National Genealogical Society

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Day two was another early start. There is no such thing as sleeping in at a conference.

The only lecture I attended on this day was the first one at 8 am. It was “Storing Your Tree in the Cloud: Online Management of your Data.” This is a topic that is still very new to me so the lecture was a good learning tool.

I spent the rest of the day wandering around the marketplace.

Findmypast.com had a booth there and I spoke with Brian Speckart who also shared a table with me at the FamilySearch blogger/media dinner. Brian told me that in the summer of 2012 there will be a subscription available that will include the findmypast websites from Ireland, the UK, Australia and the main .com website. The subscription will also include the British Newspaper Archive.

Brightsolid own findmypast and Scotlandspeople. I have used Scotlandspeople from the time it started and it is a wonderful website.

Ancestry and FamilySearch were very prominent in the marketplace. There were a lot of companies to help write, present and publish your family story. The usual associations and societies were in attendance.

The one thing that I miss from the modern marketplace is books. I love to use books and have a large reference library. I did get the fourth edition of John Grenham’s “Tracing Your Irish Ancestors.”

One down point was the absence of the Certificate of Irish Heritage booth. I was really looking forward to finding out more about them. I was not the only one because many people walked past our booth looking for them.

©2012 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

We arrived at the marketplace early on Wednesday to make sure that we had everything ready for the opening. This was the only day I was able to connect to the internet at the conference centre. The connection was busy for the rest of the conference.

The first lecture I was going to attend was “The Family Tapestry: Integrating Proof Arguments Into the Genealogical Narrative.” I left the booth 10 minutes before the lecture started and was unable to get a seat when I arrived. Thank goodness they recorded this one so I bought the recording.

The only other lecture I attended on this day was called “Snagit for Genealogists” which was very interesting. I have been thinking about getting this program and the lecture helped me make a decision. We were also given a free trial CD of Snagit.

I interviewed Lisa Louise Cooke who was in the booth next to ours. Look for the interview on this blog in the future.

©2012 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

It has been a few weeks since I returned from the conference and they have been very busy weeks. I will be posting my experiences at the NGS conference over the next few blog posts.

I was assisting Louise St. Denis and Susanna de Groot of the National Institute for Genealogical Studies at the booth for the Institute and the booth for Heritage Productions in the marketplace.

Tuesday was a tourist day. Susanna and I walked up to Fountain Square to have a look around and the Findlay market was there.

We then walked down to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center located down by the Ohio River. It was a wonderful museum.

New things were learned and it was interesting to see the references to people who ended up in Canada and their experiences.

We went to the Rockbottom Micro Brewery Pub in Fountain Square for lunch. It was really good and the servers were very friendly.

After lunch we walked down to the Cincinnati Public Library to have a look at the daguerreotype of the city.

We saw a print that was on display on the main floor and then went upstairs to view the original that was kept behind a screen and in the dark to protect it.

When we entered the local history room the librarian opened the screen and turned on a back light so we could see it. It is amazing this piece of history still exists.

That evening I went to the FamilySearch bloggers/media dinner and met some old and new friends. I met Amanda Perrine of Amanda’s Anthaeum blog. Our blogs share an anniversary. Someone kindly took our picture.

We stayed at a hotel near the Cincinnati airport in Hebron Kentucky. So it was time to go back to the hotel for an early start the next morning.

©2012 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Last night I attended the FamilySearch Blogger/Media dinner at the Hyatt hotel in Cincinnati. A great time was had by all and FamilySearch provided a tasty meal. It was all things Cincinnati from chili three ways, ribs, fried chicken and fresh kettle chips. Dessert was an ice cream sandwich made with cookies.

I enjoyed the company of Karen Blackmore of Karen’s Genealogy Oasis, Karen Miller Bennett of Karen’s Chatt, Lisa Lisson of Are You My Cousin?, Julia Langel of GeneaJulia, David Rencher who is the Chief Genealogical Officer at FamilySearch, Merrill White who is a FamilySearch Patron and Partner Services, Britnay Warnock FamilySearch Social Media and Brian Speckart of findmypast.com.

Paul Nuata started the presentation by telling us that they now have a contract to digitize the civil registration records from 1802 to 1940 for Italy.

Every day 10,000 support volunteers are available online at familysearch.org to help answer research questions and provide personalized research guidance. They can respond to questions in 13 different languages.

