Category Archives: Genealogy Conferences

FGS Conference Registration is Open

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Another great conference opened registration this week. This time it is the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ annual conference, that will be held in Fort Wayne, Indiana, home of the Allen County Public Library! This conference is taking place August 22-25, 2018. You can read more about it at the conference website. The full program has also been released and can be viewed here.

APG PMC Registration Open

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The Association of Professional Genealogists opened registration for the Professional Management Conference taking place in Kansas City, Missouri from  October 4-6, 2018. You can register and reserve a hotel room by visiting the APG conference website.

APG also announced the dates and locations for the 2019 PMC which will be held in Salt Lake City at the Hotel RL from September 19-21, 2019. This is also APG’s 40th Anniversary and there’s sure to be plenty of celebrating so mark your calendars!

Audio Recordings from NGS 2018

Audio recordings of many of the NGS lectures are available for sale and download at PlaybackNGS. There were many fantastic sessions, some I made it to, some I missed due to speaking or other obligations, and so I’m compiling my list right now.

7780-banner2If you couldn’t make it to NGS (or even if you did) this is a great way to hear some fantastic lectures.

I do have three lectures available if you are interested:

  • The Third Coast: How the Great Lakes Shaped America (W144)
  • Casting the Net: Denominational, Ethnic, and Specialized Newspapers (S443)
  • Using PERSI Like a Pro (S451)

I thought Grand Rapids, Michigan and this NGS conference was one of the best I’ve been to. The level of education, the exhibit hall, and the city offerings were fantastic.

Next year’s NGS is 8-11 May 2019 in St. Charles, Missouri. And 2020 will be 20-23 May in Salt Lake City, Utah. Mark your calendars!

NGS Conference Live Stream Details Announced

The National Genealogical Society’s Annual Conference is coming right up! I am honored to be going to present three lectures among a wide variety of very talented speakers. The conference is being held in Grand Rapids, Michigan from 2-5 May 2018. If you are unable to attend in person, NGS just announced their live stream schedule option. You can read the full release with sign-up instructions and fees here.

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National Genealogical Society Conference Banner

The schedule is as follows:

  • Thursday, 3 May 2018: Viewers will be able to stream five lectures from 9:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m., including:
    • Reasonably Exhaustive Research of African American Ancestors who came out of Slavery—LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG®
    • The Price of Loyalism: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary War—Terry Koch-Bostic
    • The Y-DNA Test Should be Your Favorite—Diahan Southard
    • Your Cousins are Your Secret Weapon—Angie Bush
    • Native American DNA: Separating Fact from Fiction—Blaine Bettinger, PhD, JD
  • Friday, 4 May 2018: Five BCG Skillbuilding lectures will be live streamed from 8:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m., including:
    • History, Records, and Context: Researching the Locations Your Ancestors Lived—Angela Packer McGhie, CG
    • Samuel Witter vs. Samuel Witter: Separating Same-Name Soldiers, War of 1812—Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGLSM, FASG, FNGS, FUGA
    • Using Indirect and Negative Evidence to Prove Unrecorded Events—Thomas Wright Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA
    • A Matter of Standards: DNA and the GPS—Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL
    • Deeper Analysis: Techniques for Successful Problem Solving—Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL

Details about the live stream program, plus additional conference recordings, can be found on the PlaybackNGS Website.

If you’d like to attend, but can’t make it in person, this is a wonderful opportunity to attend from home.

More 2017 Plans… and into 2018!

So a few more things have been finalized that I can now mention publicly.

I have two all-day seminars scheduled this year:

  • 12 August 2017 – Ark-La-Tex, in Shreveport, LA holds an annual conference. This year I am their conference speaker! See this link for details.
  • 7 October 2017 – San Antonio Genealogical and Historical Society, I will be the annual seminar speaker for this group as well. You can find out more information about the seminar here.

The BIG NEWS that I want to share is that I will be a co-coordinator in a course at SLIG in 2018!

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I will be teaching a course with Kathryn Lake Hogan, with special appearances by Judy Russell and David Ouimette! The course will cover the Great Lakes region, more than a general survey, and intended to highlight the unique nature of history, records, documents, and methodology surrounding research in the Great Lakes region, both from the U.S. and Canadian sides. Watch for more details on this course coming soon!

TxSGS Annual Conference Presentations

I can hardly believe that it is almost time for the Texas State Genealogical Society Annual Conference again! It seems like it wasn’t that long ago that I was speaking at last year’s conference, for the first time. Well, this year I will be speaking again! The conference will be held in Dallas at the Crowne Plaza, October 28-30.

Friday, October 28,  I will be presenting two lectures:
Ahead of the Times: Texas Newspaper Research (2-3pm)
Newspapers were daily snapshots of our ancestor’s lives; Texas newspapers are no exception. Examine the broad spectrum and history of Texas newspapers for genealogical research. Methods, techniques, and strategies for obtaining those items of interest will be demonstrated.

From Deeds to Dirt: Analyzing Research with Maps (5-6pm)
This program demonstrates skills needed to move from land descriptions in historical documents to maps depicting those locations in order to analyze and solve research problems.

