Program & Registration

Mr. Washington's Neighborhood:
Researching in the Mid-Atlantic Area

2013 Fairfax Genealogical Society Spring Conference
Friday, April 5, 2013 ~ 2pm -8:15pm
Saturday, April 6, 2013 ~ 9am-3:45pm
Marriott Fair Oaks, 11787 Lee Jackson Highway, Fairfax, Virginia




Click to Securely Register On-Line
Click for Downloadable Registration Form - coming soon
Society's Web Site: http://www.fxgs.org
Friday, 5 April 2013
1:00-2:00pm Registration and Check-in
2:00-4:15pm Afternoon sessions
4:15-6:00pm Dinner on your own
6:00pm-8:15pm Evening Sessions 


Friday Class Sessions

Immigration and Naturalization, Sharon Hodges
2:00-3:00 p.m.
(F11) Colonial Times to 1820.  It was often difficult for a foreigner living in one of the 13 colonies to obtain British citizenship. Who passed the laws, the Colonial Legislature or England, and how did the laws change over time? Did your ancestor naturalize? If so, when, where and how are questions that need to be answered.
3:15-4:15 p.m.
(F12) Finding Naturalization Records.  Understanding the laws may help in locating naturalization records. What laws affected women and alien soldiers in the US military. Your ancestor filed his Declaration in one court and finished in another. Where do you look? Were all naturalizations after 1906 done in Federal Court? Know the records and steps that will help locate naturalization records.
6:00-7:00 p.m.
(F15) What Do Those Passenger Records Really Tell Us?  For our immigrant ancestors we look for a passenger record which shows port of embarkation, name of ship, date of arrival, and other valuable information. Older lists don’t tell us much, but later lists give more information and may lead to other records. Find out what treasure these records can hold.
7:15-8:15 p.m.
(F16) Arriving in America.  Millions of immigrants have come to call America home. For some the process was easy. For others it was more difficult and more restrictive, but none more so than New York City. Knowing what it was like to arrive in New York City gives an understanding of arrivals in other cities and the process for admitting aliens.

Using Genealogical Evidence to Break Through Research Barriers – Tom Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS
2:00-3:00 p.m.
(F21) Planning “Reasonably Exhaustive” Research.  Attendees will learn how to develop simple plans for systematic, thorough, and effective research.
3:15-4:15 p.m.
(F22) Maximizing Your Use of Evidence.  When researchers analyze and compare sources, they go far beyond what surface information tells them. The resulting evidence can solve simple and complex genealogical problems. Numerous examples will show participants how they can discover many layers of genealogical evidence and use it to advance lineages.
6:00-7:00 p.m.
(F25) When Source Don’t Agree, then What?  Attendees will learn why and how genealogical sources disagree and how to detect the “truth.” They also will learn three ways to resolve conflicting genealogical evidence and how to present the resolution in a polished genealogical product.
7:15-8:15 p.m.
(F26) Debunking Misleading Records.  Genealogical sources of all kinds contain errors, both accidental and intentional, that mislead. Standard tests will expose the errors, enabling researchers to deduce correct conclusions.

Starting Genealogy in the 21st Century Charles S. “Chuck” Mason, Jr., CG
2:00-3:00 p.m.
(F31) 21st Century Resources VS 20th Century Resources.  Computers, the internet, search engines, data bases and websites have all changed the way we do genealogy.  But, are books, CDs, microfilm, microfiche, and original records obsolete?  Develop a plan for using sources from both centuries.  What do you do if neither source works out?
3:15-4:15 p.m.
(F32) Using the Genealogical Proof Standard.  The Genealogical Proof Standard is not just for professionals or certified genealogists.  Today it should be used by everyone to resolve both simple and complicated problems.  It should not intimidate you, but help to ensure confidence in your genealogical findings.
6:00-7:00 p.m.
(F35) Genealogy Programs: Which one is Best.  Today there are many genealogy programs to select from, but which one is the best?  The best program is hard to select.  What will meet the requirements of one genealogist, may not meet the needs of another genealogists.  How do you select the best program for your needs?
7:15-8:15 p.m.
(F36) Source Citations: They are not a One Eyed Monster.  It is critical to Cite Your Sources as You Find Them!  But for many genealogists this is their worst nightmare.  It does not have to be.  With several guides available citing sources is not the problem it was in the past.

Pennsylvania – Our Neighbor to the North - James M. Beidler
2:00-3:00 p.m.
(F41) Beginning a Search for Pennsylvania RootsThe "Keystone State" is chock full of records and repositories to help the genealogist with PA roots. A review of the chronology of PA records; their impact on genealogy; and where to find them.
3:15-4:15 p.m.
(F42) Exploring Pennsylvania's State Archives and State Library.  The Pennsylvania State Archives and State Library of Pennsylvania are well worth a research trip, but even more worthwhile with advance planning.
6:00-7:00 p.m.
(F45) Pennsylvania Taxes and Census: Keep Track of Wealth and PopulationThere's a wealth of information contained in the many types of tax records that have survived about 18th and 19th century Pennsylvanians. Included is discussion of Colonial tax lists, the 1798 U.S. Direct Tax, PA Septennial Census and 1800s land, personal property and head taxes.
7:15-8:15 p.m.
(F46) Philadelphia Research: Repositories and RecordsPhiladelphia is not only Pennsylvania's largest city; it is also the home of some of its most important genealogical repositories. Profiled are Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, Free Library of Philadelphia, City Archives, and the National Archives (Mid-Atlantic Region).


