The New England Regional Genealogical Conference wrapped up last night, and it appears to have been a good one. I saw about 750 people at this event. Almost all of them were smiling all the time, despite cloudy skies and intermittent rain. That's a good sign.
More than sixty presentations were made by many well-known genealogy lecturers, including Tony Burroughs, Elizabeth Shown Mills, Craig Scott, Bob Velke, Marcia Melnyk, John Konvalinka, Maureen Taylor, Beau Sharbrough, Sandy Clunies, Robert Charles Anderson, and many others. I even had a chance to make one presentation on a technical topic. I won't list all the speakers and presentations as you can find them at http://www.nergc.org/NERGCRegRvsd.pdf.
There were two conference banquets with featured speakers. Elizabeth Shown Mills spoke Friday evening on "Forgotten People: the Story behind Isle of Canes" while Tony Burroughs (fresh from hosting a national television show the previous Sunday evening) spoke on Saturday about "Becoming a Better Genealogist."
I spent most of my time in the vendors' hall. The NERGC conference is not noted as the place to find newly introduced genealogy products and services. Nonetheless, I found a couple that caught my eye:
Colleen Fitzpatrick, Ph.D., has a new book, entitled Forensic Genealogy. She has many years' experience using innovative technologies at NASA, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Defense. Dr. Fitzpatrick is also an expert genealogist. She apparently uses forensics to study everything possible about one's ancestors. To decode the mysteries of her own ancestors, she says that she has examined five hundred-year-old weather records, information on the breeding cycle of mosquitoes, old almanacs, how babies were delivered in the Middle Ages, old hospital admission records, the 1909 National Cash Register catalog, the history of the railroad in Canada, the history of the Spanish Armada, and more. I obtained a copy of her book and hope to read it and write about it soon. I am especially curious why one would studying the breeding cycle of mosquitoes in order to find people in the family tree!
Don Stone produces very attractive lineage charts. There are a number of companies that make attractive wall charts, and Don's products seem to be as good as any I have seen. However, he also produces the same charts for web sites, and these have to be seen to be appreciated. In fact, you can see them at http://www.lineagecharts.com/samplecharts.htm. Good stuff.
I took a number of pictures at this year's NERGC conference. You can see them at http://eogn.typepad.com/photos/nergc2005. On that page you will see many tiny photos. You can double-click on each photo to view a much larger image.
The next NERGC conference will be held approximately two years from now in Hartford, Connecticut. I certainly hope they can repeat this year's success. I plan to be there in order to find out.
For more information about the activities of the New England Regional Genealogical Conference, look at http://nergc.org.