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!