April 23, 2014

I’ll be at FGS 2014 in San Antonio: Will you?

FGS 2014 San Antonio TexasNow that I’m a proud Texan, it’s even more exciting that I’m speaking at “FGS 2014!”

The annual meeting of the Federation of Genealogical Societies is in San Antonio, Texas, this year on August 27-30. Online registration is now open: register here by 1 July 2014 for an early-bird discount.

This year’s conference theme is “Gone to Texas. “This conference will offer over 160 educational sessions on records, strategies, and tools for genealogists of all levels,” says Josh Taylor, FGS President. “Sessions will be presented by some of the leading genealogists from the United States. Ten different sponsored luncheons will provide opportunities for networking.”

FGS 2014 Conference Highlights

I’ll be giving three talks at FGS 2014 and I’ll be in the vendor hall, too. Here are the session numbers and descriptions. I hope you’ll come by and say hello!

FGS 2014 San Antonio Texas Lisa Cooke

Here’s more of what you’ll find at FGS:

  • Conference Sessions:  A wide variety of genealogy-related lectures and workshops for all experience levels. Attendees will be able to learn about Texas and neighboring states research, African-American and ethnic origin research, military research, genetics, technology, migration, methodology and more.
  • Exhibit Hall: The large exhibit hall will feature the latest software, books, maps, databases and gadgets on the market for genealogists and family historians, as well as information about genealogical organizations. Representatives of FGS member societies will staff their booths in the special Society Showcase area.
  • Special Events: On Wednesday evening, local hosts San Antonio Genealogical and Historical Society and Texas State Genealogical Society invite registrants to an evening at the Institute of Texas Cultures, an amazing museum located directly behind the convention center. On Friday evening, The San Antonio Conservation Society hosts a festive evening with strumming guitars, shining horns, a capella voices of mariachis and local artisans at work at La Villita. The Conservation Society only hosts 10 of these events each year and FGS is excited to able to offer this. Details can be found at www.fgsconference.org.
  • Focus on Societies: On Wednesday, August 27, 2014, sessions are jam-packed with ideas and tools to help societies promote themselves, increase membership, and develop sources of revenue.  The day kicks off with a first ever, half-day workshop to develop a plan and tools to use to enhance and guide their society forward.
  • Librarians’ Day: On Tuesday, August 26, 2014, ProQuest will sponsor a full-pre-conference day of sessions designed for librarians, archivists, and other information professionals serving family history researchers.

Midwestern Roots Registration Starts Today!

Midwestern Roots Genealogy Conference 2014I have roots in Indiana and have longed to travel to Hoosier state to conduct some much needed genealogy research. So you can imagine how happy I was to be invited to keynote at the upcoming Midwestern Roots 2014: Family History and Genealogy Conference being held August 1 and 2, 2014, Indianapolis, IN, at the Indianapolis Marriott East.

This year’s theme is a timely one: Exploring Frontiers: What Would Your Pioneers Have Tweeted? This conference promises to be a glorious melding of old and new with deep history sessions and the latest technology.

Here’s the scoop on the Midwestern Roots Conference:

Registration Opens March 26 with a $99 registration special price March 26-29, 2014.

Includes the two day conference and lunches.

Additional fee for banquet and some pre-conference activities.

Register online at www.indianahistory.org/midwesternroots or

call (317) 232-1882 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday during the special offer.

The Midwestern Roots 2014 Conference is your chance to get updated on the latest technology changes in family history research, resources and methodology, and I’ll be exploring that in my keynote  Future Technology and Genealogy: 5 Strategies You Need. You’ll also experience:

• More than 30 stimulating lectures from nationally known speakers Warren Bittner, Lisa Louise Cooke, Joan Hostetler, Amy Johnson Crow, Thomas MacEntee, James H. Madison, Anne Gillespie Mitchell, Daniel S. Poffenberger, Curt B. Witcher and more

•  The Great Google Earth Game Show presented by Lisa Louise Cooke (this will be an interactive, FUN, outside the box kind of session topped off with prizes!)

