May 6, 2015

Think Outside the Box at NGS and Jamboree

NGS Outside the box schedule

Click this image for a crisp downloadable version to print and keep

Major genealogy conferences like NGS and Jamboree can be both invigorating and overwhelming! It’s tough to catch all the classes I want by my favorite lecturers on the topics I need most. But at some point each day, I’m also done sitting in a boxy classroom for a little while.

We at Genealogy Gems suggest a proven “fix” for these problems: Outside the Box Sessions! We partner with favorite fellow exhibitors to schedule short live presentations on our hottest topics at our extra-large shared exhibit space. Those who attend any Outside the Box session can sign up to receive a free e-book of handouts from all the sessions.

From what you’re telling us, Outside the Box works for you! Bonnie wrote to us: “I attended several of your [Outside the Box] sessions, at least one from each of you and often more. They were terrific, at least as good and often better than conference  sessions. And the e-book of session notes, with the myriad of internet  links, is frosting on the cake. Thank you.”

Ad_RevisionA packed and lively schedule of Outside the Box sessions will run at the following upcoming events in the free exhibit hall:

National Genealogical Society conference (13-16 May)

Southern California’s Jamboree (5-7 June).

Click on the conference names above to see the full scoop on each, including classes on:

  • Google searching,
  • family reunion ideas,
  • DNA,
  • German research,
  • Google Earth for genealogy,
  • identifying and caring for old photos,
  • Evernote for genealogy,
  • using your iPad for family history
  • and more!

Since the exhibit hall is free, this is a wonderful opportunity to stop by and see what genealogy conference are all about, and pick up some excellent free training sessions while you’re there!

RootsTech Hits the Road! RootsTech Family Discovery Days Coming Your Way!

overhead_freeway_custom_sign_16324Were you among the record-breaking audience of 23,918 attendees at RootsTech 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah? Even if you were, chances are you didn’t catch all the top talks.

RootsTech staffers have announced that over 1000 FREE regional RootsTech events, called RootsTech Discovery Days, will be hosted around the world throughout 2015. “Select sessions and planning resources from RootsTech 2015 have been recorded, translated in 10 languages, and made available online to support…local volunteer organizers,” says a media statement.

“By the first week following the conference, 65 local family discovery day events had already been held, including 27 in Latin America, one in Korea, and another in the Philippines. Over 1,000 more events are expected to be held throughout 2015, significantly extending the reach and impact of this popular conference.”

Click here to search for a RootsTech Family Discovery Day event near you. We notice that there plenty of options across the U.S. and in England, Canada, Australia and South Africa. Where do YOU want to look for an event?

Lisa speaks to a packed audience at RootsTech 2015.

Lisa speaks to a packed audience at RootsTech 2015.

International Conference on Jewish Genealogy: IAJGS 2015

Jewish genealogy conferenceEarly registration for the 35th International Conference on Jewish Genealogy (IAJGS) has been extended through Wednesday May 6, 2015, to accommodate those enjoying Passover season.

The Preliminary Program is now posted at the IAJGS 2015 website under the “Program” tab. The schedule will become interactive after Passover. Highlights:

  • Speakers and registrants hail from round the globe representing 20 nations to date including New Zealand, American Samoa, the Americas, Africa and all of Europe.
  • The keynote speaker will be Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, one of the most prominent figures in Israeli society today. A child survivor of the Holocaust, Rabbi Lau is an outstanding activist and orator. He will bring a message to genealogists reinforcing the value of their work researching individuals and families.
  • Dick Eastman will be speaking at the closing Banquet. In the mid-1980s, Eastman pioneered one of the first online Genealogy Forums, which has grown from a circulation of 100 to more than 60,000 genealogists.
  • Other events include the Shabbaton, Exploration Sunday, Breakfast with the Experts, SIG Luncheons and Banquet. PRE-CONFERENCE SHABBATON on the Friday-Saturday, July 3 – 4 weekend preceding the Conference, followed by an UNFORGETTABLE “EXPLORATION SUNDAY” on July 5.

Click here to visit the conference website for full details on this momentous anniversary conference in Jerusalem. are on the conference website.

Attend Free sessions in the NERGC 2015 exhibit hall

NERGC-frontI am coming to New England in a few weeks to keynote at the New England Regional Genealogical Consortium (NERGC 2015). Will you be there, too? Come say hello!

