I heard two excellent presentations on Friday morning. In fact, I think these two were among the better ones I heard this year.
Ed Mitukiewicz presented, "Location, Location, Location: Using Historical Maps to Find Your Ancestral Towns in Eastern Europe." This presentation paired nicely with Carol Hoffman's on Wednesday afternoon. These should be required for anyone who is have difficulty locating their family shtetl.
Ed completely won me over when he noted a methodology dear to my heart: one should compare and correlate information from multiple sources to locate one's ancestral community. It is similar to triangulation - look for the area of intersection among evidence in one's sources.
Renee Carl's, " 'Did You Know Your Grandfather was a Twin?' And Other Questions I've Asked My Mother," addressed in another way a topic similar to the one I had presented on Tuesday in my talk "When It Takes a Village: Applying Cluster Research Techniques." She advocated for widening the net: collecting many records for many family members.
She suggested that researchers should:
- gather oral history
- create research plans to answer questions
- try to prove or disprove information from gathered oral history
- question whether one really has a brick wall in one's research
- create wide trees (include collateral relatives)
- examine original sources
This was all very good stuff. And imagine! It was all in the last two hours of the conference!
See you in Cleveland in 2019!