September 1, 2014

FGS 2015: Early-Bird Registration Open for “Largest Family History Event in North America”

FGS 2015 RootsTech SLCRegistration opens TODAY for the Federation of Genealogical Societies FGS 2015 conference scheduled for February 11–14 in Salt Lake City, Utah. This highly anticipated genealogy event puts the FGS and RootsTech conferences under one roof at the Salt Palace Convention Center (SPCC).

Registration opens with a special early bird price of $139 for a full FGS conference registration. That pricing is available through September 12, 2014. Attend only FGS or add-on a full RootsTech pass for an additional $39. Click here to register.

“FGS 2015 will undoubtedly be part of the largest family history event in North America,” says D. Joshua Taylor, President of FGS. “We are delighted to partner with RootsTech to bring the best of tradition and innovation to the family history community.”

Conference Highlights

  • Conference Sessions: The program features lectures for genealogists of all experience levels. Attendees will learn from a variety of tracks including Tried and True Methods, The Most Useful Records Hidden in Plain Sight, Compiling Singular Records into Lively Stories, A Retro Look at Organizing and Planning, and Modern Access to Vintage Resources. See the full program and list of speakers here.
  • General Sessions: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday mornings will kick off with a joint general session for all FGS and RootsTech attendees.
  • Expo Hall: Both conferences will share an expo hall covering more than 120,000 square feet, which will offer at least 240 booth spaces and a Demo Theater featuring special vendor presentations. Genealogy Gems will have a booth there!
  • Research Opportunity: The Family History Library is the reason that Salt Lake City is the dream destination of genealogists everywhere. The library is a located in walking distance of the Salt Palace Convention Center and the four conference hotels.  
  • Focus on Societies: Sessions on Wednesday, February 11, 2015 will give society leaders and volunteers ideas and tools to help societies promote themselves, increase membership, and develop sources of revenue.
  • Librarians’ Day: On Tuesday, February 10, 2015, ProQuest will sponsor a full pre-conference day of sessions designed for librarians, archivists, and other information professionals serving family history researchers.

I hope I’ll see YOU among the FGS/RootsTech crowds in Salt Lake City in February. Here are the presentations I’ll be giving:

Wednesday, 10:45 am – How the Genealogist Can Remember Everything with Evernote

Wednesday, 4pm - Video Marketing: Killer YouTube Strategies for Societies

Thursday, 1:30pm - Reopen Your Genealogical Cold Case: A Step-by-Step Process

Listener-Recommended Jewish Genealogy Resources

JewishGenLogoThe world of genealogy is so huge that one person can’t possibly know everything. That’s why I’m always glad to hear from readers who research different ancestries. Recently I heard from Diane Goldman in Bethesda, MD, USA, who wrote in about her favorite Jewish genealogy resources:

“Dear Lisa,

I love listening to the tips and interviews on your podcast.  So I’m excited to send a recommendation your way. You haven’t broadcast much on Jewish genealogy, but there are some fabulous resources.

  • Salt Lake City just welcomed the latest conference of the International Association of Jewish Genealogy Societies The last 2 conferences were in Boston and Paris; next year’s will return to Jerusalem. (My tip: Use their website’s member list to find a Jewish genealogy organization for you–either one near you or one that focuses on the right region of the world for your family.)
  • A conference highlight is always the update for JewishGen.orgbegun by Texan Susan King and now associated with New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage.  JewishGen’s grown from a bulletin board linking researchers across the globe to a resource complex featuring personal stories, databases, and digitized materials. Each regional/topical Special Interest Group features its own wealth of resources, often the only access to materials of a particular country or of a region now split among several countries, such as the Galician or Sub-Carpathian group.
  • JewishGen also hosts the independent LitvakSig (Lithuanian data) and Jewish Records Indexing (JRI)-Poland.  The latter has mushroomed from an individual’s medical research to an invaluable resource complex: ‘The largest fully-searchable database of indexes to Jewish vital records accessible online.  4 million records from more than 500 Polish towns.’”

Thank you, Diane! It’s a pleasure to share these resources with Genealogy Gems readers.

You Don’t Have to BE a Pro to Train with Them: APG 2015 Professional Management Conference and SLIG

SLIG APG 2015Two back-to-back opportunities for professional-level genealogy education will take place in Salt Lake City in January 2015 (not too long before the RootsTech – FGS joint conference).

The APG 2015 Professional Management Conference takes place January 8-9. The Association of Professional Genealogists hosts, but includes all who want to learn from and alongside the pros. Here’s the skinny:

  • It’s January 8-9, 2015 at the downtown Hilton Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • 16 sessions include DNA, genealogical standards, adoption research, how to cite your sources and more.
  • The theme is “Professional-Grade Genealogy,” and you’ll definitely be learning from top experts in the field.
  • Early-bird registration is open at www.apgen.org/conferences. Registration for virtual access to select sessions (Virtual PMC) will open later this year.

The Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy kicks off the following week, with week-long, in-depth instruction on more than 10 genealogical subjects. More details available at www.SLIG.ugagenealogy.org.

Do You Have Midwestern Roots? Meet me in Indianapolis

Midwestern Roots Genealogy Conference 2014I’ve been cruising the British Isles aboard the good ship Marco Polo with Unlock the Past Cruises. But this coming weekend,  I’m heading into the heartland of the United States–to the Midwestern Roots Family History & Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. If you’ve got roots in the American Midwest, I hope you’ll meet me there!

The Midwestern Roots conference will kick off Thursday evening, July 31 with my Great Google Earth Game Show. During this interactive, virtual globe-trotting show, you’ll not only face some geographic genealogy trivia, you’ll see firsthand how and why to use the powerful, FREE resources of Google Earth for your family history research. Then enjoy a two-day event with over 30 sessions by nationally-known speakers on research skills, technology topics and more.

There’s a definite focus on technology at this conference (the theme is “What Would Your Pioneers Have Tweeted?”). As the conference site says, “Most of the sessions will focus on using ever-changing and emerging technologies and sources online. Other sessions will cover photo preservation, DNA, methodology and using traditional sources.”  There’s something there for everyone–and Indiana is a friendly and affordable destination for a lot of folks living in the United States. Check out the full conference program here.

Online registration is still available for some pre-conference activities (some are waiting list only). You can’t register online any more for the conference, but you can register onsite beginning at 8am on the first day, so show up anyway!

Google Earth for Genealogy BundleCan’t make it to the conference but want to learn more about using Google Earth? Genealogy Gems Premium members have access to 3 videos on using Google Earth for genealogy on my website (learn more about Premium membership here). And anyone can purchase my 2-CD set, Google Earth for Genealogy. I’ll give you your own virtual tour of Google Earth and demonstrate how to find ancestral homesteads, explore your relative’s neighborhood streets, overlay historical maps with modern ones and more.

FGI 2015: Forensic Genealogy Conference in Dallas, Texas

magnify_fingerprint_binary_code_400_wht_3389The fourth annual Forensic Genealogy Institute (FGI) will be held March 26-28, 2015, at the Wyndham Love Field Hotel in Dallas, Texas. Two concurrent, 20-hour courses will debut: “Forensic Genealogy Master Practicum” and “Advanced Genetic Genealogy and Unknown-Parentage Cases.”

 “FGI offers attendees one-of-a-kind education in forensic genealogy and access to expert forensic genealogists who can answer questions and act as mentors,” said Leslie Brinkley Lawson, CAFG President. “We are excited to offer FGI 2015 participants the opportunity to participate in an unprecedented forensic-genealogy practicum or to gain experience in cutting-edge genetic genealogical research.”

The genetic genealogy course sounds especially fascinating. The course description includes how-tos on developing custom DNA-testing plans, analyzing genetic test results and integrating traditional genealogical research with DNA test results to address research questions.

“Genealogists who can use DNA to successfully address unknown-parentage cases are in great demand,” says course coordinator CeCe Moore. “This unique course offers in-depth instruction of the methodologies used by professional genetic genealogists.”

Each FGI 2015 course offers 20 hours of instruction over just three days, minimizing hotel costs and time away from families and jobs. The learning opportunities presented at FGI are created specifically for professional, practicing genealogists who specialize or seek to specialize in forensic genealogy.

Registration for the 2015 Forensic Genealogy conference will open in summer 2014.

RootsTech 2015 and FGS 2015: Hotels Now Taking Reservations

waiter_adjusting_bow_tie_300_wht_9559Four hotels are now accepting reservations for attendees of RootsTech 2015 and FGS 2015, which will be held jointly on February 11–14, 2015 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City.

The Salt Lake Marriott Downtown at City Creek, Salt Lake Plaza Hotel, Hilton Salt Lake City Center, and Radisson Hotel Salt Lake City Downtown will offer reduced rates to conference attendees. Each hotel is conveniently located near the Salt Palace Convention Center. Conference rates will be honored for reservation dates February 7–19, 2015.

Reservations must be made by January 13, 2015 to receive the conference rates. Hotel rooms for both events will be in high demand. Click here for more information on reservations, pricing, etc. Registration for both conferences opens in late August 2014. For additional information visit each conference’s sites: Rootstech.org or FGS.

