FGS Conference Highlights (So Far)

by Julie Hill

Posted on September 9, 2011

The Archives team is having a great time at the FGS Conference. In particular, we've enjoyed talking to other attendees at our booths 621/720! It has been a pleasure meeting lots of new folks, and also seeing many that we recognize from previous NGS and RootsTech conferences.

We're particularly excited to share information about our newly launched Community Contributions Project. This program helps societies, libraries, archives or individuals make their records available online. Come by booths 621/720 to pick up a flier and learn more.

fgs-2011.png Here are some of the other activities we've enjoyed so far.

First was the Keynote Session with David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States. David gave a fitting opening address, telling some of his own journey in family history research, and thanking genealogists for helping the National Archives better understand the historical documents in their care. Also, David noted the recent accomplishments of the National Archives, launching several blogs and social media accounts, and collaboration with sites like Wikipedia.

Several of us took part in the luncheon with the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYGBS) where Lauren Maehrlein recounted her "worst day in genealogy". On her worst day, Lauren tried as hard as she could to have a day dedicated to family history research - but life got in the way (earthquake, closures due to holiday, snow storm). In her closing remarks Lauren noted how much of this inconvenience and lost time could be avoided today with the usage of cell phones and the internet - but still, she noted wisely, always make sure to check the calendar.

We've attended several sessions, all of which have been superb including "Discovering Old World Origins with U.S. Records" with David Ouimette of FamilySearch. This jam packed session (where several sat on the floor in the back) was chock-full of tips to help you find your immigrant ancestors. We particularly enjoyed David's insightful answers during the Q&A period.

On Thursday, while the sun was still out, we stole away for a few minutes to do some sightseeing. Springfield has a lot to offer, and many "must see" spots are within close walking distance. The Old State Capital Building, Abe Lincoln's house and historical neighborhood, and the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices were highlights.

springfield-il.png Included here are several pictures from our day in Springfield on Thursday. We're looking forward to more fun and learning today and tomorrow (while staying out of the rain!). We've only been able to participate in a fraction of the events offered at FGS, so tell us, what have been your favorite things so far at the conference?

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