National Genealogical Society 2017 Family History Conference

Last week I was fortunate to be able to attend the National Genealogical Society 2017 Family History Conference. It was held in Raleigh this year, so it was only 15 minutes from my house. Very convenient!

Most of the speakers were experts in their field, and some were the expert in their field.  I mostly concentrated on the DNA, Scots Irish, and the international connections sessions with a few other subjects thrown in.

Luckily for our library, we have a tireless local genealogical society and they were generous enough to buy us many books from the vendors in the exhibit hall.

I recommend anyone with a passion for genealogy to attend one of these conferences. It will add to your skill set and take your craft to higher level. Also, nice people, food, and coffee.

The indomitable Betty Bachelor.

Victorian calling cards for sale.

Exhibit hall

A packed session.

Irish Genealogy


My mother, Katherine Robinson with her namesake, grandmother and Irish immigrant Katherine Quigley. She was in her 90’s in this picture.

If you are interested in Irish Genealogy then next month will be reason to celebrate, because Ancestry is adding the searchable Irish Catholic Parish Registers to its database.

This is going to blow down many brick walls for a lot of descendants of the great Irish diaspora, of which I count myself among.  Most of my ancestors were Protestant Ulster Scots who came to America in the mid 1700’s from Ireland and this is not going to help in my search for them….but my great-grandmother, Katherine Quigley, emigrated from County Roscommon, Ireland in 1893 to Philadelphia.  She was Catholic and would have been included in the Catholic parish records.

On a related note, I am traveling to Ireland at the end of May to stay with some friends in Dublin and then meet my extended family in Roscommon, where I can peruse the actual records if I wish.  But I will probably be too busy dowsing for gold hoards, scuba diving for bog mummies and inspecting tapestries.

Actually, I might look at some records, but mostly I will be concentrating on oral histories from my kinfolks that I am very excited to meet.

Reference: Genealogy Insider


Kate Quigley on the ship she immigrated to America on in 1893, the Lord Clive. It says that she is traveling to Philadelphia and staying with her sister Mary. It even lists Mary’s address, which according to Google Maps is now just warehouses.  The record also state that she left form Queenstown, a city that has now reverted back to its original Irish name of Cork.


Ancestry Putting the Axe on Family Tree Maker

Untitled design

Many people will be upset by this.

Make ready your fainting couch because due to the declining software market, Ancestry will discontinue selling Family Tree Maker on December 31, 2015 and will stop supporting the software on January 1, 2017.  So better move your GEDCOM elsewhere.  Here’s the link.

I’d just go use the free My Heritage Family Tree Builder.  It is Free!

Link here.

North Carolina Freedmen’s Bank Records, 1865-1874


This month’s Tree’s of Wilson, Wilson County Genealogical Society’s newsletter, printed this lovely list of banking records of former slaves and free people (gleaned from that were from Wilson County and the surrounding area.

Addendum:  I was informed that Lisa Henderson did the research for this.

Ancestry Livestream


The right side is tingling! and Livestream have a great series of genealogy webinars.    But you don’t have to just livestream them because there is an archive of many other webinars on a variety of genealogy related topics.  Tomorrow at 10 am you can livestream a webinar called Discovering your Colonial Ancestors.  Here is the synopsis:

Can you trace your ancestry back to Colonial America? What do you know about those first people in each of your family lines who stepped onto American soil? Why did they come here? What were they seeking? Every immigration story is different. Join Crista Cowan as she shares some of the most common reasons for colonial immigration and gives some insight into what life was like for your ancestors arriving here between 1620 and 1770. She’ll also share some of her favorite records for documenting the lives of our ancestors during that 150 years of history in this “new” land.