Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

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

Ireland, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah

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.

National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair

poster-sThe (U.S.) National Archives and Records Administration is hosting a two-day, virtual Genealogy Fair via webcast on October 26 & 27, 2016 (Wednesday & Thursday). Viewers have the opportunity to participate with the presenters and other family historians during the live event on YouTube. All of the session videos and handouts will be available online free of charge. You can watch the sessions and download the materials at your convenience. Registration is not required.

The sessions include:

North Carolina’s Anti-LGBTQ Law Will Cost the State more than $395 Million and Even Affects Genealogy Conferences

Normally, this would not be a genealogy-related story and I would ignore it. However, it became a genealogy story because the National Genealogical Society is planning to hold its annual conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, on May 10 to 13, 2017. Information about that conference is available on the NGS web site at:

Many companies and non-profits are canceling planned conferences, sporting events, and even business expansions in North Carolina because of the chilling effect of the state’s recently-passed HB2 or the “bathroom bill.” The bill discriminates against LGBTQ citizens and visitors to the state. (LGBTQ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (and/or questioning) individuals/identities.)

Registration for RootsTech2017 is now Open

This morning, the organizers of RootsTech opened the online registration for next February’s conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, to be held February 8–11. If you are interested in genealogy, and especially if you are interested in the use of technology to help in your genealogy research efforts, you will want to attend this event. The digital age has transformed the way people look at family history and RootsTech focuses on the use of the new ideas.


In just a few short years, RootsTech has become the biggest conference in the genealogy world. Next February’s event promises to be the same and probably will be bigger than ever.

Bring your walking shoes! You will need them for this huge event. (Handicap access is also provided.)

You can register for RootsTech2017 now at

Take a Genealogy Cruise to Alaska with HB Genealogy Cruises

hbgenealogycruisesGenealogy cruises are very popular and for good reasons. They are educational, they are fun, and they also provide a great experience for family members who are not interested in genealogy. Unlike a genealogy conference in a major city’s conference center, I have never heard a complaint about a cruise from non-interested family members who accompany a family member on one of these family history conferences on the seas.

For more information about the benefits of genealogy cruises, see my earlier article, Genealogy Cruises versus Convention Centers, at

HB Genealogy Cruises, sponsored by Heritage Books, has been in the cruise business for several years under the guidance of Craig Scott. The company is now offering its 4th Annual Genealogy Conference & Cruise, this time from Seattle, Washington, to British Columbia, to several ports in Alaska, and back again. The cruise will take place on September 17 — 24, 2017, roughly one year from now. I will suggest now is the time to start planning!

Hotel Reservations Now Open for the FGS 2017 Conference in Pittsburgh

This may seem early. After all, the 2016 FGS conference was held just last week. However, hotel reservations often sell out early so the wise genealogist probably wants to make a reservation NOW for the 2017 FGS conference. I made my reservation today.

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

Book your room now for #FGS2017

9/7/2016 – Austin, TX.

FGS is pleased to announce that hotel reservations are now open for the 2017 Conference to be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


Two Pittsburgh hotels are now taking reservations for the FGS 2017 conference – “Building Bridges to the Past.” The conference will be held August 30-September 2 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

FGS 2016 Conference in Springfield, Illinois is a Success

I returned home late last night from the annual conference of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, co-sponsored by the local host, the Illinois State Genealogical Society. I have to say this was one of the better FGS conferences I have attended (and I have been to most of them for in the past 28 years). It wasn’t the biggest ever held but it was one of the better organized and better planned FGS events.


I already wrote about the opening session in my earlier article at That was followed by three days of presentations covering a wide variety of topics, an active exhibits hall, various luncheons, the conference banquet on Friday evening, and several workshops. Indeed, the Friday banquet perhaps was the best ever at an FGS conference. Games were played, including a mix of trivia questions and something that resembled a scavenger hunt (all held within the banquet hall). Thousands of dollars in prizes were awarded!

