Wednesday, June 12, 2013

IGHR 2013- Day 3

Today was packed full of information. We started out the morning with a lecture by Angela McGhie on Using Tract Books. These are books that recorded first purchases or attempts at purchasing land in the Federal states. Angela showed us the formula of how to figure out where to look in these books for our ancestors. It can be slightly complicated and tedious if you don't know exactly where your ancestor settled. However, this is a great resource and I was so excited to learn about it. Even better, Angela told us that Family Search has digitized all of the books, with the exception for those in Missouri and Alaska. Our next morning session was spent in the computer lab with Rick Sayre. He walked us through the Bureau of Land Management site along with a few other sites. This session was very interesting and easily could have been longer.

After lunch, we had another session with Rick on Land Records in the Serial Set, American State Papers, and Territorial Papers and other Government Documents. This was a wonderful session. We saw examples of why all of these sources can be valuable in our genealogical research. Rick showed us various ways to access these sources online. It was interesting that different sites can give you varying results for a search term. Go figure. Now I have to say I searched a little bit tonight for my ancestors and had okay results. I will have to search more at a later date, when I'm not so tired.

Next, Christine Rose presented Inheritance. This was guessed it...the law of inheritance. Christine covered terms such as; entail, primogeniture, dower and curtesy. She explained the loopholes around the law of inheritance in the Colonial era and some laws that were specific to Virginia.

Before dinner tonight I briefly viewed a BCG portfolio. This portfolio was outstanding and I felt totally intimidated. The portfolios that the BCG usually display are the best of the best. The cream of the crop if you will. However, I have to admit to a curiosity of being able to view a portfolio that passed and was more of a norm. Not that I am aiming low by any means, but I also don't want to think I will never be capable of producing a passing portfolio.

I decided to attend an evening session tonight before doing some of my own research again. The session I chose was presented by Judy Russell entitled, The ABCs of DNA. She covered yDNA, mtDNA, and Autosomal DNA. I'm very familiar with the first two and feel more than comfortable explaining the meaning of them to people. I'm familiar with Autosomal testing, although going into the session I couldn't have explained it very well. However, the way Judy explained Autosomal DNA with the accompanying visual aides, made it extremely clear and it was a "light bulb" moment for me. Judy also covered a few of the DNA testing companies and how they differ. It has given me some thoughts about testing and I probably need to figure out a budget now.

Tomorrow we spend the entire day with J. Mark Lowe and land platting. This promises to be an entertaining day and probably some moments of confusion. If you have ever platted a metes and bounds piece of property then you know what I'm talking about. I suspect we may be a bit cross-eyed by lunch time.


  1. Just curious: what about the portfolio blew you away? Being European, I don't have the chance to view a portfolio so I'm interested in any information you could give me. I've been on the clock since February.

    1. This particular portfolio was extremely detailed and most likely beyond the norm. The detail included was above and beyond what is required. However, it was a beautiful portfolio, and I can only esteem to such work!