The Eastern European Mutt is going to…

…nowhere! I’m going nowhere. But will be speaking at 41st IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, August 1-5, 2021. Check out my live panel presentation, Know Your USCIS Records, with Rich Venezia and Marian Smith, taking place on 3 August from 11:15am – 1:30pm EDT.

The two-hour panel session will introduce researchers to Certificate Files (C-Files), Visa Files and Registry Files, Alien Registration Forms and A-files. We will work to untangle the misinformation and misunderstanding surrounding the records created by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and its predecessor, the Immigration and Naturalization Service. The session will help participants understand the fee-based USCIS Genealogy Program, what might be found duplicated in court records, and what might be at the National Archives. We’ll discuss the content of the records, value to genealogical research, and unclear status regarding preservation and future researcher access. Despite the interest in these records, and advocacy for them, future access to USCIS records remains in jeopardy if the community does not continue to work to protect the records.    

I also have an on-demand talk, Three is Not the Magic Number: Better Ways to Add Up Evidence and Improve Analysis. Finding three examples of a piece of information equals a fact is a genealogy myth. This presentation breaks apart the notion of three, and replaces it with using documents to learn definitions of primary and secondary information, original and derivative source documents, and direct and indirect evidence – all part of using the Evidence Analysis Process Map to weigh and analyze the evidence before making a conclusion.

Examples of how the “rule of three” can result in incorrect conclusions will be discussed in case studies, which will also help participants understand how to build research plans, equaling better research, better conclusions and fewer genealogy “do-overs.” The records discussed in this presentation will focus on those easily available for a newer researcher: vital records (birth, marriage, death), headstones, Census records, immigration and naturalization records, Social Security number applications, and military draft cards.

Will I see you online?

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