Saturday, August 22, 2009


I haven't spent much time on my personal family history lately, but it is hopefully some small consolation to know that although I haven't been researching them per se, I've been building a better national environment for research in the future. In addition to planning two businesses while working 45-50 hours per week as a professional genealogist, I've been planning, designing, writing, and printing as publicity chair for the 2010 National Genealogical Society (NGS) conference, which will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, next May. It's going to be a great program; I'm really excited. I'm also designing marketing materials for, and lecturing at, the Association of Professional Genealogists' Professional Management Conference (APG PMC), held in conjunction with the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) national conference in Little Rock September 2-5 2009. This, I found out last week, will be taped by FamilySearch and available over the Internet for years to come. So I'm trying to lose about 100 pounds in 10 days. Except I made cookies for someone last night and have now eaten at least 4 of them.

Then, as if I weren't busy, I was honored to accepted a seat on the Board of Directors for the Utah Genealogical Association (UGA). It seemed like a good idea at the time. It's still probably a good idea, but I need to get through publicity for the 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) before I can focus on other endeavors. Such as the Records Access and Preservation Committee (RPAC). I adopted Utah over a year ago and have yet to complete the list of repositories and record retention schedules for the various government and private sector owners of genealogical information and the decision makers, lobbyists, archivists, societies, and organizations who can help save them from the dumpster. I have also not worked on my book "Borderlands" in...let's see...about 6 months now.

So it is with only a small degree of shame that I report (because I really have been busy) only that I have not forgotten my personal goals. A few weeks ago I did spend some time pouring over maps of North Carolina land patents and first purchases. A few years ago I found a treasure for 18th/early 19th century North Carolina genealogy in the form of the Historical Map series published by The Custom House. The Family History Library has maps for Davie, Guilford, Montgomery, Randolph, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry, and Yadkin counties cataloged under the series "Historical Documentation." I believe that the North Carolina Archives has more counties, possibly all of them, but so far I've been busy with Surry County alone. Eventually I'll get to them all, but I'm a little busy right now. I've started transcribing the map entries with their grid coordinates, purchase or grant date, surname, given name, landmark or geographic feature. This allows for analysis of the map data in a new way because now I can really crunch the data and see who, what, when, where, and guess at why. That helps me predict who else, what else, and where else, look for it, see it and draw connections that I may not have seen before.

After I get back from Little Rock next month I should have more to report on the Sartors, Hills, and other personal lines of interest. I love that this work never ends.

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