Midwestern Roots 2014~Day Two

I will say here that this is the first time I’ve attended a speech about technology and left in tears. Lisa Louise Cooke was day #2’s keynote speaker. She discussed things to look for in the future of the technology of genealogy. At the end of her speech, however, #5 was “listen to your ancestors” accompanied by a lovely slideshow. Future-wise, Ms. Cooke talked about “getting outside the genealogy box” using newspaper research and programs like Evernote. Use Google Earth, create a blog, plan a family reunion, publish your family story! Use YouTube and online video to search for ancestors. Your desktop is moving to the cloud; however, keep a hard copy of your data just in case a cloud program you utilize goes away. She also touched on Google’s Project Tango, 3D technology that looks completely awesome!

For the next session, I chose to sit in on “New Frontiers in Family History at the Indiana State Archives,” presented by Vicki Casteel and Alan January. I had visited the State Archives for the first time a couple days before but decided I wanted to reinforce what I had learned previously. This was extremely helpful in that I found a court case listing one of my 3rd-great-grandfathers as subpoenaed for the case. The case was in 1843, that’s all I know for now. I’ve requested the court records…can’t wait to receive them! I will mention here that it was announced at the banquet the night before that IHS is seeking funds to move the archives to a vacated downtown Indy building by 2016, which is fabulous news!

I made it to lunch on time this day and met two of the nicest ladies. One was trying to find out more about her grandfather, a glass blower who had lived in Madison County, IN. I asked if he was in Elwood, a town in that county known for their glass, and she had not heard of Elwood. Thanks to the power of the internet, she quickly looked it up and was astounded. I was so happy to have been able to assist her.

Off to the afternoon sessions!

Next, Joan Hostetler talked about “Dating Clues Within Historic Photographs.” I very much enjoy looking at historic photos, and many were shown during this presentation, along with tips on what to look to date the picture. Very fascinating and so different from today! I just updated my cell phone to one that boasts a 41-megapixel camera! For better photos of headstones, of course. 🙂

The next session I attended was “Evernote for Genealogists,” given by Thomas MacEntee. I must say, this man knows his stuff about technology! I always walk away from his talks having learned something new (Evernote scanner? Yes, please!).

I ended my conference time with F. Warren Bittner and his lecture entitled, “‘Beat the Children with a Fresh Birch Stick so the Animals Don’t Get a Worms’-Reading for Historical Context.” This man is a genius! He always provides a bibliography chockfull of excellent reads to pursue.

Needless to say, at the end of the conference I was a bit tired but felt I had come away with valuable tips and education. I hope to really start integrating some of these new ideas soon!

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