Private Citizens, Public Lives: Individuals through the Eyes of the Law- Judy G. Russell, JD, CG
2:00-3:00 p.m.
(F51) From Blackstone to the Statutes at Large — How Knowing the Law Makes Us Better Genealogists.  To understand our ancestors’ lives – why they did what they did, we need to understand the law that governed their lives in so many ways. Knowing the law in that time and at that place helps us make sense of records we already have and find new records we wouldn’t otherwise have considered.
3:15-4:15 p.m.
(F52) “To the Honorable, the General Assembly of Virginia” – As colonists and as citizens of the new United States, Americans were fiercely protective of their right to petition their government. Whether the issue was forming new counties, building bridges and highways, or some matter of public concern, our ancestors made their voices heard in legislative petitions that are a treasure trove for genealogists.
6:00-7:00 p.m.
(F55) “No Person Shall ... Gallop Horses In the Streets”— Early court records give color and meaning to the lives and times of our ancestors.
County courts often functioned as both judiciary and legislature, and appeals courts published fact-filled opinions. While the records often establish relationships to help build a family tree, they offer so much richness and depth to help tell a family's story.
7:15-8:15 p.m.
(F56) “An Act for the Relief of Gregory Thomas and Others” – Few researchers realize that many laws passed by both federal and state legislatures were private bills – bills specifically for the benefit of individuals or families. The records can be fabulous for genealogists. Learn how and where to find private bills in federal and state law collections.




Saturday, 6 April 2013
9:00-11:30am Class sessions
11:30am-1:15pm Lunch Break
1:15pm-3:45pm Class sessions

Saturday Class Sessions

German Research- James M. Beidler
9:00-10:00 a.m.
(S11) What's a Palatine Anyway? All about the area of Germany that has been an emigrant hotbed for three centuries. Handout of article by the same name from Family Chronicle magazine included with talk.
10:30-11:30 a.m.
(S12) Your Immigrants' Germany: Microstates and Microbreweries.  A concise history of Germany; details of some types of records affected by disunity, major state by major state; Case studies of some microstates as examples.
1:15-2:15 p.m.
(S15) Success Story: Finding a European Village of Origin
The case study of Johannes Dinius, a 1765 immigrant to Pennsylvania, is used to show how scraps of evidence properly deployed can lead to the discovery of a European hometown.
2:45-3:45 p.m.
(S16) Contrasting German Migrations: 18th Century vs. 19th Century Waves.  The 1700s “Pennsylvania Germans” were a different breed than the “German Americans” who immigrated in the 1800s. This presentation shows the differences in geography, economic class, religion, and aspirations of – as well as sources about – the two great waves of German immigration.


Not Your Mother's GenealogyDearMYRTLE (Pat Richley-Erickson) and Carrie Keele
9:00-10:00 a.m.
(S21) Embracing Technology - OK, ready to branch out beyond a smart phone? We'll explore file storage at Dropbox, and file naming strategies.
10:30-11:30 a.m.
(S22) Is Social Media a Genealogist's Tool?  Exploring how to use Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to make connections with other researchers.
1:15-2:15 p.m.
(S25) How Ancestry Trees Can Jump start Your Family History Research – DearMYRTLE  Creating a GEDCOM, uploading the file, and looking for "reasonable" matches using Ancestry's shaking leaf, with an eye to deeper searches and analysis of reliability of matches.
2:45-3:45 p.m.
(S26) I have an iPad and I'm not afraid to use it.  With over a million apps out there, how about digging in to tree apps, organization tools, shortcuts, and tricks from a genealogist's point of view. Includes the best methods for reading NGS & FGS conference handouts.





Seeking Virginia AncestorsDorothy A. Boyd-Bragg, PhD
9:00-10:00 a.m.
(S31) The Original All-American Highway: Virginia's Great Wagon Road. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was a major port for immigrants to the New World, especially from Britain and Germany. Some stayed in Pennsylvania, but many more headed south and west - into Maryland and Virginia and beyond. They followed in the footsteps of the Indians. Examine what they left along the trail. It might help you find an ancestor who refused to stay put.
10:30-11:30 a.m.
(S32) Doing Research in Virginia: Ten or More Things You Often Learn the Hard Way. Let's face it, Virginia is often a bit different than other areas when you're doing research. It's got more than its share of individual counties, both burnt and singed, religious "peculiarities," ethnic diversity - especially in the west - and a whole lot more. Find out how to make your research a bit easier by learning what's unique about doing research in Virginia.
1:15-2:15 p.m.
(S35) Tricks of the Trade: Things You Need to Know to Track Down Germans in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Virginia. While you don't absolutely need to know German to track down early Germans in Virginia and elsewhere, researchers do need to know about Germanic customs, religious practices, naming patterns, surname shifts, and dating preferences to enhance their chances for success. Without some familiarity with what made the Germans in the New World different than their English and Scotch-Irish neighbors, your chances for doing successful research is at least twice as hard as it should be.  
2:45-3:45 p.m.
(S36) Virginia's Registers of Free Negroes: Rich Sources for Every Researcher. The earliest registers date from 1803 and were required to be kept in every county. The law mandated that the age, name, color, stature, marks or scars (clarified in 1834), and in what court the person was emancipated, or whether he or she was born free.  Some clerks recorded additional information not required by the law. Many of the registers have disappeared. Those that remain are an invaluable resource for every researcher.


