Conferences

NGS Conference in St. Charles, Missouri – Day #4

The fourth and final day of the National Genealogical Society’s 2015 Family History Conference was held Saturday at the St. Charles Convention Center in St. Charles, Missouri. It continued in much the same manner as the first three days. That is to say that it went well.

The unofficial attendee count on Friday evening was well over 2,200 people. I didn’t hear the final count on Saturday but I suspect it was 2,300 or maybe a bit more. The St. Charles Convention Center was a perfect venue for a crowd that size: not too big and not too small. If I write that it was “just right” I’ll sound like Goldilocks but it really was “just right.”

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

The following pages have recently been updated in the Calendar of Genealogy Events:

California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina

Some of the above changes may have been deletions of previous events.

All information in the Calendar of Events is contributed by YOU and by other genealogists. You can directly add information to the Calendar about your local genealogy event.

NGS Conference in St. Charles, Missouri – Day #3

The third day of the National Genealogical Society’s 2015 Family History Conference was held today at the St. Charles Convention Center in St. Charles, Missouri. Again, the day seem to go well.

I spoke with one of the conference organizers today and she laughed at a comment I published yesterday: “I was very impressed at how smoothly everything seemed to work yesterday and today. I attend a lot of genealogy conferences and am used to seeing a few last minute glitches and rough edges. I saw nothing like that yesterday or today. Everything just worked.”

NGS Conference in St. Charles, Missouri – Day #2

The second day of the four-day National Genealogical Society’s 2015 Family History Conference was held today at the St. Charles Convention Center in St. Charles, Missouri. It was held as planned. What else can I say? You can read about all the lectures and the lecturers at http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/NGS-2015-StC-Program-Final.pdf.

I was very impressed at how smoothly everything seemed to work yesterday and today. I attend a lot of genealogy conferences and am used to seeing a few last minute glitches and rough edges. I saw nothing like that yesterday or today. Everything just worked. Maybe the organizers dealt with a few problems but, if so, I didn’t see any indications of problems.

NGS Conference in St. Charles, Missouri – Day #1

The 4-day National Genealogical Society’s 2015 Family History Conference started this morning at the St. Charles Convention Center in St. Charles, Missouri. This year’s event is co-sponsored by the host society, the St. Louis Genealogical Society.

More than 2,100 genealogists pre-registered to attend this event and I am sure a few more tickets will be sold at the door. I think all 2,100 of the attendees were at the opening session this morning. At least it felt that way when we all filed out of the very large room at once, trying to walk through the single hallway and down the one escalator!

Actually, that was the only inconvenience caused by the big mob that I saw all day.

A.J. Jacobs and the World’s Largest Family Reunion

A.J. Jacobs

A.J. Jacobs would like to invite you to the world’s largest family reunion. Best of all, he is offering a 25 percent discount to readers of this newsletter who would like to attend. (The regular price is $30.)

According to the New York Times:

The “family of man,” it seems, is no longer just an Age of Aquarius-era cliché. Research, like a 2002 study published in the journal Science, has shown that humans share 99.9 percent of their DNA. And our family ties to each other are becoming increasingly transparent in the era of mail-in DNA-testing services like 23andMe that purport to provide detailed data on shared bloodlines, and online genealogy databases that compile family super-trees that include millions of people from around the globe.

Realizing these vast familial connections, Mr. Jacobs said to himself, “I have millions of relatives — why not throw the biggest family reunion ever?”

New York State Family History Conference Early Bird Registration

The following announcement was written by the organizers of the New York State Family History Conference:

New York State Family History Conference Early Bird Rates until May 31

Join us for the 2015 New York State Family History Conference in Syracuse, New York on
September 17–19. Early bird registration rates are available through May 31 at www.NYSFHC.org.

Three Days Left to Register for the NGS 2015 Family History Conference and All Ticketed Events

The following announcement was written by the (U.S.) National Genealogical Society:

ARLINGTON, VA, 27 APRIL 2015—Have you registered for the NGS Family History Conference in St. Charles? The deadline for pre-conference registration is 29 April 2015. Registration will be available on-site beginning at 12:00 noon, 12 May 2015, in the St. Charles Convention Center.

Registration for all meals, social events, and workshops closes on 29 April 2015. No ticket purchases will be available on-site. Registration for Librarians’ Day also closes on 29 April 2015. Many events have already sold out, so don’t delay! For conference information and to register, go to http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/event-registration/.

NGS Luncheon and Sponsored Luncheons

Who Do You Think You Are? Live! in Birmingham, England – Day #3

The third and final day of the Who Do You Think You Are? Live! event finished a few hours ago in Birmingham, England. It must have been a great show because I know I am bushed!

