Tuesday, June 11, 2013

IGHR 2013-Day 2

Today my morning was spent with Lloyd de Witt Bockstruck and his presentation on Colonial Land Records in America. Lloyd is a wealth of information on this topic. However, even with the microphone it was difficult to hear him at times.

Lloyd started out with land resources in New England and explaining how land was allocated and where to find records. He illustrated that New Jersey was divided into two sections of East Jersey and West Jersey. For some reason the boundary goes diagonally across the state, making East Jersey north and West Jersey south during the colonial period. Lloyd continued to discuss the other colonial states and the various idiosyncrasies of obtaining and keeping one's land.

After lunch we spent the afternoon with Rick Sayre who presented Federal Land Records at the National Archives, Part 1 and Part 2. Rick discussed the various laws that led to migration and the settlement of land, and how to work the Bureau of Land Management website. He will go into more detail with the website tomorrow. We also practiced finding specific sections or subdivisions within a township diagram. One item that I was particularly excited to learn about were the Cancelled Homestead files housed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Rick showed us photos of one very thick file full of genealogical information. Unfortunately, these files are not indexed and take a little bit of know-how to find a specific one.

When class was over, I went to the library and did a little research of my own. Afterwards I met up with some friends for dinner. The cafeteria was not nearly as chaotic as it had been the night before thankfully. My friends had homework to tackle, so I head to the campus Law Library to continue with some of my own research. This is the first year I have been able to do this and it is quite a luxury! Tomorrow is a full day of learning about tract books, going to the computer lab for hands on experience, and an afternoon full of lectures.

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