Sunday, November 11, 2007

What You Missed: The October 2007 Workshop

"Journeys: Tracing the Steps of Our Ancestors" was the theme of EWGS's annual October Workshop. If you missed this terrific all-day program, you indeed missed out! Held at the Southside Senior Center at 27th and Ray on October 6th, the morning was kicked off by Donna Potter Phillips' "Immigration: Where? When? Why? How?" Did you know that 35 million immigrants came to America between 1820 - 1920? This was the largest unplanned human migration in recorded history, and it was mainly due to the collapse of an agricultural society, the start of the Industrial Revolution, and the rising population in Europe. Donna gave many interesting facts about immigration, and recommended a list of helpful books to expand our knowledge about these events.

The second morning session offered three choices: "Migration Routes Across America," by Lethene Parks; "Back to My New England Ancestors," by Marvel Miller; and "A Journey Backward and a Backward Journey," by Steve Turner.

After a delicious lunch catered by the Center's staff, we returned to our third session in the afternoon. "Where to Find the Clues to the Route," was presented by Donna, while "Staying on the Path through Surname Changes," was offered by Jeanne Coe. Tammi Rizzuto and Judy Williams each gave short presentations about their personal research trips, "Finding the Scottish Archives," and "Journey to Germany," respectively.

The last session's presentations were "Migration Map Plotting Workshop" by Lethene Parks, "My Researching Journey to Norway," by Barbara Brazington, and "Onward to Publication: Easier Than You Think," by Ruby Simonsen McNeill. I wish that I had had an opportunity to sit in on each and every presentation, don't you? We are very fortunate to have such talented and knowledgeable members in our society! My syllabus will be three-hole punched and placed in a binder with other notes and syllabuses relating to immigration and migration routes, for further reference.

Congratulations to all our speakers, the workshop committee, and to Pat Mielbrecht, our chairperson, for putting together such an interesting, informative program!

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