Saturday, April 16, 2011

From the Ancestor Swap Meet

After the storms of last night, this morning dawned as a beautiful blue sky day.
Opening time for the Ancestor Swap Meet was 8:30 and people were waiting to register. At least two groups of family researchers decided to meet in Gadsden. The Gilliland Reseachers are here with 8 or 9 researchers from as far away as Michigan.  The Barkley Researchers are here with 4 researchers. One of the Barkley researchers wasn't able to attend due to a family death and she was coming from Kent, Washington. We have 7 states represented here today.

After holding the Ancestor Swap Meet for 12 years I still get anxious and excited.  I can't wait to see those old friends who come back year after year,  I love meeting new friends and look forward to those I will meet today.  Our group is down due to so many conflicts for our genealogists, including the Alabama Genealogical Society holding their Spring meeting today.  I'm sorry we had to miss it, but I thought it was usually in May.  The gas prices and rooms rates increase (due to the Nascar race which was changed to this weekend and is usually scheduled for the 4th Saturday) have made it hard this year.  I  have a notice from the Alabama Department of Tourism requesting the information on next year's Ancestor Swap Meet so it can be included in the 2012 Alabama Tourism Calendar. I had to schedule next year's event before we held the 2011 Ancestor Swap Meet.  A year in advance, maybe the other events will not be on the same day next year.  The Ancestor Swap Meet 2012 will be held April 21st.  When you live in Gadsden, AL there are not many places to hold a meeting like ours, so you have to schedule a good place early.

It's nice to look around and see so many people listening to Mark and taking notes. Just think they all love genealogy as much as we do. Wouldn't it be nice if we could "swap" ancestors, my gg grandfather Jackson Allen Jones wouldn't have a chance, he would go first.  I would let someone else figure out what comet took him away. But then again,I  have to have time to research or maybe I need to just take the time.

Just in case you read this Mark, I was listening and I have a new package of index cards. Now I want to make a trip to the Georgia Archives to give Jackson A. Jones a try again. But I will check the opening schedule and not waste a trip. I will do a time line and try to use these skills to find that "Jones" ancestor.

We're having a good day,wonderful information,  fun, food and good people not to mention a great speaker our friend J. Mark Lowe.   We also gave a couple of awards today The Nichols Memorial Library Award went to our friend Kevin Graves for all the wonderful help he gives researchers at the Gadsden Public Library, in person, online or by mail.  Thanks Kevin, keep up the good work.  The second presentation was to J. Mark Lowe making him an honorary member of  N.E. Alabama Genealogical Society.

Enough for now it's almost time for lunch  and I will be able to talk with some of the people I don't know and make new friends.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Ancestor Swap Meet 2011

 It has been a remarkable week Monday and Tuesday, a great group of volunteers worked to put the finishing touch on Ancestor Swap Meet 2011.  Door prizes were wrapped and loaded in a car, next came the goody bags. They were also completed and loaded. Now it's time to take a deep breath.  Oh I forgot have you ever had jelly beans for lunch? We did, so much for  Monday. Tuesday we finished all the bags, one job down more to go. Researchers list, name tags and queries had to be finished and copied,

Wednesday was interesting, a grave dowsing class, followed by a tour of  a historic cemetery in Gadsden. No we aren't practicing witchcraft it uses the same principle as dowsing for water, a dozen or more  people tried their new skill at the cemetery, then came back to Nichols to research. On Thursday morning about twenty people came back to Nichols Library for a mini beginners genealogy class.  The morning passed so fast, lt's fun to  help someone find clues to their family history.  After a lunch break, most of the class members came back to research  we were able to work one on one to help them find that one special clue. 
A very special friend came to the Library on Thursday afternoon and we had a great time listening and talking with him.  It's great to be able to share and laugh with friends with a common interest, even though we say we don't want to hear about your family.  I was asked what was going on with my genealogical blog, I was ashamed to tell him nothing.  Of course he already knew I hadn't been keeping it up.  Today we had a scrapbook class with several people staying to research afterward. Tonight a workshop was held and despite the thunderstorms we had a good time.  Finally the name tags and researchers list are finished.  The last minute crazy rush is over, it's 11:33 and I have to be back at the Ancestor Swap Meet site at 7:30. I hope I can get some sleeep.  So goodnight everyone, hopefully it won't be long before I have more to tell you.  Mark I hope you are getting some rest and thanks for that little push to blog agsin.  This one is for you,