Monday, January 23, 2012

Arizona Family History Expo Report on Saturday

On Saturday I attended four classes and again I learned a lot.  Well that is the purpose of attending these expos!

So here is something I learned for myself.  I had looked at each handout for every class.  Yes it took a lot of time but it was worth it.  First I found a class that turned out to be very worth while that I might not had attended because of the title but I saw something in the handout that said to me go attend this class.  The other thing was because I looked at the handouts, I didn't attend a class I had attended last year and it was the exact same handout from last year and on an out dated version of the software.  In both cases that was a win - win for me.  I gain something of value and I missed something I didn't need.  It might not always be so clear cut as this was but to me it is worth it to take the time up front to find the best classes for me. 

So the first class at 10 AM, (thanks Holly for starting a little later). was Ruth Ellen Maness, the one presenter I went to twice.  The topic was Searching Scandinavian Church Records and Interpreting Feast Days: Analysis and Evidence.  OK I don't have any Scandinavian ancestors so why would I go to this class?  Well my ancestors from Germany are probably in church records and I would need to know Feast Day, plus in her handout she mentioned that "the Lutheran Church was the official record keeping body....".  And what church was in Germany, yup the Lutheran church.  So I went and I am very glad I did.  Learned a lot about how births and other life events were recorded.  Dates weren't used but Feast Days were used.  Now I had some knowledge of this since I was raised Catholic.  But Ruth really went into a more lot of depth. 

As an interesting side note I mentioned this to one of my friends at church today and her father was a pastor, I forget what domination but she said her father recorded events by the feast days also in the records he kept.

So Easter is a Feast day and if you were born the day after Easter it would be written 2nd Easter day instead of the day and month like we think of it now.  So you would have to have your thinking caps on to figure out the date, especially since Easter is one of those movable feast days. 

If you ever have the opportunity to hear her speak, I would highly recommend her class. 

The second class for the day was Top 10 Data issues in the New Family Search & how to Avoid Them, by Amanda Terry & Samantha Sulser both staff from Family Search.  This was very specific for LDS researchers and I learned a few pointers.  I am luck as I am a convert to the church and as far as I know the only person submitting names for Temple work.  So I have no competition in adding info to records.  I do have some clean up work to do. 

You sNEWS you Lose: Using Newspapers in Research by Bret Petersen.  Fun title and a lively presenter, a good thing to have after lunch.  He had good examples and fun stories with some good tips on researching newspapers.  I jotted down three topics I can try and look up in the newspaper myself for my own family.  So not only did I learn things I thought of things I can do for my own research.

My last class was Organization and Presentation is Everything, Phillipp Mayer was the presenter.  Who doesn't need tips on being better organized and having a better way to present the material you have.  This was his first Arizona Expo he has been to, since I have been to all four of them, I kind of know who has been here before and who is new.  So it is good to see a new face with new ideas.  I liked his idea of giving every one a unique ID number, different then a RIN.  The problem with RINs are they are developed by when you enter the name in your program.  His numbers also include 5 letters from the last name.  So for example if I started with my Dad he would be Hartm - 0100, his Dad would be Hartm - 0099, his son would be Hartm - 0102, since I was the first child I would be Hartm - 0101.  But I pick the three men because they are all Georges.  So the ancestors numbers go down and descendants could go up, so you would always know which direction you are going on the family tree.  And you would have an idea of which George you are speaking about.  The unique number is always used with the person.  There is also a pointer number you use on the charts to find the next part of the tree. 

His charts were very attractive that he had with pictures and sections of the tree (pedigree chart) that was for that part of the family.  I will need to do more studying on his technique,  It speakers to my over organized self that I keep locked in side of me.  His technique extends to computer files and paper files. 

That was the last class and I skipped the closing exercises because my living family wanted to take the light rail or the Metro into Phoenix to eat at the Old Spaghetti Factory.  So I went home to be with part of my family, who I love.  I love the other part also they just weren't fortunate enough to be with Richard & I.


  1. Hope you enjoyed the spaghetti factory And that you got to sit in the trolley car. That was always our big wish.

  2. Michelle,
    Guess what we did get to sit in the trolley car. It was fun!