NGS Reflections: Part III - Friday and Saturday
Saturday was another busy day. I began by monitoring Mark Lowe's "Circuit Riders and the Early Methodist Church." I got a couple of ideas about places to look for additional information on Ashley Aldridge during this session. He wasn't really a circuit rider, but he was a leader in the local church who is sometimes called a "minister." Mark covered that aspect as well as the more prolific records of those who were ordained. I worked the APG booth after I got out of that session until about 10:30 when I needed to leave to get ready to monitor my next session. I had another one of those serendipitous moments during this time. Many of you know that I've had my brother's DNA tested on the Thornton line. We matched with what is called the "South Carolina Thornton group." Most of us are brickwalled in the Carolinas, and none of us can find our common ancestor. We have a few clues. There is one participant who had identified an individual he believed to be the common ancestor. There are a couple of "jumps" in his research so that I'm not completely comfortable with his conclusions. While I was working at the APG booth, a professional genealogist who had been hired by an individual descended from one of the other lines which matched us on DNA came up. We spent most of the time chatting about our Thornton research, the research that had been done by others, the Thornton DNA project and the problems with that project since the loss of the online trees after changing project administrators, and a few other related things. We began to talk about directions that needed to be taken in the research. I'm delighted to have made this connection, and the two of us believe that two heads will be better than one. One interesting thing she said to me was that this is the worst line she's ever researched. (Of course, I'm thinking, "Tell me something I don't already know.") I am excited about this serendipitous moment and hope that through collaboration we'll be able to break through some of the brick walls. I monitored "Overlooked Military Records in the National Archives" at 11 a.m. The presenter was Marie Melchiori, and this was in the BCG Skillbuilding track. I spent lunch time eating and talking with other genealogists in the back of the exhibit hall. We had a nice visit. At 2:30, I was the monitor for Julie Miller's "Make the Census Work for You!" It was also on the BCG Skillbuilding track. At 4:00 I introduced Monica Hopkins who spoke on "Finding Your Way Around the Georgia Archives." Several of us went to the Oakwood Cafe, which is a wonderful Cuban and Argentinian restaurant, after the conference was over. We had a nice visit.
This year's conference was a memorable one. Many people came up to us and said that this was one of the smoothest conferences they'd ever attended. The local arrangements committee of NCGS under the leadership of Ann Hilke is responsible for much of that. They did a super job in planning this conference and pulling it off. I'm really sad this conference is over. I look forward to returning to Raleigh for future conferences!