28 October 2010

Migration Routes, Roads and Trails

I recently took a genealogy class at my church. Our instructor showed us a number of websites that showed routes, roads and trails that have historically been used by people as they have migrated across the country. Below are some of the links we discussed. Click on the words below to access the links:

* Cyndi's List: Migration Routes, Roads and Trails - a large list of trail themed websites.

* Historic American Roads and Migration Routes - Includes descriptions, maps and even photos of trails throughout the United States.

* Early American Roads and Trails - This site was listed as one of the 101 BestWebsites for 2010 by Family Tree Magazine. It contains hand drawn maps and descriptions of various routes.

A good suggestion that was given by our instructor: if you wish to find out more about your family who traveled along specific trails, then you should research the stops along the trail. Find out if your ancestors left documentation along the trails.

26 October 2010

NMGS Year-end program, November 20, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010
10:30 AM at the Salón Ortega in

The National Hispanic Cultural Center
1701 4th St. SW
Albuquerque, New Mexico
On the southwest corner of Avenida
César Chávez and 4th Street

The New Mexico Genealogical Society’s
Year-end program

featured speaker

Robert Julyan
Author of “The Place Names of New Mexico”

· Door prizes / NMGS Volunteer Appreciation
· NMGS Officer elections
· Vote on proposed NMGS by-law amendments (the amendments are featured in the September 2010 issue of the New Mexico Genealogist)

This program is free and open to the public. For more information, visit national recognized NMGS website at www.nmgs.org.

25 October 2010

Photos of Special Collections Library Renovations

As you may know, the Albuquerque Special Collections Library is being renovated. I found a page on the Albuquerque Main Library website that shows parts of the library that are in disrepair and in need of renovation.

Click on this link to see these pictures.

I'll let you know if the library posts other photos of the renovation process.

24 October 2010

Book Publishing - self publish or not?

The following information is about a program that is sponsored by the Albuquerque Special Collections Library.

Saturday - October 30 2010
10:15 AM - 12:00 PM
Albuquerque Main Library,
501 Copper Avenue NW

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Corner of Copper and 5th

Book Publishing- self publish or not?

Join Barbe Awalt & Paul Rhetts and learn the options, pitfalls, and advantages of doing your own thing vs. going the traditional route with an established publisher.

Barbe Awalt & Paul Rhetts are the very successful owners of LPD Press, Rio Grande Books, & Tradicion Revista Magazine and have won numerous other awards for their publications.

This program is sponsored by the Special Collections LIbrary and will be held at Main Library, 2nd floor. Saturday, October 30, 10:15a.m. – Noon. For more information call (505) 768-5131.

19 October 2010

NMGS Conference - a smashing success!

The 50th Anniversary New Mexico Genealogical Society Conference was a smashing success! Nearly 200 people attended the conference, with 145 people attending our banquet. Many others attended the banquet presentation, but did not eat at the banquet itself.

Conference highlights:

* Dr. Paul Hutton was our keynote speaker. He talked about the "genealogy" of the Billy the Kid story. He showed us how the story of Billy the Kid evolved over the years through books, comic books and movies, and how accurate, or more often inaccurate, these stories were. Some memorable items about his presentation: 1.) Billy the Kid was played by a whole slew of actors including Audie Murphy, Paul Newman and Emilio Estevez. The better looking the actor, the more likely his character was a "good guy". 2.) "The Cisco Kid" is based on the Billy the Kid story; and 3.) There is one comic-book version that has Billy the Kid as actually a woman, pretending to be a man.

* Al Regensberg showed us how our ancestors migrated throughout New Mexico's history. For the most part, our ancestors stayed on the Rio Grande at it tributaries. When the Americans came, people began spreading out more.

* Former New Mexico state historian Robert J. Torrez read excerpts from his new book "Rio Arriba: A New Mexico County". He talked about the times he describes as "mucho mas antes", or New Mexico pre-history, and "mas antes", the Spanish colonial era. He also explained that this is "a" history of Rio Arriba, not "the" history of the county. He said that if any of the readers found that anything was left out, they should write about it themselves. Good advice!

* Krysten Baca, from the Ancestry.com Public Relations and Conference Team, explained how we could get the most out of Ancestry.com. The next day she had a workshop on "Best Strategies for Researching using Ancestry.com". Conference attendees were seen taking copious notes, and asked Krysten many questions.

* Jim Greene of FamilySearch.org showed us new features of beta.familysearch.org, the beta search engine that the organization is using while it updates its website. He explained that the website was free, and requested that our members help in indexing the site. He also showed us a couple of short videos about the digitization that they are doing of the 2.4 million microfilms that they have in their vault. The videos also showed the vault itself, something that the average person would not be allowed to see in person.

* Robert J. Torrez spoke again, this time about the Rio Abajo - specifically about "Rich and Powerful Hispanic Leaders". Although these families were not "millionaires" by any stretch of the imagination, they were definitely the wealthiest people in New Mexico.

* Richard Melzer spoke about "Hispanic Profiles in Courage Since Statehood". His presentation, modeled after John F. Kennedy's "Profiles in Courage", demonstrated how five individuals went against the political and social grain to stand up for what they believed in.

* Rick Hendricks spoke about "Research In and About Durango and Parral". He explained how many of these records had been preserved through his and others actions. Many of these records have been microfilmed and can be found at New Mexico State University. One photo that he showed us sent shock waves through the crowd: that of irreplaceable Spanish documents that were haphazardly boxed up and strewn across the floor of a mold infested room.

* Our banquet speaker was Bennett Greenspan, president of FamilyTreeDNA. His entertaining presentation described how he came about starting FamilyTreeDNA. He also spoke about the controversy over whether Crypto-Jews existed in New Mexico's history. He gave facts that, although did not conclusively prove the possibility of Crypto-Jews, did at least open up the conversation once again to this possibility. He also described the new autosomal DNA test that allows one to find family on across all lines up to 6 generations back.

Thanks again to everyone who helped make this conference a success: from the volunteers to the speakers to the attendees themselves. Thank you.

Photos of the conference can be seen at this link.

13 October 2010

NMGS Website Named 2010 Best State Website

We are proud to announce that the New Mexico Genealogical Society website (http://www.nmgs.org/) was named one of the 2010 Best State Websites by Family Tree Magazine. Our website was the only one named for New Mexico.

According to Family Tree Magazine:

Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2010, the society excels in guiding researchers through the Land of Enchantment’s genealogical maze. Site visitors will find a wealth of how-to articles, an index to and sample articles from the society’s magazine, New Mexico Genealogist, and exhaustive coverage of church records in the state.

To read more about this accolade, click on this link.

06 October 2010

Family Photos at NMGS Conference

I'm putting together a slide show for the New Mexico Genealogical Society's 50th Anniversary Conference on October 15th and 16th. As part of the slide show, I would like to show some family photos.

If you wish to contribute your family photos to the conference, please do the following:

1.) Send me up to three family photos to my email at abqbobcat@nmia.com.

2.) Include the names of all the people you know in the photos, how they are related to you, and when and where you think the photo was taken. Approximate dates are fine.

Send it to me by Sunday, October 10th. I'll be preparing the slide show the week following.

Thanks! Hope to see you at the conference!

Robert Baca
President, New Mexico Genealogical Society.