Sunday, August 8, 2010

Midwest Expo Take 2 Research in the South

I stated in Reflections on the Midwest Family History Expo that I would be posting key points that I gained from the individual sessions I attended. Since then I have reviewed my notes, the syllabus and decided how I want to apply what I've learned. At the time of the Expo I was researching the Allen/Allan, Hart, Scott and Gaines lines in Clark, Jefferson and Oldham counties Kentucky. I was making progress but have so very far to go with these families. I believe my best route to take is to apply what I learned in the Expo sessions in my continued search for these families.

What better place to start Kentucky research that in a class given by Arlene H. Eakle titled What Is "The South," and Why is it Different? Arlene is an expert in Southern genealogical research and you may visit her Kentucky blog here.

I was realizing some success using the online census, online Kentucky birth and death records and online family tress (I use the trust but verify approach there) but I needed more. I need more details on my ancestor's lives to correctly put the families together. I found two county histories that contained stories about some of my Allen ancestors. While the names, dates and places matched up fairly well with what I knew, their occupations did not. More pieces were needed to answer my questions and give me the big picture. Arlene's presentation covered some of the record collections that are available to help further my knowledge of my ancestor's lives.

I am lucky, very lucky, to be a 30 minute drive from the Midwest Genealogy Center, which has an extensive record collection on microfilm, including several of the resources Arlene's session covered. I have three assignments to tackle once I visit the library: 1. Kentucky State censuses and tax rolls, 2. The Shane Collection and 3. The Draper Papers. I will begin with these resources and see where they take me. I have not worked with manuscript collections before, so that in itself will be a new challenge, but one I am excited to get started.