National Genealogical Society to Live Stream Ten Lectures during its 2016 Family History Conference

Attending a national genealogical conference is a great learning experience. But let’s face it, not everyone can attend in person. I suspect the national conferences could multiply the number of “attendees” by ten or more if they could offer the same information online where everyone could “attend.” I’m delighted to see the National Genealogical Society taking steps to offer some of their sessions online.

The following announcement was written by the (U.S.) National Genealogical Society:

ARLINGTON, VA, 9 MARCH 2016 —The National Genealogical Society (NGS) will live stream ten lectures from its 2016 Family History Conference, which will be held 4-7 May 2016, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Details of the live streaming program can be found on the NGS Conference website. NGS members and others across the United States and overseas, who are unable to attend the conference in person, are invited to sign up for these live streaming broadcasts.

NGS has selected some of the most popular topics and nationally known speakers for the two featured tracks. Registrants for live streaming can sign up for either track or the bundled package that includes both tracks.

Track One: Viewers will be able to screen five lectures on “Land Records and Maps” from 8:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, 5 May 2016. The lectures will cover deed books and private land claims, how to utilize mapping apps, Google Earth, and GPS to enrich your research, and maps and gazetteers for English and Welsh research.

Track Two: Five “Methods for Success” lectures will be live streaming from 8:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. on Friday, 6 May 2016. They will address methodology techniques for use with historical context and DNA, as well as problem solving using a combination of resources.

Registration for live streaming will close at midnight 22 April 2016 and is discounted for NGS members. All registrants will receive an electronic version of the NGS 2016 Family History Conference Syllabus.

Track Selection

Included Formats

Member Price

Non- Member Price


Track One orTrack

Live Streaming with three months access to  Track One or Two



Land Records and Maps.
Five lectures on Thursday, 5 May 2016, or

Methods for Success.
Five lectures on Friday, 6 May 2016.

Bundled Package Track One and Track Two

Live Streaming with three months access to both tracks



Land Records and Maps.
Five lectures onThursday, 5 May 2016, and

Methods for Success.
Five lectures on Friday, 6 May 2016.

NGS has selected PlayBackNow to broadcast the live sessions and to provide the recorded sessions for later viewing. Instructions for viewing the live streaming will be sent to registrants before 30 April 2016.

Tracks One and Two are among the 25 tracks and 180 lectures that will be open to those who attend the four-day conference in person. Conference attendees may also benefit from purchasing the NGS live streaming package by registering for either track or the bundled package, which they will be able to view after they return home. By selecting different presentations while attending the conference, they can expand their overall conference experience. They will have ninety days following the conference to view and repeat the live streaming sessions (through 7 August 2016).

Reminder: The conference discounted Early Bird registration will close on 31 March 2016.

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogical education, exemplary standards of research, and the preservation of genealogical records. The Arlington, Virginia, based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian, seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, and guidance in research. It also offers many opportunities to interact with other genealogists.


I have always counted on JAMB Tapes for conference recordings for just this reason, i.e. not being able to attend. They had recordings of NGS, FGS and other conferences, and one could order copies of recordings (but no syllabi/handouts) for $10/each. But now they seem to have disappeared off the face of the net and their phone number is disconnected. This is a big blow for those who cannot get to the conferences. It is a lot more convenient to be able to listen when you want, than have time limited access.

So while 10 recordings from NGS is nice, it barely scratches the surface of what is potentially available. I want to choose for myself, just as if I did attend the conference, rather than have someone choose for me. So I will probably pass despite being able to get the member discount.


I, too, have ordered JAMB tapes in the past.. Does anyone know whether there will be any tapes available for this conference?
It certainly is much more convenient for those of us who cannot attend to be able to listen to recordings at our convenience.


I would love to hear these lectures, but I work during the day, so live-stream doesn’t work for me. If I could purchase a CD and listen when my schedule allows, it would be better and probably more profitable for NGS…I think they’d get more takers!

Please let us know if they decide to offer CD’s of their lectures, I’d be very interested.


    —> Please let us know if they decide to offer CD’s of their lectures,

    Will do.

    I will point out, however, that very few organizations supply CDs of their lectures any more. When I started going to genealogy conferences years ago, they often provided recordings on cassette tapes. Over the years, as the technology changed, they switched to CD disks. Nowadays, lectures are usually available as downloadable files on the Internet.


    The ability to download a file when your schedule is free would work as well, in fact I’d like that more than having a CD I’d have to keep track of!


    JAMB was supposedly working toward mp3 downloads last year.

    What I wonder is if the conferences or speakers in same just don’t want to go that route. While I doubt there is any let alone a sizable pirate market for such recordings, perhaps the content providers are fearful otherwise. I personally do not care for videos and would rather have just audio recordings, though it would be nice to also get the handouts.

    If this were important enough to the conferences and the speakers, they would find a way to provide them.

    Maybe this is a business idea for someone, i.e. providing a platform to sell genealogical lectures for reasonable prices. The presenters could just record them anytime, not just in conference form (though the followup questions by a live audience are often worthwhile). The Virtual Institute of Genealogical research is worth mentioning, but they don’t currently offer much, and are fairly expensive. I would rather just have conference style lectures of the usual hourish length.


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