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March 2001


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A LISTSERV list for discussions pertaining to New York State history." <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 8 Mar 2001 09:29:57 -0500
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A Marriage Made in Heaven

A Conference for
Genealogists and Historians
May 10-11-12, 2001
The Gideon Putnam Hotel
Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Organized by
The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society
122 East 58th Street
New York, NY 10022

Why This Conference?

On 28 August 1862, the Reverend John McLeish enlisted in Pittsfield, Otsego County, New York, as a private in Company H of the 152d Infantry of New York Volunteers. His sons William M. and Joseph F. were already serving in the Civil War in other New York units and a third son would join up about a month later.

Where would you go to find the military service records of these McLeishes? What if you wanted to find out what their experiences as soldiers were like during the Civil War? Suppose you were studying a particular regiment and wanted to learn more about the individual soldiers?
For years, genealogists have learned how to track records of individuals, while historians have tended to focus on groups of people, whether in a military unit, a congregation, a community. Genealogists have traditionally documented the basic "bare bones" facts about who, what, when, where, and historians have recorded the "flesh" of life experiences. More recently, these two disciplines have been coming together and sharing their sources, their methods, their conclusions.
What better place to bring together historians and genealogists than nineteenth- century New York! So much was happening in the Empire State in the 1800s-migration; immigration; industrialization; political, social, and religious movements-all of which can be investigated in rich collections throughout the state.

With this in mind, The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, in cooperation with the New York State Archives and genealogical societies of the Capital District and Saratoga area, has organized what promises to be a ground-breaking conference, designed for experienced researchers, in which well-known genealogists and historians will join forces to emphasize the essential relationship between our two disciplines, particularly with regard to New York State in the 19th Century.

Come find out what all the excitement is about, as you learn about these sources-WHERE to find them and WHAT they contain. Then learn how to USE the information in the sources to trace individuals, families, and communities and how to WRITE about such people with a blend of social history.

Registration: You may sign up for either the full conference or for one of the two days.
Syllabus: Each registrant will be given a copy of the conference syllabus, containing information submitted by each lecturer on the contents of their presentation.
Hotel: The Gideon Putnam Hotel is at 24 Gideon Putnam Road in Saratoga Springs, tel. 518-584-3000. The entire hotel is reserved for the conference. Attendees who wish to stay at the hotel should contact the Gideon Putnam directly. The room rate for this conference is $109 per night, single or double occupancy, plus tax. The Hilton Garden Inn, tel. 518-587-1500, also has rooms available at the same rate for people attending the conference.
Meals: For those who do not want to attend the two luncheons or banquet, the hotel will be providing regular meal service and there are many other restaurants at various price levels to choose from in Saratoga Springs.

Transportation: There is ample parking at the hotel. Driving instructions will be provided to you when your registration is confirmed, and will also be posted at www.nygbs.org. Saratoga Springs is served by the Albany County Airport, and the Gideon Putnam runs a shuttle from the airport for $30 one way; you must reserve a seat through the hotel. Saratoga Springs is also served by Amtrak.

Research: Attendees from out of town may want to extend their stay to do research in Saratoga and surrounding counties. Note that Albany (State Library and Archives)  and Fonda (Montgomery County Archives) are both only 30 miles away. Attendees may also want to take in some of the numerous Historical and Cultural Sites in Saratoga Springs and this region of New York State. Information will be provided when your registration is confirmed and also at our website: www.nygbs.org.

Vendors: Throughout the conference several vendors will be on hand to sell books, maps, and other materials relating to New York history and genealogy.

The Program

Note that all lectures will focus on 19th-century New York State, even though that is not stated in the lecture titles. All events will be held at the Gideon Putnam Hotel. Where two lectures are listed at the same hour, you may attend either one.  Attendance at the luncheons and banquet is optional.

Thursday, May 10th
6:00-8:00 PM
Reception for all attendees, with cash bar. Pick up your name tag and syllabus at this time, or on Friday morning before 8:45.

