I was fortunate this week that I was able to attend and make presentations at the Midwestern Roots 2012 Conference, presented by the Indiana Historical Society and held Friday and Saturday in Indianapolis. This was a first-class event.
Roughly 35 presentations and workshops were held over the two day conference. The opening session on Friday featured D. Joshua Taylor speaking on the future of genealogy research. He presented some surprising facts and statistics about the genealogists of today and then made projections about the future.
A Friday evening reception featured Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak speaking on Hey, America, Your Roots are Showing. That also happens to be the title of Megan's latest book.
The Saturday morning kick-off session featured Patricia Van Skaik speaking about the Cincinnati Panorama of 1848. This is the second time I have heard Patricia talk about the Cincinnati Panorama and I found her second talk to be as fascinating as the first. If you have a chance to hear Patricia Van Skaik talk about this historic photograph from 1848, go!
Other presentations were made during the two days by many of the leading genealogy lecturers of our time, including Vicki Casteel, Suzanne Hahn, Tamara Hemmerlein, Joan Hostetler, Alan January, Shamele Jordon, J. Mark Lowe, Daniel S. Poffenberger, Juliana Smith, Betty L. Warren, and Curt B. Witcher. I also made three presentations and was honored to be included with such company.
You can read more about the presentations, including biographies of all the presenters, at http://www.indianahistory.org/our-services/family-history/midwesternroots/Brochure.pdf.
A rather large exhibits hall was open the full two days. A list of the exhibitors may be found at http://www.indianahistory.org/our-services/family-history/midwesternroots/exhibitors.
Despite the 90+ degree temperatures outside, the presentation rooms in the Indianapolis Marriott East were kept at meat locker levels. I wish I had brought a sweater! Admittedly, I never thought of a sweater when the outside temperatures were 90 to 95 degrees. My mistake.
The meeting room temperatures were my only complaint. Everything else worked perfectly.
If you would like to learn more about the Midwestern Roots 2012 Conference that just ended, look at the conference's web site at http://www.indianahistory.org/our-services/family-history/midwesternroots/. I don't know how long the Indiana Historical Society will leave the pages online. After all, it is a "past event." However, as I write these words, the pages are still available.
I would like to thank everyone at the the Indiana Historical Society who worked hard to make this year's event a success. I don't have a list of everyone so I won't try to thank everyone by name by using my memory. However, it is obvious that Margaret Bierlein seemed to be everywhere, making sure that everything worked perfectly. All of the attendees, presenters, and exhibitors owe a big "thank you" to Margaret.
If you would like to attend the next Midwestern Roots Conference, keep an eye on the Indiana Historical Society's web site at http://www.indianahistory.org/. I doubt if information will be posted there soon. After all, the staff members are probably all at home trying to recuperate from this year's busy event! I'd suggest you start looking at the site early next year.
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