Sunday, October 22, 2017

CGSI Conference 2017, Pittsburgh, PA

The CGSI Conference ended yesterday evening and I finally have a chance to sit down and write at least few sentences... I originally planned to write two blog posts from the Conference, but with five lectures (three presentations and two workshops) I had no chance to do so.

I came in Pittsburgh on Monday late evening (and I almost missed my flight from NY as we had 3 hours delay on flight from Prague to NY, Delta even rebooked my flight to the morning as I had 1 hour in NY which most of people think impossible to change the flights after coming from EU - well, I did it! ;) ) and was welcomed by Paul Makousky, for what I'm really grateful.

On Thursday I took a "lone-wolf" tour to the Pittsburgh Downtown, visiting The Point, Fort Pitt and Andy Warhol Museum and also stopping by the Pittsburgh Agreement memorial. On Wednesday it was my honor to meet Jerry Martinek and his wonderful wife Marlene, who directly "adopted" me and helped me with any questions or problems I had during the Conference
Pittsburgh Agreement memorial, Penn Ave x 7th Street
There was registration running during Wednesday afternoon and a huge number of people came to greet me and tell me they are really happy to finally meet me in person - and believe me, I'm so happy I had the chance to meet all of you!

First Kurrent workshop took place on Thursday afternoon and it turned out great (and I even gave them a homework ;) ). Second workshop was on Saturday morning (like in 7:30, which was definitely tough for some of the people attending) and we had some really interesting discoveries there. 

I had two presentations on Friday - first of those presentations was "After the roof" Surnames where I presented a case study about Zetík or Justýn family from Velké Nepodřice in Písek region. I mentioned there existed something as seigniorial (estate) registers and people started to ask about them. After afternoon presentation about Homes of our Czech Ancestors which I took for Mirek Koudelka who couldn't make it to the Conference due to family reasons I decided that I'll change the presentation for Saturday afternoon and instead of doing Life in Bohemia and Moravia in the 18th century, I'll do the Estate Registers presentation. It was quite a challenge but I was able to prepare a presentation during Saturday morning and then present the topic which was never previously mentioned in the Conference. :)
I did translation sessions, answered questions about the Czech surnames, talked to so many people about their family history... What I'm really sorry about is the fact that I was not able to get to Michal Razus's, Jim Hudec's or Helmuth Schneider's presentations - but I'll definitely do that next time. I attended the Parade of Kroj and the Slavjane dancing group show and it was great to see the heritage of our ancestors is still alive here in the U.S. (I'm writing this post on Sunday morning, waiting for my flight back home).
I will prepare two blog posts that will introduce you the case studies I did as a part of "After the roof" Surnames and Estate Registers presentations - case study of Zetík or Justýn family for household surnames and case study of Dlabal or Krátoška family for estate registers. 
I'm really happy I had a chance to meet you all - and see you in Lincoln, Nebraska in 2019!