Category Archives: Genealogy Conferences

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!

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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This program demonstrates skills needed to move from land descriptions in historical documents to maps depicting those locations in order to analyze and solve research problems.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!

 

Four Favorite Features of FGS 2014

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My kids and pup pose at one of the Texas State signs.

[Author’s note: I recently relocated with my family to a suburb of Austin, Texas. Yes, I am now experiencing the sweltering heat, the suffocating humidity and the excitement of learning about a new area. But we bought a house with a pool so I will have a chance to survive! Thus, this post came out a little later than I expected. I am without internet access (except for time spent at my local Starbucks) so getting my online life back together is going to take a little while, but bear with me and thanks for reading!]

Last week the Federation of Genealogical Societies hosted their annual conference in San Antonio, TX which has to have been my favorite conference so far. And not necessarily for the reasons you might think. Here are my three favorite things from the FGS conference:

1. PERSI

One of the most exciting research tools I learned more about at this conference are the advances being made with PERSI by Find My Past (FMP). They are working to make it this elusive index more accessible to researchers. PERSI stands for the PERiodical Source Index which indexes genealogical society publications, both small and large, and contains 2.5 million indexed articles from 8k publications. The Find My Past website states:

“The PERiodical Source Index (PERSI) enables you to easily locate key information about people and places. It contains over 2.5 million entries from thousands of historical, genealogical and ethnic publications, making it an invaluable, comprehensive family history resource.”

So far 21k page have been digitized and are available to view on the site! The index is free to use with a registered account (free) and pages ordered through the ACPL. The available images can be viewed online with a FMP subscription.

FMP is focused on connecting with editors and copyright owners, not only to obtain new content but to get permission to digitize images from those items already indexed in PERSI. FMP also wants to know what geographical areas and publications you are most interested in seeing digitized next. Click here to fill out the survey!
[https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/persisurvey] To contact FMP for more information, to disucss the copyright of your society’s material or find out about societies@findmypast.com

PERSI is a resource not to be overlooked. Articles about ancestors, geographic locations, and other topics of interest were published in genealogical journals all across the United States. Without PERSI it would be impossible to know just where to look for that article that might hold the key you need in your research.

2. Preserve the Pensions

fgs totals
From D. Joshua Taylor’s blog

What a fun time I had watching how much support given to sponsor a “celebrity” walker!  The celebs got up and walked to the Alamo at 6:30 am, before the sun even came up! Judy Russell, Joshua Taylor, Kenyatta Berry and Ed Donakey competed to see who could earn the most donations for the walk. As of Saturday afternoon, the donations from the credit card portion of the campaign were as follows:
These numbers do not include all of the cash and checks supplied by generous conference attendees. Stay tuned to the Preserve the Pension site for more updates.

3. After Hours

After hours socializing is one of my favorite times during conferences. It is a time to relax, talk with friends that you only get to see once or twice each year, and make new connections. I enjoy the time I get to spend developing deeper friendships and learning about my awesome colleagues!

Had a great dinner with (clockwise) Jen Baldwin, Rorey Cathcart, Barry Kline and Deena Coutant.
Had a great dinner with (clockwise) Jen Baldwin, Rorey Cathcart, Barry Kline and Deena Coutant.

Until next time, friends!

4. The Lectures

Of course all of the lectures I attended were outstanding. Since you can’t attend ALL of the lectures at a large national conference, I rely heavily on the conference recordings to pick up the sessions I wasn’t able to attend. Conference recordings are a great thing to keep in your car for long trips or for running errands. You can purchase conference recordings through Fleetwood Onsite Conference Recordings. My favorite in-person lectures were from J. Mark Lowe, Craig R. Scott, Rev. David McDonald, Elizabeth Shown Mills, Dr. Thomas Jones, and Judy G. Russell.

If you have never had a chance to attend a national conference, it is something you should do at least once. But like potato chips, once you have one you just can’t stop! I’ll see you at the next one!

Going, Gone to Texas

Flags adorn a building in San Antonio.
Flags adorn a building in San Antonio.

I have just arrived in San Antonio for the FGS (Federation of Genealogical Societies) Annual Conference. I am excited to be here in Texas this year not only for the conference, but to learn more about the state I will soon call home. That’s right, Genealogy Pants’ home office will be relocating to Austin, Texas next week!

I am excited to learn more about the rich history of this state, see new sights, eat different food, experience a new climate (hot, I know it will be hot) and make some new genealogy friends. This evening I had the pleasure to attend the FGS Delegate’s reception and meet several genealogists who live in the area of my new home.

The conference begins tomorrow with the Focus on Societies Day. Thursday, along with many great-sounding sessions, the exhibit hall will open. I am looking forward to examining all of the Texas-related booths, seeing new publications and products, meeting up with old and new friends, and just generally having a good time! I am also looking forward to supporting the Preserve the Pensions campaign to raise the funds to digitize the War of 1812 pensions.

With all of the fun I anticipate this week, I will be too distracted to worry too much about my upcoming move!