Saturday, October 29,  I will present:
Who Lives Next Door? Using the FAN Club in your Research (2-3pm)
Untangle individuals of the same name and solve genealogical mysteries using the “FAN Club” principle. Methods to identify FAN Club members and case studies will be demonstrated.

I’m so honored to be speaking at a conference alongside some of my favorite colleagues and friends! Such talented genealogists and speakers attending are Judy Russell, Cyndi Ingle, Deborah Abbott, Lisa Louise Cooke, Rick Fogarty, Sara Gredler, Colleen Greene, Michael Strauss, Billie Fogarty, Kelvin Meyers, Teri Flack, Debbie Parker Wayne, Ari Wilkins, and at least twenty other speakers!

Early Bird registration is open through October 7, 2016. Don’t delay! This is sure to be one of the best state conferences yet.

“Crossing the Pond” An upcoming course at the British Institute

britishI will have the pleasure and honor of teaching at the “British Institute” hosted by the International Society of British Genealogy and Family History (ISBGFH). I will be teaching three classes in the course titled “Crossing the Pond: Finding Your Immigrant Ancestor in Their Homeland” coordinated by Eric Stroschein, along with Luana Darby and David Ouimette, CG. The following is an excellent description of the course:

Are you stuck? Have you hit the European immigration research brick wall called the Atlantic Ocean? Want to learn how to resolve your own research problem? Whether your immigrant ancestor came directly to America or through the British Isles this class is for you. For this class, it does not matter where your immigrant came from.

Crossing the Pond teaches proven beginning to advanced methods, instructing students how to resolve their own research problems. Students in this course will bring up to 5 of their own European research problems to work on throughout the week. Crossing the Pond demonstrates sound methodology translates to all countries.

This workshop style course has the look and feel of private consultations centered around morning classroom instruction on methodology and followed by problem solving with guided research by your instructors in the Family History Library while using your own research problems.

The three classes I will be teaching are:

  • Using Lists to Find Proof
    • Genealogists examine lists every time they conduct research, whether it be in the form of censuses, tax lists, directories, petitions, or others. This class will demonstrate methods of examining lists as a research tool for proving the identity of our ancestors.

  • Using Church Records to Find Ancestral Origins
    • Use maps, directories, county histories and other clues from family lore and tradition to determine the religious affiliations of your ancestors. Locating, examining, and analyzing the records for a given church, might be the key to identifying an ancestor’s place of origin.

  • Canadian Migration and Immigration
    • When we think about our immigrant ancestors, we often visualize them coming directly to a United States seaport such as New York or Philadelphia. However, many of our forebears entered through Canadian ports before migrating south overland to become U.S. citizens; some may have crossed back and forth several times creating many records for genealogists. This class examines some of the common migration patterns and the documents they created.

I know I wish I had this course when I was beginning my genealogical research. There is still time to register! If you sign up by September 15 you will save $65 on the registration fees! The classes take place at the Plaza right next door to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. There is no better format than a half day learning and a half day researching, if you ask me. I am sure this course will be of use to anyone who is looking for their ancestors’ origins “across the pond.”

More information on the other instructors:

Course Coordinator:

Eric Stroschein, is a professional genealogist located in Mount Vernon, Washington. He owns Generations Detective, a genealogical research firm that offers a wide variety of services. Eric has roots in the British Isles and has had great success finding ancestors in their native countries for his clients and his own family. He lectures nationally at various genealogy conferences. To contact Generations Detective please visit: http://generationsdetective.org/contact/

Course Instructors:

Luana Darby, MLIS, is a professional genealogist and lecturer, based in Salt Lake City. She is the owner of Lineages by Luana, a genealogical research company which focuses on US/Canada and Western European research. She has served as president, vice president, and treasurer of the Utah Genealogical Association and currently serves on the Association of Professional Genealogist’s board. She also is employed as an adjunct faculty member at BYU-Idaho in the family history department. 

David Ouimette, CG, CGL, manages Content Strategy at FamilySearch, prioritizing historical records worldwide for digitization and online publication. He has conducted archival research in dozens of countries across the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia. David lectures at national genealogical conferences and institutes and authored Finding Your Irish Ancestors: A Beginner’s Guide.

My lecture at the APG PMC is all about the “PERSIbilities”

In just two short weeks I will be attending and presenting a lecture at the Association for Professional Genealogists Professional Management Conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana. (My how time flies!) I will be presenting a lecture on a resource that is one of my favorites: the Periodical Source Index, or PERSI.

“PERSI Possibilities: Better Research with ACPL’s Periodical Source Index” will take place on Thursday 22 September 2016 at 1:15. So right after lunch… I do hope the great examples I will share and the stories I plan on telling will keep everyone awake!

A colleague and genea-pal Darcie Posz suggested I start a hashtag for my program #PERSIbilities. I love that and wish I had thought of it myself… I may have to retitle my lecture! In this program I will give the audience a look into the Periodical Source Index (PERSI), its new partnership with Find My Past, and tips and techniques for getting the most out of this valuable genealogical resource.

