Conferences

FGS National Conference to be held in Pittsburgh on August 30 to September 2

The annual conference of the Federation of Genealogical Societies will be held soon: August 30 to September 2. This year’s event is shaping up to be a good one with a theme of Building Bridges to the Past. This year’s event is expected to attract close to 2,000 attendees from all over the United States and the world. If you can be in Pittsburgh during this event, you absolutely will want to attend at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

The Federation of Genealogical Societies is an “umbrella organization” of local, statewide, and regional genealogical societies. In fact, FGS includes 500+ member societies representing more than 500,000 genealogists.

The David L. Lawrence Convention Center is a good venue for an event of this size. First, it is modern with all the state-of-the-art one expects on a convention center these days. In addition, it is close to numerous restaurants, shops, research facilities, and historic sites.

Hotel Reservations Now Open for the National Genealogical Society’s 2018 Family History Conference

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

ARLINGTON, VA, 15 AUGUST 2017— Effective 15 August 2017, you may reserve accommodations for the National Genealogical Society’s fortieth annual Family History Conference, Paths to Your Past, which will be held 2−5 May 2018 at the DeVos Place Convention Center, 303 Monroe Avenue NW, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The conference program will focus on ancestors’ migration paths with an emphasis on the states that border the Great Lakes, strategic waterways that aided Americans moving west and immigrants coming from overseas through Canada to settle and develop the Midwest throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Some lectures will enhance your proficiency as a researcher and your methodological and analytical skills. Other presentations will broaden your understanding about your ancestors’ ethnicity, occupation, religion, military experience, economic status, and associations. In addition, the program will feature tracks that highlight DNA and technology.

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

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

Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, and Pennsylvania

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.

IAJGS Conference in Orlando is a Success

I spent much of last week at the annual conference of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies. This conference serves as an annual reunion of top Jewish genealogists and newcomers alike. The conference is held in a different city around the world every year. This year’s event was held in Orlando, Florida on July 23 through 28. Count them: that’s 6 days of conference!

Walt Disney World Swan Resort

The conference was held at the Walt Disney World Swan resort, a top-notch venue for a conference. Than again, it is a Disney property so you expect it to be good! I don’t think anyone was disappointed.

The conference included 369 events, including 225 lectures and panels, 33 films, 42 BOF/SIG (Birds of a Feather/Special Interest Group) meetings, 19 computer workshops, an excellent computer lab, and more than a dozen breakfasts and luncheons.

60+ sessions were live streamed over the Internet and also will be available on demand (for a fee) until 1 November 2017. If you were unable to attend in person, you can learn more about watching many of the presentations by going to http://live.iajgs.org.

RootsTech 2018 Call for Presentation Proposals – extended deadline through 3 July 2018

The following announcement was written by the RootsTech organizing committee:

Submission deadline has been extended through July 3, 2017.

The RootsTech planning committee is calling for dynamic presentations for the RootsTech 2018 conference that will be held February 28 – March 3, 2018, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.

If you have a desire to define, shape, and influence the family history industry with an innovative and interesting presentation idea, click on the link below to learn more and to submit proposals.

2017 FGS Conference Early Bird Registration Ends July 1

The following announcement was written by the Federation of Genealogical Societies:

Register now for “Building Bridges to the Past” in Pittsburgh, PA 6/28/2017 – Austin, TX.

Discounted early bird registration for the 2017 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference will continue only until July 1st. Early bird pricing is $230 for the full four days or $99 for any single day. Friday’s exhibit hall lunch and $10 in Vendor Bucks are included with the full four-day conference registration. Details at http://www.fgsconference.org.

The conference will be held August 30 – September 2, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA. This year’s local host is the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society and the theme is “Building Bridges to the Past.” Platinum sponsors are Ancestry, FamilySearch, and MyHeritage. Bronze sponsors are Ancestry ProGenealogists and Internet Genealogy/Your Genealogy Today.

2017 FGS Conference Early Bird Registration Ends July 1

The following announcement was written by the Federation of Genealogical Societies:

Register now for “Building Bridges to the Past” in Pittsburgh, PA

6/28/2017 – Austin, TX.

Discounted early bird registration for the 2017 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference will continue only until July 1st.

Early bird pricing is $230 for the full four days or $99 for any single day. Friday’s exhibit hall lunch and $10 in Vendor Bucks are included with the full four-day conference registration. Details at http://www.fgsconference.org.

International Association of Jewish Genealogy Societies Conference to be Held in Orlando on July 23–28

Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Henry Louis Gates Jr., host of the PBS hit series “Finding Your Roots,” will be the featured speaker on “Genetics and Genealogy in America” on Thursday evening at the International Association of Jewish Genealogy Societies (IAJGS) Conference, to be held at the Disney World Swan Resort in Orlando, Florida. I will also be at the conference and expect a huge crowd will be there as well.

