Monday, June 10, 2013

IGHR 2013- Day 1

Today was the first official day of classes at IGHR at Samford University in Birmingham. This year I am taking Understanding Land Records, and I've been pretty excited about it. Why? When it comes to doing genealogy work, land records are invaluable. Often they can be the key to understanding relationships and making connections. Land was important to our ancestors.

After the introduction this morning, Christine Rose, the course coordinator, presented 2 sessions on County Land Records. She discussed the types of records you could find at the Recorder's office, and what the various terms used meant ie., Warranty Deed, Trust Deed, Crop Lien, Dower Release, etc. Christine also went through how to find records at the Courthouse, and how to make sense of the Russell Index and the Graves Index. One index Christine discussed that I found really interesting was the Devisor/Devisee index. It is an index of real property, not household items, given to individuals. I was very excited to learn about this. I've often wondered how I could find an ancestor listed in a deed of an unfamiliar or unknown person. Now I know where to look.

The two afternoon sessions were spent with J. Mark Lowe, who presented The Carolinas and Tennessee. He discussed the history of land ownership in this area from the colonial period through the 1920's. Mark then walked us through (literally) the process of how to obtain and own land, how individuals might deal with a land grant transfer, and how to navigate the North Carolina Archives website. He showed us lots of maps dealing with different time periods, how the districts were created, modern maps compared to historical maps, topographic maps, and geographic regions maps.

Then it was time for dinner. This was a chaotic affair. While our institute is going on the university is also conducting orientation for the incoming freshman, and various sports camps. There were several teams of teenage baseball players. The cliche of teenage boys' appetites was demonstrated as they walked through individually with a couple plates of food each. This made for incredibly long lines to get dinner. I was more than ready to leave for the evening lecture.

The lecture I attended tonight was given by Judy Russell titled, The Ethical Genealogist. She discussed the code of ethics from various genealogical organizations and how they fall into basically 3 rules. Judy showed examples to illustrate her points, and told of her mistakes to learn from. As always, Judy is an engaging speaker and if you ever get the opportunity to listen to her lecture, on any topic, go!

Tomorrow it's more land lectures, and I couldn't be happier!

1 comment:

  1. A property record can show that a father transferred ownership of a piece of land to his son. Records can also show transfer of possessions ownership through a sale. These transactions are put on a record. public property records