Conferences

Registration Now Open for NYSFHC and NYSFHC @Home

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

Dear Friends –

The NYG&B has been actively working to transition our plans for the 2020 New York State Family History Conference (NYSFHC) to ensure a safe, healthy, and productive experience for everyone. NYSFHC is New York’s largest family history event, with attendees from across the United States. This year, we are proud to announce the addition of NYSFHC@Home—a digital conference experience in conjunction with our activities in Albany. Thanks to the dedication of our speakers and sponsors, this brand-new experience will deliver the NYSFHC experience remotely, from the comfort of your home.

What is NSYFHC@Home?

The Celtic Connections Conference in Wheeling, Illinois has been Canceled

Here is a message from the Celtic Connections web site at http://celtic-connections.org:

For health and safety reasons we have cancelled the fourth biennial Celtic Connections Conference. The cancellation presents a detour in our “Journey Home.”

However we know that you want to further your education, so we are investigating ways to provide this conference electronically. If our investigations are successful, our journey home will become a virtual experience.

The Ontario (Canada) Ancestors Conference will be held as an Online Virtual Conference on June 6 & 7, 2020

The Details may be found at https://virtual2020.ogs.on.ca/.

A list of all the other genealogy cancellations and postponements received to date may be found at https://blog.eogn.com/cancellations/.

Is This the End of Genealogy Conferences as We Have Known Them?

Warning: This article contains personal opinions.
A newsletter reader wrote to me a few days ago and asked some questions that I suspect other genealogists are wondering about. Here is an excerpt from her message:

“Every time I look at a genealogy website these days I see lists of events which are cancelled or postponed. Some societies have adjusted to this by offering webinars or remote sessions via Zoom. We are left wondering if we will ever meet in groups, or go to our local Family History Center again. Or is this the end of genealogy as we have known it?”

I wrote an answer to her but decided to also publish my answer in this newsletter in case others have similar questions:

New Details About the NGS Virtual Conference

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

FALLS CHURCH, VA, 8 MAY 2020—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) has had a tremendous response from its speakers and sponsors for the recent transition to a virtual conference.  NGS just announced it now has over 85 lectures for registrants to choose from in any package selected for the NGS Virtual Conference. NGS sponsors will be offering more than 10 lectures as a bonus addition to every registration package purchased. You can review the current list of lecture sessions and bonus sponsored lectures at the NGS Conference website.

NGS’s Virtual Family History Conference is a tremendous value. It features two components included with your registration: NGS 2020 Live! and NGS 2020 On-Demand! Registrants will have their choice of selecting from over 85 lecture sessions in the package they purchase. All sessions are available for repeat viewings until 15 May 2021. Anyone with concerns about the technology portion  of joining the virtual event or on-demand lectures, a member of the NGS or Playback Now staff will be happy to assist you.

Heinz History Center to Host Virtual Genealogy Workshops

Has your local library or genealogy society stopped holding weekly or monthly genealogy activities because of the present pandemic? If so, perhaps that organization should consider offering virtual meetings and workshops. One excellent example may be found at the Detre Library & Archives of the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The Senator John Heinz History Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, will be holding two virtual genealogy workshops this month. The workshops will feature live presentations from renowned genealogists and examine historic records and electronic resources.

You can learn more in an article by Paul Guggenheimer in the TribLive web site at https://bit.ly/35zn2oN. However, there appears to be a broken link in that article. At the bottom of the page at https://bit.ly/35zn2oN, the last sentence should read, “Both workshops will be conducted virtually via Zoom. Those interested can register online at https://www.heinzhistorycenter.org/events.”

My thanks to the several newsletter readers who sent corrections to the broken link.

An Unusual Location for Your Society’s Next Online Virtual Conference

Here is one organization’s solution when the Covid-19 “Shelter in Place” rules forced the sponsoring organization to cancel its scheduled in-person conference and move it to an online virtual conference. The experience might serve as an example for genealogy conferences.

Instead of holding the virtual conference on Zoom, WhatsApp, Skype Meetings, Microsoft Teams, or some similar online video conferencing product that simply shows all the presenters as (boring) talking heads, why not hold the virtual conference inside Animal Crossing, the Nintendo Switch hit game released in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic. If not Animal Crossing, how about some other online game?

A technical conference held recently in Animal Crossing

Registration Now Open for the National Genealogical Society 2020 Live! Virtual Conference

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

FALLS CHURCH, VA, 28 APRIL 2020—Registration is now open for the National Genealogical Society‘s Virtual Family History Conference starting with NGS 2020 Live! on 20 May, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (EDT). In addition, conference registrants will receive streaming access to your choice of up to 45 On-Demand! audio-video sessions from 1 July 2020 through 15 May 2021; an electronic copy of the conference syllabus; and an opportunity to win one of seventeen prizes on 20 May. Family historians may register for the conference on the NGS Conference website.  Registration closes on 15 May 2020. If you were already registered to attend the event in Salt Lake City, your registration will automatically be transferred to the virtual event. For more details, visit the conference website.

NGS 2020 Live! will feature lectures by four of the most renowned genealogy scholars in America, including Thomas Wright Jones, PhD, CG®, FASG, FUGA, FNGS; Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGLSM; Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA; and Blaine Bettinger, PhD, JD. Their lecture titles are, respectively, “Validating Unsourced Online Information”; “Breaker Boys and Spinner Girls: Child Labor Laws and Their Records”; “Turning Witnesses into Evidence”; and “What If? Learning About DNA Through Case Studies.” An online chat will take place during each session as well as a short Q&A after each session facilitated by Ann Staley, CG, CGL.

The 4th Celtic Connections conference scheduled for July 31 in Chicago has been Canceled

Illinois – Chicago – the 4th Celtic Connections conference scheduled for July 31 in Chicago has been canceled.

A list of all the other genealogy cancellations and postponements received to date may be found at https://blog.eogn.com/cancellations/.

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.