HI TIM ,
I WANT TO SUGGEST TO ALL--if YOU HAVE NEVER GONE TO AN OUT OF YOUR CITY, genealogy conference, find one to attend. Things of this sort happens - finding information and cousins. Conferences that you feel are geared to another ethnic group, may just give you information on where to look next. We all have to look in to the x-slaveholders papers to find our peeps. We all have to become very familiar with the name, migrations, and marriage name changes of the slaveholders families. I resisted going to the FGS and NGS Conferences for many years. Didn't feel that they had anything to tell me. Well I ALWAYS learn something from these workshops. It may not be what exactly I am looking for at that time, but eventually I will need to know this info. For 3 days 8-5, every hour there are workshop speakers on some of everything. I learned about writing a genealogy book-I'm not going to do that one. Too much stuff you got to do. I learned about societies hosting seminars- I take my hat off to them. You just can't imagine the work involved, And I learned about looking for those documents and military info out there we just don't have a clue exist. It was so hard to figure out which ones to attend. The hotels are always top notch and everyone has always been kind and courteous no matter where I traveled. So give it a try. Go 1 day in advance of when the conference's start. Get the 'lay of the land'. If it's a place where I have been itching to do research, I talk to the hotel itself and arrive on a sunday or monday and go to the libraries or archives and research until the workshop days and still pay the same group price per day. You can't attend all of the workshops, not enough time-they are free AFTER you have paid in advance conference fee- but at least you will be able to plan what you want to do each day in advance. Birmingham, Ala is the 2012 place. I gotta start making my budget. I need to do some Archive research there.
By the way, I met a lady who's family shared the similar same name Goatly-Gotely. She said she contacted the black family and went to their family reunion and had a good old time. She is looking forward to next year, forever. Families were connected because of x-slaveholder. And if you can't get someone to go with you, be brave and do it on your own. You never know you just may meet a celebrity like Burroughs, Pinnick or Dr. Kittles there. I have met and spoke to each one at different seminars.