Here are the classes I’ll be teaching:

  • Tech Day (Track 2) – Wednesday – 15 April 2015 – 10:45am – How to Turn your iPad or Tablet into a Genealogy Powerhouse
  • Tech Day (Track 1) – Wednesday – 15 April 2015 – 3:15pm – How to Use Google Earth for Genealogy
  • T-118 – Thursday – 16 April 2015 – 3:15pm – How to Use Evernote for Genealogy
  • S-329 – Saturday – 18 April 2015 – 3:15pm – Master Using Google for Common Surname Searches
  • S-344 – Saturday – 18 April 2015 – BANQUET – 7:00pm – The Google Earth Genealogy Game Show

I’ll also be giving a series of Outside the Box presentations in the Exhibitor Hall alongside New Englander Maureen Taylor (The Photo Detective) and Janet Hovorka (Family Tree Chartmasters). Here’s a schedule:

NERGC-schedule

New England genealogy conference NERGC 2015More about NERGC:

The conference theme, “Navigating the Past: Sailing into the Future”, references the distinctive history of Rhode Island, while focusing on methodology with “navigating the past” and looking towards the changes of the future (technology, passing on information, and getting kids involved in genealogy). There’s nearly 100 lectures over two and-a-half days,  with levels ranging from beginner to expert. There’s an Exhibit Hall (where I’ll be!), Society Fair, Special Interest Groups, and an Ancestors Road Show, in which I will also be participating. Click here to learn more.

RootsTech Roundup, Writing Family History and More in the Newest Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 176

Genealogy Gems Podcast and Family HistoryThe newest episode of the FREE Genealogy Gems podcast–episode 176–has published and it is PACKED with gems!

Lisa begins with her own in-depth comments on RootsTech 2015. Whether you attended or didn’t, I think you’ll find her front-row analysis of the world’s biggest family history event pretty interesting! I appreciate her insight that RootsTech isn’t just about teaching people to do family history. It’s about motivating and inspiring their legacy-building efforts. I have sometimes felt a lack of that at conferences myself: I get a lot of how-to but not the energizing “why-to” that I sometimes need myself.

I join Lisa to talk about the Genealogy Book Club and MORE great reads for family history lovers. We’re still reading Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline, which offers up a history lesson about the thousands of neglected children who were shipped off by train to rural homes in the U.S. and Canada. In the context of an unlikely friendship between an elderly orphan train rider and a modern teenage girl in the foster care system, we learn how much of a child’s identity comes wrapped up in their family’s backstory. Lisa and I also talk about writing family history using different voices. I recommend books written in a few different voices, or styles.

Another great segment in this episode is the topic of yDNA research and surname studies. Genetics is re-invigorating those “one-name” groups that explore their common surname heritage. As in every episode of the Genealogy Gems podcast, you’ll get some great tips and learn about online resources you may not have seen. You’ll hear from our listeners and readers with questions and comments. And we hope you’ll respond with your own! Click here to listen to the podcast and read the show notes.

Watch RootsTech 2015 Sessions Online FREE

webinar_education_800_wht_13013 RootsTech 2015Did you miss RootsTech 2015? You can watch highlights online for FREE!

Several RootsTech 2015 keynote sessions and lectures were videotaped for live streaming. Now they’ve been archived online. Click here to see what’s available.

Our own DNA correspondent here at Genealogy Gems, Diahan Southard, was recorded. You can now watch her presentation, “Getting Started in Genetic Genealogy.” Watch with relatives who might be interested in “doing DNA” with you! She makes a complex topic MUCH easier to understand.

Genealogy DNA Quick Reference Guides Cheat SheetsRemember, once  you’re ready to test (or had testing done), Diahan’s available as a personal coach to help you navigate the exciting world of genetic genealogy. And we’ve got her entire series of genetic genealogy quick guides available in our Store. Buy just the ones you need or the entire  bundle for a great discount. These were super popular at RootsTech!

 

 

Find Your Family History in New York: September 2015 Conference

NYSFHC Logo 2015New  York can be a fascinating but frustrating place to research your roots. Learn new skills to find your family history in New York at the second New York State Family History Conference in Syracuse, NY, September 17–19, 2015.

From an FGS press release:

“The Central New York Genealogical Society and the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society are cosponsoring the 2015 New York Family History Conference.  This year’s event will also be a Federation of Genealogical Societies Regional Conference.

The three-day conference will be held September 17–19 at the Holiday Inn & Conference Center Liverpool, just outside Syracuse, New York.  It will attract hundreds of researchers—both amateur and professional—and top experts in the field.

Nationally known speakers, Judy Russell, JD, CG, CGL, The Legal Genealogist; Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, FASG; David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FIGRS, FUGA, FamilySearch.org; Curt B. Witcher, Allen County Public Library; D. Joshua Taylor, Findmypast.com and President, Federation of Genealogical Societies; Dick Eastman, author and publisher; James D. Folts, Ph.D., New York State Archives; Henry B. Hoff, FGBS, editor of the New England Historical and Genealogical Register; Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D., The Genetic Genealogist; Ed Donakey, FamilySearch.org, VP of FGS; Eric G. Grundset, Library Director, DAR Library; Jim Ison, CG, FamilySearch.org; Matt Knutzen, New York Public Library; Jen Baldwin, Findmypast.com; and, New York-specialist, professional genealogists Laura Murphy DeGrazia, CG, FGBS; Karen Mauer Jones, CG, FGBS; Terry Koch-Bostic and Jane E. Wilcox will give lectures.

Attendees will have an opportunity to advance their skills in researching New York families, to build general skills and through 30 lectures in three parallel tracks and learn ways to build their local genealogical and historical societies through the FGS Focus on Societies day. In addition there will be three luncheons and a dinner, all with riveting speakers; and open-to-the-public Society Showcase; and exhibits by vendors and societies.

