FGS Conference Round Up

This year’s FGS Conference was very successful. I heard there were about 1500 people attending and sometimes in the library it seemed like a lot more.

My friend Nancy and I traveled down to Fort Wayne on August 15th. We had research we wanted to do in the ACPL. My research plan was over 40 pages long. We spent all day Friday and Saturday in the library. We went to O’Donnell’s Irish Pub for dinner on Thursday and Saturday night and found a lovely pizza place on Friday night. The first two mornings we got a free breakfast buffet at the hotel.

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Sunday was a bit of a down day as the library was closed. Still we made good use of it. It was a late start to the day and we had breakfast at Cindy’s Diner. This is a tiny place with only about 15 stools. We started the day with “Garbage Eggs” which had eggs, ham, cheese, onion and potato. This big breakfast meant we didn’t really need to stop for lunch. The people at Cindy’s were so friendly and the food was great.

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Then it was off to the shops. We visited a couple of malls and Walmart where we picked up some things to use for breakfast in the hotel not to mention a few other items. We went back to the room to work on our research plans for the next day and had a quiet evening.

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Monday was spent in the library doing research. Tuesday was the FGS Librarian’s Day conference and it was held in the Allen County Public Library. We took a little time off on Tuesday to go and do a tour of DeBrand Chocolates. They are a local business and provide tours of their chocolate factory. It was delicious and I left with a purchase or two.

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Tuesday night I attended the FamilySearch bloggers dinner. I love this event as I get to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. Wednesday is Society day and I attended two lectures. I spent a little more time in the library but it was starting to get very busy. At the end of the day I had finished my research plan so I was pleased.

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Starting Wednesday night the library was open until midnight for three days. It was very full and they had started adding extra tables and chairs on Tuesday. The librarians and volunteers were fantastic with the patrons and how they kept up with reshelving all those books I don’t know. Wednesday finished with the Opening Social.

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There were long lines and it felt a little slow at times but we chatted to everyone in line and that made the time go quickly. The band at the social were “The Jug Huffers.” They were very entertaining.

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The Opening Social was held in the botanical conservatory and you could wander around the outdoor gardens.

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Thursday was the official start of the conference with the Opening Plenary. I will never listen to early rock and roll in the same way again. Marketplace opened at 9:30 and was open until 7:30 pm.

“The War of 1812 Pension and Bounty Land Files in the National Archives are being digitized and placed online for free.” This is a project being done by FGS in conjunction with Fold3, Ancestry.com and the National Archives. They had a goal to raise $20,000 in donations from the conference registrations and selling raffle tickets. The FGS would double what was raised and then Ancestry.com would double that number. After all the counting was done they had raised $23,000 by the end of the conference. FGS doubled that to $46,000 and Ancestry.com doubled that to $92,000.

In the Conference Guide they say that to digitize two images costs one dollar. So if my math is right that means they should be able to digitize about 184,000 images. I hope the pension file you are looking for is part of that group. These images can be viewed for free on Fold3.

The FGS Ambassadors got together to have a picture taken. It was taken by Tina Lyons who worked tirelessly and I hope got a good rest on Sunday. Linda McCauley was the official photographer and she has shared this photograph with the FGS Ambassadors.

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I really enjoy genealogy conferences. I would attend all of them if my time and budget allowed. It is great to meet new people and catch up with friends. At every conference I learn something new. This year I attended the NGS and FGS conferences in the United States and this allowed me to do research in the top two genealogy libraries in North America. I also attended the Ontario Genealogical Society conference this year. OGS is my local conference and fun to attend. This year I presented three lectures at the conference.

Next year the FGS Conference is being held in San Antonio Texas. I would love to go as I’ve never been to Texas and have heard San Antonio is a lovely city.

See you all there.

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