SCGS Genealogy Jamboree – Day 3

It’s a sad day, as it is the last day of Jamboree AND there are only four sessions today.

My first session choice was “Beginning Swiss Research” with Dr. Michael Lacopo, as some of my husband’s Palatine ancestors had Swiss ties.

Dr. Lacopo shared a basic list of resources for Swiss research. A relatively small number of U.S. immigrants were Swiss and they settled in several geographic areas. Dr. Lacopo also presented a short historical overview to place the immigrant groups in context.

Next, he covered the administrative districts in Switzerland and where records will be found. Throughout the talk, he did an excellent job of tying in comparing and contrasting the U.S. and Swiss customs of the day when records were being created and housed.

I’ve been motivated to try to extend some of the Swiss ancestors in Dave’s family tree.

The last morning session was with J.H. Fonkert, whose blog I follow. Today’s talk was “Why Were They There? Merging Evidence to Explain Migration,” an intermediate-advanced level presentation.

This talk differed from our usual research method of wanting to know where our ancestors originated. Instead, Mr. Fonkert placed the focus on why and how families ended up where they did.

He presented several case studies of families who migrated both from Europe and from eastern states to settle further west, but reasons why they chose some of the locales were not particularly obvious.

Examples of documents found to glean clues about WHY will help researchers to think a bit outside the box and help them piece together the reasons. It is important to look for the FAN club, as it may provide the answers.

the afternoon sessions began at 12:30 and ventured into my first DNA session with Jim Brewster from Family Tree DNA. The topic was “Connecting with Your Eastern European Genetic Origins.” Since my father’s family was all Slovak, I thought this would be a great place to dip my toes into the DNA experience.

Jim introduced the different types of identities that people have, e,g, national, religious, ethnic, etc.  and moved into the types of DNA that people have. After a short explanation of interpreting basic DNA test results, he talked about the human migration patterns and how Eastern Europeans fit into the picture. Finally, an overview of the various types of DNA tests were discussed.

Jim is a wonderful speaker and extremely knowledgeable about DNA results and anthropological history. However, I have no idea why the words “Eastern European” we’re in the session title, since they were barely mentioned.

The moment finally arrived for the very last session to begin. Three days have flown by and I have enjoyed learning new things, meeting up with old friends and making new in-person friendships with fellow bloggers.

Okay, here is the last session. I returned to hear Dr. Michael Lacopo speak about “How to Overcome Brick Wall Problems in Pennsylvania Research.”

Dr. Lacopo reviewed the the five steps of the Genealogical Proof Standard in determining whether or not discoveries meet the GPS. The talk had as its focus which record sets are typically found in Pennsylvania and where/how they can be found and used. Case studies using the various record sets demonstrated how indirect information can be gleaned. Includged in these records were some resources unique to Pennsylvania. Great information and lots of resources to look up!

Then, alas, it was over all too soon. Jamboree 2016 was over. I am so glad I came.






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