Sunday evening will feature “Alexander Hamilton, the Jews, and the American Revolution,” presented by Dr. Robert Watson, professor, historian, author, and media commentator.

Wednesday evening, there will be a special showing of the 2016 acclaimed documentary “Aida’s Secrets” (sponsored by MyHeritage). This documentary is a story about family secrets, lies, high drama and generations of contemporary history. The international story begins with World War II and concludes with an emotional 21st century family reunion. Izak was born inside the Bergen-Belsen displaced persons camp in 1945 and sent for adoption in Israel. Utilizing the resources of Yad Vashem and MyHeritage, secret details of his birth mother, an unknown brother in Canada and his father’s true identity slowly emerge in this extremely personal investigative film.

A Weekend at the Auckland (New Zealand) Family History Conference

I must say that I had a pleasant 3-day weekend in Auckland, New Zealand. I attended the annual conference of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists and even had the opportunity to make several presentations myself. This was a major conference. I never heard the final headcount but I estimate that 500 or maybe 600 genealogists were in attendance.

I must say this is an enthusiastic group! They are both enthusiastic and knowledgeable genealogists.

I was especially impressed with the international “flavor” of this conference. In addition to myself, conference speakers included:

Announcing the 14th Unlock the Past Genealogy Cruise (Alaska 2018)

The following announcement was written by Unlock the Past:

Adelaide, South Australia, 17 May 2017 – Unlock the Past Cruises announces its 2018 cruise – an opportunity to discover more about your family history while in great company and visiting great destinations.

The Alaska cruise, 7-14 September 2018 on Royal Caribbean‘s Explorer of the Seas will leave from Seattle, visiting Juneau, Skagway, Tracy Arm Fjord, Alaska and Victoria, British Columbia over 7 days.

The conference program will feature 40–45 talks in three streams from an international team of 12–15 speakers. No talks will occur when in port or during scenic cruising. An optional full day extra seminar is being considered the day before the cruise to offer additional value to the many who will travel from a distance. This will feature leading North American speakers and a different program.

The featured presenters on the cruise are:

FGS 2018 Call for Presentation Proposals

The following announcement was written by the Federation of Genealogical Societies:

2018 FGS National Conference ​Call for Presentation Proposals
Deadline for Submissions is 14 July 2017

16 May 2017 – Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announces that presentation proposals are now being received for the FGS 2018 Conference, “On the Three Rivers—Past, Present & Future” to be held 22-25 August, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The conference will be held in conjunction with the Allen County Public Library as local host. Outstanding nearby research facilities and attractions will enhance the conference experience. The deadline for submission of lecture proposals is Friday, 14 July 2017.

The program committee specifically seeks new and dynamic proposals that will provide exceptional and unique educational experiences for conference attendees. Proposals for workshops and sponsored talks are also encouraged. Categories for submissions include:

Lisa Louise Cooke will be a Keynote Speaker at Congress 2018 in Australia

The following announcement was written by the organizers of Congress 2018:

The Society of Australian Genealogists announced today that Lisa Louise Cooke will be one of the keynote speakers at Congress 2018. Lisa is a US based genealogist who will be presenting in Australia for the first time.

About Lisa Louise Cooke

Lisa Louise Cook is the CEO of Genealogy Gems, a genealogy education company featuring the Genealogy Gems Podcast. Lisa is the author of books on topics such as using Google and Evernote for genealogy.

Lisa will be presenting on the topics of apps and maps for genealogy.

About Congress 2018

Congress 2018 is being held at the new International Convention Centre in Darling Harbour, Sydney from Friday 9 to Monday 12 March 2018. Congress is the largest family history event in Australasia and is held every three years under the auspices of the Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations (AFFHO).

Who Do You Think You Are? Live! Conference to Cease

Sad news. One of my favorite genealogy conferences will not be held again. The Who Do You Think You Are? Live! conference that was held every year is shutting down. This is the conference that was held lately in Birmingham, England, although in earlier years it was held in London.

NOTE: This has nothing to do with the Who Do You Think You Are? television programs that appear to be very successful in a number of countries. Only the 3-day, in-person conference is being terminated.

You can read more in the Who Do You Think You Are? magazine at: http://bit.ly/2pZQe6l

The following announcement was released today by the Society of Genealogists:

A Report from the New England Regional Genealogical Consortium’s 2017 Conference

NOTE: I took a lot of photographs of this year’s NERGC conference. Most of them are available in an online photo album. Scroll down to see the photographs.

The 14th annual New England Regional Genealogical Conference was held last week (26-29 April 2017) in Springfield, Massachusetts. I was lucky enough to attend the conference and must say that I enjoyed it. I think all the other conference attendees enjoyed themselves as well. I have attended most of the NERGC conferences in the past ten or fifteen years and must say this was one of the best, perhaps the best, one that I ever saw. The theme of this year’s conference was Using The Tools Of Today & Tomorrow To Understand The Past.

