Friday, April 17, 2015

In Genealogy Heaven - NERGC 2015 - Day 2

Today was another whirlwind day at NERGC in Providence.

Creating Maine Towns
I started my day with a great presentation, "Creating Maine Towns: How the Wilderness was Tamed" and was so impressed with the dynamic speaker, Carol Prescott McCoy, that I went to see another of her presentations in the afternoon. She talked about all my favorite places, like Sudbury, Canada, which isn't really Canada at all but Bethel, Maine and New Marblehead, which is now the town of Windham, Maine, where I live and teach. She even referenced my ancestor, William Cotton of Woodstock. Carol lives in Brunswick and has a genealogy business called Find Your Roots.

The second presentation was a fascinating case study where she outlined her process in trying to identify the mother of Mary Drummond.  Mary's father was quite easy to find, but her mother is a bit of a riddle. Thomas Drummond was an escaped slave who became a clothes dresser (tailor) and town crier in New Bedford, Massachusetts. His story is pretty fascinating as he came to own about $1500 worth of property, a sizable amount for any person in the early 19th century, much less a person of color. He was married twice and the second marriage took place just before or just after his daughter, Mary's birth. The records are conflicting, but the story is really interesting. 

In between Carol McCoy's presentations, I went to see Judy Russell's presentation on Women & the Law and although I thought I knew quite a bit about the topic, I definitely learned a lot more. As usual, she had really great examples to illustrate her points. I also went to see Diane Gravel's presentation, "Women in the World of Piracy". 

Of course, there was also all the networking, meeting new people, checking out exhibitors, and visiting with my favorite geneabloggers. By the end of each day, my brain is full! 

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