @a3genealogy "Elizabeth Shown Mills mentioned she wildcards all vowels when possible."
  • @amandaea129 "ESM: Treat ethnicity as a surname: German, Gypsy, Negro, etc."
  • @amandaea129 "ESM: We have to learn to to read with our ears, as well as our eyes."
  • @geneditor "make sure to look @ church duplicates because they may offer more. Don't stop with your German ancestors, look for siblings."
  • @CarmelObserver "Get your RSS feeds in Google Reader and avoid cluttering your email says Geni Ninja @tmacentee"
  • @downeastdigger "If you want your blog post to be seen in best time for Thomas' geneablogger blog roll-up, schedule post at 9:00 am Eastern"
  • @PaulaStewartWarr "As usual, a genealogy conference is like a family reunion."
  • @amandaea129 "Bittner: 'A vow as simple as "let us marry," or as vague as "I am yours" was a binding marriage' in Germany at one time."
  • @ArchivalBiz "'Make no assumptions, trust no single source in isolation.' More pearls from Tom Jones.
  • @downeastdigger "LOVE Tom Jones. 'Eleanors not a biblical name. I know. I googled the Bible.' *room erupts in laughter*"

Random Image to break up all this text.

11 May 

  • @cataplin "'In case you didn't know, compiled genealogies aren't always accurate.' - D Joshua Taylor"
  • @ArchivalBiz "'A find is not just a find, it should lead us somewhere else.' ESM"
  • @accessarchives "One of the most satisfying parts about genealogy is the community of genealogists." (Read the related blog post here:  http://genealogycertification.wordpress.com/2012/05/11/the-community-of-genealogists/)
  • @familytreegirl "Barbara says you must research the whole family, all collateral relationships if looking at chancery records"
  • @lfmccauley "On PA Tax Lists, inmate=married w/o property, freeman=single w/o property. Freilich"
  • @RachelPopma "Elissa Scalise Powell: Don't stop at the will book. Make sure to see the probate packet."
  • @skhowOH "Google search for online chancery case records for your state."
  • @ArchivalBiz "'Source citations are also reminders to us as genealogists of what we've looked at.' Tom Jones"
  • @cataplin "'When should we document? When we want to be believed.' Tom Jones"
  • @indepthgen "Is your military research organized? Don't forget to organize the data and analysis as well as the documents."
  • @ArchivalBiz "'1) Get it right. 2) Get it right in a way those who come behind us know its right.' Documentation. Tom Jones"
  • @indepthgen (All from "In Search of your Civil War Ancestry" presented by Stephen J. Buffat.)
    • Don't forget to research county histories, hometown newspapers, etc of both Union and Confederate, especially in border states.
    • Check the 1890 Veterans sched for Confederates. Look for crossed off names as it was intended for Union veterans.
    • Don't just gather your facts. Social history, baby! Know how they lived (and died) during the war.
    • Do you know the history of the draft order for CW? Look it up. Might have just gotten a lead to chase one of my guys.
    • Don't have CW ancestors? Maybe you should check draft records to see if he was rejected or exempted. NARA record grp 110
    • Union medical records are at NARA while confederate medical records are on the state level.
  • @skhowOH "'compare land records with those in will who are left property.' may or may not be land  registration records"
  • @cataplin "'A citation is not a fill in the blank formula. You have to think about why you are doing this.' Tom Jones"
  • @downeastdigger "TerraGo=free download which embeds within Adobe as map tool usgs.gov"
  • @skhowOH "records were mandated to be kept since council of Trent (1560-1580)" [Referring to Chancery records]
  • @skhowOH "Marriages most often occurred in brides parish but were recorded with baptism records  of both bride and groom in respect parish"
  • @JLowe615 "@DigiGenie says 'Twitter is the great aggregator'"
  • @JLowe615 "@DigiGenie 'Keep your followers engaged' (Twitter)"
  • @skhowOH "may times the diocese has copies of parish records"
  • @BretPetersen "@m_kcreations Keep your eye out here for the recordings in the next week or so.  http://www.jamb-inc.com/genealogy " [Link is to purchase recordings of the various sessions; an important resource, especially for those of us who were unable to attend.]
  • @skhowOH "The Assoc of Catholic Diocesan Archivists has a website listing all archivists."

There's more? Is she for real? 

12 May

  • @Indepthgen: 
    • "You learn to research based on the tools that you use. Make sure you establish your identities and start on a good foundation."
    • "Find independent sources. Key word = independent." 
    • "Want to avoid (or break) a brickwall? Plan. Research. Analyze everything to the smallest detail, name listed, etc."
    • "Done w a problem? Write it out. Look for holes. Did you miss anything or was it thorough?"
    • "Look for your siblings and associates to help confirm the identity of your people. Groups are easier to locate than individuals."
  • @JLowe615 "Michael Hait. Beware of census enum when all ages end in 5."
  • @genaortega "Weisberger: if you are told there is no death certificate & you have the obit, send them obit, ask for them to look 4 certificate again"
  • @amandaea129 "Stamm: Railroad papers are not always located where you think they would be. Look everywhere."
  • @Indepthgen "Don't discount negative info. Lack of information IS information."
  • @geneditor "follow the county histories backward to see if you may locate an ancestor's bio in a mug book. Look for siblings, even cousins."
  • @Indepthgen "YES --> 'You can't assume anything. Ever.' Michael Hait"
  • @skhowOH "Many reasons for migration: economics, politics, religion, family dynamics, race, geography, class, etc."
  • @gensearchdeb "Treat yourself as a client when creating research reports on your own family. - Stuart-Warren"
  • @geneditor "Springpad is well designed to create to-do lists, research notes, etc. Has a clean design. And it's free."
  • @heftisearch "Just saw the best sideburns of the conference. Think early Ohio presidents." (HA! Right in the middle of all these serious topics, great tidbits coming in, and then this. Boom. Love it!)
  • @amandaea129 "ESM presentation has so much great info. If you aren't at #NGS2012, get the CD!"
  • @lfmccauley "Every research project should have The Research Report & Individual Research Notes. ESM"
  • @KAMChapman "ESM Research is an analytical process not just looking up names."
  • @Darris "Michael Hait says digitized records require less time to locate and more time for evaluating the evidence."

