Saturday, June 11, 2016

Southern California Jamboree 2016 ~ The last two days were fantastic and my brain hurts!

Me and Marcia Huntley Maloney

Paul Hawthorne and Randy Seaver Me and George
 Above are pictures of friends at Jamboree - Left to right - Marcia Huntley Maloney of the Mayflower Society, J. Paul Hawthorne and Randy Seaver and my friend, George, who helped me collect many of those ribbons

It’s been nearly a week now since the 2016 Jamboree ended.  Such a busy week for me that I’m just now getting around to finishing up the blog posts for Jamboree.

Here’s a summary of the last two days.  They were pretty marvelous.

Saturday – June 4 

Fire Insurance Maps – The Google Maps of Their Day by Jill Morelli

Jill talked about fire insurance maps.  What are they?  How can they be helpful to genealogists?
  • Fire insurance maps were used by companies who stood to have a loss should a fire catastrophe occur.
  • By sending out surveyors to measure and record each building the companies could then decide how insurable a building was.  A wood building would certainly not be as good a risk as a brick building.
  • The thought of insurance first began in 1666 with the Fire of London
  • The first fire insurance policy was issued in the American colonies in 1728.
  • Daniel Sanborn was hired as a surveyor and by 1909 he had a monopoly on fire maps.
  • Maps are prominent in urban areas, but can also be found for rural areas.
  • These maps can fill in details about how our ancestors lived.  Did they live close enough to walk to work, or did they take a trolley?  Perhaps there was a living area in a business where your ancestor worked.  Or, did they own that particular business?  How has the area changed over time?
Get Me to the Church on Time: Finding Religious Records by Janice M. Sellers
  • Church records can be wonderful resources for our research
  • All church records are not created equally.  The information contained in the records will vary from church to church and religion to religion. 
  • If a particular congregation is made up of primarily immigrants, you may find the records are in a language other than English.  In this case, remember Google translate is your friend.
  • Remember, if you are looking at a transcription of a record, there may be errors.  It’s always best to find the original and look at it yourself.
  • Many churches kept membership records.  Who joined and when, who left and when.  These can be very useful.
Cracking the Case with DNA by Anna Swayne

Anna shared with us a step by step process to break down brick walls using DNA.  Like the other DNA classes I attended, this one gave me many more pieces of knowledge in using DNA for my own ancestor research.  Because this was a case study I will just share my takeaways from the class.
  • Use a fan chart to see where you have gaps in your direct lines. Who is missing?
  • Use DNA circles to pull in those matches closest to you.
  • Remember if your Ancestry DNA is attached to a private tree, it will not be included in circles.  I’ve created a separate DNA tree with only names & dates and that’s what I’ve attached my DNA test to.

Kenyatta gave us a behind the scenes look at Genealogy Roadshow.  She was an eloquent speaker and we all appreciated learning more about her and the show.  About 200 people attended this dinner.  The dinner service was very good and so was the food. 
At the end of the evening Kenyatta drew a ticket from amongst all the attendee tickets and presented a grand prize.   
Surprise!  My friend, fellow blogger and roomie for Jamboree, Debby Warner Anderson won!!

The prize was free registration for next year’s Jamboree

Here are some pictures from the dinner
Dinner on Saturday night Kenyatta Berry speaking to us Kenyatta Berry with me and Debby

P.S. Debby won another prize on Sunday.  I told her that I think I’m her lucky charm and she has to take me everywhere now.
Sunday – June 5

I attended four classes on this day.  By now my head is exploding from all the information I have collected.  This post will go on forever if I list the highlights from these classes.  I will tell you that I learned something new at each one and the most informative, for me, was the class about Pennsylvania.  Simply because it’s a difficult state to conduct research and I have lots of family from there.

The four classes I attended were:

  • Getting to Know Fold3 by Trevor Hammond
  • Back Home in Ireland: Following the Trail to Patrick Murphy’s Origins by Kathy Warburton
  • Finding Family on by Trevor Hammond
  • How to Overcome Brick Wall Problems in Pennsylvania Research by Michael D. Lacopo, DVM
I had a wonderful four days at my very first genealogy conference.  I can’t wait to attend Jamboree next year.  I also hope that I can attend other conference like RootsTech, in the near future.  I made some new friends, met fellow bloggers I had only known virtually on Facebook and saw other friends I hadn’t seen in a while.

Here are links to my other two posts from Jamboree.

Southern California Jamboree 2016 ~ Day One ~ My first time at Jamboree
Southern California Jamboree 2016 ~ Day Two ~ Things I Learned

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2016   Diane Gould Hall


  1. Thanks for all the good luck! Hopefully, I can pass it on to you next year :) It was a fun weekend!!

  2. I always start out at the conferences so energized and excited and by the end, while I am still loving every minute of it, I am always amazed at how tired I am. I am so glad you were able to attend, it sounds like it was fabulous.

    1. Michelle - The energy level on the first 2-3 days is amazing. About that 4th day though you can see everyone beginning to tire. I came home exhausted. But, I'll do it again, first chance I get.


I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.