23 August 2013

First Day Filled with News and Education at FGS 2013

Thusday marked the opening of the educational sessions of FGS 2013.  The morning was kicked off with the keynote speaker, Richard Aquila, who took conference goer's through the roots of rock and roll.  I have a small confession to make, I didn't make it to the keynote session.  I guess Wednesday nights activities caught up with me.

I did make it to the media hub at the exhibit hall for the FGS 2013 Ambassador picture and prize drawing.  (The internet connection at the hotel is very slow and pictures take forever to upload.  I will post pictures when I have more time.)  The exhibit hall is great as usual.  Here are a few highlights from the exhibit hall:

  • I was able to get my Roots Magic questions answered by Root Magic expert, Bruce Buzbee.
  • Renewed my membership to NEHGS .
  • Bought a book, The German Research Companion, which I have been wanting.
  • Talked to vendors and society organizations.
  • Attended the society showcase, lots of great door prizes were awarded.  
  • While at the society showcase I ran into the past president of my local society, Calhoun County Genealogical Society.  He mentioned they still needed help on the board.  The two openings were Vice President and Secretary.  I have been looking to become more involved with my local society and agreed to be on the September ballot for Secretary.  I wasn't ready to jump into the Vice President's roll.
  • Ran into a retired teacher at the elementary school my children attended, Miss Brenneman.  Kirk and Miss Brenneman worked at the same school and they caught up on how each of them were doing.
The educational offerings were superb.  I attended all four sessions:
  1. Thomas W. Jones-Planning and Executing Efficient and Effective Research: A Case Study: As usual Dr. Jones presented an excellent session.  The Wayne B room was experiencing technical difficulties and he handled it with professionalism and a little humor.  I would not have been as patient.  Nevertheless, he was able to convey the information to the audience.  The room was packed with a few hundred genealogists proving how popular Dr. Jones is. 
  2. Elizabeth Shown Mills-Smiths and Joneses:  Success with Families of Common Names:  This was my first time hearing Elizabeth Shown Mills speak.  Again, the room was packed.  She presented an information packed session with four research models and two case studies.
  3. Railroads Across America replaced Railroad Trilogy:  The Tracks, The Train, The People. Patricia Walls Stamm presented an interesting talk on the history of railroading in America with resources for researching ancestors employed in the railroad industry.
  4. Harold Henderson-First Steps in Indiana Research:  Harold took participants through the resources available for Indiana research, including online and on sight research repositories. Harold provided numerous sources for Indiana researchers.
If you haven't heard the 2014 FGS Conference will be held in San Antonio, Texas.  The 2015 conference was announced and FGS will be partnering with Roots Tech and hold the FGS 2015 conference in Salt Lake City, in February 2015.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out.  It has potential to be a great collaboration.

FGS 2013 is proving to be an excellent conference.  My schedule today is packed.  It starts at 8:00 am and continues straight through until 9:30 tonight.  Midnight if I want to take advantage of the late night ACPL Genealogy Center late research hours!  Check back for more updates.


  1. Brenda, thanks for your report. I know you're have a fabulous time. Maybe we can meet in 2015, if you go to SLC.

  2. Brenda, thanks for your report. I know you're have a fabulous time. Maybe we can meet in 2015, if you go to SLC.

  3. I also thought the "First Steps in Indiana" session was excellent. Especially since the ACPL is right here and I could put some of his tips to use right away!

  4. Barbara, I would love to go to SLC, I just don't know how excited I am to travel from Michigan to Utah in the winter.

    Marian, I still need to meet you. I can't wait to put all I have learned into use.