Wednesday, October 6, 2010

ProGen 3 is now finished...NGS HSC CD 3 here I come

Well, yesterday was the last day for my peer group and I in ProGen 3. We are now finished with the course. Our last topic was on marketing strategies and business record keeping. We spent some time talking about what has worked for those with running businesses and those who are not currently "in business" yet got to ask some questions. We also spent some time talking about filing systems which was pretty eye-opening. I have to admit, I'm not much of a stickler with the filing. Oh, I have the file folders, and most are labeled, but they're scattered around the house rather than in one primary location. Next to the desktop computer, next to the netbook and printer, on the coffee table under the good reading get the picture. It's not my fault though, really. I use my "files" everyday, whether it's for the ProGen assignments or the NGS HSC assignments, or just for my own project at the time. Ok, I could put them back in the file box or at least keep them all together, but what fun would that be? Besides, I like to be able to sit down, see a file and start getting back into it.

Speaking of the NGS HSC, I've gotten caught up on that now too. I finished up CD 2 with lesson 11 which was on migration. For the first assignment in that section, I had to print out/copy a few maps charting the migration of a family through three generations. I found some wonderful maps at David Rumsey's site, as usual, and was able to chart the Bromagem movement from Monongalia County, VA (now WV) to Montgomery Co., (and later, thanks to county boundary changes, Bath County) KY, to Greene County, OH, to Darke County, OH, to bordering Indiana counties including Randolph, Jay, Wells, and Blackford. I had to look at possible paths to and from each of the locations which was really interesting, to sit in front of maps that were pretty near contemporary to the subject I was tracking, and try to figure out how they would have gotten from one place to another. I found that the Ohio River was probably a major player for the Bromagems because they could pick it up outside Pittsburgh (Monongalia County is currently considered part of the Pittsburgh metro area) and take it into central Kentucky, near where they briefly settled. Then they could hop on the Little Miami River to head up to Chillicothe, OH and from there pick up a short road to the Greene County, OH area. If you still aren't familiar with David Rumsey's map site, at, you need to head over there, bookmark it, and return as much as possible. The maps on the site are absolutely beautiful, plus pretty essential tools for the family historian.

The second assignment for this section was a pretty big one. I had to choose an ancestor and one census year in which he/she appears. Then compile a spreadsheet with at least 100 of that person's neighbors in that year and do the same for the next census year. So overall, you have a spreadsheet covering two census enumerations with at least 200 total included. Then, you go over both statistics looking for similarities, anything that can help you to group the people and figure how your subject fit into the mix when historical context is mixed with the social background you've just compiled. If your subject moved between the two census years, then you need to find out more, such as what was going on in that particular geographic location that may have contributed to a move. Was it religious? Social? Was there a conflict going on at the time? I chose to follow Emsley McMasters, the Methodist living in the North Carolina Quaker Belt during the Civil War. Obviously I had already discovered that the Quaker Belt area was struggling with some serious, violent and unstable internal warfare during the Civil War, as if being a country at war wasn't bad enough. So I knew that his move was likely to provide a safer and more stable home for his large family (there were 8 children living under his roof at the time of the 1860 census). Indiana would have provided the land but his destination in particular, Parke County, would have provided a strong North Carolina community as well as a community with an established Quaker contingent, so the values would presumably have been similar to what he, and subsequently, his children would have grown up with. It was also accessible to him from the very well traveled Wilderness Road which he could pick up outside Salisbury, NC and take west into Kentucky, where he could pick up the Ohio River and from there, the Wabash River, which runs along Indiana's western border and have several waterways branching off of it in the Parke County area.

All of this information was to be recorded in a report to complete lesson 11. I ordered the final CD of the course last week and it's already arrived so I've been taking a look at the workload and figuring out what needs to be ordered. The lessons this time cover, immigration, naturalization, military records, evidence analysis and kinship, and writing the biography of an ancestor. I did start poking around on ancestry a bit for the immigration and naturalization lessons and I think I got lucky. I'll post about that next...

1 comment:

  1. What a great post! I want to start the NGS HSC's soon. I'm hoping next month. Your post makes me really excited to begin. It sounds so fun and challenging.