I'm SO excited and honored to be a Blogger of Honor for the Houston Family History Expo! I finally have a conference that's in my backyard. No airline tickets to buy. No hotel reservations to worry about it.The Houston Family History Expo will be next month, April 6th-7th, and will be held at the
Houston Marriott South at Hobby Airport
9100 Gulf Freeway in Houston, Texas. Of course, I'll be interviewing some folks ~ both vendors and speakers ~ on the fly with my iPhone. But? Which sessions should I attend? I dunno. I need to mull things over and make a tentative list of must-sees
to see what I can fit into my scheduled duties as a Blogger of Honor.So, are y'all coming on down here for some Texas-sized genealogy? Will I see you there? And my local non-genealogy folks who I've connected with online, this Expo is a great chance to learn how to research your family's history.To see what you can find.
To find some family stories.To s
tart preserving them for the future.What will be the legacy you leave behind for those who come after you? Come to the Houston Family History
Expo April 6-7th and find out.For more information, please visit the Family History Expo website for more information and to register.~CarolineDisclosure Note: I am a Blogger of Honor for the Houston Family History Expo. In this official capacity my duties include:
In exchange for the above duties, I am receiving full registration to the Houston Family History Expo, reciprocal promotion of me and my blog, and a gift bag provided by the Expo sponsors and exhibitors.
- Announcing the Expo and sponsors
- Promoting Expo speakers, exhibitors, and activities
- Sharing press release information
- Highlighting websites, tools, and discoveries made
- Sharing blogging tips with attendees
- Reporting daily on presentations and exhibits
If I had to sum up the sessions that I’ve attended so far here at the Federation of Genealogical Societies 2011 Conference
, it would be that it is imperative for today’s societies to meet their potential members where they are. Be relevant to them. If the younger generations are using today’s technology to communicate, then societies need to communicate with them using that same technology.
From Curt Witcher’s session on fundraising to D. Joshua Taylor’s session on Engaging 21sters to Lisa Alzo’s session on Immigrant Cluster Communities to Debra Mieszala’s session on The Curious Case of the Disappearing Dude [Captures your attention, doesn’t it?], one theme was apparent. It’s all about the story. We may have those in our families who are family group sheet "filler-outers", but most people want the story. That is what is captivating. Yes, as I mentioned in my blog post The Situation of Genealogy and Family History
, the details are important and what we, as genealogists, love, but the story is what gets them in the door ~ literally and figuratively.
Is today’s younger generation studying the aspects of the inter-relations of those peoples indigenous to the Atlantic Coast of New Jersey?
Are they anxiously sitting on the edge of their seats to see what happens next in the day-to-day activities of the descendants of the Acadians who settled in Atchafalaya River Basin in Louisiana and their obsession with collecting crocodilians?
Do they analyze every week the relationship between a rescuer of aged underwater timber and his co-workers?
Every week, do they analyze the physics of a semi-trailer truck trekking across temporary roads made of ice?
No. To all of the above.
They’re watching Jersey Shore
to see The Situation lift up his shirt to show off his six pack. In public. Again. Then doing a fist pump. Again.
They’re tuning into Ax Men
because they just love Swamp Man Logging, a.k.a., Shelby Stanga, and they were literally on the edge of their seats watching the episode where Shelby was really sweating it out when he couldn’t find any more logs to get enough money to take his faithful and loyal dog, Willy, to the vet when Willy was so very sick. And you could really tell how torn up about it Shelby was.
They’re watching Swamp People
and wondering how, on God’s green earth, the Landry brothers can pull those 12-foot ‘gators into those small (And I mean small.) boats without turning their boats over and becoming ‘gator bait themselves.
They're watching Ice Road Truckers
to see if those crazy truckers [They have to be crazy. No one sane would do what they do.] who haul freight across temporary ice roads in the dead of winter will plunge into the frigid waters of those lakes this week. And? How the heck do they get that underwater & under ice view of the trucks crossing up above. [Seriously. How do they do that? I’d hate to be the diver who has to set *that* camera up.]
Whether a person is being asked to join a genealogical society, whether a person or group is being asked to donate to a genealogical society’s project, or whether a person is being asked by their own family historian to contribute information or time to their family’s history, they’re all looking for one thing. A story. They probably just don’t realize it. Something that catches their eye. Something that makes them laugh. Something that makes them cry. Something that makes them shake their head and say, “Are you kidding me?”
