Monday, February 23, 2015

FGS 2014 and FGS2015/Roots Tech Reflections

I've been home from Salt Lake City almost a week now.  While putting away the things of FGS2015/Roots Tech, I came across the schedule book from FGS 2014 which was the first FGS conference I attended.  I thought it might be interesting to compare my lecture choices for both to see if a pattern existed.

Gone to Texas
August 2014

For FGS 2014 I only attended two society session and one was about Society Projects with Thomas MacEntee.  This would cover things that our group could take on such as an indexing project. The second session was about "Marketing Your Society" with Marian Pierre-Louis and talked about ways to spark interest in your society.  The tracks these topics fell under were Society Projects and Outreach and Education respectively.

Over the next three days I attended five sessions dealing with Records, five sessions dealing with Methodology, one session on Research Strategies.  I also volunteered for 8 hours at the Welcome Desk and the Vendor Hall.  I did have time to visit the vendor hall and visit with both blogger friends and facebook friends.

Celebrating Families Across Generations
February 2015

For FGS2015 / Roots Tech  I was able to attend five sessions for Societies.  Topics included:  Communicating on a Shoestring Budget, Your Society Can't Afford to Do a Seminar? Here's How?, The Ethical Genealogist, Tips for Robust Society Websites, and Social Media for Societies: It's Not a Bandwagon, It's a Freight Train!  These sessions on Wednesday are all aimed at helping Society members help their groups grow and stay strong.

On Thursday FGS2015 began holding four sessions a day with six lectures per session.  At the same time Roots Tech began also holding four sessions a day with eighteen choices per time slot.  That is a total of twenty-four topic choices per session time!

Thursday I elected to attend Roots Tech offerings choosing to attend: Self-Publishing for Genealogists: Tips, Tricks, and Tools; Irish Records, Beyond the Obvious; What Can Public Libraries Offer Genealogists? and The Future of Genealogy - Indexed Obituaries.  These sessions fell under the tracks of Sharing, General, Find and Organize.  Actually except for the class on Self-Publishing, I would say they mostly fall into Records.

Friday morning I attended another Roots Tech class: Research Your Swedish Ancestors in Living Color Using ArkivDigital Online.  This is a program available at local Family History Centers but locally no one uses it or knows how to.  In the afternoon I went back to the FGS side of the convention center to attend:  German Genealogy on the Interner: Beyond the Basics; Doing History Eliminates the Mystery; Fraternal Orgnizations: Records and Resources; and Using Tax Records for Genealogical Problem Solving.

On Saturday I stayed on the FGS side again and attended "She Came From Nowhere: A Case Study Approach to Solving a Difficult Genealogical Problem; Beyond The Census: The Nonpopulation Schedules; Getting to Know Fold3; and Martha Benschura:  Enemy Alien.  At the close of the conferences I attended Dick Eastman's Dinner.  It was a great evening meeting and visiting with other genealogists.  Dick even had some door prizes and I was lucky enough to win a one year subscription to MyHeritags!

In looking back at the sessions attended in August and February I would say that most often my choices are records and methodology with occasional tools added!  I LOVE attending conferences!  What could be better?  Education, networking, and meeting old and new friends.  Bring it on!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

It has Been Five Years!! Five Years Since I Posted My First Blog!!

Happy Blogoversary to Me!  Five years ago Thomas MacEntee initiated a challange titled "Winter Games for Genealogists".   Something about it appealed to me, so I joined the fun.  Until that time I had been pretty much a solo genelogist.  I volunteered at the local Family History Center but didn't belong to any Societies or genealogy groups.  The Winter Games has changed all that.  I became a happy Geneablogger.  Reading other blogs gave me encouragement and inspiration.  The memes that Thomas publishes daily also helped me to select topics.

Following Genabloggers on Facebook helped me feel as though I knew the different bloggers by name and I was encouraged by their generosity and friendliness.  It was with some trepeditation that I signed up for the Southern California Genealogy Society Jamboree in June of 2010.  Once there I felt more than welcome,  genealogists are very friendly and love to talk to others.  I have been back several times and plan to go again this June.

Going to Jamboree taught me that there was a lot of education out there and I needed to take advantage of it.  Since my first trip to Jamboree, I have also taken four genealogy cruises, joined the Southern California Gebealogy Society, and the Illinois State Genealogy Society.  I have also joined a local genealogy group, Schertz Cibolo Valley Area Genealogists and as part of that group I am a member of FGS.  I am currently at my second FGS conference and my first Roots Tech,  I will also be making my first visit to the Family History Library before I return home.

Lynn Palmero's writing family history series of prompts has also helped me with inspiration and challanges.  There are so many people out there I'm not going to try to name them all but each and every genealogist out there has helped me to become a better genealogist.  Thank you all!  It all began with the 2010 Winter Games.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

FGS 2015 Day 1 - Society Day

Unfortunately I missed the thw opening session which featured Curt Witcher, Jen Baldwin and Deena Cotant.  I really hope it was recorded since the topic was "Successfully Embracing the Future"

The sessions I did attend were "Communicating on a Shoestring Budget: Cost Effective Solutions for Societies" with Deena Coutant, "Your Society Can't Afford to Do  Seminar/ Here's How! with Paula Stuart-Warren, " The Ethical Genealogist" with Judy G Russell,  "Tips for Robust Society Websites" with Cindy Ingle, and "Social Media for Societies: It's Not a Bandwagon, It's a Freight Train!" with Rory Cathcart.
I tried to attend sessions that were not recorded although several were but all  the sessions were excellent.  Without a doubt Judy  Russell's session had the heaviest attendance and I am sure that Thomas MacEntee and Lisa Louise Cooke's sessions were also heavily attended.

With 3 days to go I know this is only the beginning!fgFGS2015 #fgs2015

Saturday, February 7, 2015

FGS 2015 Getting Ready to Research and Learn

It's almost here!! Something I have yearned to do but doubted I ever would.  My upcoming adventure to FGS2015, Roots Tech 2015 AND a visit to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City!!

I have been getting ready for about a month.  I have looked at the syllabus for FGS2015 but have not made any final choices for classes yet.  With 25 or more sessions per day to choose from, how do I ever decide?  That is not even including the Roots Tech sessions that will be going on.  I am staying a week even though both FGS2015 and Roots Tech last only four days.  I have built in some research time in the Family History Library too.  Looks like I will get some extra time in the Library since in addition to being open on President's Day, they are open until 9 pm.  Here is where I will need some serious time management skills.

In preparing for the research portion of my adventure, Since I am part of the Great Genealogy Do Over, I have created two different research logs.  Early on I decided to limit my research to two different areas which have been pretty much my brick walls.  On my husband's Swedish line there are two men for whom I have been unable to establish a birth date of place of birth.  I have a reasonable expectation of some success because of a finding aid available at the Library.  Wish me luck!  My second area to be searched is Limerick County, Ireland.  I have town and village names and lots of surnames to look for.  Both of my mother's parents and as far as I know all of her her ancestors came from County Limerick.  Given the reported state of  Irish records, I am hoping that there are some genealogies of other books that will help me with finding out more about my Irish.

I will Connect with genealogy facebook friends, Explore the Family History Library, and Refresh myself with new knowledge and enthusiasm!