Hoosiers and A New History for the Twenty-First Century presented by James H. Madison

A Guided Tour of Ancestry computer lab taught by Amy Johnson Crow and Anne Gillespie Mitchell from Ancestry.com

• Genealogy Resources Library Workshop

• Writing, document preservation and photo preservation workshops

• Family History Market and Book Fair – open to the public

See you at the Midwestern Roots 2014 Conference!

Student Genealogy Grant Announced

Jamboree 2014Do you know (or are you yourself) a young genealogy student between 18-25 who would love to receive an award and attend an AWESOME conference? Then read this press release and share it:

“The Southern California Genealogical Society and the Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Student Genealogy Grant Committee are pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the 2014 Student Genealogy award. Student genealogists between the ages of 18 and 25 are eligible to apply for the 2014 Grant to be awarded at the 45th Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree sponsored by the Southern California Genealogical Society in June 2014.”

The $500 cash award is granted “to a young genealogist attending the Jamboree. In addition, a complimentary three-day conference registration to the 45th Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree will be provided by the Jamboree conference.

Any genealogist who is between the ages of 18 and 25 and has attended school in the last 12 months is eligible to apply. The recipient must attend the 2014 SCGS Jamboree in Burbank, California to receive the award. The scholarship recipient will be introduced at the Scholarship Award Breakfast on Sunday, June 8.

Application deadline is 31 March 2014 midnight PST. Application details and forms are available at the Student Grant Webpage.

NGS 2014 App Available for Conference Attendees

NGS 2014 logoAre you attending the National Genealogical Society (NGS) conference in May in Virginia, USA? You’ll want the new 2014 conference app, now available for iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone, and web-enabled devices. (Need a 5-minute video tutorial on using the app? Click the link above, then click on the App Video Tutorial.)

With the NGS 2014 app you’ll be able to receive breaking news, synch your schedule across multiple devices, connect with other attendees, plan which vendors to visit and more. Speaking of the vendor hall, stop by my booth (#618) early, say hello, and pick up my exclusive schedule of quick classes I’ll be offering free at the booth!

I’ll  also be teaching these classes:

  • Google Search Strategies for Common Surnames
  • Tech Tools that Catapult the Newspaper Research Process into the 20th Century
  • Find Living Relatives Like a Private Eye

Looking for more info? Here are some helpful URLS:

Conference blog

Guide for 1st-time NGS attendees  

Up-to-date hotel info

Pssst: Lisa’s Free Sessions at RootsTech…Pass it On!

2013-03-23 RootsTech One of the best kept secrets about #RootsTech is the fact that free sessions are held all day in the Demo Theater in the Exhibit Hall! At first glance it looks like a lounge full of comfy chairs. But don’t let that fool you. (Image right: My friend Janet Hovorka, talking about her new book Zap the Grandma Gap in the demo theater 2013. That’s my finger on the right!)

Folks in the genealogy industry will be presenting informative 15 minute segments that anyone can sit in on.

My sessions are less demo, and more crash course classes. You’re guaranteed to learn tips you can use:

FRIDAY Feb. 7, 2014 at 1:20 pm:  Evernote Quick Tips for Genealogists

SATURDAY Feb. 8, 2014 at 12:40:  Time Travel Using Google Earth

And if comfy chairs and usable tips aren’t enough incentive, how about a chance to win prizes! Every person in attendance at the demo is eligible.

Limited Seating and we start right on time (there’s only 5 minutes between these speed sessions!) so arrive early. And if you need a reminder, stop by the Genealogy Gems Booth #830 and pick up a demo flyer with the dates and times.

Countdown to #RootsTech 2014!

RT-Blogger-badge-200sqRootsTech 2014 is next week! If you can get to Salt Lake for it but haven’t registered yet, don’t forget to enter to win a FREE full-access pass from the Genealogy Gems podcast!