A Report from the FGS 2016 Opening Session

The opening session of the Federation of Genealogical Societies took place this morning in Springfield, Illinois in a crowded room containing hundreds of conference attendees. I took notes on the iPad but my typing ability is not fast enough to capture everything. Here is a bit of what I did record.

This shows some of the crowd at the opening session

This shows some of the crowd at the opening session

FGS President Josh Taylor offered opening remarks and a number of announcements. One announcement that was well received was that MyHeritage has become the Platinum Sponsor of FGS conferences for the next three years. This is a major financial commitment by vendor to financially support the genealogy community.

Paula Stuart-Warren made several award presentations, including:

FGS 2016 Awards Presented at the FGS 2016 National Conference

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

September 1, 2016

Federation of Genealogical Societies Presented Awards to Deserving Individuals and Organizations in the Genealogical Community at FGS 2016 Annual Conference

September 1, 2016 – Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) presented awards to fellow genealogists and organizations who provide excellent work, assist other genealogists, and aid in the preservation of records at this morning’s Keynote Session at the FGS 2016 National Conference, “Time Travel: Centuries of Memories,” in Springfield, Illinois.

Loretto (“Lou”) Szucs from Illinois was presented with the Rabbi Malcolm H. Stern Humanitarian Award for being a constant supporter and visionary for the genealogical community.

Judy Russell from New Jersey, also known as “The Legal Genealogist,” was presented with the Directors Award for her role as a leader within the genealogical community in helping to raise awareness and funds for the Preserve the Pensions project.

FamilySearch Celebrates the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ 40-year Anniversary​

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

Salt Lake City, UT and Springfield, IL, (31 August 2016)—As the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ (FGS) annual conference opens today in Springfield, Illinois, the nonprofit organization is also celebrating its 40th anniversary. FamilySearch International thanks and recognizes FGS for its significant contribution to the family history community and celebrates the success of its major joint projects over the decades and the ways those projects help people seeking their ancestors.

Federation of Genealogical Societies Announces Upcoming National Conferences for 2019 and 2020

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

Upcoming FGS National Genealogy and Family History Conferences To Be Held August 21-24, 2019 in Washington, D.C. and September 2-5, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri

August 16, 2016 – Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announces the FGS 2019 National Conference will be held August 21-24 in Washington, D.C., and the FGS 2020 National Conference will be held September 2-5 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Upcoming Conferences DC and KC Graphic

“We are extremely excited for all our upcoming conferences and look forward to visiting Washington, D.C., and Kansas City in future years,” says FGS President D. Joshua Taylor. “From 2016 to 2020, our conference venues are steeped in both history and research resources and make perfect settings for genealogists and family historians.”

Auckland Family History Expo in Pictures

I must admit that I had fun this past weekend. I had an opportunity to visit and to speak to the Auckland (New Zealand) Family History Expo. I found a very enthusiastic group of genealogists at this event.

Sponsored by the Auckland Council Libraries in cooperation with the New Zealand Society of Genealogists, this turned out to be a major genealogy conference. Approximately 500 people attended the Expo on Saturday and 350 were there on Sunday. Those are large numbers in a country with a smaller population! Many of the presentation rooms were full to maximum capacity and the exhibits hall was crowded almost all the time when there were no presentations in progress.

Registration Continues for British Institute

The following announcement was written by the folks who are organizing the 2016 British Institute:


Looking to find your ancestors across the pond? Registration continues for the 2016 British Institute, which will be held 10–14 October 2016 at the Plaza Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah. Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to learn about British Isles research from experts!

Courses with seating available include:

Southern California Genealogy Jamboree Call for Presentations

The following announcement was written by the folks at the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree:


Call for Presentations to the 48th Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree Conference (Friday through Sunday, June 8 – 11, 2017 at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel, Burbank, California), the 5th Annual SCGS Genetic Genealogy Conference (Thursday, June 8, 2017), workshops throughout both conferences, AND, the 2017 Jamboree Extension Series Webinar program. Presentations will be accepted through the online portal July 15, 2016 – August 21, 2016.

