Smoky Mountain Family Historian

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Genealogy & Vacations

First of all, let me say that I rarely take a true vacation. I did manage to take one last year, but it's the last time I've just "gotten away" in a long time. Almost all of my "vacations" involve some planned research. Whenever I go to Mississippi to visit my parents, I'm almost always working on some projects of my own and often take on a few clients.

One of my favorite vacation destinations is a genealogy conference. I almost always do some research in or around a conference. The year that NGS was in Chicago, I stopped along the way to do some research in McLean County, Illinois. I didn't have a lot of time, but I went to the courthouse, to the historical society, to a cemetery, and to the town where my ancestors lived so I could see where they had actually resided. After that conference, I was heading to the Association of Christian Librarians' Conference which was being held at Indiana Wesleyan University. I stopped along the way to try to locate the Amish Family Cemetery northeast of Kokomo where my great great grandmother and other family members were buried. I'm sad to say that despite repeated trips there and the section, township, and range, I never located those few markers. A friend of mine who had relatives in the area who were friends with some of those owning the farms in the area went back later with her relatives. They were also unable to locate it. The cemetery was included in a published compilation of cemeteries. I really do wish I had photos of the markers or could locate them, but it doesn't appear that will happen unless there is a miracle! That trip was a lot of fun because I was able to do research in two locations.

When NGS was in Richmond, I did research on some of my Virginia ancestors at the Library of Virginia. In fact, I was registered for the librarian's day. I got bored with the program and snuck out to do some additional research. I kind of felt guilty, but I sure enjoyed things a lot more.

Last summer the Association of Christian Librarians Conference was in the Boston area. I went an entire week early so that I could spend some time researching at NEHGS. I also visited some of my ancestral home towns such as Ipswich, Massachusetts and Hampton, New Hampshire. I visited many cemeteries, but not all of them contained the remains of my ancestors. (Of course, I was able to do some research at NEHGS when FGS was there in 2006 also.)

I've been working on some North Carolina projects lately so I've spent some time visiting Raleigh and the State Library and Archives there on some short breaks such as our fall break and right before I had to go back to work in January.

My next two vacations will also involve genealogy. During our spring break, I'm going to both North Carolina and Mississippi. I'm going to begin by heading to Raleigh where I'll do a little research. Then I'm heading to North Carolina Genealogical Society's Spring Regional Workshop. [Note: The link takes you to a PDF file.] It is being held in New Bern. The speaker is Craig Roberts Scott, and the theme is "Overcoming Brickwalls." In Mississippi, I will be gathering materials at a courthouse on a research project.

The next "vacation" after that will be for the National Genealogical Society Conference in Raleigh. There's a great conference blog for that also.

Of course, I'll be going to FGS in Little Rock later in the year as well. They have a blog as well. I'm not sure that I can count FGS as a vacation as I'll be working very hard that week!

So, as you can see, I really don't have "vacation" any more. I just find a little "down time" while I'm doing some genealogical research in these other locations. I do enjoy true vacations, but when you are work and have the genealogy bug, you find ways to do both.

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