Conferences

RootsTech Innovator Showdown – $100,000 in Prizes

I wrote about this a few weeks ago (at http://goo.gl/y5IXXr) but further details are available now so I’ll write about it again. Developers and entrepreneurs will be interested to know of a one-of-a-kind event and opportunity to win $100,000 in total prizes in the RootsTech Innovator Showdown 2016.

I watched the announcements at the 2015 event and must say I was impressed with the products announced. They all were first-class. I suspect the same will be true of the 2016 event. Quoting from the Rootstech web site at http://rootstech.org/showdown:

FamilySearch International is inviting innovators from around the globe and from all industries to develop the next generation of mobile and social applications to impact discovering, preserving, and sharing family connections across generations.

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

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

Ontario, Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas

Some of the above changes may have been deletions of past 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.

Forensic Genealogy Institute Announces Dates for 2016 Event

ForensicGenealogyInstituteThe 5th Annual Forensic Genealogy Institute will be held 10-12 March 2016. Sponsored by the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy, the topics to be covered include: Marketing, Legal Issues, Advanced Practicum, and a DNA Workshop.

This year’s location is the Historic Menger Hotel in San Antonio, Texas. Conveniently located near the River Walk and the Alamo, The Menger Hotel was established in 1859 and is the oldest continuously operated hotel west of the Mississippi. Its bar has been voted one of the Top 10 Most Historic Bars in the US and the hotel is the site where Teddy Roosevelt recruited the Rough Riders.

Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Annual Conference Call for Papers

The following announcement was written by the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association:

Interested scholars are invited to submit papers for the 2016 Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Annual Conference in Seattle, Washington, March 21-25, 2016 Special Topics Area, Genealogy.

Academics studying and writing on American popular culture might examine genealogy within the context of television and literary disciplines, library and archival disciplines, American and public history disciplines, museum studies, or folklore. Proposals for papers or panel presentations regarding any aspect of these or other connections would be welcome.

Possible themes for papers/panels include but are not restricted to:

67th Deutsche Genealogentag in Gotha

The following announcement was written by the organizers of the 67th Deutsche Genealogentag:

On October 2-4, 2015 there will be the 67th Deutsche Genealogentag, the national conference of the DAGV (Deutsche Arbeitsgemeinschaft genealogischer Verbaende, the umbrella organization of the German genealogical societies) held in the city of Gotha, Thuringia in the former East part of Germany. Gotha for itself is very important by its aristocrical background, e.g. Queen Victoria’s great love, her husband Prince Albert was a former Prince of Saxony-Coburg-Gotha. Many more European kings and queens trace their roots back to Gotha – the Genealogical Almanach of Nobel Families is called „the Gotha“ until today.

Hellenic Genealogy Conference in Salt Lake City on September 26

Are you researching Greek ancestry? If so, can you be in Salt Lake City on September 26, 2015? If you answered “yes” to both questions, plan on attending the first-ever Greek genealogy conference held in the western U.S. The event will be held at the Hellenic Memorial Building (Holy Trinity Cathedral) 279 South 300 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

If You Want to Attend the New York State Family History Conference, the Time to Buy a Ticket is NOW!

The following announcement was written by the New York State Family History Conference. Notice the words “is approaching “sold out” status.

The New York State Family History Conference, scheduled for September 17–19 in Syracuse, New York, in partnership with the Federation of Genealogical Societies, is approaching “sold out” status. “The idea of the conference,” said Sue Miller, Education Director of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, “is to have the very top national presenters in a smaller, more personal conference environment.” The NYG&B and the Central New York Genealogical Society are the conference co-sponsors. Complete details are at www.NYSFHC.org.

Book Your RootsTech Hotel Today

If you are planning to go to RootsTech in Salt Lake City February 3–6, 2016, here is a bit of advice: make your hotel reservation now! The nearby hotels usually are sold out many weeks before the conference.

Four Salt Lake City hotels are now taking reservations for RootsTech 2016. The Salt Lake Marriott Downtown at City Creek, Salt Lake Plaza Hotel, Hilton Salt Lake City Center, and Radisson Hotel Salt Lake City Downtown will offer reduced rates to RootsTech conference attendees. Each hotel is conveniently located near the Salt Palace Convention Center.

Develop a Genealogy App at the RootsTech Innovator Showdown and Win $20,000

FamilySearch International is inviting innovators from around the globe and from all industries to develop the next generation of mobile and social applications to impact discovering, preserving, and sharing family connections across generations.

The 2016 RootsTech Innovator Showdown is a global competition where developers and entrepreneurs participate by submitting cutting-edge applications to compete for a piece of the $100,000 in total cash and in-kind prizes provided by industry and national sponsors.

The $100,000 Innovator Showdown Prizes include:

Conference on Crypto-Jews to be Held in Miami July 19 through 21

This is short notice but I just found out about a conference that focuses on the history of Crypto-Jews.

