Conferences

Announcing a New Method of Publishing Genealogy Cancellations and Postponements Due to Coronavirus

When most medical experts and many governments declared social distancing procedures and cancellations of all group meetings, I decided to maintain and publish a list of all genealogy-related cancellations, postponements, and conversions to virtual events. I have since published that list in this newsletter and have updated it every few days.

A flood of notices was received most every day for the first few weeks as many organizations scrambled to do “the right thing.” I have kept busy updating and republishing the list every few days. Thankfully, the number of such notices has slowed to a trickle in the past week or so.

I no longer see a need to keep updating and republishing the very long list. In its place, I will now publish two things:

MyHeritage LIVE 2020 has been Postponed!

MyHeritage has been planning its annual users conference that is held every year in a different world city. This year’s event was scheduled to be held 25 and 26 October in Tel Aviv. (See my earlier article at https://blog.eogn.com/2019/12/11/announcing-myheritage-live-2020-in-tel-aviv/ for the details.)

Due to all the issues with the CoronaVirus pandemic, MyHeritage today issued the following announcement:

We’re writing to let you know that in light of the global situation, MyHeritage has made the decision to postpone MyHeritage LIVE 2020.

We were really looking forward to seeing you in Tel Aviv, but ultimately, your safety is paramount. While we certainly hope things will be getting back to normal by the end of October, there is no guarantee that will be the case, and we want to be sure you’ll have plenty of time to change any plans and reservations you have made.

The National Genealogical Society Announces 2020 Family History Conference Will be Virtual

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

FALLS CHURCH, VA, 16 APRIL 2020—Due to the continuing spread of COVID-19 across the nation and concern for the health and safety of all involved in the National Genealogical Society (NGS) 2020 Family History Conference, NGS has changed its in-person conference to a virtual conference.

“Our main priority is to protect the welfare of all attendees, speakers, exhibitors, volunteers, and staff involved in the conference,” said NGS President Benjamin Spratling. “We really want to thank Visit Salt Lake, the Salt Palace Convention Center, and our partner hotels for working with us to help transition this event to a virtual one.”

Utah Governor Orders All Adults Entering the State to Disclose Their Travel Plans

This may put a damper on some genealogists’ plans to visit Salt Lake City, including for next month’s (still scheduled) NGS conference. It isn’t a complete travel ban, but the new ruling certainly will have a chilling effect on travel to Utah:

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (shown above) issued an executive order yesterday requiring adults entering the state to disclose their travel plans in the latest state-led crackdown on domestic travel amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The order, which went into effect this morning, applies to all adults regardless of how they enter the state. The governor’s office said Thursday visitors will get instructions on how to register their travel plans via an automatic text message when they arrive in the state.

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.

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.)