National Genealogical Society Conference: All the Information You Ever Wanted and More

The lectures.  The speakers.  I had no idea the wealth and magnificent information I would receive.  Sometimes I have to flip a coin to see which lecture I should go to because there's not chance on earth I could reasonably pick which one could possibly be better.  So here are the highlights from Thursday.

  • North Carolina Research with Jeffrey Haines.  A wealth of information about the settling of North Carolina and how to obtain birth, marriage, and death records.  Also great information on probate and deed information in North Carolina.


  • Records of the Federal Courts, 1789-1911:  Drama in Your Ancestors' Lives with John Colletta.  One of the best speakers I've heard.  Wit, incredible research--I enjoyed his lecture so much I put another one on my calendar for today.


  • Find Living Relatives Like a Private Eye with Lisa Louise Cooke.  I actually popped into her lecture after the other lecture I wanted to hear was full, and I'm so glad I did.  A huge heart for genealogy and family stories, she told the story of looking for a long lost cousin to see if any old photos and documents existed.  And she found a treasure.


And the journey continues!



The National Genealogical Society Conference: Initial Musings

You really have no idea how much you don't know until you realize you don't know it.  (Translation:  I'm more of a beginner than I ever thought.)  But I'm learning that as I listen in the lectures and wander the exhibit hall of the National Genealogical Society conference, I can't help put pick up amazing information from all the people who've invested their time in energy in preserving the lives and voices of our ancestors.

The opening session featured Sandra Gioia Treadway, Librarian of Virginia and State Archivist.  Only a few blocks away from the Richmond Convention Center, the Library of Virginia is taking great strides in making its collections more customer-focused so users feel comfortable researching and asking questions in the library.  In addition, the library continually makes strides in digitizing files and records to make searching easier for its patrons.

I really enjoyed Elissa Scalise Powell's lecture Problems and Pitfalls in a Reasonably Shallow Search.  So many times a researcher (and I am so guilty of this) grabs a piece of "evidence" that appears to be true after a long and grueling search.  Through many examples and humor, she challenged all researchers to build genealogical research on something firm and not assumptive.  Finally, she encouraged our ancestors to be " reveal themselves or their reasons for actions."

And more lectures and knowledge awaits.

Off to the National Genealogical Society Conference: the joy of the butterflies

Now that the National Genealogical Society Conference quickly becomes a reality, I have to admit the butterflies are starting.  I cannot wait to attend the lectures (especially the ones on North Carolina and Appalachian history), but the fact is I'm relatively new to all this and truly don't know what to expect. 

But as my anticipation grows, I find the National Genealogical Society has done an amazing job communicating with beginners like me, even creating a page to provide information for first time attendees.  And I can relax, allow my research and knowledge to expand, and hopefully make some new friends.

I'll be posting while I'm there, and I cannot wait to share all the fabulous information I learn.  And now I have to run.  I have a train to catch!

The Amazing App for the National Genealogical Society Conference

I can hardly quiet my mind on a daily basis.  Driving, errands, Target, cooking, the gym, Target, kids' homework:  by the time I settle down at night, I can hardly believe my day has past.

Which explains my lateness in downloading the conference app for the National Genealogical Society Conference this coming week.  Finally I've had a chance to wrap my head around all the awesomeness that awaits.  And finally I downloaded the app to my phone.

Holy 1890 census is this thing incredible.

I have never been to a conference of this scale before.  I read an article on the National Genealogical Society Conference blog that gives the top 10 reasons to use the app, and I discovered the app has everything on it I need for the entire time I'm there.    For instance, a map of the conference center to see exactly where I'm going.  A list of attendees and speakers I can familiarize myself with before it all begins.  A list of exhibitors.  Conference news.  It also has a calendar so I can see exactly all the lectures I can go to.  And I'm going to every single one I can humanly get into.  Even if they happen at the same time.  And there's a lunch I want to attend called The Pitfalls of Visiting Jamestown in Jammies, but I replied too late, and now it's full.  Maybe they'll let me in if I promise not to eat anything....

Only two more days!