Monday, February 28, 2011

Curt Witcher and Seminar at Hemet Public Library

 The Hemet -San Jacinto Genealogical Society and The Hemet Public Library
 Curt B Witcher, MLS,FUGA, IGSF  from Allen County Public Library
  Ft. Wayne, Indiana  www.GenealogyCenter.Org

  It was with great anticipation we headed to Hemet against the odds of a horrendous storm, arriving safely and before any rain or other elements descended on the area.

  We stayed at the Best Western which was recommended by the society.  We had proper service and everyone was very pleasant.  We asked for extra blankets and turned up the heater. The bed was awesome for sleep.  The weather woke us at 1:30 and it was coming down like no tomorrow at that time. It appeared to be hail, rain and lots of intense wind.  By early morning when we were ready for breakfast it was still raining but not pouring as earlier during the night.

 We ate next door and had a good breakfast. Denny's Thank you. As a retired employee I like to compliment them when service is good.  My breakfast was less than $4.00 including coffee.

 We then cruised up the street and over to the magnificent Library facility that this area has.  You have to see it to believe it. This is no joke. Our seminar was on the upper floor of the building and was  ample enough that 150+ people sat at tables and listened to and watched the slides that Mr. Witcher presented.

 I am going to skip ahead and say when the day was done. Gene Chaney said if you would like to see what happened while we were learning step out on the patio to your right, or something to that affect.

 Out the duel doors on the patio, many people had grabbed camera's and were shooting pictures of the mountains in the se background that were covered with that white stuff we seldom see called snow.

 Earlier Mr. Witcher had said, he appreciated our warm welcome and the weather he was used to but was looking forward to a sunny, warm California day.  We all chuckled and we knew old Man Weather had been not kind to Indianians for weather this winter.

 Now for the Seminar and Workshop Presentation by Mr. Witcher.  As always he is excellent, articulate, concise and clear in speech and presentation.

 We received a terrific hand out presented by him with much data for our future use.  It was in color and
several pages long.

 The  first topic he presented was: Historical Research Methodology; Engaging the Process to Find All the Answers.  This talk gave charts and words to guide us in our research.  He talked about the art of asking a question.  Brevity and clarity are key in getting results from a librarian when writing a query or asking for assistance.  He also discussed getting out of the genealogy area of a library and discovery the other areas of research that are so helpful.

The second presentation was: Mining the Motherlode: Using Periodical Literature and PERSI for Genealogical Research.  This was explaining the stories in newspapers and magazines of old carry much
data to help in your research. PERSI via Heritage Quest and  is the largest subject index
to genealogical publications published in North America and the British Isles. PERSI stands for
PERiodical Source Index.  "Mr. Witcher's direct comment"

After a delicious lunch provided by the Boy Scouts of America we then listened to information about:
Using Church Records In Your Genealogical Research - American Church Records.   Explaining the why for using them and the where to find them.  He listed his many sources for presenting this information also.

Then the final presentation for today was about: Roll Call, New Sites and Sources for Military Records and Research.   This was another very informational filled talk about the various wars and what we can glean from their records.  Where the records may be found or located, What can be in the files and books and reports that are available also was discussed in length.

 I do not want to ruin this talk for someone else so I am not making it elaborate with data from his talks.
 I believe if he offers to present to your area you take the energy and time and go the distance and listen  to him present his knowledgeable information and enjoy the ride.

 Mr. Witcher, Thank You for your time and presentations. Thank you also for answering, part of my  Indian ancestors potential hunt for answers regarding records.  I am hoping PERSI can help resolve this issue.

The prizes presented during the seminar will be my next topic on this blog.  Wow, they were awesome even if I did not win one.

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