“I’d Like to Know What You Know about Virginia Genealogy…”

Did this thought ever cross your mind? Did you ever say “I’d like to know what you know” to a genealogy teacher? Of course you did. And many of you have said this to me. NOW is your chance!

Come to the St George Family History Expo, 26 and 27 February 2010–at the Dixie Center just off I-15 at exit 6. The keynote address begins at 8:00 am sharp, Friday the 26th in the main ballroom. And I am not giving that keynote this year (thank you please); once was quite enough to give me gray hair. Ha!

If you have Virginia ancestors–

This Expo, I am presenting a brand NEW session on Virginia Genealogy, which we have called “Where in Virginia Do I Come From?” All NEW. All carefully researched. All ready and printed online–just waiting for you to download the text and attend my class: Ballroom D, 1:30 pm Friday the 26th of Feb 2010.

This new session not only tells you how to discover where in Virginia you come from–my presentation will also tell you how to find the origins of those ancestors who settled in Virginia in the first place. So beginning with you, when we are done, you will know where to look to track your Virginia ancestry.

And if you don’t have Virginia ancestors–

And even if you don’t have Virginia ancestors, this session will be a model on how to find difficult-to-trace ancestors from many other places. Like Tennessee. Like Pennsylvania. Like Maryland. Like North Carolina. Like New York.

Did you know that your Virginia ancestry might originate in New York?

You will get a special map in class (not printed in the syllabus), that shows exactly where, in Virginia, New Yorkers settled. I hunted a very long time to find this map. I knew that families in East Tennessee, who moved on the frontier early on, had to be from New York. “Are you sure,” my client asked with a puzzled frown. “I’m positive,” I replied. “And I’ll search until I can prove it.”

You see, my dear conference attendees and genealogy friends, to ensure that my 96% success rate researching hard-to-track families remains consistent, I do not stop looking after I give you a report. And I read a lot of records beginning on page one and looking at every entry–not just depending on indexes which may be incorrect or incomplete. As I read the records page-by-page, I jot down the names I have searched for unsuccessfully (I carry a “little black book” in my milk-carton genealogy research box just in case). I jot down the name along with the date or page number so I can retrieve your data later. Sometimes, when I am doing field research in libraries and archives a distance away, I make copies of those pages, so they aren’t lost.

[I am one of the few professional genealogists who still does field research.]

If you have New York ancestors–

You can also attend my two sessions on New York Genealogy: New York I: Western New York. And New York II: Skip New York? No!!

Did you know that one well-recommended New York Genealogy instructor told us all “If you have an ancestor from New York–I suggest you choose another ancestor and skip New York altogether.” I almost fell off my chair!

[You see, I attend classes on a regular basis–both on areas and subjects that I know a lot about, as well as those where I am a beginner. Other instructors look surprized when I show up in their classes. “You can never know all there is to know. Nor, all you need to know about where your ancestors come from and where to look to find them,” is my response.]

And if you don’t have New York ancestors–

And if you don’t have New York ancestors, you will pick-up a special handout giving you specific research guidance on discovering your “hidden” New York relatives and their kinship networks (not included in the syllabus for lack of space). Strategies and tips that, as far as I can detect, only I use.

Am I trying to bribe you to attend? You bet! Please come and rescue the prisoners. Many times I know where all the bodies are buried–sometimes, literally, because I have personally walked the cemeteries myself.

In Augusta County, Virginia, my husband Alma and I, with his sister Betty and his mother in tow, we walked through more than 300 cemeteries. In the melting snow. With pen and paper in hand. With camera at the ready. And very soon I will add this list of cemeteries to my Virginia bundle–so everyone can benefit from it. The master list of some 470+ cemeteries was drafted for me by a retired post office letter carrier. He knew where all the bodies were buried too.

Your favorite genealogist, Arlene Eakle http://www.arleneeakle.com

PS I’ll watch for you at the Expo. So check in with Kathryn Bassett, my webmaster, and me in the Exhibit Hall–Booths E-F. I have a new publication on Tennessee that you won’t want to miss. And of course, my Virginia Bundle of 9 volumes and my New York Bundle of 6 volumes will be there too. With lots of other stuff–including genealogy white papers and research checklists for several challenging areas of genealogy research.

PSS – Kathryn fixed the small type and spacing

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