Conferences

A Report and Pictures from Who Do You Think You Are? Live! in Birmingham, England

NOTE: Photos are available at http://eogn.com/images/newsletter/albums/Birmingham-2016/album/index.html

Who Do You Think You Are? Live! turned out to be almost exactly as expected. The hallways and aisles in the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), in Birmingham, England, were crowded with thousands of genealogists. I know it must have been a great event simply because I was so tired at the end of each day!

Birmingham_image

The annual Who Do You Think You Are? Live! event is the largest genealogy conference in the UK and I believe it is the second-largest in the world. (RootsTech in Salt Lake City appears to be the largest.) I never obtained a headcount of visitors to the Who Do You Think You Are? Live! but it obviously was in the many of thousands of family historians and others with an interest in history and in researching their family trees.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, I have the equivalent of about 72,000 words available at http://eogn.com/images/newsletter/albums/Birmingham-2016/album/index.html. That is an online photo album containing many of the photos I took at the conference. It should give you a feel of the exhibits hall and “theatres” at the conference.

NGS Releases Mobile App for 2016 Family History Conference

The following announcement was written by the (US) National Genealogical Society:

NGS_mobileappARLINGTON, VA, 11 APRIL 2016—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) announces the release of its mobile app for the NGS 2016 Family History Conference, which will be held 4‒7 May 2016, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The app is available for iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone, and web-enabled devices. To download the free NGS mobile app, go to http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/attend/mobile-app/.

With the NGS 2016 mobile app, you can:

  • Stay organized with up-to-the-minute exhibitor, speaker, and event information
  • Sync the app across all of your devices with Multi-Device Sync
  • Receive important real-time communications from NGS
  • Build a personalized schedule with times and locations of sessions
  • Locate and bookmark exhibitors on the convention center maps
  • Take notes and download event handouts and presentations
  • Rate and comment on the sessions you attend
  • Find attendees and connect with your colleagues through Friends
  • Stay in-the-know and join in on social media with #NGS2016GEN
  • And much, much more!

Who Do You Think You Are? Live! in Birmingham, England – Day 0

The Who Do You Think You Are? Live! conference in Birmingham, England Day #1 will start tomorrow, April 6 at 9:30 AM British Summer Time. So, if tomorrow is Day #1, then today must be day #0, right?

In any case, I arrived in Birmingham about 6:30 this morning after a red-eye flight from New York City. After getting a bit of sleep in an airport hotel, I wandered over to the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in the afternoon to see how the set-up for the show is progressing. I managed to sneak in without the required badge needed for pre-show set-up (Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone!) and found the place was a beehive of activity.

I will post a few photos in this article and more photos tomorrow once the show opens. Want to see what an exhibit stand looks like before the show opens? Here is the Ancestry stand as it existed this afternoon as a “work in progress:”

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On the Road Again, This Time to Birmingham, England

I managed to stay home for 7 weeks after my last trip, perhaps a new record for me. However, I am embarking on a number of trips in the next few weeks.

By the time you read this message, I should either be over the Atlantic or possibly already arrived at my destination of Birmingham, England. I’ll be attending the Who Do You Think You Are? Live! conference on 7 through 9 April. More than 10,000 visitors are expected at this year’s event. I wrote about the conference earlier at http://goo.gl/NR4c1e. As I wrote in that article, “The show will be packed with more than 120 exhibitors showing their products and services. Attendees also will have access to leading genealogical experts, informative workshops, archives and museums, major online resources, and the largest gathering anywhere of family history societies.” You can also read a lot more in the conference web site at http://www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.com.

2017 FGS National Conference Call for Presentation Proposals

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

Deadline for Submissions is 1 June 2016

1-2017Logo-Charcoal

March 7, 2016 – Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announces that presentation proposals are now being received for its 2017 Conference, “Building Bridges to the Past,” to be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania August 30 – September 2, 2017. The conference will be held in cooperation with the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society as local host. The deadline for submission of presentation proposals is Wednesday, 1 June 2016.

