One of the largest genealogy conferences in the world will be held four weeks from now in Austin, Texas. The Federation of Genealogical Societies' annual conference will be held on September 8 through 11. If you can be in Austin those days, I bet you will enjoy this conference. This year's theme is "Legends Live Forever: Researching the Past for Future Generations."
The Federation of Genealogical Societies is an organization of more than 500 member societies. These societies represent over 500,000 genealogists across North America. Most of the member societies send delegates to the national conference. The public is also invited to attend.
This conference features something for everyone, including tracks that deal with society support, the Association of Professional Genealogists, LDS Family History Centers, and sessions on the basics of research. More than 160 presentations are planned, as well as a variety of lunches and a large exhibitors' hall. You can find a complete list of all the presentations at http://www.fgs.org/2004conf/conf-proghighlights.htm (click on "Wednesday" to see that day's presentations, click on "Thursday" for that day's presentations, and so forth).
The Keynote Address on Thursday will feature Richard "Cactus" Pryor, the "Father of Texas Broadcasting." He will perform excerpts from the one-man show he wrote on J. Frank Dobie, the great professor who wrote 30 different books on the tales of Texas cowboys. Assuming the role of J. Frank Dobie, Cactus will tell the tales of the great cattle drives, the longhorns, and the men who took 'em up the trail.
The Annual Banquet of The Federation of Genealogical Societies on Friday will feature J. Mark Lowe, CG speaking on "Don't Cross The Bridge Without a Life Preserver." Mark is a full-time professional genealogist, author, and lecturer. Currently he is the President of APG and the Director of the RIGS Alliance workshops in cooperation with the National Archives Regional System.
The 2nd Annual Ruth C. Bishop award will be presented during the banquet. This award recognizes outstanding volunteers from the genealogical community.
My favorite place at any genealogy conference is the exhibitors' hall. In fact, most attendees seem to enjoy the exhibitors' hall as much as the seminars. A long list of other exhibitors who are planning to attend can be found at http://www.fgs.org/2004conf/conf-exhibitors.asp.
A conference newsletter, or “ezine,” is available that will keep you up to date on this year's planned activities. Instructions for subscribing to the ezine can be found at http://www.fgs.org/2004conf/conf-ezine.htm.
I expect to spend a lot of my time in the booth of the New England Historic Genealogical Society at booth locations 305, 307, 406 and 408, just inside the main entrance. Please drop by to say "hello."
As usual, there will be a completely unplanned and unstructured dinner on Saturday evening for the readers of this newsletter and their guests. These dinners have become a tradition after most national genealogy conferences and are noted for their lack of agenda, lack of planning and lack of structure. However, ask anyone who has attended a previous dinner whether or not they enjoyed the opportunity to dine with a raucous bunch of genealogists.
If you would like to attend, you will need to enter your name on the sign-up sheet in the New England Historic Genealogical Society booth no later than Friday afternoon. We need to give a headcount to the restaurant by late on Friday afternoon so anyone not signed up by that time might not be able to join us.
For more information about the 2004 Federation of Genealogical Societies' annual conference in Austin, Texas, look at http://www.fgs.org/2004conf/FGS-2004.htm