Killed, expelled and harassed by the Inquisition, Crypto-Jews secretly maintained their Jewish customs while pretending to be Catholic. Some families ended up losing their traditions and religion entirely during centuries of persecution. But in the past few decades, academic interest in these lost Jews and personal search for heritage have converged to spark a trend of returnees.

For years, that interest concentrated in the southwest United States, where some Hispanics could trace their family back to Jews who had fled the Mexican Inquisition, an extension of the Spanish Inquisition. As a result, the Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies is based in Colorado.

The IAJGS2015 Conference in Jerusalem was a Great Success

I just finished a five-day genealogy conference and I am exhausted. That’s my measurement of success: If I am this tired, I know it was a successful event.

I wrote a few days ago at http://goo.gl/QgHZac about the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) conference held this year in Jerusalem, Israel. I am not Jewish but have attended a couple of past IAJGS conferences held in the U.S. and already knew these are high-energy affairs packed with presentation after presentation. Many years ago, I also had an opportunity to spend a summer in Israel but had never been back since then. When I learned the 2015 IAJGS conference was to be held in Jerusalem, I decided it was time to go back and see what has changed in the country.

In my earlier report, I wrote, “This year’s conference has attracted about 800 attendees from all over.” In fact, that was the EXPECTED number that I heard from the show’s organizers on the first day. They had hoped and planned on attracting about 800 attendees. They were wrong. On the last evening of the conference, the organizers announced the conference had attracted almost exactly 1,000 registered attendees!

A Report from the IAJGS2015 Conference in Jerusalem

Shalom!

This article was written in a room at the Ramada Jerusalem Hotel, located near the entrance to the city on the main road leading to all sections of Jerusalem. It is also the site of this year’s International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) conference. I’m not Jewish, but the organizers let me in the door anyway. So far, after two days of the five-day conference, I must say I have enjoyed myself. I have also seen lots of smiles on the faces of the other attendees.

FEEFHS Conference offers Full German Research Track

The following announcement was written by the Foundation for Eastern European Family History Studies:

For the first year FEEFHS is offering a full track focused on German genealogical research throughout the conference program. Starting with the basics of German family history research — language and handwriting, records, maps, and tools — and progressing to more advanced topics and specialty records such as guilds and family record books, individuals will be able to attend classes specific to German family history research throughout the 3-day conference. These classes will be taught by locally and nationally recognized instructors, Milan Pohontsch, Baerbel Johnson, and two instructors new to FEEFHS, FHL consultants Fritz Juengling and Kelsee Jackson.

On the Road Again, This Time to Israel

By the time you read these words, I should be in the air, en route to Jerusalem. I will be a tourist for a few days while I get used to the time zone changes. Starting on July 6, I will attend the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies’ International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, held this year in Jerusalem.

I hope to post articles in this newsletter about the things I see and hear at the conference. You can read more about the conference at http://iajgs2015.org.

This should be an intense conference. First of all, it is five days long, July 6 through 10. Next, I have attended a couple of earlier IAJGS conferences held in the U.S. and I know they are always packed full of presentations, seminars, and meetings for the entire time. I expect this year’s event to be the same.

Call for Presentations at the Ontario Genealogical Society’s 2016 Conference

The following was written by the Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, hosts of the 2016 OGS conference:

The Ontario Genealogical Society’s Toronto Branch will host the Society’s annual conference on June 3-5, 2016. The Society (OGS) enjoys the largest membership of any Canadian family history organization. The conference theme, “Genealogy on the Cutting Edge”, has been selected to inspire excitement among speakers, exhibitors and attendees alike.

In keeping with this theme, we invite proposals for presentations on: (1) the latest developments in archives, libraries, museums and societies in the heritage sector, (2) recently discovered or released genealogical records, (3) newly developed genealogical databases, transcriptions or indexes, (4) innovative theoretical or methodological approaches to genealogical or historical research, including case histories, (5) cutting-edge technology and its application for family historians, whether in information management, mobile computing, genetic testing and analysis, or other emerging fields.

Make Your Reservation NOW for the NGS 2016 Conference in Fort Lauderdale

If you have ever attended one of the larger national genealogy conferences, you may already know that nearby hotels often are fully booked months in advance of the event. Experienced attendees know they need to make their room reservations months in advance, even a year in advance is a good idea. Next year’s annual conference of the National Genealogical Society will be held in Fort Lauderdale, a very popular vacation resort in the springtime. You might want to make your reservations now. I made mine yesterday.

The conference will be held in the Greater Ft. Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, a first-class conference facility. I have attended a couple of non-genealogy events in that convention center in the past and can tell you it is a great location. I can also tell you it is adjacent to Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades cruise ship port, a location that is crowded when cruise ships arrive or are about to depart. Many people who are going on or returning from cruises spend a night or two in the nearby hotels. Such cruises are typically planned many months in advance so hotel reservations are also booked many months ahead of time. If you don’t want to be forced to spend your nights in a hotel several miles away, you might want to make your reservation now.

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.”

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.

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