And we, as genealogists, can give that to them. We can give them the stories that catch their eyes, that make them laugh, that make them cry, and make them shake their heads. [Sometimes all at the same time.]
So, why aren’t we doing it?
Better late than never. Here’s my non-fantasy (Cuz I’m actually going. Tomorrow, in fact.) fantasy picks for FGS2011 for Friday, September 9, 2011. I’ll tell you what, though, it’s getting harder and harder to pick which sessions I want to attend.
8:00AM ~ U.S. Territorial Papers, 1789-1873: Records of the Frontiersmen
with Linda Woodward Geiger, CG, CGL. You see, I have a 2nd great-grandmother with the surname Davis who had the audacity to marry a Smith between censuses. And this Smith? He died between the marriage and the next census. And then? Her father, Mr. Andrew J. Davis, is purported to be the son of Mr. Jacob Davis because there aren’t any other Davis’ around, but there’s no proof. And this all happens in Iowa and Indiana. You see my dilemma, yes? And let me just add that some DAR apps and some Winthrop Society apps [That’s right. Let’s hear it for the Massachusetts Bay Colonists.] are riding on me figuring it all out. You know, finding the proof? Yeah. It would be a Smith and Davis at the root of my problems. So Ms. Geiger, tell me all about these papers. Pretty please? With sugar on top?
9:30AM ~ Demystifying Eastern European Research
with Lisa A. Alzo. Okay, so I have this feeling ~ I don’t know why ~ that I’m going to need this info. You see, my 1st great-grandfather, John Marschall, was born in a small (And I mean, small.) village in Posen, Prussia, which is now located in Poland. He married a woman whose parents were German, and all of their children were baptized in the same Catholic German church in Galveston, Texas. The question is, “Was he German or was he Polish?” I have nothing saying one way or another. Yet. And since John Marschall is my Big Paw Paw’s dad, somehow I don’t think things will be straightforward. And? Why am I suddenly craving Polish sausage and German beer? Lisa, demystify away. [I can call her Lisa because I’ve met her and shared dinner with her. Okay, it was appetizers, but still.]
11AM ~ Researching Your Indian Wars Ancestor Before the Civil War
with Craig R. Scott, CG. Why this session? Why not? Pre-Civil War researching can be tricky. It’s less straightforward [even without Big Paw Paw], and these wars seem to get lost in the mix. Did my peeps participate in these wars? I dunno, but I’m going to find out with Mr. Scott’s help.
2PM ~ The Draper Papers: Research in This (In)famous Manuscript Collection
with James L. Hansen, FASG. I have quite a few ancestors and their wild and wooly relatives shaking it up between the French and Indian War and the War of 1812 in the “Trans-Allegheny West”. And? I want details. So Mr. Hansen, details please. And? Could you put emphasis on the infamous? I love a good story.
3:30PM ~ Family History in Your Cells: Using DNA for Genealogical Research
with Drew Smith, MLS. [Another Smith, I know.] I studied in school that cells were the building blocks of life. And it's true because my Biology teacher, Mr. White, said it was so. Therefore, it isn’t much of a stretch to think they contain stories. You know, family stories? So, how to find them? Besides dissecting, which I did in my Anatomy & Physiology class with Mrs. LaFever, I dunno. But I’m betting Mr. Smith knows.
5PM ~ Apps Galore for the Professional Genealogist
with Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL and Rick G. Sayre, CG. All I want for Christmas is an iPad. Those of you who follow me on Twitter (@FamilyStories
), know I love my iPhone. I mean, truly love my iPhone. Now? I want an iPad. [I know. I’m never satisfied. Who is? Don’t answer that.] And while I’ve been known to scour iTunes and the net for apps, have I missed one? I dunno. It’s possible. And I’m going find out in this session.
Visit the FGS 2011 Conference website
for more information about their 2011 conference, Pathways to the Heartland
Thursday, September 8th, marks the first day of regular lectures at FGS 2011. And I've finally made my picks. It was tough, though. But here it goes...
8:30-10Am ~ General Session
with David S. Ferriero
who will be delivering the keynote address.
