Pam Sayre’s lecture took place in the last time slot of the last day of the convention. The title certainly fit the time slot although she asserted that it was created long before the schedule was made. Pam’s sense of humor lifted our spirits after four intense days of learning.

The lecture covered three topic areas. Pam made sure that we understood the fundamental concepts of document analysis. She stepped us through the process of writing about what we find as soon as we find it. She also brought us on her trip of discovery, showing us how to make a research plan and revise it as we find documents.

What resonated in Pam’s presentation was the tenacity and will to keep on researching when the first few tries come up empty. Just because a county is burned doesn’t mean that there aren’t records. Just because a person was dishonorably discharged doesn’t mean there isn’t a pension application record. Just because there is no gravestone doesn’t mean there are no funeral home records. With every disappointment, Pam showed us how to re-engage with our research.

This session has been taped. During the conference you can buy it from the JAMB-INC booth in the main conference hall. After the conference, it will be available online at This is session S451 under the heading 2013 NGS Conference/Las Vegas, NV.