This year’s conference was the biggest New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC) conference ever held. More than 1,000 people registered for the conference even before the doors opened. A few more were “last minute walk-ins” who registered at the conference. I never heard the final attendance numbers but it obviously was more than 1,000 people. Not bad for a regional genealogy conference! I have been to some national conferences in past years that were smaller than that.

Who Do You Think You Are? Live! Show for 2017 is a Success

I just returned from the 2017 edition of the Who Do You Think You Are? Live! show, held in Birmingham, England. I know it must have been a good show; I am so exhausted I can barely move! That’s my indiction of how successful a genealogy event was: measuring the exhaustion levels of myself and other show attendees.

One small example of the crowds at Who Do You Think You Are? Live! 2017

The Who Do You Think You Are? Live! conference was held for three days, April 6, 7, and 8, at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), in Birmingham, England. The NEC is an ideal venue for genealogy events as well as for many other shows and conferences. It is huge, modern, and is easy to access. The NEC is located near junction 6 of the M42 motorway, and has huge car parks. It is also adjacent to Birmingham Airport. Attendees arriving by commercial airlines, such as myself, can ride a free shuttle train connecting the airport terminal directly with the Exhibition Centre. A very active railway station and a bus station are also located at the Exhibition Centre. Finally, several hotels are located either at the National Exhibition Centre or within walking distance.

I have never been to any other genealogy conference that has as many easy access options as the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) just outside of Birmingham.

My Pictures from the Who Do You Think You Are? Live! Show

I posted a lot of pictures from the Who Do You Think You Are? Live! Show for 2017 at http://eogn.com/WDYTYALive-2017/.

Click on any image to view a larger version.

You can watch a slide show of all the images by clicking on the AutoPlay icon (second icon from the right).

FGS 2017 Conference Registration is Now Open

The following announcement was written by the (U.S.) Federation of Genealogical Societies:

4/10/2017 – Austin, TX.
Online registration is now open for the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ 2017 National Conference.

The conference will be held August 30 – September 2, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA. This year’s local host is the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society and the theme is “Building Bridges to the Past.” Register by July 1, 2017 for the early-bird discount at FGSConference.org.

Attendees can look forward to strengthening their research abilities no matter their skill level or area of interest. The program is available online at http://www.FGSConference.org. An 8-page pdf download is also available at http://fgs.org/upload/files/FGS2017-ProgramPreview.pdf.

Announcing the 2017 British Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah on 18-22 September 2017

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

Don’t miss out on this amazing educational experience!

Choose one of the four tracks by prominent genealogists focused on British Isles research.
The Institute strives to further your education about the records and locations that are important to your genealogical research. Classes are intentionally small so that you can experience individual instruction, both in class and in the Family History Library.

“DNA as a Genealogical Tool”

Understanding DNA is the cutting edge of genealogical education. Maurice Gleeson, MB, genetic genealogist, based in London, will delve into the world of DNA and explain the various scientific resources available to the family historian with specific focus on British Isles research. This course of instruction is suitable to all persons wishing to understand the complexities of DNA and how it is applied to family history research.

“English Genealogical Research Before 1837”

Who Do You Think You Are? Live! Show at the NEC in Birmingham, England Next Month

One of the largest genealogy events in the world will be held in a few weeks in Birmingham, England. I believe it is the largest genealogy conference in the UK and is the second-largest in the world. (RootsTech in Salt Lake City appears to be the largest.) This show typically attracts about 13,000 family historians and others with an interest in history and in researching their family trees.

You can see my report from last year’s Who Do You Think You Are? Live! event at http://bit.ly/2nFrBXm.

Who Do You Think You are? Live! will be returning to Birmingham’s NEC from Thursday April 6 to Saturday April 8, 2017, and budding genealogists as well as experienced family historians are invited to attend. They will have the chance to discuss their family history research with a range of genealogy experts and industry leaders.

The event will also see more than 130 of the top exhibitors and local family history societies descend on the NEC from all over the world to share their expertise and provide access to their billions of genealogy records.

Winter Genealogy Cruise is a Success

Diana and Gary Smith annually organize one of the more interesting genealogy cruises of the year. While a bit smaller than some of the other genealogy cruises, it is noted as being one of the friendliest. The camaraderie amongst the “cruisers” needs to be seen to be appreciated. Luckily, I was one of the genealogists on board and had a chance to talk with most everyone while at sea. This year’s cruise ended last week and the genealogists on board all seemed to be wearing smiles when they departed the Celebrity Silhouette.

Photo courtesy of Harry Benson.
Click on the above image to view a much larger version.