Here’s some countdown information from the planners to help you find your way around:

To get your RootsTech name badge and conference materials, stop by Registration Check-In located in the South foyer of the Salt Palace Convention Center. Be sure to bring photo ID. Avoid the lines and check in at your earliest convenience! Registration Check-In is open at the following times:

      • Wednesday 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (Innovator Summit) and 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
      • Thursday 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
      • Friday 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
      • Saturday 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Family History Library at NightFriday Night Fun at the Library

The Family History Library is the place for a Friday Night Pizza Party.  The largest library of its kind in the world is staying open late for you. Come do some research, find a name, and grab a slice of pizza. There will be an “Open Mic Night” for five-minute story sharing and then catch an episode of The Story Trek, hosted by Todd Hansen, who will be a keynote speaker at RootsTech Saturday morning. Tickets for the pizza are nearly gone, but the library is open late that night for everyone!

Interactive and Hands-on

Be sure to check out the new Family Discovery Exhibit, sponsored by FamilySearch, in the RootsTech Expo Hall. It includes:

  • Photo Scanning Area. Make digital copies of family photos that you can preserve, share, and even upload directly to your FamilySearch Family Tree. There are also plenty of high-capacity scanners that make great digital copies quickly. What to do: Bring the photos you want to scan and a flash drive.
  • Recording Booth – Record Your Story. Video or audio record your favorite family story in one of our enclosed sound booths. Your private recording session includes ten minutes of recording time and you’ll get a copy of it on a flash drive. Enjoy sharing the memory for many years to come. What to do: Think of a family story or memory that you want to capture and preserve. Story helps will be provided on-site.
  • Record a Call – With Someone Who Inspires You. Make a phone call that will last a lifetime. Simply call a parent, grandparent, or someone who inspires you and find out more about their life. Our app will record the conversation and you can take it and treasure the memory for years. What to do: Bring a phone number of a person you want to call and interview, as well as an email address you’d like to send the recorded file to.
  • See Yourself in History. How would you look as a cowboy or as one of the pretty maids all in a row? Have your face (and the faces of your friends) added to one of several fun antique photos and e-mail yourself a digital copy you can share. What to do: Have an email address to send your new photo to.
  • FamilySearch Book Scanning Booth. Get your family book scanned for free. We’ll make a digital copy, you keep the original and a searchable PDF copy for yourself. You can also donate personal works, books that are copyright protected, and books that are in the public domain. Questions? Email bookdonations@familysearch.org.

Enter Last-Minute Giveaway Now: Full-Access Pass to #RootsTech 2014 Next Week

RT-Blogger-badge-150sqOne of the great things about presenting at genealogy conferences like RootsTech is the FREE swag they give you. Well, I’m going to pass this gotta-have-it swag along: a free all-access pass to RootsTech 2014.

RootsTech is shaping up to become the biggest annual family history event in the U.S. There’s nothing quite like it. RootsTech combines the cutting-edge excitement of a technology industry conference with learn-it-from-the-experts classes and hands-on workshops of leading genealogy educators. Whether you’re new-ish to genealogy or an expert researcher, there’s something for you at RootsTech. Check out the full agenda here, which includes a keynote by The Pioneer Woman and over 200 sessions.

RootsTech is next week in Salt Lake City. If you can be there, enter to win this way:

1. Go to the Genealogy Gems Facebook page. Like it (if you haven’t already).

2. Post a comment with the hashtag “giveaway” (#giveaway) and WHY you want to attend RootsTech. You’ll be automatically entered to win.

3. Enter by midnight on Sunday, February 2 and I’ll announce a winner on Monday, February 3, 2014.

No purchase is necessary, but please only enter if you can use the pass or know someone who can.

SCGS Jamboree 2014 Lineup Announced!

I’m pleased to return this year to speak at the 45th Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree. This popular conference, hosted by The Southern California Genealogical Society, runs June 6 to 8, 2014 in Burbank, California, USA.

Jamboree 2014The theme of the 2014 Jamboree is Golden Memories: Discovering Your Family History. It promises to pack tons of fun into a long weekend, as it always does. According to the press release, “Our heritage focus will be on European ancestors. Class sessions are scheduled for German, Irish, English/UK, Scotland, Eastern Europe, Italian, Mennonite, Swedish, and Russian, as well as African American and Jewish classes. Jamboree will be the culmination of a year-long celebration of the Society’s 50th Anniversary, and special activities will commemorate the Decade of the 60s.  Dust off your tie dye tees and pillbox hats and take part in our Sunday noon ‘fashion show.’  Winner by popular vote will receive a free registration to the 2015 Jamboree.”

