Conferences

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

The following pages have recently been updated in the Calendar of Genealogy Events:

Online Webinars, California, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, and North Carolina

NOTE: Many of these are notices of event cancellations because of CoronaVirus concerns. Some of the above changes may have been deletions of past events.

All information in the Calendar of Events is contributed by YOU and by other genealogists. You can directly add information to the Calendar about your local genealogy event.

UPDATE #20: Genealogy Cancellations and Postponements Due to Coronavirus

New updates: Ontario and Wisconsin


As the COVID-19 (or Coronavirus) outbreak spreads, many public events are being canceled, postponed, or turned into virtual events. Whether as a result of travel bans, laws banning large gatherings, or an abundance of caution, officials are canceling, postponing, or converting events to virtual conferences… leaving show organizers, attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors scrambling to make alternative plans.

Genealogy events are not immune to these concerns. I plan to publish notices of cancellations of genealogy-related events for as long as there is a need for these notices.

—Notice(s)—

New updates since the last update are marked with an asterisk (*).

ISBGFH DNA Virtual Institute Registration is Now Open

The following announcement was written by the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History:

DNA VIRTUAL INSTITUTE SEPTEMBER 8&9, 2020 REGISTRATION NOW OPEN

The International Society for British Genealogy and Family History is pleased to announce that registration for the DNA Virtual Institute by Dr Maurice Gleeson is now OPEN!

The virtual institute will run over two days and all presentations will be LIVE so seats are limited. The presentations will be held on September 8 & 9, 2020.

Topics to be covered:

How to Quickly Pull Together an Online Streaming Event

Has your local society been forced to cancel a planned event due to the CoronaVirus concerns? Would you like to convert it into an online video conference? If so, how do you plan to do that?

Many variables are involved, of course. However, you can learn how one (non-genealogy) organization managed to hold a well-attended online event on short notice.

Quoting from the article by Alan Soon in the NiemanLab web site:

“If you’re reading this, you’re probably trying to figure out how to do your first online event. We decided to do Splice Low-Res because (1) we needed to learn how to do this, as COVID-19 leads us deeper online, and (2) we wanted to see how the media startup community was holding up.

“We haven’t figured it all out — but this is what we’ve learned so far. Let us know where you think we could have done better.”

Call for Lecture Proposals for NGS 2021 Family History Conference Extended to 15 April 2020

The following announcement was written by the National Genealogical Society:

FALLS CHURCH, VA, 25 MARCH 2020—Given the difficult circumstances that all Americans are facing during this COVID-19 pandemic, the National Genealogical Society (NGS) is extending by two weeks the deadline for speakers to submit lecture proposals for the NGS 2021 Family History Conference, Virginia: The Deep Roots of a Nation. The conference will be held in Richmond, Virginia, 19‒22 May 2021. All proposals—including those from organizations interested in sponsoring lectures—must now be submitted electronically at https://www.ngsgenealogy.org/call-for-proposals/ by 11:59 p.m. EDT on 15 April 2020.

Site of RootsTech/London to Become a CoronaVirus Hospital

The ExCeL Centre in East London was the site of RootsTech/London in 2019 and was scheduled to also be the site of the 2020 version of of the same event. However, the RootsTech organizers decided to cancel the 2020 conference because of all the concerns with the CoronaVirus. That undoubtedly was a wise decision, as the planned site at the ExCeL Centre won’t be available.

The ExCeL Centre will be converted into a (temporary) hospital, to be called the Nightingale Hospital. The temporary base will be staffed by NHS medics with the help of the military. It will initially provide about 500 beds equipped with ventilators and oxygen.

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

The following pages have recently been updated in the Calendar of Genealogy Events:

California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Missouri

NOTE: Many of these are notices of event cancellations because of CoronaVirus concerns. Some of the above changes may have been deletions of past events.

All information in the Calendar of Events is contributed by YOU and by other genealogists. You can directly add information to the Calendar about your local genealogy event.

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

The following pages have recently been updated in the Calendar of Genealogy Events:

United Kingdom, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, and Tennessee

NOTE: Many of these are notices of event cancellations because of CoronaVirus concerns. Some of the above changes may have been deletions of past events.

All information in the Calendar of Events is contributed by YOU and by other genealogists. You can directly add information to the Calendar about your local genealogy event.

(*) Saturday, April 3, Eastern Washington Genealogical Society Spring Seminar is CANCELLED

The Eastern Washington Genealogical Society Spring Seminar scheduled for April 4th has been postponed till May 2nd. If you have already paid and can not make the May date you can get a refund, or the money carries over for the May Seminar.

Saturday, May 2, 2020
Enhancing Your Genealogy Repertoire (Seminar)
9:30 pm to 3:30 pm
Prince of Peace Lutheran – 8441 N Indian Trail Rd. Spokane, WA 99208

(*) Minnesota Genealogy Center to Close through April 18 because of CoronaVirus Concerns

The following is an announcement from the Minnesota Genealogical Society:

We regret to inform you that the Minnesota Genealogy Center and the Hoffman Research Library will be closed March 15 through April 18 to protect our members and guests during the COVID-19 public health emergency. All classes, meetings, and other programs during this time have been canceled:

The March 28-29 MGC Open House is canceled.

The April 18 MGS Spring Conference is canceled. Full refunds will be issued to registrants.

These events may be rescheduled at a later date. In the meantime, MGS will be exploring options for increasing online programming.

