This was the third day of lectures, and (I’m sorry to say) I’m starting to get tired of sitting still for hours on end. I’m hearing the same from others, which makes me feel better; but (and every one I’ve talked to seems to be feeling the same about this too), the stiff knees and achy backs are worth it because the material is so interesting, and there’s so much learning going on.
I’m also starting to see camaraderie developing among students in the various classes (it’s even more pronounced in our small project groups). More and more, we are walking into the cafeteria alone and finding it easy to sit down at an almost full table, feel immediately welcomed, and effortlessly jump right into a friendly conversation. Unless its a conversation about the food
The grumblings about cafeteria food are getting louder and more frequent. The cereals are pretty safe, and the salad bar is pretty impressive, and the ice cream is EXCELLENT, but the hot entrees leave a lot to be desired. I was bummed this morning to discover that the only hot oatmeal was the instant kind you make from boiling water and a packet, because yesterday’s steel cut oats with brown sugar and raisins was very good. Tonight (Wednesday) is the only evening of the week with nothing scheduled after dinner, and a lot of people took the opportunity to go into the city, to visit a library or archive, or just go out for a decent meal. So, the cafeteria was a little like a morgue. Coincidentally, or maybe consequently?, the entree was a “pretty awesome” meatloaf.
As for today’s topics in Advanced Land Records ( and that is the point of it all, right??), we covered:
Homestead Records (there are an estimated 93 million descendants of homesteaders (Act of 1862) living today!)
Tract Books (taught by Angela McGhie, who gave an excellent lecture, and is always fun to listen to)
U.S. Military Bounty Lands (my favorite)
Finding and Using Land Ownership Maps (should have been my favorite, but I was getting really tired at that point)
Military bounty lands are particularly interesting to me because a surprisingly high percentage of my recent clients have had ancestors whose migration west had to do with military service. We couldn’t cover a whole lot in 75 minutes, but Rick Sayre recommended Christine Rose’s book Military Bounty Lands, 1776 to 1855. I had looked at the book in Mia’s Books (who’s been set up in the gathering area outside the cafeteria all week) on Monday, and found it really interesting; but when I went back to buy a copy after class today, it was sold out. Fortunately, I was able to find it on Amazon.com, and there’s now a copy on its way to me