Metes & Bounds of Land Plats Gerald H. “Jerry” Smith, CG
9:00-10:00 a.m.
(S41)Basic Topics.  Metes and bounds property descriptions in deeds, patents, and other land documents can be turned into land plats – drawings of the property. Learn about early surveying technology, plats and surveys. See how these records can solve genealogical problems. Includes discussion of the land grant/patent process, caveats, surveying methods, and case studies.
10:30-11:30 a.m.
(S42) Workshop: Drawing Land PlatsLearn how to draw a land plat from a written boundary description. After a review of calls, corners, direction, and area, participants will extract the boundary from a land document and draw the tract. Participants are provided with exercises/solutions of various difficulty. Drawing materials provided.
1:15-2:15 p.m.
(S45) Using USGS Maps for Plat Placement & Connected Tract MapsUS Geological Survey maps are important tools for genealogists. Learn how to read these maps and overlay your plats onto a modern map. Discussion continues with the placement of multiple tracts, known as a connected tract map, and shows how connected tract maps solve genealogy problems.
2:45-3:45 p.m.
(S46) Advanced Topics: Dealing with Problems & Using Computer Software.  After drawing plats with pencil & paper, one encounters some commonly seen problems, such as surveys that don’t close, meanders, effects of rough terrain, and unreadable calls in the boundary description. Learn approaches for dealing with the problems. See how computer software can ease and enhance your land plat and land location projects.
Note: There will be a limited number of attendees for this track – requires tables for all attendees.


Introduction to Other “Neighbors” - Sharon Hodges & Charles S. “Chuck” Mason, Jr., CG
9:00-10:00 a.m.
(S51) An Introduction to New Jersey Records and Resources – Chuck Mason.  One of the original thirteen colonies, New Jersey is rich in records for genealogical research. What types of records are available, when do they begin, and where can they be found?
10:30-11:30 a.m.
(S52) Researching in Maryland Repositories – Sharon Hodges.  An overview on information needed to begin researching in Maryland. Topics covered will include the history of the state and major repositories in the state. It is very important before going to the Maryland State Archives that research be done using the web site in order to know what you are looking for at the Archives and where to find it.
1:15-2:15 p.m.
(S55) An Introduction to Delaware Records and Resources – Chuck Mason.  One of the original thirteen colonies, Delaware is rich in records for genealogical research. What types of records are available, when do they begin, and where can they be found?
2:45-3:45 p.m.
(S56) Searching for District of Columbia Ancestors – Sharon Hodges.  Your ancestors lived in the District of Columbia, but you don’t know where to find the records. Researching the District is different from researching in a state. Learn where the records are kept, how to access them, and what is available to help you locate your ancestors.

African-American ResearchChar McCargo Bah
9:00-10:00 a.m.
(S61) We were Always in the Court House:  What You Can Find on African Americans in Court Records.  Court House records reveal a host of information concerning African Americans.  This lecture is on additional research records that are examples of family connections, slave owners’ suits, divorce records, businesses’ suits, depositions and testimonies that might include information on your ancestors.  These examples will cover pre civil war and post civil war documents.
10:30-11:30 a.m.
(S62) Overcoming Ten Brick Wall Problems in Searching For your African American Ancestors.  Researching African Americans can present many obstacles along the way.  This lecture will discuss ten of those obstacles that we call “Overcoming Your Brick Walls”.
1:15-2:15 p.m.
(S65) I Found the Slave owner – Now What Do I Do?  For many family historians, it takes years to find their enslaved ancestor’s slave owner.  Once the owner has been found, many family historians do not know what to do.  This lecture will discuss some of the directions one would take after discovering the ancestor’s slave owner.
2:45-3:45 p.m.
(S66) Searching for 19th and 20th Century African American School Records.  What do you know about your relatives besides their relationship to you?  School records will reveal their activities, their classmates, their ages, their parents, their teachers, their pictures and whether they graduated.  In some cases, their future husbands might have been attending the same school or they could have been classmates.  This lecture will reveal what you would find in schools records and where you might find those records.


Click to Securely Register On-Line 
Click for Downloadable Registration Form - coming soon 
Society's Web Site: http://www.fxgs.org