The second day of a Federation of Genealogical Societies conference is much like the first day of other conferences. The opening session is held, the keynote speech is made, the exhibitors’ hall opens and the presentations given cover a wide variety of genealogy research topics. Today was the second day and the convention hall was busy as more than a thousand genealogists (by my estimate) were in attendance. This year’s FGS conference is co-hosted by the Texas State Genealogical Society and the Austin Genealogical Society and their members were in obvious positions, helping guide attendees to lecture halls, handling registrations and much, much more. You can see some of the pictures that I took today at http://eogn.typepad.com/photos/fgs2004day2. Click on any thumbnail-sized picture to view the full-sized image.
The morning started with the Opening Session. Due to other commitments, I was unable to attend. However, I was told that FGS President Dean Hunter welcomed attendees and talked about the conference. He also talked a bit about the future of FGS. The Keynote Address then followed. Richard "Cactus" Pryor, the "Father of Texas Broadcasting," gave a talk entitled “Tales of Old Texas.” Pryor performed 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. Pryor assumed the role of J. Frank Dobie and told the tales of the great cattle drives, the longhorns, and the men who took 'em up the trail.
Immediately after the Opening Session the Exhibitors’ Hall opened and a sea of humanity surged through the doors in the first few seconds. The hall became noisy immediately. While the noise ebbed and flowed all day, it was never quiet again.
One of the first new items I saw this morning was a band new book on genetics. Dr. Thomas H. Shawker, Chairman of the National Genealogical Society’s Committee for Family Health and heredity has written “Unlocking Your Genetic History.” I obtained a copy of the book today and hope to write about it in the near future in this newsletter. You can see a picture of Dr. Shawker holding a copy of his new book at http://eogn.typepad.com/photos/fgs2004day2/pict0002.html.
fampres (in all lower-case letters) is a German company that has exhibited at several U.S. genealogy conferences. The company produces what are perhaps the best-looking genealogy wall charts that I have seen. Marco from fampres did show up at an earlier conference without any charts when the airline lost his luggage. As you can see from the picture at http://eogn.typepad.com/photos/fgs2004day2/pict0028.html, Marco did have charts to exhibit in Austin. You can read more about fampres products at http://www.fampres.de.
Speaking of lost luggage, Louise St. Denis of the National Institute for Genealogical Studies had the same problem at a conference in California in May. However, you can see from the picture at http://eogn.typepad.com/photos/fgs2004day2/pict0006.html, her products did show up in Austin.
Wholly Genes Software is showing a brand-new electronic Guided Tour of The Master Genealogist. This Guided Tour will be available in a few days on the company’s Web site at http://www.whollygenes.com.
The homor picture of the day may be found at http://eogn.typepad.com/photos/fgs2004day2/pict0017.html.
All in all, it was a great day at the conference. I hope to write more after tomorrow’s events and may have more pictures at that time.