31 August 2011

Educational Opportunities in Houston in November: TSGS Annual Conference and FTDNA Project Administrator's Conference

I hate it when two events I really want to attend happen at the same time. But two great conferences will be held in Houston during the first weekend of November. The Texas State Genealogical Society (TSGS) Annual Conference and the Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) Project Administrator's Conference.

The TSGS conference starts on Thursday, November 3, with a writing workshop by Paula Stuart-Warren, CGSM, sessions at Clayton Library on using FamilySearch.org, and an ice cream social. Free to the public, the vendor hall will be open on Thursday evening with many booths of interest to genealogists and historians: book vendors like Maia's Books, the Texas General Land Office, and many others. Three different tracks of sessions are offered on Friday covering many topics, including one I will present on DNA and genetic genealogy. It will cover basics of Y-DNA, mtDNA, and autosomal DNA testing. Other sessions on Friday include Civil War, Hispanic research, African American research, school records, the Texas General Land Office, artifacts, foreign records, immigration, and special collections of the Houston Public Library system including Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research.

Paula Stuart-Warren, CGSM, is the featured speaker on Saturday covering WPA records, Southern deeds, railroad records, and finding and using manuscripts. Paula is the author of Your Guide to the Family History Library, Minnesota Genealogical Reference Guide, Paula's Genealogical Eclectica blog, and the FGS Conference News Blog. She specializes in Midwestern research, unique resources, major United States repositories, and Midwest and Plains Indians

Lone Star Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) will be offering free one-on-one consultations on Friday to help solve your genealogical problems. You can come prepared for a consultation by reading about the process and bringing a form with you, or get a form at the Lone Star Chapter of APG booth after you arrive. Appointments are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.

Online registration for the TSGS conference is available at txsgs.org and a PDF copy of the brochure can be found at the main TSGS website.

The Family Tree DNA Project Administrator's Conference begins with a reception on Friday evening. Topics are not published yet, but the featured speakers on Saturday and Sunday include:
  • Spencer Wells, PhD (author of The Journey of Man and featured in the PBS series of the same name, geneticist for the National Genographic Project )
  • Stephen P. Morse, PhD (known to genealogists as the author of the One-Step Webpages by Stephen P. Morse and to technologists as the father of the Intel 8086 microprocessor)
  • Bruce Durie, PhD (founder of the Genealogical Studies program at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, and a member of APG)
  • Michael Hammer, PhD (FTDNA's Chief Scientist, and member of the Scientific Advisory Board)
  • Bruce Walsh, PhD (FTDNA's Chief Population Geneticist and member of the Scientific Advisory Board)
  • Doron Behar, MD, PhD (FTDNA's Chief mtDNA Scientist and member of the Scientific Advisory Board)
  • Jessica L. Roberts, JD (University of Houston Law Center, Health Law and Policy Institute

The FTDNA conference is open to project administrators and guests. The registration page is available through the Group Administrator Pages.

Certified Genealogist (CG) is a registered Service MarkSM conferred by the Board for Certification of Genealogists® to associates who meet rigorous ethical and competency standards in accord with peer-reviewed evaluations every five years. The Board was founded in 1964 to promote excellence in genealogical research, teaching, writing, publishing, and librarianship. http://www.bcgcertification.org/

Full disclosure: I am the DNA project administrator of the TSGS TXStateGS project at FTDNA and the president of the Lone Star Chapter of APG. Some expenses related to the TSGS conference may be reimbursed by TSGS or Lone Star Chapter of APG.

© 2011, Debbie Parker Wayne, All Rights Reserved

19 August 2011

Another Good Reason to be in Boston

In addition to the Boston University, Certificate Program in Genealogical Research, here's another great reason to appreciate living near Boston. The Boston Early American History Seminar is open to the public and free (unless you pay the reasonable fee of $25 to receive advance copies of the papers to be discussed and to support the buffet supper served after meetings). This forum for early American history has several sessions of particular interest to genealogists. Also notable is the interest of these professors in both history and genealogy.

6 December 2011, 5:15 p.m.
Abigail Chandler, University of Massachusetts, Lowell, and Ruth Wallis Herndon, Bowling Green State University
Panel Discussion on Colonial Family Law
Comment: Cornelia Hughes Dayton, University of Connecticut

Chandler's faculty page has bare details, but her thesis is online and looks very interesting: Herndon's faculty page lists several interesting books and projects:
  • Unwelcome Americans: Living on the Margin in Early New England (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001)
  • Children Bound to Labor: Pauper Apprenticeship in Early America (Cornell University Press, 2009), co-edited with John E. Murray
  • "collaborating with Dr. Ella Wilcox Sekatau, medicine woman, ethnohistorian and genealogist of the Narragansett Tribe, on a project to re-tell New England history using both Euro-American and Narragansett sources"
  • "Children of Misfortune: The Fates of Boston’s Poor Apprentices," a study that traces the lives of children bound out from the Boston almshouse in the eighteenth century

