I must say that I had fun today. I am in sunny St. George, Utah, attending the annual St. George Genealogy and Family Heritage Jamboree.The organizers apparently arranged for excellent sunshine. The Jamboree opened this morning with a keynote address by Barbara Renick to a room full of hundreds of genealogists. That was followed by lectures all day long, as many as 10 simultaneous presentations to choose from.
I spent most of the day in the Exhibitors' Hall, dividing my time between talking with visitors to the Footnote, Inc., booth and walking around the hall, talking with exhibitors to see “what's new.” I found a number of new genealogy products and services.
One item that caught my eye early was www.BiographyBiography.com. The double name is catchy, but the web site's service is also interesting. The flyer for BiographyBiography.com says:
“How would you like your biography or that of a loved one or an ancestor to be part of history? ...And have them preserved forever among the greatest personalities at Omnibiography.com.
“At BiographyBiography.com, we make it simple for you, because we are dedicated to preserve your memory and that of your loved ones through a biography. It also gives you the opportunity to keep it alive forever among the most outstanding personalities of history at Omnibiography.com, the world's largest virtual biography directory.”
I also found a CD-ROM entitled “Family History Guide for PAF Users and Family History Consultants.” The CD also includes “GenCharts for PAF.” This Windows program creates a number of charts and graphs not available within Personal Ancestral File (PAF). I hope to write more about this product in the near future.
Another exhibitor I visited is GenealogyBank.com, a division of NewsBank that has been at other conferences recently. GenealogyBank.com provides online images of many online records. The company specializes in providing digital images of old newspapers but also offers historical books, historical documents, obituaries, and more. One thing different at the St. George conference is that the company offered FREE in-home access for a few days to every attendee of the St. George conference. Such an offer is unusual, to say the least.
NOTE: Tom Kemp, Genealogy Products Director at NewsBank, has offered a pleasant surprise for readers of this newsletter. I do not yet know the details or the date, but you may be able to also obtain access for a short period of time. Keep an eye on this newsletter in the next few days. One warning: it will be quick, so watch closely!
FamilyHistoryLiveOnline.com, another exhibitor, offers live online training. Yes, that's live, interactive workshops with audio and visual presentation materials. I hope to write more about this site soon. In the meantime, take a look at http://www.familyhistoryliveonline.com.
Footnote.com attended their first genealogy conference since introducing the company's huge new database of images of original records. This company also recently became the sponsor of this newsletter, and I had the opportunity to spend time in the company's exhibit booth today, alongside several of the company's employees. We all spent time demonstrating the service. It was great meeting many new people and showing the images available.
RootsMagic was at the conference, demonstrating the company's flagship product of the same name. The company also distributed information about the upcoming genealogy cruise and seminar to be held this fall in the eastern Caribbean.
The above is what I saw today, a partial list of what was available in the Exhibits' Hall. I hope to spend more time there tomorrow and will write about it tomorrow night or Sunday.
My personal highlight of the day came this evening at the conference banquet. My old friend Beau Sharbrough was the after dinner speaker with a talk on “Einstein's Theory of Relatives.” I had the honor of introducing Beau. I had no idea of the contents of his speech. However, in my introduction, I mentioned that Beau is a person who usually sees a unique side to most situations. While optimists and pessimists alike will look at a half-full glass and offer opinions as to how full it is, Beau would probably look at the same thing and point out that the “real problem” is that the container has not yet been used to its full capacity.
Beau's insights are always interesting and usually very educational. I was not disappointed tonight. While I had no advance notice of the contents of his talk, Beau lived up to my introduction. He first examined the basic laws of physics that we all learned in school and then converted them to the lessons of genealogy research. Indeed, he showed insights that I had never considered.
I will be back at the jamboree tomorrow and hope to learn more. I will also write about whatever I learn.