The National Genealogical Society Conference: Final Thoughts

The week of the National Genealogical Society Conference flew by in a flash.  A whirlwind of speakers, networking, meeting new people from all over the country.  I came away with more knowledge and ideas than I ever dreamed.

Elissa Powell

Lori Thornton

Jeffrey Haines

John Colletta

Elizabeth Mills

Lisa Louise Cooke

All these people (and more) imparted such a sense of research and scholarship and--the best part--joy in the researching of clues about our ancestors and how they lived and died.  When I started researching my family tree, an entire new world and passion opened up for me.  After this conference, my world, appreciation, and research potential grew immensely.  I took so much away from this conference, and my hope is to continue to discover new facts with the integrity I saw in those around me this week.

So thank you, National Genealogical Society.  I appreciated this week so much.

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!