Thursday, February 7, 2013

Tech = $ + All the things you didn't know you needed.

There are two things in this life that I dearly love: Old time hockey and old time genealogy! This usually comes as a complete surprise to most people since there are so many tech toys available to genealogists now days.  I suppose the soft spot in my heart for old time genealogy stems from an appreciation for my relatives who spent many hours pecking away at manual typewriters corresponding with county clerks and archivists. I have always thought that Genealogy 101 (no technology) should be a prerequisite for all brand new family detectives, if for no other reason than learning that genealogy existed before the Internet! Nothing compares to walking the ground your ancestors walked and touching the record books where their life events were recorded.

So I am going to assume that all of you have completed Gen101 and are now ready to cross that bridge to the 21st century. The theme of this year's OGS conference-- Expanding Your Ancestry Through Technology -- says it all. 

This year there are several lectures that offer advice on self-publishing, cell phone aps, using social media for genealogy purposes, and organizing all of this stuff. There is also a session on how your iPad fits into all of this.
On Thursday, Lisa Louise Cooke has 2 Google sessions - one on surnames search, the other on Google Earth. The latter is fascinating. I caught this lecture a couple of years ago and I was very impressed with what happens when you combine Google Earth and genealogy. You will need a basic understanding of Google for this lecture to make any sense!

Sponsored lectures. These are sessions that showcase the features of specific products that you will normally find in the Exhibit Hall. Most of the time you will be able to purchase these at a conference discount. This is a great opportunity to see if the product will actually work for you -- cause that doesn't always happen, as we all know!! This is what is featured this year:

 Flip-Pal is a mobile scanner. They have two sessions on Friday both devoted to preserving and sharing your family memories and keepsakes.

Roots Magic is a popular genealogy software program that has been around for a long time. One session on Friday will cover some features of this program.

GenDetective (Rumble Soft Inc.) is a product that works with your genealogy software to find the gaps in your family research and create research plans to save you time. This I am definitely going to look into.

The Ohio Historical Society lecture features their newspaper collection available online. 

 The International Society of Family History Writers and Editors is sort of self-explanatory with information about how and where to share your research.

FamilySearch,org. Information about a new project to collect and publish information about German immigrants in the 19th century. This of course ties into the other numerous German sessions that are featured in this conference. If you are looking for the German experience both at the conference and in the area, this is the place to be in April.


Fold3 Online military records. Partnered with the National Archives and Allen County Public Library.

For those of you who have UK roots there will be two sessions. is a well-known source for records from England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Australia. The National Archives (UK) has records dating back centuries. Just for fun I searched for Waterfield and found a knight! Of course, I don't know if we are related, but I would like to think so. Perhaps he was a Knight of the Round Table. And perhaps, not!

Heritage Quest is a website that is available through most public libraries. There are no individual memberships. This session on Friday afternoon will take you  through the many collections and the best research methods to make this program work for you.
The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is a "must" for anyone with New England ancestors. Here is your chance to get a good look at the information available on this great website. Check in the Exhibit Hall to see if they will have any conference membership specials.
I hope I didn't miss anything. I will keep you updated as we get closer to the conference. If you have any questions about Cincinnati and what to do or where to stay, please feel free to ask me. I will try to answer any questions you may have.

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