Registration is now open online. The registration fee for the three-day conference (excluding meals and printed syllabus) is $140 for the first 75 registrants (available through March 31 or until sold out); members of the CNYGS or the NYG&B receive a $25 discount. The conference program and exhibitor information may be found on the conference website, www.NYSFHC.org.”

RootsTech / FGS 2015: Free Sessions at Our Booth and PRIZES!

OTB_RT_14frontBack by popular demand! After fabulous response last year, Genealogy Gems will once again be sponsoring “Outside the Box Sessions,” a series of FREE mini-presentations at Booths 1240 & 1242 at RootsTech 2015.

Our popular sessions help you think outside the box (and have fun and get free swag while you’re at it). Lisa’s sessions will include:

  • Tech Tips for Newspaper Research (Thursday at 12:00);
  • How to Use Google Earth for Genealogy (Thursday at 4:00);
  • Google for Genealogy: What’s NEW! (Friday at 11:30 and Saturday at 2:00);
  • Google Strategies for Common Surnames (Friday at 12:00);
  • Win Prizes! Google Earth Genealogy Game Show (Friday from 5:30-6:30-perfect “Happy Hour!” activity);
  • iPad Tips and Tricks (Saturday at 10:00);
  • Evernote Tips and Tricks (Saturday at 12:30).

FREE EBOOK: Attend any session and receive our free ebook of handouts for all sessions!

2nd editionClick here for the full schedule and the Grand Prize entry form (which also gets you the FREE Outside the Box e-book with all session handouts). Drop this entry by Booth #1242 and say hello!

Lisa will also be signing copies of her brand new book The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox Second Edition!

We are again partnering with The Photo Detective Maureen Taylor and Janet Hovorka (author of Zap the Grandma Gap), and Family Tree Magazine.

Here’s a look at the fun we had at NGS last year:

By the way, our RootsTech partner Family ChartMasters is celebrating the release of its NEW pocket guide, The Chart Chick Insider’s Guide to Salt Lake City: Everything A Genealogist Needs to Know Outside the Library. Click here to get a FREE pdf travel guide to Salt Lake City and, if you like, order the book for only $9.95 (pre-order for pickup at RootsTech and pay no shipping, or add on $5 to have it sent to you).

Are You Going to RootsTech 2015? So is Laura Bush

Bush_Laura_PROMOPIC copyRootsTech 2015 is just over a month away! Are you going? Genealogy Gems will be there in booth 1242 and we look forward to meeting you!

And, as recently announced, former First Lady Laura Bush will be at RootsTech, as she joins an already-impressive who’s-who list of this year’s keynote speakers and entertainers.

Laura Bush and her daughter Jenna Bush Hager will keynote the Friday morning general session on February 13. According to a FamilySearch press release, “The former First Lady will talk about life in the White House and the importance of family during those eight years, as well as reflect on the difficult days following September 11th. Jenna Bush Hager will join her mother onstage for a fireside chat where they will share family stories as a new mother and grandmother.”

Last year, over 9000 people from 31 countries attended this forward-thinking gen-tech conference in person. An estimated 150,000 viewed live-streaming sessions around the world. It’s tough to argue with RootsTech’s claim as “the largest family history conference in the world.” Visit us at the Genealogy Gems booth in the Expo Hall!

rootstech 2015 ambassador badgeStill need to register, or need more information? Head over to the RootsTech website.

 

The Genealogy Industry: $2 Billion–and Growing!

cfl_light_with_plant_growing_out_800_wht_13136Recently, Forbes magazine called family history a “2-plus billion dollar industry that is expected to grow to nearly 3 billion by 2018 (ifla.org). Any investor will tell you that any market described with the word ‘billion’ is a market well worth pursuing.”

The article goes on to describe how FamilySearch International has been quietly spurring growth in the genealogy industry. The nonprofit genealogical organization has made its API (application program interface) available to other developers at little to no cost, allowing for partnerships and app development. FamilySearch’s big annual conference, RootsTech, hosts an Innovator Summit that “offers developers, business leaders, and entrepreneurs access to the latest content and resources that provide insight on family history data, services and inspiration for current and future projects.”

“FamilySearch is no longer being quiet,” they conclude. “They are ready to start knocking doors on a massive scale. In fact, at the industry’s biggest world-wide conference, RootsTech 2015, FamilySearch will be holding a Shark Tank-like competition in front of a 3,000 person live audience.”

“The RootsTech Innovator Challenge is the first of its kind with $25k in prize money and judging by seasoned investors, family history industry leaders, and live audience(s),” explains a statement from FamilySearch sent to Genealogy Gems. “Family history is attracting big partnerships while providing lucrative opportunities for smaller developers to solve complex problems and appeal to the consumer masses.”

like buttonDo you have a great business idea that serves the genealogy market–or do you know someone who does? Share this blog post  with them! More brilliant and creative products and services for genealogists is GOOD for US!