11AM ~ Illinois Migration & Settlement Patterns
with Rev. Dr. David McDonald, CG ~ Here's a little known fact about me: I am both fascinated and addicted to migration patterns. It fascinates me the determination, courage, and ingenuity it took to migrate, and I feel victorious when I can narrow down how an ancestor got to a certain place. I mean, my ancestors never -in a million years- thought that I'd be tracking down, well, their tracks. So, if any sessions will be discussing migration, I will most certainly be there. [Unless someone asks me to go have coffee or to walk through the vendor exhibit hall with them, of course. ;) ]
2PM ~ Immigrant Cluster Communities: Past, Present, and Future
with Lisa A. Alzo
~ Unless you are a hermit who doesn't communicate with anyone in any manner, you deal with other people and, oftentimes, you deal with them repeatedly. And I'd venture to say that each person could tell just a little something about you. Something your descendants might want to know about you, just like the tidbits that you try to dig up about your ancestors. So, it makes sense to look at who your ancestors interacted with. I've written an article in Shades
on how to go about doing this, and I look forward to Lisa's presentation to see her perspective on this great method. [Plus? I've met Lisa. In person. And? She's so cool. Can't wait to hear her speak.]
3:30PM ~ The Curious Case of the Disappearing Dude
with Debra Mieszala, CG
~ Now, honestly? I had another session picked out because of the subject matter, but I'm easily distracted by an awesome title. And, hello?!? This title tells me Ms. Mieszala is creative. Well, at least with her presentation titles. However, as intended, she captured my attention. Something tells me her presentation will also captivate me. And? I'm so ready to be captivated. Really.
5PM ~ Migration Through Canals and Waterways
with Carol Smith, AG ~ Remember? Wherever migration is, I am. Looking forward to Ms. Smith's voyage through canals and waterways.
So. What sessions are y'all thinking about for Thursday, Sept. 8th, at FGS2011?
Visit the FGS 2011 Conference website
for more information about their 2011 conference, Pathways to the Heartland
[Disclosure: I am an Official Blogger for the FGS 2011 Conference.]Doing it Old School Has Its Merits
I love technology. I love computers. I especially love my iPhone. But when it comes to planning stuff out, I prefer doing it old school – paper. And while FGS does provide an online Conference Program
of each day’s sessions, I believe the best way to view and plan out your conference must-go-to sessions is by accessing the FGS 2011 Conference’s brochure, downloading it, saving it and printing it out.
Why waste the paper and ink? After all, it’s a 16-page PDF document for goodness sakes. Well, each day’s lectures, luncheons, and activities are in a 2-page table format. Printing it out allows you to see everything for that day at a glance and make informed decisions. [Trust me. They have a lot of choices.] Steps To Access & Print the Conference Brochure
I stumbled upon this on their site, and thank God I did cuz making my non-fantasy fantasy picks [cuz I'm actually going] is going to be a whole lot easier with these day-by-day session grid table thingies.
Some Additional Tips & Thoughts
- Either access the PDF Conference Brochure by clicking here, OR you can go to the conference’s main page, click on the Media button, on the lefthand sidebar click on the FGS 2011 Conference Brochure button, and click on the PDF download button located in the middle of the page to begin the download.
- Once you download the brochure, you can view it, save it, and/or print it out. [I did all 3, but definitely print it out.]
- Once you print out all 16 pages, take the 2 pages that list each day’s schedule, flip the 1st page for each day over, and line it up with the correct day’s 2nd page so that you can fully read all your choices for each day.
- Each day is broken down into 7 tracks. The first day, Wednesday, is all about genealogical societies, Focus on Societies.
- The rest of the days of the conference [Thursday, Friday, and Saturday] are researcher-focused, and in the future FGS Conference Friday posts, I’ll go over my picks for those as well. [Just as soon as I decide.]
- Within each track, the sessions are organized across the 2 pages with the time of the session listed across the top and the name of the tracks listed going down on the left side. [See why you need to print it out? Hair, people. You don't want to pull out your hair trying to figure out if Thomas MacEntee's 21st Century Marketing Techniques for Genealogists/Genealogical Societies is at the same time as Lisa Alzo's Immigrant Cluster Communities: Past, Present, and Future. And BTW, they're not.] Now, if “all about genealogical societies” is your cup of tea, there are some exciting topics that will be discussed with some even more exciting speakers discussing them, and I’ll go over the tracks and my session picks for that day on next Friday’s FGS Conference post.
- And I’m not gonna lie to you. There are some tough decisions to make here for each day’s sessions, but don’t let that deter you. Also? Keep in mind that what you think you want to attend now may change once you’re there, and that’s okay. I mean, someone that you’ve been communicating online with might want to sit down and talk to you over a cup of coffee or tea. [For reals.] And if this happens, go for it. It’s part of the conference experience. ‘K?