“Building Bridges to the Past” references not only the many bridges in Pittsburgh, but the bridges between old world and new, as well as our journeys to discover our past. Topics related to methodology and research skills are always welcomed, in addition to content-specific areas, such as:

Call for Proposals for the National Genealogical Society 2017 Family History Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina

The following announcement was written by the (US) National Genealogical Society:

Arlington, VA, 29 MARCH 2016—Time is running out for speakers as well as organizations interested in sponsoring lectures to submit lecture proposals for the National Genealogical Society (NGS) 2017 Family History Conference, Family History Lives Here, to be held in Raleigh, North Carolina, from 10–13 May 2017. All proposals must be submitted electronically through the NGS website by 11:59 p.m. EDT on 1 April 2016.

Throughout its history, North Carolina has been home to a diverse population including Native Americans and those who trace their heritage back to Europe and Africa. During colonial times, it was one of a few colonies that embraced religious diversity, welcoming Quakers, Huguenots, Methodists, and Moravians. It is a land rich in cultural traditions. From the lighthouses on the outer banks to the falling waters on the Piedmont, to the dramatic overlooks in the mountains, this land calls us back to take a closer look. The Tar Heel story is vibrant, shared through the words of each family, and recorded in the wonderful records, manuscripts, and artifacts preserved in the numerous North Carolina archives, special collections, museums, libraries, historical sites, and societies.

Announcing the 2017 Eastern Caribbean Genealogy Cruise

Gary and Diana Smith would like to invite you to join them on their 3rd annual genealogy cruise to the sunny Eastern Caribbean for a week of great fun and learning aboard Celebrity Silhouette. The cruise will take place February 26 to March 5, 2017. A Solstice Class ship, the Celebrity Silhouette encompasses all the amenities and grandeur of a 5 star resort hotel while sailing to some of the most interesting destinations in the Caribbean. Indulge in five course gourmet dining, marvel at spectacular nightly entertainment, and ashore, explore the uniqueness of each port-of-call.

Gary and Diana are internationally known professional genealogists who have also organized several genealogy cruises in the past. On the 2017 cruise, they will be joined Donna Moughty and by some fellow named Dick Eastman. Both Donna and Dick will be teaching throughout the cruise, and available for one-on-one consultations to address your individual genealogy questions. Topics such as technology, Internet, Ireland, Scandinavia, Britain, census records, family health, organizing, immigration, land and more than 20 hours of discussion and learning are proposed for the agenda. All the genealogy activities take place in private meeting rooms both in the morning and afternoon on the days at sea. We will have meeting rooms available each evening after dinner for those who wish to continue their genealogy discussions. Join Gary, Diana, Donna, and myself and all those who love genealogy and cruising as much as you!

Armenian Genealogy Conference is Flooded with Registrations

Apparently the conference organizers never expected so much interest in a genealogy conference! The Armenian Genealogy Conference will be held April 9-10 in Watertown, Massachusetts. (See my earlier article about the conference at http://goo.gl/sVSzGB.) The conference grew out of the Armenian Genealogy group (Հայկական Ծագումաբանութիւն Haygagan Dzakumnapanutyun) on Facebook. Within days of announcing the conference, the organizers were forced to close registration due to the large number of registrants and the size of the hall originally reserved for the event.

CNYGS & NYG&B Announce Plans for the 2016 New York State Family History Conference

The New York State Family History Conference (NYSFHC) is always an excellent event. I was at last year’s conference and enjoyed the three days of high-level lectures. I suspect the 2016 event will be at least as good.

The following was written by the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society:

NYSFHC_logoMarch 16, 2016 – New York, NY

  • The New York State Family History Conference (NYSFHC) will be held September 15–17, 2016 in Syracuse, NY.
  • Now in its third year, the event will bring together hundreds of genealogists from across the United States to learn about their New York ancestry.
  • The 2016 conference offers new opportunities for those interested in New York family history as it will be held concurrently with the Association of Public Historians of New York State (APHNYS).
  • Registration is now open at www.nysfhc.org.

Who Do You Think You Are? Live! in Birmingham, England on 7 to 9 April

One of the largest family history events held every year is the Who Do You Think You Are? Live! show, often abbreviated as WDYTYAL. It is held at the huge National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, England. The location is near junction 6 of the M42 motorway and is adjacent to Birmingham Airport and Birmingham International railway station. While it is not in the middle of a city, the confluence of highways, railroad, and airport makes this location ideal for holding large conferences. Several modern hotels are also within walking distance of the National Exhibition Centre although I might describe the distances as “a healthy walk.”