 

(*) DNA Discovery 2020 Classes in New Zealand to be Held Online as Virtual Meetings

Not only is this planned in-person classroom sessions being changed because of concerns about the CoronaVius pandemic, the change to “virtual classes” means that many more people will be able to attend from around the world. The following is an announcement from the DNA Discovery Team:

The virus may have stopped them hopping on a plane to New Zealand, but it won’t stop Blaine Bettinger & Angie Bush from sharing their knowledge.

Our Christchurch and Wellington DNA Discovery 2020 classrooms are now going virtual and you can attend them online from anywhere in the world.

For those that would like to attend virtually, click on the links below to book your ticket.

(*) Harford County, Maryland library’s Genealogy Conference is Postponed until the Summer

Harford County Public Library’s seventh annual Genealogy Conference, which had been scheduled for later this month, has been postponed due to concerns over coronavirus. It will likely be rescheduled sometime this summer.

(*) The Southern California Genealogical Society Library Will Be Closed for the Remainder of March and All of April

From the SCGS web site at http://www.scgsgenealogy.com/:

Due to the threat of Covid-19, we will be closing the library for the reminder of March and for all of April.

Health providers are recommending that people over 60 avoid even small gatherings. Since many of our librarians and researcher have gained this age, we wish to protect their health and well-being. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation during this period of time.

(*) Genealogy Library Closes in Portland, Oregon

From the Genealogical Forum of Oregon:

The Genealogical Forum of Oregon is immediately closing its library in Portland until April 1. We will re-evaluate that status later based on how the coronavirus progresses in our community.

In addition, here is a full summary of all GFO Events canceled and rescheduled:

    • Canceled Special Interest Group meetings and Volunteer Work Parties.
    • Canceled GenTalk about PERSI on March 21.
    • Rescheduled the free Genealogy Open House to Sept. 25-Oct. 4.
    • Rescheduled the DNA Seminar with Karen Stanbary to August 8-9.

We need to control the contagion. If closing our library to the public helps to “flatten the curve,” as epidemiologists say, then we want to play our part.

(*) Tacoma-Pierce County (Washington) Genealogical Society Cancels their 2020 Spring Seminar because of CoronaVirus Concerns

From https://tpcgs.org/:

“TPCGS 2020 Spring Seminar CANCELLED – It is with deep regret that TPCGS has decided that it is in everyone’s best interests to cancel our 2020 Spring Seminar. We hope to be able to reschedule it at a future date. All registrations that we have already received will be refunded. Thank you for understanding.”

RootsTech London Postponed to 2021 Due to CoronaVirus Concerns

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

In consideration of COVID-19, FamilySearch International announced today that the RootsTech conference planned for London 5–7 November 2020, will be postponed until the fall of 2021.

The health and safety of all RootsTech London attendees, exhibitors, and speakers is the highest priority of FamilySearch International.

Those who have already registered for the event will be issued refunds.

To receive announcements and other updates regarding RootsTech London, please visit rootstech.org/london.

RootsTech in Salt Lake City is still scheduled for 3–6 February 2021.

Plans for the National Genealogical Society’s Annual Conference in May

The (U.S.) National Genealogical Society’s Annual Conference is planned for May 20 to 23, 2020 in Salt Lake City. Obviously, with all the news and the impact of the CoronaVirus (also called COVID-19) and especially the frequent announcements of cancelations or postponements of other large conferences, conventions, and other meetings, the wisdom of holding a major conference at this time is in question.

Specific questions include:

Should the conference be canceled?

If it is held as an in-person event, how many people are willing to travel to the event in these times?

Will the convention center, nearby hotels and restaurants, and even the airlines be capable of handling a large conference during these times of many events being canceled? (Many of those organizations are presently operating with minimal staffing; in some cases, the needed facility may be closed.)

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

The following pages have recently been updated in the Calendar of Genealogy Events:

California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, South Carolina, and Washington

Some of the above changes may have been deletions of past events.

All information in the Calendar of Events is contributed by YOU and by other genealogists. You can directly add information to the Calendar about your local genealogy event.

Free Video Conferencing: Coronavirus Spurs Special Deals from WebEx, Google, and Others

This is a follow-up to my earlier article, Will the Coronavirus Create Travel Bans and Cancellations of Genealogy Conferences? at http://bit.ly/38w1dGH:

As mentioned earlier and in thousands of other online web sites, the coronavirus pandemic is causing many public events to cancel or to be delayed. Many are also switching to online teleconferences where attendees can attend “virtually” without leaving home.

For many people, one basic question arises immediately: “How can we conduct an online virtual conference?”

My Photos from RootsTech2020 in Salt Lake City

I was fortunate enough to attend last week’s RootsTech conference, held in Salt Lake City. If you have never been to RootsTech, all I can say is that it is difficult to describe. Try to imagine about 25,000 or more genealogists spending 4 days together in a very large conference center, along with another 10,000 or more youngsters and their chaperones adding to the crowd on Saturday.

Add in more than 300 presentations and various other sessions along with an exhibits hall with more than 200 companies offering products and services designed to help you discover and connect with family. Do you think it was busy? You bet it was!

Video courtesy of FamilySearch

I think I kept busy for more than 16 hours most every day. I received about 4 hours’ sleep Saturday night, after the close of the conference, then got up on Sunday before daybreak to catch an airplane for my return trip home. About 15 hours later, I arrived at home and soon dropped into bed and slept until the following mid-morning. Yes, I was tired but I was also very satisfied with the entire experience.