There is still time to register for the conference. Click here to go to the APG conference page. The entire conference runs from 22-24 of September at the Allen County Public Library. There are some fantastic presentations in the line-up that I am truly looking forward to attending. There are twenty-five different lectures and five workshops to choose from high-caliber genealogists working in the field today.

Besides the opportunity for learning, the conference is being held in one of the best genealogical repositories, the one that started PERSI, the Allen County Public Library. Who could ask for anything better? So, consider adding the PMC to your genealogical education plan. I hope to see you there!

Been Travelin’ … and it’s not over!

The months of April, May and June have been the busiest I have had as far as travel is concerned. I have been on the road more than I’ve been home! A short recap of my April adventures include:

  • The Ohio Genealogical Society’s Annual Conference in Columbus where I got extremely soaked with my friend Beth Benko trying to get back to the car during a storm, and had excellent Thai food with Beth, Judy Russell and Jay Fonkert. (Great suggestion Jay!) And while on the way to Ohio, had the opportunity to meet up with my friend Mark Lowe for dinner! (Great seeing you Mark!)
    Dinner with Mark Lowe at Cracker Barrel in Whitehouse, TN
    Dinner with Mark Lowe at Cracker Barrel in Whitehouse, TN

    My name badge from OGS, my FIRST to use the post-nominals!
    My name badge from OGS, my FIRST to use the post-nominals!
  • A very brief trip to visit some family in NW Ohio since I was “in the area” for the OGS conference where I visited the grave of my War of 1812 ancestor and his wife and daughter, found a one-line sentence in a newspaper article that would have been great to have included in my BCG portfolio, and got DNA from my 89 year old grandma.

    William R. H. Avery, War of 1812 soldier, on the right
    William R. H. Avery, War of 1812 soldier, on the right
  • What has been named the “Quilting Bee” which is really a family reunion between the cousins of the Taplin and Ricard families at a lovely little farmhouse near Waterville, Kansas where I slept in very close quarters with family members I barely knew (but know a lot better now!), met some really fantastic cousins (on my husband’s side), heard a million stories about his side of the family (but they were flying by so fast there’s no way I could capture them all and so next year I am making sure he attends this event himself), ate a delicious “milk can dinner” prepared by my father-in-law, George, and learned a lot about quilting.

    The men pouring out the food prepared in a milk can. Delicious!
    The men pouring out the food prepared in a milk can. Delicious!

These travels have been very fun, educational, and exhausting. I was able to meet up with old and new friends, listen to some great lectures, eat some yummy food, and see some beautiful scenery on my drives. Since moving to Texas, all of my road trips now take different paths and go through different states than I am used to. (I never knew Arkansas was so beautiful!)

The travel is only just beginning, however. Next week I’m at the National Genealogical Society, after that, 2 family trips, GRIP, Seattle, and Salt Lake City! (You can see the full details of my plans in the previous post.) My point in mentioning this is that my blog posts are going to be a little more sparse. I’d like to say I’m going to blog at least once at each event, but I know myself. I’m too busy socializing and then struggling to get enough sleep that I never manage to find the time. (I really need that 8 hours if I’m going to function properly!)

I hope you have some exciting travel plans visiting with family and friends with some genealogical research and conference attending mixed in!

Connections at Conferences

FGS2015_Logo_01Genealogical conferences, like the recent FGS 2014 conference in San Antonio, are as much about reuniting with far-flung friends and making connections with new ones as they are about the wonderful educational opportunities. Attending the high quality lectures invigorates me, renews my energy for finding ancestors and gives me new insights on projects I’m working on. Plus, I get a chance to visit a city that I’ve most likely never been to before. If you’ve never attended a conference, I encourage you to do it. The next national conference will be the FGS 2015 conference combined with RootsTech in February 2015.

I have the following tips for making good connections at conferences:

  • Don’t go alone. Plan to attend with a friend who has gone to a conference before, especially if you have never attended one yourself. They can show you the ropes and perhaps introduce you to some folks they’ve become acquainted with, breaking the ice for you.
  • Attend at least one luncheon. You will have the chance to sit at a meal with other genealogists and make new friends.
  • Talk to people in the exhibit hall, not only the vendors but also volunteers and other attendees.

    Overlooking the FGS 2014 Exhibit Hall
    Overlooking the FGS 2014 Exhibit Hall
  • Attend unusual lectures. Sometimes I attend lectures that are on topics I have no research projects in. I find I always have a good time and I definitely learn something new. Also, new methods are almost always applicable to any project and get you thinking about your work in a different way.
  • Go out to dinner with new people. Find a new friend or two (or seven) and go to dinner with them! This is one of the best ways to form new connections and see the city.
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clockwise from left, me, Jen Baldwin, Rorey Cathcart, Barry Kline and Deena Coutant

Over the years, I have made so many great friends by attending conferences and every time I attend, I make even more! Not only are these friends fun, but they can be very helpful in giving insights into your research, giving opinions on documents, taking classes with online or at institutes, or by sharing your finds with others who are interested. Consider making some new connections at the next conference!