My classes on Friday and Saturday include:

  • “Who Needs Google Reader? Flip Out Over Genealogy Content with Flipboard!” Learn how to use the free Flipboard app to turn your favorite genealogy web content into your own free customized digital magazine. You will flip over how fun and easy they are to create and share. Perfect for genealogists and societies!
  • “Ultimate Google Search Strategies for Genealogists.” Learn Google search techniques, tricks and tips to achieve better genealogical search results, and then elevate your search to a strategic level. Finally, see how all of this applies across the spectrum of free Google Tools.
  • “How to Create an Exciting Interactive Family History Tour with Google Earth.” Learn to tell your ancestor’s story in a captivating multi-media way in Google Earth. Incorporate images, videos, genealogical documents, and historic maps and bring it all together in a virtual family history tour for sharing and research analysis.

SCGS Jamboree 2014 welcomes 55 speakers, over 60 exhibitors, 134 class sessions for a variety of experience levels, and special events. Online registration is open on the Jamboree website, and the Marriott’s website is ready to take your reservation. Hope to see you there!

Join Me on a Genealogy Cruise of the British Isles

marcopoloIt’s always a joy for me to get to get out and about and meet readers and listeners in person. In July 2014 there’s a wonderful opportunity for us to get together in person, talk genealogy and experience the joy of travel: the Unlock the Past Cruises for their 2014 British Isles Cruise!

I’ll be joining eight other incredible genealogists to bring cruisers an exciting assortment of family history classes aboard the beautiful Marco Polo ship (right).  Check out  the Presenters page

You’ll have around 40 topics to choose from, held mostly in the evening so there will be loads of time to explore the breathtaking landscape.

Itinerary: 

  • day 1 – depart Tilbury, London – 6pm (boarding from 12.30pm)
  • day 2 – at sea
  • day 3 – Invergordon, Scotland – 7.30am-10pm
  • day 4 – Kirkwall, Orkney Islands – 7am-6pm
  • day 5 – Stornoway, Outer Hebrides – 7.30am-10pm (transfer to shore by tender)
  • day 6 – Tobermory, Isle of Mull – 7.30am-4pm (transfer to shore by tender)
  • day 7 – Dublin, Ireland – 8am-5.45pm
  • day 8 – St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly - 9am-6pm (transfer to shore by tender)
  • day 9 – St Peter Port, Guernsey - 7.30am-6pm (transfer to shore by tender)
  • day 10 – Honfleur, France –  9am-5pm
  • day 11 – arrive Tilbury, London – 9am

My understanding is that this cruise is filling up very quickly so if you’re interested be sure and click here for more details.

RootsTech 2014 App Ready for Free Download

RT-Blogger-badge-150sqThe official RootsTech 2014 app is available for downloading from the App Store or Google Play! There’s also a web version for those who don’t use an iPhone, iPad or Android device. Like last year’s app, the RootsTech 2014 lets you create your own class schedule, learn about speakers, connect with other attendees and more. For example, here’s my speaker page, below: it tells all about me and Genealogy Gems and lists all my speaking sessions. If you click on the titles of individual sessions you see below, you’ll see more details: the length of the session, a description of it, what track and level the content is and what room the class is in. You can click right from that screen to add my classes (or any others) to your schedule in the app.

RootsTech 2014 app capture speaker closeup

But wait, there’s more you can do with this app! Access maps of the venue, which is enormous. Chime into social media conversations and check for daily news posts. Look up more about specific exhibitors so you can plan which booths to visit. (My booth is filed under “Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems”–I hope you’ll come say hi!)

RootsTech 2014 will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA from February 6-8, 2014 at the Salt Palace. It’s a huge event that focuses on harnessing today’s technologies to discover and share our family history. Whether you’re brand new to genealogy or a professional researcher, there will be something for you there! Early bird pricing is available until January 6, 2014.