$10 – $65

VGS Fall Conference 2019: Finding Your Hidden Ancestors Using Research Esse...

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Saint Bede Catholic Church

3686 Ironbound Road

Williamsburg, VA 23188

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VGS invites you to spend the day at Saint Bede Catholic Church, 3686 Ironbound Road, Williamsburg, VA, with Thomas W. Jones and Rebecca Whitman Koford as they share their knowledge of genealogical records, research techniques, and methodologies.

Pre-Conference Event (free)

18 October, Friday, at the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) of the Earl Gregg Swem Library, William & Mary College. Pre-registration is not required.

10:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m.

Experienced researchers will be available in the Conference Room of the SCRC to answer questions, provide individual assistance to beginners, and offer strategies for difficult genealogical problems.

Please complete a consultation form and submit it to admin@vgs.org in advance for the best results.

Conference (must be registered to attend)

19 October, Saturday, at Saint Bede Catholic Church

9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. - Two tracks are availalbe to choose from.

Track 1: Finding Hidden and Disappearing Ancestors - Thomas W. Jones

10:00-11:00 Finding "Unfindable" Ancestors - The failure of common research practices to identify ancestors does not mean they are unfindable. This session will describe and demonstrate nine approaches to locating difficult-to-trace ancestors.

11:30-12:30 Five Ways to Prove Who Your Ancestor Was (Some Reliable and Others Not Reliable - Case studies will illustrate five ways-some reliable and others not-that genealogists "prove" an ancestor's identify: using information provided by others; using a single source; following a chain of evidence; correlating evidence from multiple sources; and weighing conflicting evidence. Attendees will learn how to use the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) to identify their ancestors accurately.

1:30-2:30 Organizing Evidence to Overcome Record Shortages - Genealogists often are frustrated by record shortages and surviving records that do not specify relationships. Using the analogy of assembling a jigsaw puzzle with many missing and damaged pieces, a case study will demonstrate six steps attendees can use to bypass record shortages and identify ancestors successfully.

3:00-4:00 Solving the Mystery of the Disappearing Ancestor - Genealogists may be frustrated by not finding ancestors in the records and places where they logically expect them to be. This presentation will explain seven reasons why such ancestors seem to have disappeared, provide examples of each from actual case studies, and suggest strategies to help attendees find their elusive ancestors.

Track 2: It's All About Land and Research Essentials - Rebecca Whitman Koford

10:00-11:00 Research Logs, Research Plans, and Timelines: Write or Regret It! - Organizing is key to understanding. If you can't find it, how can you compare and analyze the facts and clues in your ancestor's life? This lecture introduces three organizational tools and how they can work together to improve your analyzation skills and get closer to finding the answers you need.

11:30-12:30 State-Land-State Deed Records 101: Understanding, Mapping and Finding Patterns - Land records, like many court documents, can be confusing. This lecture will discuss the post-colonial private transaction land records found across much of the east coast. We will dissect the description of the lands into something we can map and compare to local geography of the time.

1:30-2:30 Land Records: Rich Resources for Your Research - Land ownership was a major goal for many ancestors. Land and property records are often underutilized but can be exactly the clue you need to put together the pieces of your ancestor's life. We will discuss how and where to find land records and review case studies about important relationship clues in land records.

3:00-4:00 Military Bounty-Land Records: Revolution to Mexican War - Obtaining military bounty-land was a valuable compensation offered to many veterans and their families before the American Civil War, but is not often explored. This lecture will discuss a few of the changing laws regarding bounty-land and where the genealogically-rich applications for those records may be found.

Details can be found at www.vgs.org

Cancellations after 15 September 2019 will not be refunded.

Conference Hotel

The Historic Powhatan Resort is offering the following special room rates.

  • 17 Oct 2019 1-bedroom villa upstairs $65; 1-bedroom villa downstairs $80; 2-bedroom villa downstairs $98
  • 18 Oct 2019 1-bedroom villa upstairs $116; 1-bedroom villa downstairs $131; 2-bedroom villa downstairs $148
  • 19 Oct 2019 1-bedroom villa upstairs $116; 1-bedroom villa downstairs $131; 2-bedroom villa downstairs $148

Quoted rates do not include $15 per night resort fee, 12% Sales/occupancy Tax, a $2 city tax, and a $100 refundable incidental deposit (collected at check-in). Call the Resort’s reservations department at (800) 438-2929 to make reservations (before 17 September 2019). Ask for the Virginia Genealogical Society rate.

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Saint Bede Catholic Church

3686 Ironbound Road

Williamsburg, VA 23188

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