The crowd at the Guild of One-Name Studies stand

This final day was similar to the first two days (see my earlier reports here and here for details). The biggest single difference is that the crowd was even bigger today than either of the two previous days. No surprises there as more people can attend on a Saturday than can be there on a weekday.

Mark Your Calendar: the next Who Do You Think You Are? Live! show will be held in Birmingham, England, on April 7 through 9, 2016

After a successful Who Do You Think You Are? Live! this week, the conference organizers have announced that the next several Who Do You Think You Are? Live! shows will be held in the same location as this year’s event: in the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham, England. The next one will be held April 7 through 9, 2016.

Who Do You Think You Are? Live! in Birmingham, England – Day #2

The Who Do You Think You Are? Live! event continued for a second day today at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham, England. In fact, it was very much like the first day of the event with one major exception. In fact, I have to take back one statement I wrote yesterday and re-state it a bit differently.

Yesterday, in my report of Day #1, I wrote, “The total attendance undoubtedly was lower than the past few years when the event was held in London …” However, the attendance today (Friday) was much higher than that of Thursday. Attendance today may or may not have reached the levels seen in previous years in London but, whatever the number, the hall was crowded most of the time. Several of the commercial vendors reported late this afternoon they were quite happy with sales made to this larger crowd.

Here is a small sample of today’s larger crowds filling the rather wide aisles in the exhibits hall.

Who Do You Think You Are? Live! in Birmingham, England – Day #1

The newly-relocated Who Do You Think You Are? Live! conference opened at 9:30 this morning in the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), in Birmingham, England. I think every one of the several thousand people who attended would agree that the first day’s events were successful.

The Who Do You Think You Are? Live! annual events have always been held in London in the past although a “special edition” was held in Glasgow, Scotland last year as a second event of 2014. (You can read my reports from last year’s Glasgow event by starting at http://goo.gl/kEPcei.)

This year’s Who Do You Think You Are? Live! Event was moved to a very modern convention center in Birmingham, England. The 2015 event is being held this week in an industrial area well outside the city but very close to the airport and a train station and also easily accessible by motorways. In short, it is an excellent location for attendees who must travel some distance to attend. While I traveled a considerable distance from Orlando, Florida, to Birmingham, I was not even close to having traveled the furthest to attend. I met a number of attendees at today’s event who were from Australia, California, Texas, Germany, and a number of other places.

The National Exhibition Centre, or NEC., is an ideal place for a conference with several thousand attendees. I believe there are 20 exhibition halls inside the cavernous NEC facility. Yes, twenty! All the several thousand genealogists and the vendors combined did not fill one hall. There was room for 19 more conferences of similar or even larger size to be held simultaneously!

International Conference on Jewish Genealogy Early Registration Discount Extended

The following announcement was written by the organizers of the 2015 IAJGS 35th International Conference on Jewish Genealogy:

Happy Passover from the 2015 IAJGS 35th International Conference on Jewish Genealogy. For the ease of those who are vacationing over the holiday, we have decided to extend the Early Registration Discount fee through Wednesday May 6, 2015. Visit www.iajgs2015.org to register now! And since we promised a drawing for prizes those registered by April 15th your chances of winning are now double! Be patient if we are slower in answering e-mails, Israel is on vacation until April 12. Ortra our Conference Organizer, like most non-essential businesses in Israel, is closed for all but emergencies. I and most of our volunteers will be answering questions as rapidly as we can.

Our Preliminary Program now is now listed in the Program & Schedule section of the website in the “Program” tab at www.iajgs2015.org. You’ll see why we are boasting that this will be “A Conference Like No Other”. The schedule will become interactive after Passover.

National Genealogy Conference in Canada has been CANCELED

A National Genealogy Conference had been scheduled to be held in Halifax on July 17 through 19. A very brief announcement at http://www.visiontravel.ca/heidiwilker now says the event has been canceled. The reason for the cancelation was not given although I suspect a low number of pre-registrations may have had something to do with it.

Join the Guild of One-Name Studies at the WDYTYA Live show Birmingham

The following announcement was written by the Guild of One-Name Studies:

Join the Guild of One-Name Studies at the Who Do You Think You Are? – Live Birmingham show (16th to 18th April 2015), thereby saving £1 on the normal rate for April joiners and receive a special “show time only” goody bag. A special show offer of £22 will cover full membership to the Guild of One-Name Studies for a period of 19 months up to 1 November 2016. The current rate for anyone taking out an extended Guild membership in April 2015 is £23. New Guild members joining at the show will receive a goody bag comprising a “Special Guild 8Gb USB drive” (priced £9.00 at the show) which has the Guilds Members handbook, The Art of One-Name Studies “Seven Pillars of Wisdom” book (hard copy usually £7.00), the 2014 Guild Register and all 132 back issues of the Guild Journal of One-Name Studies pre-loaded, a Guild Lanyard and a Guild pen, along with their normal Guild joining pack.