FEEFHS announces an Eastern European Family History Conference

The following announcement was written by the Foundation for East European Family History Studies:

feefhs_logoPerhaps the best-kept secret in Salt Lake City is a small, personalized conference on how to do research on Eastern European ancestors. Hosted annually by the Foundation for East European Family History Studies (FEEFHS), the conference is a bit more like a workshop – with intentionally small class sizes to allow sufficient attention to individual questions and needs. The 2016 conference will be held 8 -12 August 2016 at the Plaza Hotel in Salt Lake City.

This year’s program is country-research-rich, with a full 3-day track on German research, and extended Polish, Russian, and Austro-Hungarian research tracks. Class instruction levels include getting started research in a specific east European country (assuming a foundational knowledge of genealogical research), as well as more in-depth topics and unique record sources for advanced researchers. Optional consultations are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Society of Australian Genealogists Issues a Call for Papers for the 15th Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry

SydneyHarbour2018-2The Society of Australian Genealogists will host the 15th Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry at the International Convention Centre in Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia on 9-12 March 2018. The theme of the Congress is Bridging the Past and Future. Four days of lectures, workshops and exhibitions.

The Call for Speakers has been issued and closes on 31 October 2016. For further information, see and

German-American Genealogical Partnership issues Call for Presentations for 2017 International Conference

The following announcement was written by the German-American Genealogical Partnership:

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.—The German-American Genealogical Partnership, a growing international organization of genealogical societies, has issued a Call for Presentations for its inaugural international conference, set for July 28-29, 2017, in Minneapolis, Minn.

Prospective speakers may submit up to six 60-minute presentations for consideration. Individuals, co-speakers and panels are invited. To submit presentations, visit

The deadline for submission is July 31.

The Family History Library Announces 2nd Annual Free Block Party

The following announcement was written by the Family History Library and the Church History Museum of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

Salt Lake City, Utah (June 5, 2016)–The Family History Library and the Church History Museum of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be sponsoring the second annual Family History Block Party on Saturday, June 11, 2016, in downtown Salt Lake City featuring indoor and outdoor activities for the entire family. The event will run from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on West Temple Street from North Temple to South Temple which will be closed to thru traffic. There is no charge to attend, and all activities are family-friendly. The first block party was held last year in 2015 in conjunction with A.J. Jacobs’ global family reunion and was a great success.

Announcing the Australian History & Genealogy Expo 2016

A major event for all history, genealogy and heritage enthusiasts will be held later this year in Adelaide, SA, Australia. This national expo promises to be a low cost major exhibition (70 exhibitors) and program of 80+ talks from 30 speakers – and more.

The following announcement was written by the folks at Unlock the Past:

Adelaide, South Australia, 25 May 2016 – History and genealogy company, Unlock the Past, invites all history, heritage and genealogy enthusiasts to attend its 8th history & genealogy expo. It will be held in Adelaide over two days, Friday and Saturday 7–8 Oct 2016, at Immanuel College, Novar Gardens SA.

The 2016 expo is the first ever national expo in Australia. It will appeal to anyone interested in family, local and social history and heritage in South Australia especially, but to all Australians.

It is a unique opportunity to see many societies, libraries and commercial product and service suppliers in one place and to learn from the presentations offered. The exhibition will feature about 70 exhibitors from several states covering a wide range of history, heritage and genealogy interests. Hear 30 expert presenters from five states and New Zealand. The expo is also an opportunity to mingle and network with other like- minded attendees and people who have been working in the industry for many years.

International Germanic Genealogy Conference 2017 in Minneapolis

A new conference will be held next year in Minneapolis, Minnesota. What makes this conference unusual is that it is being organized through an international partnership of societies across the United States and Europe.

The following invitation was written by the Germanic Genealogy Society (Minnesota):

IGGC 2017

RE: 2017 International Germanic Genealogy Conference—July 28-29, 2017 Hosted in

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Dear friend in genealogy—

May 2016