Saturday, May 18, 2013

NGS Conference Recap

It's been a week since I came home from the well-organized National Genealogical Society (NGS) Family History Conference. Four days of great workshops--five for those who arrived a day ahead to participate in the field trips. Although I didn't do any of the field trips, I did hear some positive responses about them. The trips included visits to the Hoover Dam, Ethel M Chocolate company, the the Clark County Museum. The curator of the Clark County museum is a pretty famous guy--Mark Hall-Patton--better known as "the museum guy" on the television show "Pawn Stars". Mark was the featured speaker at the NGS banquet on Friday night.

Other well-known speakers included Warren Bittner, Lisa Louise Cooke (of Genealogy Gems Podcast), Jay Fonkert, Harold Henderson, Ronald Hill, Thomas W. Jones, Mark Lowe, Kory Meyernick, Elissa Powell, Megan Smolenyak, and Elizabeth Shown Mills.

Many of you know of Elisabeth Shown Mills' website "Historic Pathways" and her seminal works on evidence citation, including "Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace". It's a must-have for all serious genealogists, especially if you are writing client reports and writing articles for journal publication.

But the "hot" book to buy at the conference is written by Thomas W. Jones, entitled "Mastering Genealogical Proof". The line just to buy the book wrapped around the already-large NGS booth. Additional lines grew each time he appeared to autograph the book. A few attendees won a copy of the book via the many raffles that occurred.  Alas, I was not a raffle winner, but I bought the book anyway.  It's a great reference for those writing proof arguments for journal publications, but it is also useful if you are studying in a genealogy course and need to learn to write proof arguments.

I hear that next year's NGS conference will be in Virginia.  In the meantime, I'll be attending the Southern California Genealogy Society's (SCGS) Jamboree conference in June. By the way--for those of you interested--the SLIG conference (Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy) opens their registration on June 1st. Their program takes place in January in Salt Lake City, and located within walking distance of the Family History Center library. Registrations are quite limited, and tracks fill up fast. My calendar is marked--is yours?
SLIG information can be found at

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS; has their conference in August. I won't be able to go--but it will take place in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Why Fort Wayne? Because Fort Wayne is home to the Allen County Public Library, the second-largest genealogy library, and second only to the Family History Library in Salt Lake. Worthy of trip, with or without the conference, from what I hear. The library itself is on my to-visit list. My grandmother, her parents and grandparents all lived in Indiana, so I'm hoping to visit the state soon. It's part of my "dream" genealogy trip--to travel to Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin to visit the ancestors. Now if I only find the money......

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