Let me tell you a little bit about where I’m staying here in Fort Lauderdale. This is a great area around the Convention Center. We are a big enough group that we fill several hotels which are all very close to the center.
I am staying at the Embassy Suites, which is within walking distance; and there are all kinds of restaurants and stores nearby. In fact my hotel room overlooks a street full of shops, restaurants and even an upscale Publix. You can see Port Everglades directly behind it.
Chuck is from Ft. Lauderdale. He graduated from Ft. Lauderdale High and is a flying “L”. His high school is the oldest continuous high school in South Florida. It was founded in 1899.
A little trivia about their mascot, the Flying L. It dates back to 1917 when a Miami Herald reporter wrote after a track meet about one of their track stars. He said, “Look at that L go”. They changed their mascot not too long afterwards to the “Flying Ls”.
And everyone says that South Florida lacks history. 😊
Chuck’s class was the last to graduate in the old building, and they tore it down not too long after. That is why he didn’t join me. He said that the old school is gone now, and they built a parking lot where his family first lived. There isn’t much left of his old stomping grounds.
He had planned to come with me this week and do a little fishing. I was disappointed when he decided not to join me until I got here and saw all the wonderful shopping opportunities. Don’t get me wrong, but I’ve learned that shopping with Chuck is like going hunting with the game warden.
Today, I took more DNA courses. This is really getting to be a big thing in genealogy research. The rooms were crowded.
At lunch, though, our keynote was a genealogist who was trying to find a not so distant ancestor using DNA but who in the process asked a first cousin to be tested. Turns out his first cousin’s father wasn’t his biological father, and the two cousins were no longer biological cousins. His first cousin was 77-years-old and had no idea about his non-paternity issue. Then the speaker showed us how he helped his cousin find his paternal father using autosomal DNA testing.
But my favorite course today was how to create a locality profile. Again, I’ve been doing some of this already but didn’t realize that what I had been doing was a recognized research technique and had a name.
When I took a class about a year ago called “The Family History Writing Challenge”, it’s creator Lynn Palermo told us that the way to learn more about a family ancestor that could be used when writing about the ancestor was to do a timeline of events that happened that may have affected his or her life. When I started doing this, I noticed that much of the events I put in the timeline were location specific.
So this instructor was teaching me something that I was already doing, but he was teaching me how to go about it in a more orderly and organized way. He gave me a list of essential tools and possible sources to use.
Anyway, as I was listening to him, I kept thinking that I knew him from somewhere. He sounded so familiar, but I just couldn’t place him.
I wondered if he might have been an instructor in St. Charles, MO last year at the 2015 convention. Finally, I googled his name. Turns out he is a celebrity.
Joshua Taylor has been a featured genealogist on “Who Do You Think You Are?”. He worked with Sarah Jessica Parker, Kelly Clarkson, Ashley Judd, Reba McEntire, and Rob Lowe. At the present time he is a host on the PBS series “Genealogy Roadshow.” So he’s genealogy star.
Well, at least he is to us here in genealogy world. 🤓