Three years ago today, I began a journey at “Come Home to New England” – a week-long guided research visit to the New England Historical Genealogical Society in Boston.
I had attended a local workshops here in Maryland but visiting NEHGS for five and a half days was an out-of-body experience. I submitted my research questions ahead of time but did I really know what I was facing? Definitely not and maybe just as well.
It was my first trip to a major genealogical repository. Excellent lectures (and breakfast) each morning, with extended library hours (sometimes exclusive) the rest of the week. I met individually with Michael Leclerc, Josh Taylor, Rhonda McClure, Chris Child, David Dearborn, Timothy Salls, Judith Lucey, and Gary Boyd Roberts – each of whom provided expert advice on my particular endeavors.
I would have been star-struck if only I had known. I only knew my head was swimming and my recording systems were overwhelmed. There was a lot to ponder.
Before Day 1 was over, I also knew my husband descended from a notable counterfeiter-forger and my 8x great grandfather was the subject of a scholarly article with this juicy subtitle – “Seventeenth Century Misconduct as an Aid to Identification.”When Gary Boyd Roberts tapped me on the shoulder, I was lucky to have just snacked and visited the ladies room. More importantly, I had fresh paper pedigree charts. He showed me the ropes on the Nantucket Vital Records, calling it “shooting fish in a barrel.” He was right about that. It took four hours to compose citations for the facts he jotted, whited-out, and rejotted on the Pinkham line. Rhonda told me about Roots Magic, Josh told me about the DAR Library in DC, Chris helped me methodically chart my in-laws, and Michael asked, when he saw my research checklist, “Are you a librarian?” Tim and Judy took a special interest in my Cape Cod Irish immigrant family (a little unusual) and David was the one who responded to me at 11:30 AM on Saturday morning when I said, “I have one hour left, what should I do?” (New Hampshire land records was his answer.) Before I arrived at “Come Home” on 22 June 2009, I knew I wanted to learn about my own ancestors but I had an inkling I wanted more. That week was a major turning point in terms of professional aspirations, and, since then, I have continued to plod toward my goals.
And did I mention that NEHGS was in Boston? More than a few beautiful sights for the very few non-library hours…
Happy Geneaversary to me! If you have a geneaversary, I’d love to hear about it.
One thought on “Geneaversary”
Congratulations on your geneaversary, Malissa! Your week at NEHGS sounds amazing. And just look at how far you’ve come since then. You’re already doing great work, and I know the future holds much more. Cheers to you!