Another random image.
Oh yea, I did that.
Breckenridge Resort, Colorado.

  • @skhowOH: (Tweeting about the session, "Using Excel to Compare Name Lists of Family Associates and Neighbors", presented by David Ouimette, CG.)
    • "1. Trace immigrant origins with maps."
    • "2. Build a village migration chain."
    • "3. Index a parish register."
    • "4. Reconstruct families in a parish."
    • "5. Create a family timeline."
    • "6. Research close acquaintances."
    • "7. Leverage name variants."
    • "8. Estimate birth year from censuses."
  • @lfmccauley "Use Excel to index records or estimate birth year from census records. Unlimited uses in genealogy research. Ouimette."
  • @cataplin "'I love my wife. She has resisted the urge to take a match and lighter fluid to my study.' Rev. David McDonald."
  • @skhowOH: (Tweeting about the session, "10 Top Tips to Concluding Effective Research", presented by David McDonald.)
    • "1. Be actively engaged in analysis throughout the research phase of a project."
    • "2. Do not be afraid of indirect evidence."
    • "3. When you realize others are quoting your research to vouch for their conclusions..."
    • "4. You have conducted a reasonable exhaustive search."
    • "5. The client has asked for report."
    • "6.  Conclusions are becoming clear."
    • "7. Ongoing analysis and drafts have been shared w/other trusted, competent colleagues."
    • "8. The reliability and utility of resources consulted can be explained & shared w/client or other researchers."
    • "9. The target individual or family can be identified in their community & context."
    • "10. Further research would require an unreasonable expenditure of time, talent or treasure in pursuit of minimal return."
  • @cataplin: "'Mug books were created in the Victorian Era. What do we know about the Victorian Era? They were uptight and they lied.' D. McDonald"

And now you ask the big question: how in the world did I manage to save all these tweets? Well, that was the easy part. As people were attending sessions, I would try to read along. When something interesting, intriguing, or just funny popped up, I put it on my "favorite" list in Twitter. At the end of each day, I went back to that list and collected them into this post. This way, I get to maintain the "conversation" during the day, I have them for future reference and can spend more time later on "intentional thought". I can also go back and ask the sender for more info, and see what they can remember. It's a handy tool, that little star.


  1. This is an awesome post! Thanks for including some of mine:-)

    1. Hi Amanda,
      Thanks for tweeting them! Without willing participants such as yourself, my education last week would have been severely lacking! Also, thanks for reading. ~ Jen

  2. I was so happy to be able to tweet from the Conference, because I've been on the other side, sitting at home, learning material I wouldn't have otherwise had access to. Thanks for putting it together like this; it's fabulous!

    1. Thank you, Laura! I know there are many out there who weren't able to just sit and watch the twitter stream, and that was my motivation for putting this together; that and the fact that it would be great for me to have them all in one place! Thanks for reading! ~ Jen

  3. What Laura said! It was fun to tweet when I could, wifi being somewhat unreliable. This is a great learning tool by itself. Thanks!

    1. Pam, thank you so much! I very much appreciated your willingness to share from the conference. Collaboration is so important, isn't it? Thanks for tweeting and thanks for reading! ~ Jen

  4. I love this! It should be referred to anyone who doesn't see the value of Twitter. It also shows that I need to go back and read everything that was tweeted during #NGS2012. I tried to keep up by checking Twitter between sessions but that wasn't always possible.

    Thanks for including me.

    1. Thanks Linda! Make sure you check out the link to the Accessible Archives page, and their downloadable excel spreadsheet... it has all #NGS2012 tweets. And, thanks for being active during the conference yourself!
      Appreciate you reading! ~Jen

  5. Thanks for this great information!...Oh, and I love those random pics too. :)

    1. Was wondering when someone was going to bring up the photos! Thanks for reading, Jana!
      ~ Jen

  6. Great Tweets. Sometimes I would forget the hash tag. I'm surprised that Linda McCauley's batteries didn't die ... LOL.

    1. You know, I read a lot of "charging my phone" tweets too. Those got left out... :-) Thanks for reading! ~Jen

    2. J., Linda has back up batteries LOL cuz our Droids are always dying!

      Jen what is your Twitter name? I can't find you for the life of me!

    3. Ginger, I had no idea I was so hard to find! @ancestryjourney.
      Thank you! ~Jen

  7. Wow, Jen, great job collecting these! Don't know which I like better--the tweets or the pictures you threw in to break them up :) I need to go through and read them more closely. I didn't tweet during sessions myself--it seemed beyond my multi-tasking limits to listen, take notes, and tweet at the same time. Glad some people were more talented!

    1. Thank you, Shelley! I don't know that I would have been able to do all that, either, if I had been sitting there listening live. I got the feeling that some people were using Twitter to take their notes...
      Thanks for reading! ~ Jen


Please comment! I would love to hear your thoughts!