Genealogy Conferences - My Likes and Dislikes
My first exposure was working and attending the NGS in San Diego in 1995. Alas it was cut short due to death of my father.
I had a half day and another half day of attending and working. I was so thrilled to see all the things that we just did not seem to be hearing about that was out there for help in research, and methods and sources.
That note believe it or not is what I still hear from new Genealogists today. We did not know you existed or did that kind of help. I have never seen those forms before. Gee, it would make things so much easier had I had that chart to keep track of my research. All actual comments that find their way into my ears.
So since my first some things have changed but many things have not.
I have since attended the Jamboree in Burbank as often as I can financially afford it. Now that is another rub, since we can not really afford to set home if you actually saw what they were offering and how much it would help you in your research. Whether it be a specific place or otherwise, data can generally be related to anyones research and applied to give yourself a boost.
I love the convention hall areas for vendors. I am not sure a big Conference or Jamboree would feel the same if I was not able to attend that venue. I generally scoot through once scan what is there. Make mental or physical notes of what really peaked my interest to go back and do in depth research on those places.
I love that fact that some of the societies that I belong to such as NEHGS, NGS actually attend the large venues and we meet some of the people whom put out data and offer to help their members, whether at the conference or from home. I can say that NEHGS has been a blessing for my research and I promote them when I can. Did you know they have files on non New England areas? Yes, they do.
When attending a close conference it would be super to be more aware of the ability to drive so maybe a person could attend only one day if could not afford or have time for more. I know there is parking but the knowledge of this information tends to be slim. I love that fact I can get on the train and go up and get dropped off literally almost at Burbank's front door. (Having had knee surgery this was key one year.)
After attending my first conference just the two half days due to work then Dad's death. I more than gained enough knowledge to have off set any fees incurred. In fact I think it saved me several dollars because of my talking to the people whom I did speak with.
So think about this, it may be looking costly but the information you gain and the information you can share and the people you can meet all move you forward in your research.
The surname boards at a Conference are super. I have located many family members this way.
Of course they are not necessarily first cousins but the information that I have garnered from the
third and fourth and second and other cousins has been a life saver in research.
I wish they would do a stand up of people when you go into the hall so that you can see who else is there that is researching the same area. Generally it will be a distant kin if in the 1600 or 1700's for coming to the States. It may take a while but it can happen.
This can work even up to about 1860 for research in the more western states, and mid west.
My wish is that it was one day more. It seems we fly from one event to the next and truly miss the interaction with the people we really wish we could chat with more.
My one comment also on communication is that we have more and pay attention less or at least are not able to connect with people when we had less. Time rushes past us and us past Time.
I want to thank all those who have put on Conferences and Jamborees for the intense work it takes to put on a day or more event. Each day compounds the problems and adds to the delights of a conference or jamboree.