So. How are you sorting out the FGS 2011Conference Sessions? Please feel free to share in Comments below.
What do you mean you haven’t registered yet? What are you waiting for? Their link for more info about registering and the conference overall is here
Next Friday's FGS Conference Post: What I Think Will Be My Non-Fantasy Fantasy Picks for Wednesday
While I'm still on my SCGS2011 Jamboree high, I thought I'd start mentioning the Federation of Genealogical Societies' 2011 Conference in Springfield, Illinois coming up in September, especially since I'm an Official Blogger for them. So. I've come up with some pros and cons, or stays and go's, if you will, to help you decide on whether you should stay at home like you do every year or whether you should go and have a fantastic time.
- If you stay at home, you'll get to read all the cool tweets and blog posts from all of us who decided to go.
- If you stay, you'll be able to finally clean out your garage.
- If you stay, you'll be able to research that family line again with that huge brick wall that you can't seem to scale, and still not scale it.
- If you stay, you can get caught up on that dirty laundry mound that could rival Mount Everest.
- If you stay, you can wash your car. Several times.
- If you stay, you can wash your hair and even play with some new styles for it.
- If you stay, you can continue to communicate with your online genealogy buddies [Well. The ones who decided to stay at home too.], and never get to meet the ones who decided to go. [What do we look like in person anyways?]
- If you stay, you can get all your old photos and documents scanned and digitally organized in between keeping up with all the conference tweeting.
- If you stay, you can read all the blog posts and related tweets about how great and awesome the conference was for weeks on end.
- If you stay, you can see all the you-had-to-be-there-to-understand-it-cuz-it's-an-inside-joke photos and not know what any of them mean.
- If you go, you can meet all those online genealogy peeps that you've been tweeting and blogging with so your family members will stop thinking your some online weirdo. [Or is that just me?]
- If you go, you can meet me. Am I the same in person as I am online? I dunno.
- If you go, you won't have "wrinkle hands" from washing your hair. And your car. Several times.
- If you go, you just might go to a session that teaches some new-found way to scale a brick wall, like the one you've been trying to scale. Or perhaps the session teaches you how to tear the dang thing down and haul off the brick debris.
- If you go, perhaps the Laundry Fairy will swoop in and do all your laundry for you. [Snort.]
- If you go, perhaps you'll learn how to start writing your family's history.
- If you go, perhaps you'll finally learn how to use German church records [Using German Church Records with Michael D. Lacapo, DVM.] so you can find who your 2nd Great-Grandfather's, John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt's, parents were.
- If you go, perhaps you'll learn all about the correct ways to restore your old photographs. [Photo Restoration from Start to Finish Demonstration with Eric Curtis Basir]
- If you go, all your blog readers and Twitter followers can read all about what a FAN-tabulous time you are having and/or had at FGS2011. [Make 'em green with envy.]
- If you go, you can be in on all the you-had-to-be-there-to-understand-it-cuz-it's-an-inside-joke photos. [Or perhaps you'll take the photos. Who knows? You won't unless you go.]
So should you stay or should you go?
Oh. You're asking ME? Well. Duh. Go.
For more details about FGS 2011, please visit the conference's FGS 2011 Website
as well as the FGS Conference Blog
. And don't take your sweet time about it either. Registration prices go up after July 1st. So get your groove on. Go.
Only for Thomas MacEntee would I get up so early. I was dressed and down in line with bells on, as my Gran used to say, for Thomas' presentation, "21st Century Marketing for Genealogy Societies" at 7:30 this morning. And you know what? I 'm so glad I did. Thomas just has a gift for taking the technological stuff [Yes. That's technical jargon.], breaking it down, and delivering it in bite-sized pieces even my Pug, Millie, could understand. [Seriously.] Plus? The scrambled eggs were divine, which probably had to do with all that nice butter they were cooked in. Yum.And I like what Thomas had to say at the beginning. He mentioned that the social media tools that are available for societies to use to promote themselves are absolutely perfect for professional genealogists to use as well to promote themselves. [He always has such great ideas.]And I think you can take it one step further. These same social media tools are perfect for any genealogist or family historian to use to promote themselves. Why would a genealogist
or family historian want to promote themselves, you ask?Why not? Don't you want to connect with other people that are like-minded? How 'bout those cousins? If you don't set up what I like to call a Social Media Beacon on the Shores of the Internet, h
ow will your "lost-at-sea" cousins find you? A message in a bottle?
