NGS Conference in Richmond, VA – Day #3

The third day of the annual conference of the National Genealogical Society in Richmond, Virginia, was today and most everything happened as expected. I did see one thing in the presentations that impressed me and is a growing sign of the popularity of DNA in genealogy. This morning, I attended the presentation by Thomas H. Shawker, MD, on Beyond Basic Genetic Genealogy: Mitochondrial and Autosomal Testing. Dr. Shawker is the chairman of the NGS Genetic Genealogy Committee, the author of Unlocking Your Genetic History and the NGS course Genetic Genealogy.

A few years ago, a presentation on DNA would have been held in a small conference room with perhaps 30 attendees. Today’s lecture by Dr. Shawker was held in a large conference room with perhaps 300 seats. I arrived about ten minutes before the start of his talk this morning and was able to grab one of the very few remaining seats. Just before the scheduled start of his talk, I looked around and saw people standing in the back of the room as all seats were taken. The use of DNA in genealogy has become a very popular topic!

Exhibits Hall Entrance

I also wandered the exhibits hall a learned a number of new things. Here are some pictures of the sights and stories that I learned:

Singer Reba McEntire has joined the effort to preserve the War of 1812 Pension Files. You can learn more about this worthwhile effort at
In-booth presentations occurred all day long in the FamilySearch booth.
Well-known professional genealogist; Data Strategy Manager, US and Canada for FindMyPast; President of the Federation of Genealogical Societies; and one of the hosts of the Genealogy Roadshow television series; Josh Taylor, was at the FindMyPast booth most of the day.
  MyHeritage, the sponsor of this newsletter, had an impressive booth at the conference and demonstrated the company’s many databases all day, every day.
Lisa Louise Cook entertained large audiences all day long.
  Want to convert a lot of microfilm to digital images? The ScanPro 3000 will do that for you.  It is too expensive for most individuals but could be very popular in historical societies, genealogy societies, and many libraries that own a significant amount of microfilm.
Another scanner from a different company. This one scans books, magazines, maps, or most anything else that fits into the split flatbed  and creates digital images.  
   Some of the folks from Boston University’s advanced genealogy courses. These courses are great! Just ask anyone who has graduated from one of these courses.

The Game of Genealogy

I have not yet had an opportunity to try the Game of Genealogy but hope to soon. For details, look at
RPAC, the Records Preservation and Access Committee, a joint effort of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, the National Genealogical Society, and the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies, is distributing pins to publicize the group’s efforts to preserve open access to vital records, including birth, death, and marriage records. Wear these pins anywhere you thing a legislator might see it!

Pins Distributed by RPAC

   Will we see you at next year’s NGS conference?

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