6 March 2012, 5:15 p.m.
Karin Wulf, College of William and Mary
Ancestry as Social Practice in Eighteenth-Century New England: The Origins of Early Republic Genealogical Vogue
Comment: Laurel Ulrich, Harvard University

Wulf's faculty page lists several interesting books and projects:
  • Milcah Martha Moore’s Book: A Commonplace Book from Revolutionary America (Penn State, 1997), with Catherine Blecki
  • The Diary of Hannah Callender, 1758-1788 (forthcoming), with Susan Klepp
  • Not All Wives: Women of Colonial Philadelphia (Cornell University Press, 2000)
  • a study of the relationship between genealogical practices and political culture: “Lineage: The Politics and Poetics of Genealogy in British America, 1680-1820”

Thanks to Legal History Blog for a heads up on the seminar

© 2011, Debbie Parker Wayne, All Rights Reserved

12 August 2011

Texas Genealogy Event, 21 October 2011

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) will host a Genealogy After Dark event on Friday, October 21, from 6:30 p.m. until 12:00 a.m. At the same time, the West Waco Library Genealogy Lock-In will be held. Attendees in Waco will have access to resources in the state library and those in Austin will have access to resources in Waco. The Lone Star Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) will be providing free consultations during the event. A test is now being performed to see if the professional genealogists in one location can offer consultations to attendees in the other location using tools like Skype. It should be an interesting event.

According to this Central Texas Genealogical Society page the event there will include "the traditional training and informational resources of past years. All the computers in the library will access the genealogical sites and there will be ample help from volunteers and staff for research all evening."

You can sign up for e-mail notifications from the Texas State Library at this page to learn about events even before the forms are posted on their website. I attended the Genealogy After Dark event in February and it was wonderful to have access to all of the library and archive resources with one-on-one help available from the librarians and archivists who stayed after hours just to serve the patrons.

For more information on the Lone Star Chapter of APG and chapter events such as the Ancestor Roadshow consultations see this page. The chapter provides the free consultations as a community outreach program to assist researchers in furthering genealogical research.

© 2011, Debbie Parker Wayne, All Rights Reserved

11 August 2011

Law and Kinship: 1211 vs. 2011

History-Net has a review by Arlene Sindelar (University of British Columbia) of
Sam Worby, Law and Kinship in Thirteenth-Century England (Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK: Royal Historical Society/Boydell Press, 2010); 198 pp. $95.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-86193-305-1.
The Amazon link is here. A Google search on the book title turns up some other interesting reviews and comments. And I am very thankful for previews on Google Books.

My first response was that this was pricey for my personal library since I haven't traced any ancestors back to medieval England yet. But the reviews and the preview on Google Books make it very enticing. The nearest library with a copy, according to WorldCat, is 120 miles away in a location where I don't have anything else to do. My recent studies have focused on Spanish influences in historical Texas laws. Hmm, maybe reward points will bring this down to a price I can justify because I need to learn more about canon and English common law.

Any book that discusses kinship in this way will likely be useful to genealogists:
Kinship is many-layered. This book will descend through layers from the formal and written to the practised (p. 3)
an informal pattern of kinship knowledge existed beneath the laws (p. 4)
a way of thinking about and narrating bonds between people in terms of a recognised biological connection or analogy with biological connection. The term 'recognised' is used here because, for example, not all children are biologically related to both of their 'parents' (p. 5)
A particularly dangerous term in any exploration of medieval kinship is the word cousin since it can be used both specifically and vaguely to encompass a general sense of relatedness ... Cousin could be used as a word for almost any kinsman, but could also be a term of art (p. 6).
Its sounds like the theories and analysis presented in the book apply to kinship research today as well as in the thirteenth century and all the times in between. Aside from the introduction, conclusion, and a ten page bibliography that will probably cause more items to be added to my book wish list, the chapter and appendix titles are:
    Chapter 1: Canon Law Kinship Structures
  • Chapter 2: Common Law Kinship Structures
  • Chapter 3: The Dominance of Canon Law Kinship Ideas
  • Chapter 4: Kinship Laws in Practice
  • Chapter 5: Trends Underlying Legal Kinship Structures
  • Appendix 1: Raym√≥n of Penyafort's Quia tractare intendimus
  • Appendix 2: The historical introduction to Sciendum est
  • Appendix 3: Common law adaptations of canon law treatises Quibus modis
  • Appendix 4: Common law adaptations of canon law treatises Triplex est
Maybe I'll write a review from a genealogist's point of view after I read the book.

© 2011, Debbie Parker Wayne, All Rights Reserved