Jamboree 2018 – Day 1

I’m excited to be back at SCGS Genealogy Jamboree 2018. I came in 2016, but missed last year because of a cruise. I felt badly, but not badly enough to give up the European trip!

This is my first time staying at the Marriott Hotel, which is hosting Jamboree. I commuted from another hotel in 2016 and decided that the traffic wasn’t worth the savings in dollars!

Thank goodness the Exhibit Hall opened yesterday at 12:30 and didn’t close until 6:00, so I had a chance to visit with the vendors while I had no sessions to scurry off to.

Today was a very busy day for me:

Session 1 (8:30-9:30) – The Draper Manuscripts: Clues for the Ride West by David McDonald

David McDonald gave a concise overview of the Draper Manuscript collection, containing almost 500 volumes, created by Lyman Copeland Draper, secretary of the Wisconsin State Historical Society. Draper traveled and interviewed Revolutionary War participants and their families living in communities in the Ohio River Valley about their life experiences. Their accounts form the core of the collection known as the Draper Manuscripts.

The organizational format of the collection was outlined, and examples of the many types of records contained in the manuscripts were presented. The speaker concluded with tips on accessing the collections for opportunity to discover unique ancestral records.

10:00 – Noon – I helped man the Sons of the American Revolution booth, as both my husband and son  are members of the host chapter, Sons of Liberty.

LUNCH – 12:30-1:30

Session 4 (2:00-3:00) – “I Am Poor, Obscure, Plain and Little: Researching the Invisible Ancestor with Michael Lacopo.

I have heard Michael Lacopo speak at other conferences and have learned a lot, so I was looking forward to hearing this brand new presentation. I wasn’t disappointed. We were quickly introduced to Jacob Schmidt, an “invisible” ancestor and a poor man who appears in no commonly used genealogical records, like land and vital records. From this introduction, many kinds of less common record sets were explained and described during the presentation. Just because an ancestor was not particularly well-to-do, or even downright poor, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she will appear in no public records. It does mean we must seek out the more obscure resources mentioned in this session. I will be on the hunt!

Session 5 (3:30-4:30) – Ohio- The Great Land Experiment by Peggy Clemens Lauritzen

Peggy Lauritzen presented a class on Ohio lands and how the various areas were settled. Beginning with a historical timeline of Ohio history, Peggy explained the pivotal Ohio history that, in turn, affected the history of the United States. Her presentation was extremely detailed in terms of historical events, migration patterns and migration patterns. I have only just touched on Ohio research, as my husband has some family lines that lived there for a while, but I learned a LOT about Ohio history. I don’t know how she did it, but Peggy covered enough Ohio history to fill multiple chapters in a book in the one hour class slot.

Session 6 (5:00-6:00) – Documenting Women in the Civil War By Angela Walton-Raji.

This was the last session of the day. I made this last minute choice not because I have any female ancestors (that I know of) who participated in the war, but because it is a topic which I’ve never heard discussed. I have also only ever heard great things about Angela Walton-Raji and her presentations so this was my opportunity to hear her speak. The first surprise in her talk was learning that thousands of women gave service of one kind or another to the military on the Civil War battlefields and in hospitals. Although the service records of several well known women were reviewed, the main focus was about finding those every day women who served (mostly) in the Union Army and who were pensioned because of that service. It was a fascinating topic and well-covered by the speaker. I made a great late afternoon choice!

It was a long day, but I had a great time meeting up with old friends and making a few new ones. A fellow blogger mentioned that her husband had Slovak ancestors, like me, but I almost fell off my chair when she said they were from the village of Ujak – my grandmother’s village! And it has never had more than 700 or so residents. What are the odds of that happening?

I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s sessions.


One thought on “Jamboree 2018 – Day 1”

  1. Linda, thank you for your detailed summaries. My husband has Ohio ancestors, and both of us have “poor” ancestors on some branches, so I’m particularly interested in the sessions you attended.

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