After Thomas presentation, I mosied on over to Blogger Summits 1 & 2, and it's always exciting to see the uninitiated get inspired to start a genealogy blog. They get a certain glimmer in their eyes. Perhaps it's the idea of the potential of connecting with cousins. Or perhaps it's the idea of writing for an audience that actually wants to know all about your crazy Great Aunt Bernice and why she ran off with that carny. Whatever it is, though, it's awesome, and I can't wait to read their stories. [I never get tired of stories.]Then after a lovely Greek lunch with Amy from the blog, We Tree Genealogy Blog, and Tonia from the blog, Tonia's Roots,
I listened to a wonderful presentation from Dave Obee, "Destination Canada." With his wonderful Canadian accent, Dave provided wonderful insight into the availability of naturalization and immigrant records, which I hope will help me with my [Gasp!] Loyalist line as well as one of my husband's lines that moved to the frosty north.And tonight? The banquet with Curt Witcher's presentation, "The High Tech and High Touch of 21st Century Genealogy." By the end of it, I expect to be on a genealogy high. Even more than I am now.~Caroline
Rettie Maye (Martin) Marshall.
What does the face of your genealogy look like? What do your family's stories sound like? Don't know but want to know?
If you are in or around Southern Cali this next week, Jun 10th-12th, then drop on by the Southern California Genealogical Society's 42nd Annual Jamboree
, where you will find a whole slew of people ~ from beginner to professional ~ learning how to find their past. Their history. Their stories. And the face(s) of their genealogy.
I assure you that you will be in good company. How can I be so sure? 'Cause I'll be there. *snort* That's right. I'll be soaking up all those Southern Cali rays [Oops. I mean, soaking up all those finding-my-ancestors-how-to's.]
So. Will I see you there?
If you can't make it, but, um, maybe I've sorta kinda gotten you just a wee bit interested in what your genealogy face(s) looks like, then perhaps it's time you met Great-Aunt Bernice and my "Getting Started"
series for newbies. Oh. And get a load of this face above from my own genealogy, my grandmother, Rettie Maye (Martin) Marshall, a.k.a., "Paw Paw".
Yup. You read correctly. I'm an Official Blogger for FGS2011!The Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference
this year ~ Pathways to the Heartland ~ is being held in Springfield, Illinois
September 7-10. That's right 4 jam-packed FAN-tabulous days of genealogy fun! Seriously? I was going over all the sessions last night that are available for this conference. And? My head hurts [in a good way] with all the opportunities for learning and networking. This is a must-see-must-attend-absolutely-gotta-be-there conference.
And if that doesn't get you there, then maybe this will. I will be there. Reporting. Interviewing. Dining. Networking. You know, the usual hard work.
BUT, what if you can't make it? Don't worry. I and this outstanding list of esteemed Official FGS Bloggers
will be blogging about the vendors, the food [Apparently, Amy Coffin over on her blog, We Tree
, will be scoring and blogging about some ~from what I hear~ fantastic bacon from a particular vendor.], the socials, the lectures, and, well, everything.
Now, in the months, weeks, and days leading up to FGS2011, I will be spotlighting on this blog and on my Family Stories
blog any conference news, interviews with planned conference lecturers & vendors, historical places to visit near the conference, and local resources for opportunities to research in and around Springfield.
At the conference, I will be Tweeting [ @FamilyStories
] and blogging conference news, interviews, photos, etc.
After the conference, I will be blogging my thoughts, meditations, and the like of the FGS2011 Conference. [And definitely more pics.]
Oh my. I'm gonna busy. [A good kinda busy.] I am so very excited and honored to have been chosen to be an Official Blogger for the FGS2011 Conference!
Now for the "legal business." In exchange for all of the above listed tasks, I am receiving the following from FGS:
- One full complimentary registration to the conference
- Media credentials
- Complimentary admission to the Old-Fashioned Prairie Social on Wednesday evening
- Off-Hour admission to the Exhibit Hall
- Use of space at the Media Hub
[O.K. Can I scream now? Aaaaaaack!!! Woo-hoo!!! This SO rocks!]
So, will I see you there? Goodness, I hope so.
Until then, keep an eye out for all the FGS2011 Conference news via my blogs, Family Stories
and/or For Your Family Story
, via Twitter
, and via Facebook