July 20 – the FIRST of two days of learning, networking and fun! The crowd was big, engaged, enthusiastic and the two days of learning kept everyone moving! Opening sessions on Friday included the “Breakout” game (yes, everyone got out before time was called) and a tour of the Archives of Michigan, including the opportunity to go into the vault.
Sessions on the first day included Kris Rzepczynski sharing about Michigan World War I research, Dan Earl on city directories, and James Jackson on “Putting It All Together”. Here’s Kris presenting:
Switching it up, the late afternoon sessions were Annakathryn Welch’s presentation on Coroner records, Tom Koselka on the records of Detroit & Wayne County, and Dr. James Sims discussing DNA research.
Then time to research (we ARE genealogists, after all, right??!): After pizza and a lot of networking, the Library and Archives were locked down for the night and everyone was busy until 10 p.m. doing research. Even Keynote Speaker and special guest David Allen Lambert, researching his Mason County ancestors, was finding what they needed! A scene from the busy Reading Room of the Archives of Michigan – thank you to Kris Rzepczynski for this picture!
July 21: The next morning included some great information, special people and recognition of a key woman – Barbara Brown was honored as we began the day.
And we had the great pleasure to welcome Barbara’s family members as we opened the day – shown here: Kyle Abbott, Sophia Patzer, and Tiffany Patzer honoring their mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
And then what we all came for – David Allen Lambert and his presentations, filling the day with information about researching in New England records. When David asked for a show of hands of audience members with New England ancestors, virtually the entire room had their hands up! Here’s the crowd attending (thank you to Katherine Willson for this picture):
David’s first presentation was on New England vital records.
Then the group split up to learn from Archives staff – Kris Rzepczynski sharing about the Abrams Collection and Jill Arnold about the Michigan Naturalization indexing process (are you helping?!). David Allen Lambert shared again on New England probate records, leading to the final sessions of the day. President Katherine Willson discussed our ancestors’ “Voyage to America”, while Jill Arnold shared about resources at the Archives about occupational registrations and Jessica Trotter talked about records for our ancestors’ records when they were fighting tuberculosis and the facilities that worked to heal them.
At the end of the day, a group of happy genealogists, researchers and Archives of Michigan staff agreed that it was another success! Congratulations to all – AND don’t forget that David Allen Lambert is looking for his Mason County ancestors, so keep your eyes out for records he may not know about! We’re claiming him as a Michigander!!