Sunday, October 16, 2011

Paul Milner was a hit at the GOGS conference in Omaha

Paul Milner
speaking in Omaha, Nebraska
Family History Month has been so jam packed with genealogy activities that I have been on the go all month - with even more coming up next weekend. Yesterday was the fall workshop sponsored by the Greater Omaha Genealogical Society (GOGS) on Scottish and British Family History Research.

The workshop presenter was Paul Milner, a professional genealogist and lecturer. He has specialized in British Isles genealogical research for more than 30 years.

I have no Scottish ancestors (that I'm aware of) and the ancestors from England go back to the Mayflower and have been pretty well researched already. As a result, I knew very little about research in these countries. Always an eager learner, I took away a lot of new information from his workshops. He did reference some Irish immigration, so that was definitely of interest and use for my research.

Milner discussed the Push-Pull influences - factors that were pushing people out of Scotland. Pull influences were what brought many Scots to America. It was no surprise that the Push influences were based on a poor economy, lack of housing and lack of food. Pull influences included the possibility of obtaining land, and letters from family encouraging the folks back home to join them in America.

Favorite "sound bites" from the workshop:

  • You cannot assume that if your emigrant was part of the migration [1725-27] that they automatically came from the north of Ireland.
  • Assumptions are fatal in genealogy.
  • Follow the minister if you can't find your ancestor - Quite often, the minister decided to move on and much of his congregation followed.
Just a few of Milner's recommended books and web sites:
It was definitely an educational - and fun - day! I enjoyed reconnecting with several of the genealogists who I've met over the last couple years. I still haven't quite adjusted to people introducing themselves and telling me that they heard me speak somewhere. But I guess I can get used to that!

I definitely give Paul Milner five stars (out of five!) as a genealogy speaker!

Visit the Greater Omaha Genealogical Society on the web

1 comment:

  1. Excellent summary! I give him five stars, too--very informative AND entertaining. He also gave me a couple of ideas for additions to the Omaha Public Library genealogy collection. :)