The largest regional genealogy conference in the northeastern U.S. will be held in a few days. The Ninth New England Regional Genealogical Conference, often called "NERGC," is scheduled for April 26-29 in Hartford, Connecticut.
NERGC is a consortium of many genealogy and historical organizations, including the following:
American Canadian Genealogical Society
American-French Genealogical Society
American Portuguese Genealogical and Historical Society
Cape Cod Genealogical Society
Central Massachusetts Genealogical Society
Connecticut Ancestry Society, Inc.
Connecticut Professional Genealogists Council, Inc.
Connecticut Society of Genealogists, Inc.
Descendants of the Founders of Ancient Windsor, Inc.
Essex Society of Genealogists, Inc.
Falmouth Genealogical Society
Federation of Genealogical Societies, Inc.
French Canadian Genealogical Society of Connecticut, Inc.
Genealogical Society of Vermont
Higgins Armory Museum
TIARA - The Irish Ancestral Research Association, Inc.
Italian Genealogical Society of America, Inc.
Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston
Maine Genealogical Society
Maine Historical Society
Massachusetts Genealogical Council
Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants
Massachusetts Society of Genealogists, Inc.
National Archives and Records Administration New England Region
New England Historic Genealogical Society
New Hampshire Society of Genealogists
Plymouth County Genealogists, Inc.
Polish Genealogical Society of Connecticut and the Northeast, Inc.
Rhode Island Genealogical Society, Inc.
South Shore Genealogical Society,
Swedish Ancestry Research Association.
Whew! With that many organizations involved, you'd better believe that they have the resources to put on a first-class conference.
The featured speakers at this year's conference will be Patricia Law Hatcher, Cyndi Howells, and Henry Z "Hank" Jones, Jr. They and about 45 other speakers will offer many presentations appealing to novices and experts alike. You can find the full list of speakers and their biographies at http://www.nergc.org/2007/speakers2007.htm.
This year's conference is brimming with plenty of events in addition to the presentations:
There will be a "Society Fair" outside the Exhibitors' Hall where genealogical organizations from all over New England will provide information about their organizations.
A Librarians' Day will be held on April 25, the day before the conference opens. This special pre-conference program is for librarians and others affiliated with libraries that serve genealogical patrons, including docents, volunteers, genealogical and historical society leaders, and other friends of the library.
Several extended workshops are scheduled. See http://nergc.org/2007/workshops.htm for details.
Several special interest groups will meet on Thursday, including BCG Certification, Connecticut Research, DNA Research and Developments, Family Reunion Planning, Federal Records at NARA, French Canadian Genealogy, German Research, Irish Research, Macintosh Users Group, Native and African American Research, Networking at a Conference, Research in Maine, and Scottish Research.
Of course, my favorite area at most conferences is the Exhibitors' Hall, and I expect to spend many hours there at NERGC 2007. I am sponsoring a booth there for this newsletter. I hope to meet as many newsletter readers as possible. When you enter the Exhibitors' Hall, go all the way to the back right corner to find booths 55 and 56. Chances are I'll be there. If not, I'll be back soon.
You can find a map and a long list of all the exhibitors at http://www.nergc.org/2007/exhibithall.htm.
Here's a previously-unannounced offer. In fact, the conference organizers don't yet know about this. If you have a Wi-Fi equipped laptop or PDA, bring it along, and you can check your e-mail or perform other tasks on the web from the Exhibitors' Hall. The wireless networking signal should be strongest near booths 55 and 56 although I expect it will cover the entire hall. Look for a wireless network that is broadcasting an SSID of "eogn." You should be able to connect and start using the Internet without entering any user name or password. This free network access is being provided by Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter.
The eogn network is shared, so please use it wisely. I encourage you to use the wireless network to check your e-mail and similar tasks. However, please do not start downloading huge files or otherwise saturating the connection. If you are a vendor, please do not use it for customer-facing purposes, but feel free to check your own e-mail whenever you wish. If the connection gets overloaded, I'll be forced to turn it off. If we all use it wisely, more people can benefit.
You can find more information about all the events at this year's New England Regional Genealogical Conference at http://www.nergc.org. OK, you won't find any information there about the wireless network, but everything else should be there.
I am looking forward to the New England Regional Genealogical Conference in Hartford. Will I see you there?