Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Friday, August 3, 2012

Hello from Springfield, Illinois

I am honored to be here in Springfield, Illinois at the Family History Expo. It is just getting started but there are a lot of enthusiastic people here and I am looking forward to the eight classes I am teaching.

My most impressive memory of the trip across the U.S. is the huge drought. We passed hundreds of miles of dying corn fields and stressed soy bean plants. Hundred year old trees are dying and almost every house is surrounded by a brown, dead lawn. This situation calls to mind the fact that our ancestors crossed these barren lands without the luxury of staying in hotels and driving on freeways.

The important lesson about the drought and genealogy is to remember that external conditions such as droughts, floods, storms, extreme cold and other factors may have had a tremendous impact on our ancestors and without the historical context of these events, it is nearly impossible to understand some of the events of their lives.

Well, more later on the conference. Except for the opening and closing, I will be teaching every hour, so I will not be able to report much on the other presenters, but I will give you all some impressions of the Conference.

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