Friday, October 17, 2008
The convention in Chicago was so inspiring and informative but it made me even more frustrated. The keynote speaker, Dr. Abbott, spoke on finding a needle in a haystack. That's an analogy for genealogy enthusiasts's efforts in trying to find Black ancestors past the 1870's. She made us see that it wasn't impossible but that it will take a lot of work and a lot of thinking outside the box or sometimes, outside the counties we think our ancestors are located.
I came back all fired up and ready to go. I looked in some of those places that were mentioned at the convention--The Freedmen's Bureau, The Southern Claims Commission, and Familysearch.org. And still my ancestors remained elusive. I know that it only means I need to dig a little harder and get my hands dirty. I have to go to the places where they lived and not just sit in my pj's surfing on the web for the information.
Still it was good to network with all those people of like minds. I was able to meet Tony Burroughs in person and got his photo. And I also got to see Barack Obama's house. It was down the street from the church where the convention was held. All in all, it was a very good day.