24 April 2015

Family History Conference comes to Lancaster County


I am so excited! The Lancaster Family History Conference is being held today, Friday 24 April and Saturday, 25 April in Lancaster County … and I am finally able to go! 

Today I am attending an afternoon session: Behind the Scenes at the Genealogy Roadshow with D. Joshua Taylor. When the show came to Philly, I actually applied (yes, you have to apply to be on the show) but never heard from them. Of the various shows on television at the moment, I prefer this one because it is every day people, not stars who can manipulate the findings. 

The two hour session, held at the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society, will cover the methodology used to verify or disprove family stories and claims. If I had been chosen, I had asked for help with my Still line.  

My 4th great grandmother, Margaret Still, has always been difficult. I was fortunate enough to become addicted to genealogy while my great Aunt Helen was still alive. She was – at that time – the elder of the family and knew so much of the family, plus she had the family bibles! We met and wrote often throughout the years.  Since then I have discovered additional information about Margaret but I still have not proven who fathered her first son, George David Still – my 3rd great grandfather. 

I am hoping that Joshua Taylor might suggest some resource or method that I have not thought of or, at the very least, provide some direction. 

Saturday, the Conference continues at the Lancaster Host. Joshua Taylor will open the session with a Keynote Address. The theme this year is “Celebrities and Cellmates: Finding that Famous (or Infamous) Ancestor.” 

Like any conference, there are several talks to choose from. The first one I chose is “Who is a Palatine Anyway?” by James M Beidler. My husband’s family (Eckman) immigrated from the Palatine area in southwest Germany in 1727. Johannes Eckman arrived in Philadelphia in September of that year on the William & Sarah.  

The second session I selected was “Pre-1790 Oaths of Allegiance and Naturalizations in Pennsylvania” by Jonathan R Stayer. I have not yet sought out the Eckman naturalization records, though I do want to, so I thought this might be helpful. 

I chose “Printed Legends and Missing Footprints in Early Genealogy Complications” with Joshua Taylor. The session will discuss methods used in tracing 19th and early 20th century records. He will also discuss what to do when we come across that century old genealogy that cannot be proved. 

My final session tomorrow will be “The Making of a Family History Book” by Stephen H Smith. I am finally ready to publish. Notice, I did not say or indicate that I am anywhere close to being done researching any line. However, I have traced several lines to my immigrant or to a major point in time that would be a good start.

While that will end the Lancaster Family History Conference, it will – I hope – provide me with some direction and insight as well as some networking.

Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.