Friday, May 11th
8:45 AM
F1 Opening Session. Katherine Scott Sturdevant: How "Civilization" Moved West of the Hudson: New York Regional Social History for Social and Family Historians.
10:00 AM
F2 James D. Folts: Land Title Records and Maps (What is Available and Where). See F5 for related lecture.
F3 Leslie Corn: Case Studies from Cyberspace: Strategies for Finding and Using Reliable Historical and Genealogical Data on the Internet.
11:15 AM
F4 Harry Macy, Jr.: Probate Records (What is Available and Where). See F7 for related lecture.
F5 James Darlington and Anita A. Lustenberger: Using Land Records and Maps for History and Genealogy.
12:30 PM
Luncheon: Field Horne will speak on the history of the Saratoga area.
2:15 PM
F6 Roger D. Joslyn: Censuses and Tax Lists.
F7 Katherine Sturdevant: Death and Inheritance: Using Records of Life's Aftermath.
3:30 PM
F8 Patricia Cline Cohen: Life in Cities.
F9 Craig S. Williams and F. Daniel Larkin: Travel and Migration-Roads, Canals, Railroads.
6:00 PM
Reception with cash bar.
7:00 PM
Banquet: After dinner, Patricia Cline Cohen will speak on Sleuthing Out an Old Crime, the research for her highly-acclaimed book The Murder of Helen Jewett.

Saturday, May 12th
8:15 AM
S1 Military Records: What Is Available. See S3 for related lecture. Speaker to be announced.
S2 Peter M. Carucci and Roger D. Joslyn: Vital Records: Records Access and Preservation.
9:30 AM
S3 Katherine Sturdevant: More Than Military Records: Discovering the Common Soldier's Experience.
S4 Harry Macy, Jr.: Religious Records: What and Where They Are, and How to Use Them.
10:45 AM
S5 Vicki Weiss: Newspapers: An Underutilized Resource. See S9 for related lecture.
S6 James D. Folts: Records of Persons in State Custody- Courts, Jails, Prisons and Mental Hospitals.
12:00 PM
Luncheon: Harry Macy, Jr.: Genealogists and Historians in 19th Century New York-A Trip Back in Time.
1:45 PM
S7 Roger D. Joslyn: Immigration and Naturalization Records.
S8 Hon. John D. Austin, Jr.: Civil Court Records: from Abandonment to Zoning-by way of Actions, Complaints, Answers, Affidavits, Subpoenas, Motions, Orders, Decisions, Judgements, Appeals, and Lots of Other Stuff.
3:00 PM
S9 Patricia Cline Cohen: Newspapers as a Source for Social History.
S10 Ian McGiver: A Community Study: Historians and Genealogists Learning from Each Other.
4:15 PM
S11 Closing Session. Katherine Sturdevant: Bringing Family History to Life through Social History. This lecture will draw on all of the preceding sessions to conclude the conference.

The Speakers

Hon. John D. Austin, Jr. is County Judge and Surrogate of Warren County, N.Y. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists.

Peter M. Carucci is Director, Vital Records Section, N.Y. State Department of Health.

Patricia Cline Cohen is Professor of History and Women's Studies at the University of California-Santa Barbara. She is the author of The Murder of Helen Jewett: The Life and Death of a Prostitute in Nineteenth-Century New York [City] (Knopf, 1998, Vintage paperback, 1999).

Leslie Corn is a professional genealogist in New York City and member of the NYG&B Education and Publication Committee.

James Darlington is Adjunct Professor of Geography at SUNY Cortland and Assistant Editor of the Encyclopedia of New York State project.

James D. Folts is Head of Reference Services, N.Y. State Archives.

Field Horne is former Curator of Collections of the National Museum of Racing in Saratoga Springs, and a longtime genealogist.

Roger D. Joslyn is a Certified Genealogist and Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists, and a member of the NYG&B Education and Publication Committee.

F. Daniel Larkin is Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, SUNY Oneonta, and an expert on the history of technology and economic development of 19th-century New York and the U.S.

Anita A. Lustenberger is a Certified Genealogist and member of the NYG&B Education and Publication Committee.

Harry Macy, Jr. is Editor of The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists, and a member of the NYG&B Education and Publication Committee.

Ian McGiver is a Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of Chicago. He is writing a study of post-Revolutionary and early 19th Century settlement in a marginal area of Schoharie County.

Katherine Scott Sturdevant, who will make four presentations during the conference, is a social historian and historical editor whose mission is "to help make the writing and teaching of both scholarly history and family history simultaneously academically sound and interesting for the general public." She is the senior history faculty at Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and author of Bringing Your Family History to Life through Social History (Betterway Books, 2000).

Vicki Weiss is a Librarian with the N.Y. State Library, headquarters of the N.Y. State Newspaper Project.

Craig S. Williams is Associate Curator, N.Y. State Museum, and author of field trip guides to the Erie and other N.Y. canals.