Summer Shenanigans ~What Did You Do This Summer?
Summer is the time for genealogy road trips. From visiting archives, historical sites and cemeteries, to family reunions, conferences and institutes many of us have been on the road this summer.
My Summer Shenanigans
This summer was a busy one for me. It began with helping to plan a virtual presentation from DearMYRTLE and Cousin Russ who taught my local Genealogy Club about the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Genealogists. If your Genealogy Society or Club has not experienced a Virtual Presentation, I highly recommend you give it a try. It is a great way to bring in top speakers without the cost of travel and hotel expenses. Myrt and Russ were a wonderful help as we learned how to set up the correct equipment and the day went smoothly. We had a fantastic turnout, learned how to be better genealogists and gained some new members. There was no rest for the weary after the event was over. The very next month was my presentation to the club on how to do newspaper research.
In July a four-day genealogy trip had me visiting two archives and a cemetery. The first stop was at the Camden Archives in Camden, South Carolina where I was able to browse through local newspapers on microfilm, look through family files and meet with my mother’s cousin who told me some family stories that I had never heard before. Next was a trip to Quaker Cemetery, also in Camden, where I was able to visit the graves of several family members including my Grandparents and Great Grandparents.
Day two was spent at the South Carolina State Archives located in Columbia, South Carolina looing through microfilmed pension, marriage and land records. Many of my ancestors were from Sumter County, so my focus on this trip was looking for mentions of the many surnames I am researching.
Day three was the beginning of the South Carolina Genealogical Society Workshop. This is always a fun event with classes and time to spend in the archives. The highlight this year was being able to connect with friends, meet new ones and meet new cousins. Two people that I had met on social media were there. One recognized me from my profile picture on my Ancestry DNA account and we were able to talk about our DNA connections and another was sitting next to me at the table in the archives. He looked familiar to me and I realized that we had made a cousin connection through facebook. You just never know who you’re going to meet while our researching!
During my time at the Workshop and Archives, I was able to get my hands on some original records. There’s nothing like turning the pages of a dusty book that contains Dower Release documents, county tax records form the early 1800’s and a box of pension rolls with the lists of who received their pensions from year to year and letters written to the pension board.
Genealogy reading was a big part of my summer too. Three books I would like to recommend are Death Finds a Way, a genealogy murder mystery by genealogist Lorine McGinnis Schultze, Organize Your Genealogy by Drew Smith and our own Shannon Combs-Bennett’s new book Genealogy Basics in 30 Minutes.
Blogging, writing articles and putting together new presentations also were part of my summer. My scanning and organization goals weren’t met but I gave them a good try!
My biggest accomplishment this summer was the completion of Progen 25. Talk about doing a Happy Dance! The homework assignments and feedback from other participants helped me to learn and grow my research and writing skills.
So, how about you? What genealogy shenanigans have you been up to this summer? Did you travel, attend a reunion or find that long lost grave? What skill did you improve or family member did you discover? Did you find a new resource or read a book that helped you in your genealogy pursuits? We want to hear about your summer!
Write a post about “What I Did This Summer” and add the link to the comments section below. A follow up post will be written to share what y’all have been up to! Looking forward to reading about your Genealogy Summer Shenanigans!