More than 10,000 visitors are expected at this year’s event, to be held on 7 to 9 April 2016. This year, Who Do You Think You Are? Live will continue to be sponsored by Ancestry.co.uk.

Inspired by the very popular Who Do You Think You Are? television series, the show will offer expert advice to help you uncover more information about your ancestors. While the focus obviously is on UK ancestry, genealogy records and advice can be found for many other countries as well. For instance, the Families In British India Society (FIBIS) always has a large and active exhibit. In the past, I have also seen exhibits from genealogy organizations devoted to German, Polish, Italian, and other ethnic origins and even one exhibit by the British Deaf History Society (BDHS). The aim of the BDHS is to research, preserve, and promote the histories of deaf people in the UK. You can learn more about this worthwhile organization at http://www.bdhs.org.uk.

If you can be in Birmingham on any of the three days of this conference, I would strongly invite you to attend. You won’t want to miss it!

I have attended eight of the past nine Who Do You Think You Are? Live! shows and have always met other attendees from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and from quite a few European countries as well. Indeed, WDYTYAL is an international event. I plan to be at this year’s event as well.

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.

Family History Days Returns to Philadelphia March 18th and 19th 2016

The following announcement was written by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania:

Historical_Society_of_PennsylvaniaThe Historical Society of Pennsylvania will sponsor its third annual Family History Days, a genealogical conference to be held at the Society featuring two days of presentations by notable genealogists and historians:

  • David Rencher, Certified Genealogist®, Chief Genealogical Officer for FamilySearch and vice-president of the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History.
  • Dr. Blaine Bettinger, founder of The Genetic Genealogist and author of I Have the Results of My Genetic Genealogy Test, Now What?
  • Dr. Bruce Durie, Founder of the of the Genealogical, Heraldic, and Paleographic Studies Program at University of Strathclyde, Scotland.
  • Maureen Taylor, “The Photo Detective,” an internationally recognized expert on historic photograph identification, photo preservation, and family history research.
  • James Beidler, author of The Family Tree German Genealogy Guide and “Roots & Branches” columnist.
  • Jen Baldwin, Data Licensing Manager, North America for Findmypast.
  • Aaron McWilliams, reference archivist at the Pennsylvania State Archives.
  • Jill Rawnsley, preservation consultant at the Philadelphia City Archives.
  • Sandra Hewlett, Certified Genealogist®, professional genealogist and a current board member of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
  • Jim Ison, manager at FamilySearch and both an Accredited & Certified Genealogist®.

Registration:

2017 FGS National Conference Call For Presentation Proposals

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

fgs_2017_pittsburghDeadline for Submissions is 1 June 2016

March 7, 2016 – Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announces that presentation proposals are now being received for its 2017 Conference, “Building Bridges to the Past,” to be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania August 30 – September 2, 2017. The conference will be held in cooperation with the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society as local host. The deadline for submission of presentation proposals is Wednesday, 1 June 2016.

“Building Bridges to the Past” references not only the many bridges in Pittsburgh, but the bridges between old world and new, as well as our journeys to discover our past. Topics related to methodology and research skills are always welcomed, in addition to content-specific areas, such as:

Win 2 Free Tickets to the Who Do You Think You Are? Live! Show in Birmingham. England

Do you have any pictures of a World War II era Spitfire fighter? If so, you could win 2 free tickets to Who Do You Think You Are? Live!

The following was written by Forces War Records:

Spitfire_promo

In honour of the 80th anniversary of the 1st flight of the Spitfire, we’re going Spitfire crazy here at Forces War Records and giving away 2 FREE tickets to the Who Do You Think You Are? Live show on 7th-9th April where we’re partnering the Spitfire Feature. To be in with a chance we’re putting a shout out for pictures of Spitfires, or pictures of models built to be either uploaded to our Facebook page or emailed to marketing@forces-war-records.co.uk.

2016 NGS Conference: Official Blogger and Social Media Press Registration

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

ARLINGTON, VA, 24 FEBRUARY 2016—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) announces the launch of the Official Blogger and Social Media Press registration for the 2016 Family History Conference, which will be held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 4–7 May 2016. NGS invites interested press, social media writers, bloggers, radio show hosts, and other media to register for official media credentials at http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/social-media-press.

