20 April 2016

Meet me in Seattle!

The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies will be holding the 36th International Conference on Jewish Genealogy between August 7th and 12th, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. I will be delivering three talks.

Polonnoye, Ukraine, 2013 (EHG)

"When It Takes A Village: Applying Cluster research Techniques"

Monday, August 8th, 3-4:15 P.M.

Sometimes tracking one’s immigrant ancestors tests all one’s research acumen. Identifying a subject ancestor, his/her origins, and parentage; tracking that subject through time; and constructing biographies to place that person in his/her social context is best approached by broadening one’s research to include other family members, associates and neighbors. 

This presentation will outline a program for solving genealogical research problems via cluster and collateral research techniques. Topics will include: appropriate application, research planning, commonly used resources and documents, and case studies successfully tracking individuals from Europe to the United States, overcoming name and residential changes and using DNA evidence.

The main case study regards tracking a previously unknown woman who arrived at Ellis Island with my great grandfather. I sought to identify her kinship relationship to my family (if there was one).
A version of this talk appeared in written form: "When It Takes a Village: Applying Cluster Research Techniques," Avotaynu 31:2:3-9 (2015). 

"Beyond the Manifest: Applying the Genealogical Proof Standard to Confirm One's Ancestral Origins"

Wednesday, August 10th, 9-10:15 A.M. 

Knowing our immigrant ancestor's community of origin is critical to being able to follow his or her path backward to the old country. It benefits our research to be completely clear which of several similarly named communities is our target. Adhering to the guidelines of the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) will help critically evaluate the information collected from our family stories and from records.

The GPS requires rigor in our research methodology. With its application and a well-designed research plan, we assure that our findings are robust and our conclusions not easily challenged. 

Using the community known in Yiddish as Lubin (pronounced LooBEEN), this talk will explore applied methodology and suggested genealogical sources and techniques applicable to Eastern European research. Resources include gazetteers, landsmanshaft burial data, online archival material, and Shoah databases.

An earlier version of this talk appeared in written form: "Using Landsmanshaft Burial Plots to Discover and Confirm the Location of a Family Shtetl," Avotaynu 27:1:3-9 (2011).

"Learning Our Craft: Online Opportunities for Improving Our Research Skills"

Thursday, August 11th, 4:30-5:45 P.M.

OK, I admit it. I am a podcast junkie. When I walk the dog most mornings and afternoons, I am listing to one of several genealogy-relevant podcasts on my iPod. In this way I get my fix, I stay up-to-date and educated on my craft and I get away from the darn computer to do something good for my body!

I occasionally take advantage of genealogy webinars and other online videos from a variety of sources.

I have taken online courses over several weeks from the National Genealogical Society, Family Tree Magazine and, especially, JewishGen. 

And most recently, I completed a certificate online course in genealogical research offered by Boston University. 

If one wishes to do quality research, one can never stop learning. Webcasts, webinars, online courses, blogs, podcasts, FaceBook, YouTube, discussion groups, wikis – these are a few of the plethora of opportunities for genealogy enthusiasts to hone their skills online often on their own and at their own pace. 

Since there are many different learning styles, this talk will focus on types of online learning opportunities (their strengths and weaknesses) and where one may find them. We’ll also discuss creating a personalized learning plan for not only selecting the best online learning opportunities to meet our needs and learning styles, but also fitting learning opportunities into our busy lives. 
I have not been blogging much here lately because, among other things, I am responsible for the IAJGS 2016 conference blog. Please check it out at http://www.iajgs2016.org/blog/. Or, one may go to the conference homepage, and click on the News/Blog Tab on the top right. 

You may subscribe to that blog via FeedBurner. Click on the Feedburner link on the blog page, provide the requested information, confirm your subscription when you receive an email, and, after that, you will receive daily email messages with blog post content.
I am looking forward to seeing you in Seattle! 
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