Who Do You Think You Are? Live Next Week in Birmingham, England

This article is primarily for newsletter readers who live in the UK or for anyone else who can be in Birmingham next week.

If you are interested in family history and if you can be in Birmingham next week, you will want to visit the Who Do You Think You Are? Live conference being held in the Birmingham NEC from April 16 to 18. Now in it’s nineth year, the show’s visitors will again have access to leading genealogical experts, informative workshops, more than 120 specialist exhibitors, archives and museums, major online resources and the largest gathering of family history societies. One thing that is different this year is the location: the show has moved from London to Birmingham.

One thing that is unique to all the Who Do You Think You Are? Live events is the number of television personalities that appear in person. After all, the conference is closely affiliated with the popular television programme so several of the personalities who have appeared in the UK version of Who Do You Think You Are? television programme may be seen at the show. Actress Tamzin Outhwaite, comedian Alistair McGowan and presenter Reggie Yates will all be in attendance at next week’s show in Birmingham.

NGS Releases Mobile Conference App for 2015 Family History Conference

The following announcement was written by the folks at the National Genealogical Society:

ARLINGTON, VA, 6 APRIL 2015—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) announces the release of the Mobile Conference App for the NGS 2015 Family History Conference, which will be held 13‒16 May 2015 in St. Charles, Missouri. To download the free NGS Conference App, go to Mobile App.

The NGS Conference App is available for iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone, and web-enabled devices. Search your app store for NGS Family History Conferences.

NGS 2016 Family History Conference Call for Papers Closes 1 April 2015

The following announcement was written by the (U.S.) National Genealogical Society:

ARLINGTON, VA, 26 MARCH 2015—Time is running out to submit lecture proposals for the NGS 2016 Family History Conference. Speakers and sponsoring organizations must submit their proposals by 1 April 2015. The conference, entitled Exploring the Centuries: Footprints in Time, will be held 4–7 May 2016 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The ethnic makeup of Florida is, and always has been, diverse. Native Americans—including Miccosukees, Choctaw, Creek, Timucua, and Calusa—lived throughout the area, which became known as La Florida after the arrival of Ponce de León in 1513. The Spanish were followed by other groups such as the French, British, Irish, German, and Greeks. The importation of African slaves also affected society in Florida as did the formation of the Seminole alliance. All of these people have left many footprints in time and a rich repository of records to trace our ancestry.

RootsTech 2015 Breaks all Attendance Records

The fifth annual RootsTech 2015 conference held last month in Salt lake City appears to have been the largest genealogy conference ever held with 23,918 attendees. Here is the announcement from FamilySearch:

The fifth annual RootsTech 2015 conference, hosted by FamilySearch, is officially in the record books as registering 23,918 attendees over three days, an 83% increase over 2014. And it’s not done yet as the world’s largest family history conference. There are already plans to deliver over 1,000 local family discovery day events throughout the remainder of 2015. It’s another indicator that family history continues to be a strong and growing interest not only in the United States, but internationally as well. Attendees to RootsTech 2015 came from far and wide, hailing from 49 states (West Virginia was the holdout) and 37 countries.

The popular conference’s formula for success included attracting well-known keynote speakers, such as former First Lady Laura Bush, Donny Osmond, Tan Le, and A. J. Jacobs, who shared inspiring family stories, and offering a rich combination of more than 500 classes, exhibits, demonstrations, and fun entertainment designed to appeal to multiple generations of family members and broad family history interests. Select sessions from RootsTech 2015 can be viewed for free at RootsTech.org.

National Genealogical Society Announces Live Streaming Broadcast — 2015 Family History Conference (St. Charles, Missouri 13–16 May 2015)

The following announcement was written by the (U.S.) National Genealogical Society:

Arlington, VA, 9 March 2015 —The National Genealogical Society (NGS) announces the live streaming of ten lectures from its 2015 Family History Conference, which will be held 13‒16 May 2015, in St. Charles, Missouri. NGS members and others across the United States and overseas, who are unable to attend the conference in person, are invited to sign up for these live streaming lectures. Details of the live streaming program can be found on the NGS Conference website at http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/attend/live-streaming/.

NGS has selected some of the most popular topics and nationally known speakers for the two featured tracks. Registrants for live streaming can sign up for either track or the bundled package that includes both tracks.

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