NGS-2016-Conference-Logoi

Registration is open through 14 March 2016. NGS will notify registrants their acceptance by 21 March 2016. For more information on the NGS Social Media Policy, see http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/press/social-media-policy.

Gen-Fed Registration opens Sat, 27 Feb 2016

I wrote before (at http://goo.gl/AcFQpY) about Gen-Fed, previously known as NIGR. The institute, held annually at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., was founded in 1960 as a three-week general course on genealogy. In 1987, it narrowed its focus to federal records. Now the organization will soon accept registrations for this summer’s course:

The Genealogical Institute on Federal Records (Gen-Fed) has announced details on registration, scheduled to open on Saturday, February 27, at 11:00 AM EST. Reservations will be taken online, via 123SignUp, and tuition payment will be due by check within 15 days of making a reservation. Complete instructions are posted at http://www.gen-fed.org/home/registration. Read them over and mark your calendars!

First Armenian Genealogy Conference Planned for April

The Armenian Genealogy Conference will be held April 9-10 in Watertown, Mass. The conference grew out of the Armenian Genealogy Group ((Հայկական Ծագումաբանութիւն Haygagan Dzakumnapanutyun) on Facebook. The conference will feature several speakers on various topics regarding Armenian genealogy, history, geography, and presentations on different organizations and initiatives.

The conference is co-sponsored by the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR), Project Save Armenian Photograph Archives, Inc., Houshamadyan, the Armenian Museum of America (AMA), and Hamazkayin Boston. During the weekend, participants, both beginners and advanced, will learn how to carry out genealogical research specific to Armenians, and will take part in workshops, during which experienced volunteers will help answer questions, teach how to get started, and how to go beyond existing research).

The Highlight of RootsTech: MyHeritage Party

One of the highlights for many RootsTech attendees was the MyHeritage Party held Friday night at the the Marriott City Creek Grand Ballroom. It featured music, karaoke, appetizers, refreshments, fun games, and raffle prizes. (And let’s not forget about the special gift each guest took home!)

This was the best party I have attended at a genealogy conference!

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The attendees included the MyHeritage team, their friends, partners, and most of the geneabloggers. It also included five readers of this newsletter thanks to the raffle I ran at http://goo.gl/yrlc5g. You can view a slide show of the events at: http://slide.ly/embed/c96b0217a8fe2c23b3233aaacb13555f/0. Click on the triangle icon to view the slide show.

Check it out!

P.S. There is a rumor that MyHeritage has reserved the same ballroom for their party next year after RootsTech2017. Stay tuned!

RootsTech2016 Days #2 and #3

Note: My pictures from RootsTech2016 are available at: http://eogn.com/images/newsletter/albums/RootsTech2016.

RootsTech2016 continued on Friday and Saturday about as expected: very busy. Day #3 also was “Family Discovery Day” in which several thousand teenagers and pre-teens joined the crowds of attendees. In all, more than 26,000 people attended one or more days at RootsTech2016. Attendees included people from all 50 states. I am not sure how many foreign countries were represented although I know it was more than 25. That number even included attendees from Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

Friday’s keynote session’s first featured speakers were Josh and Naomi Davis, two very successful bloggers who write often on their “Love Taza” blog at http://lovetaza.com about family life with small children. The blog has millions of readers from around the world. Josh and Naomi encouraged everyone to write about their personal experiences and to share them with family members and especially with future generations. The format isn’t important; a blog or a diary or journal or any other method that can be preserved for years will help future generations understand your life and will thereby help them deal with the issues and challenges they face.

TapGenes Wins First Place of 2016 Innovator Showdown

The following announcement was written by the folks at RootsTech:

tapgenes rootstechSALT LAKE CITY, UT—Today at RootsTech, the world’s largest Family History technology conference, TapGenes, won the Innovator Showdown and walked away with $45,000 in cash and prizes. The Chicago, Illinois-based, firm helps families identify and benefit from key health traits that exist between generations.

In front of a crowd of close to 10,000 live and online viewers, the six RootsTech Innovator Showdown finalists battled for $100,000 in cash and prizes and bragging rights in the rapidly-growing, multi-billion dollar family history industry. TapGenes was awarded $20,000 in cash and $25,000 in-kind prizes.

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