Jim Erickson of FamilySearch gave us a great presentation on the accomplishments of the 1940 US Census indexers. They are enthusiastic and moving along at a fast rate to get the project finished.

There are 3.8 million images in the 1940 US census project. FamilySearch hope to have 400 million new images online in 2012. The Granite Mountain Vault holds 3.5 billion images.

FamilySearch are working on some new technological innovations to improve the indexing and searching capabilities of the website.

The BillionGraves.com index will be available on FamilySearch in the coming weeks and they will be announcing a new project for Memorial Day.

After the presentation everyone stayed around to chat and catch up. I met Amanda Perrine of Amanda’s Anthenaeum we share the same blog anniversary. I also met Dear Mrytle and Pam Schaffner of the Digging Down East blog.

This is just the start of a wonderful week filled with all things genealogy. Today is the first full day of lectures and the market place opens at 9:30. If you are attending please drop by and see me at the National Institute for Genealogical Studies booth.

©2012 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

The Passionate Genealogist is going to be an Official Blogger at the National Genealogical Society Conference in Cincinnati May 9-12th. I am excited to get to Cincinnati to meet up with the other Official Bloggers and attend the conference.

Conferences are great fun and you meet so many interesting people. You also get to learn new things from the lectures and the exhibit hall where vendors are showcasing their products.

A conference is a very social activity because things don’t just end when the last lecture is over. This year there are events at the Museum Center, National Underground Railway Freedom Center and A Night at the Public Library.

On Saturday there are two special courses on offer. “Genealogy 201, Working with Records” and Youth Kamp which helps the younger generation develop their interest in genealogy.

If you are attending the National Genealogical Society Conference in Cincinnati please come and say hello. You may find me in the halls going to a lecture, in the media center or at the National Institute for Genealogical Studies/Heritage Productions booth numbers 527 and 626.

See you in Cincinnati!

©2012 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Whew! It has been a dizzying month!

It started with my first trip to Salt Lake City which is a trip I have always wanted to make. The preparations began late last year when I started going through all my family history data and creating my “To Do List” which was made easier by my genealogy computer program. My “To Do List” was 38 pages long and I completed every item on that list during my 11 days in Salt Lake City.

The opportunity to do research in the Family History Library is something I would recommend everyone endeavour to do at least once. I spent all of my time on floor B2 which is the British research floor. This includes England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. I had microfilms, microfiche and books relating to these countries available at my finger tips. Some I had to order ahead of time from the Vault but they were waiting for me when I arrived.

Everyone was so friendly and helpful. A smile and a greeting awaited me as I arrived and left the library every day. It was open every day but Sunday so the obvious thing to do is to take a tour of the city on Sunday. It started with a performance by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. A sight to behold and a sound to hear, then a tour of the city from mountain top to valley. We even did a tour of the Great Salt Lake in the afternoon.

Brigham Young University was holding a conference called Computerized Family History and Genealogy which they normally hold in Provo but thankfully because of the large numbers of people attending the National Genealogical Society conference they decided to hold it in Salt Lake City. As a result I got the chance to attend this two day event. They introduced me to so much technology that I do not know if I will be able to keep up with it all.

The NGS conference started on Wednesday so there was more new information and announcements as well as meeting old friends and new. The attendance numbers were approximately 2700 which were great. The marketplace had an additional section this time; it covered genealogy technology and is known as GENTECH.

There was a special event on Thursday night “A Celebration of Family History” held at the LDS Conference Centre. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed. I will say for me the highlight was the vignette of the Clan McCloud and then moving into the bag pipes and the hymn Amazing Grace. It brought tears to my eyes. David McCullough also spoke very eloquently about history and family. You can view pictures and the video vignettes here.

Ten days after I got home was the start of the OGS conference. During this time I did the final preparation work on my presentations. I was a speaker at this conference as well as an attendee.

I had the privilege of speaking at the Ontario Library Association pre conference day and at the OGS conference. The Ontario Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists was holding an Ask a Professional free consultation service and a panel discussion both of which I participated in. Again there was more new information, announcements, meeting old friends and new.

This conference finished a week ago Sunday and I am still trying to catch up with everything including my sleep. One thing is certain; I want to go back to Salt Lake City and the Family History Library!

©2010 – Blair Archival Research

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