FGS 2014: Early-Bird Registration Deadline Approaching

FGS 2014 FGS AmbassadorDiscounted early-bird registration for FGS 2014 (the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference) ends on July 1st. Early registrants receive a $50 discount for the full four days, or a $20 discount for any single day. Click here for details.

The conference will be held August 27-30, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. This year’s conference theme is “Gone to Texas,” and the local hosts are the San Antonio Genealogical and Historical Society (SAGHS) and the Texas State Genealogical Society (TSGS). Lisa will be giving three presentations at this conference and will be in the exhibitor hall–click here for more details.

The conference offers opportunities for all who are interested in researching their family history, with over 160 educational sessions on records, strategies, and tools for genealogists at all levels. The exhibit hall features over 70 vendors offering a wide range of genealogical products and is open and free to the public.  Luncheons, workshops, and special events provide additional opportunities for networking and learning. Make sure to get your tickets to these conference “extras” early to guarantee your spot.

 

FGS Conferences, Alaskan Cruise and More!

Federation of Genealogical Societies FGSThe Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) has updated its events calendar, which include annual and regional conferences, an Alaskan cruise and more! FGS conferences are always great, and now they’re doing cruises. Here’s the lineup:

2014 National Conference. Registration is still open for “Gone to Texas” in San Antonio, Texas, August 27th-30th. Lisa will be there! Read more about this FGS conference here.

2015 National Conference. Click to read the Call for Papers for the 2015 National Conference, “Connect. Explore. Refresh,” to be held concurrently with Rootstech in Salt Lake City, Utah, February, 11th-14th.

cruise_ship_800_86302015 Alaskan Cruise. Join your friends and fellow genealogists on the first FGS Cruise in the fall of 2015. This event promises to deliver a memorable vacation and education from leading genealogists on a variety of topics. Watch for additional information in late 2014. (You already know about Lisa’s British Isles cruise this summer, right?)

2015 New York Regional Conference. The New York State Family History Conference returns to Syracuse, New York September 17-19, 2015. Organized  by the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society and the Central New York Genealogical Society, the second biennial conference has expanded to include three tracks of lectures, a significant increase in attendance, and an enlarged space that will accommodate many more exhibitors and societies of interest to attendees. One of the conference focal points is researching New York families, a pursuit that offers unique challenges and requires special techniques and knowledge; the other focal point is building general research skills. In 2015, the event will be hosted as a regional conference of the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), which will provide topics and events for genealogical society leaders and volunteers as part of the conference’s activities.

2016 National Conference. Celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Federation of Genealogical Societies. Hosted in Illinois, the Land of Lincoln, the 2016 conference will feature the latest news and updates from the family history community, a full exhibit hall, the popular Society Showcase, and sessions related to the Midwestern states, research methods, and other topics.

Want to be an FGS Conference Ambassador? Here’s Your Invitation!

FGS 2014 FGS AmbassadorGenealogy bloggers, societies, writers and editors are invited to become FGS 2014 Ambassadors. Ambassadors help to spread information about the FGS Conference in San Antonio, Texas, August 27-30, 2014, through social media to their friends, colleagues, and everyone interested in genealogy.

FGS 2014 Ambassadors will be:

§  Writing about the conference on their blog.

§  Using the hashtag #FGS2014 on Twitter.

§  Mentioning FGS 2014 on Facebook, Google Plus, and other social networks.

§  Letting their local historical and genealogical societies know about the conference.

Benefits to FGS 2014 Ambassadors:

§  Ambassador badge logo to display on your website.

§  Giveaways for active ambassadors, including conference registrations and discounts, special event tickets, and more.

§  Potential to be guest blogger on FGS Conference Blog.

§  Link to your blog or website on the FGS Conference blog’s Ambassador Page

§  Part of Twitter list of FGS 2014 Ambassadors.

§  Ambassador badge ribbon at the conference.

Click here to register as an FGS 2014 Ambassador and to find the FGS 2014 Ambassador badge to add to your blog or other social media account.  Lisa will see you in San Antonio in August! Be sure to circle her classes on your schedule and stop by and say “hi” at her booth in the exhibit hall.

Genealogy Conferences: Live v. Virtual – Which is For You?

genealogy conferencesGenealogy conferences offer fabulous education for family historians in a fun, social setting. But some people can’t travel or even clear a full day’s schedule to attend a live conference. Did you know there are virtual options?

Check out this video interview from RootsTech 2014 with Allison Dolan, publisher of Family Tree Magazine. We talk about the advantages of attending live events (interacting with expert speakers! social time with others who love genealogy! industry buzz!) versus the attend-in-your-pajamas vibe of Family Tree University’s semi-annual Virtual Conference (click to learn about upcoming events.