01 December 2017
I have been waiting for this ever since I learned that the National Genealogical Society's 2018 conference will be held in Grand Rapids, Michigan, my home state.
Registration for the 2-5 May 2018 conference, Paths to Your Past, is now open.
The schedule is filled with excellent topics and speakers. The track of lectures include Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) Skillbuilding; Immigration and Migration; Methodology; Paths; Trails, and Waterways; State Research; Military; Technology; Occupations; DNA Discoveries; Religion; Ethnicity; Michigan; Records; African American; Tips and Techniques; New York; Repositories; and Organizations. I am going to have a hard time selecting the lectures to go to as I have highlighted two to three lectures for each time period that sounds interesting. Speakers are local, regional, national and international in fame! Their biographies are included in the registration information.
If attending lectures isn't enough, check out the key note speaker-John Philip Colletta! I have heard him speak and he is a dynamic speaker. Don't sleep in on Wednesday morning and miss "Coming Along the Towpath: The Erie Canal and the Peopling of the Great Lakes State" Michigan population exploded once the Erie Canal opened. Many Michigan settlers came from the New England States and New York via the Erie Canal. Dr. Colletta is a must hear speaker, no matter what time of day he speaks.
Another not to miss event is the exhibit hall. I am already saving my pennies (and more) for this. The exhibit hall is the place to see the latest in genealogical goodies. Exhibitors and vendors will be displaying everything from the latest tech gizmo's to books to luggage tags, maps, and more. Organizations will be available to answer questions, offer mini classes and demonstrations on a variety of topics and more. It is the place to go. I would recommend scheduling one lecture time just for the exhibit hall. You will want to visit the exhibit hall more than once. Just like Chicago voting, go early and go often. Popular items will sell out.
Another popular event is the luncheons. Various organizations sponsor lunch each day. You get a great lunch, meet great people, and hear another lecture. The first national conference I went to my strategy was to attend everything I could afford. I ended up being exhausted by the end of day two. I would suggest attending at least one luncheon and reserve some down time, especially if you plan to go to any of the evening events.
Speaking of evening events, Society Night is on Wednesday, 2 May 2018, from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Representatives from various genealogical and historical societies will be available to share what their society has from memberships, research sources, historical places, and publications. My local society, Calhoun County Genealogical Society (CCGS), will have a table. CCGS will have Calhoun County Pioneer and Early Settlers list; Fort Custer German POW photographs, list of Calhoun County resources and more. Stop by and say hi!
The Michigan Genealogical Council (MGC)will have a table as well. MGC supports its member societies and will have a map with all the member societies in Michigan, as well as information on each society.
Another evening event will be held at the President Gerald R. Ford Museum. Attendees will be able to view the museum, hear the Schubert Male Chorus and enjoy dessert with host society Western Michigan Genealogical Society.
All of the above information and more can be found in the registration brochure. Early bird registration ends March 20, 2018, so save yourself some money, for the exhibit hall, and go register!