Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Go West Young Genealogist!

What a combination -- genealogy and Las Vegas! Certainly it isn't that difficult to associate "families" with Las Vegas and that will be covered in one of the conference sessions - Which Family Do You Mean? Las Vegas Families and Organized Crime Families! On Wednesday, May 8, at 4pm this could be one of those sessions that will be held in the extra large lecture hall at the NGS Conference in May.

This extra large conference hall is just one of the new features at this conference. Conferences have changed dramatically in the last few years. These events were getting very boring: the same speakers and the same topics. Sometimes I would just go for the Exhibit Hall, local research facilities, socializing with other genealogists or just to keep in touch. Gradually things began to change. Technology, African American research, Jewish genealogy, Who Do You Think You Are, and creating a "picture" of your ancestors' lives began to add new energy to the agenda. This year an extra large lecture room has been added to accommodate 700 people for those topics that are in high demand. What a difference a few years make.

Three breakfast buffets are offered this year on Thursday morning from 7:00am - 7:40am. Menu: scrambled eggs, sausage, potatoes, fruit, yogurt, pastries, tea or coffee. $24. The buffet groups are NGS First Timers, Pro Gen study groups, and Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy . The price of $24 sounds a little pricey to me, however, if it is important for you to connect with these groups, it could be worth cutting out another expense to enjoy this onel

The third new thing this year is the Internet Cafe. This will be a room where you can relax, network, socialize, keep up with any changes in the program, and interact with the bloggers at the conference. 300 people is the limit for this room

You still have time to get your early bird registration in by March 19. Cost $195 for members: $230 for non-members. You can register on line at

A printed syllabus is only available with the Early Bird registration and the cost is $25. Here I would take the syllabus over the breakfast, but that is because I am a book person and it is not humanly possible for me to eat $24 worth of eggs, potatoes  and sausage. 

This is a conference with an enormous amount of activities. I can't possibly cover it all in one post. More to follow. 

Calling All Snowbirds!

Have you been in Florida for two months and are just so tired of laying on the beach all day? Can't stand one more sunset cocktail party by the pool? Been to all the Flea Markets? All the Outlet Malls?

Hello! There are a lot of genealogical societies in Florida. Think about it. Where else can you find a bunch of people from all over the United States with time on their hands. The greatest thing about these societies is that although they have people who are researching the local history, they also attract people from other parts of the country and all over the world who have information to share. It is like one huge genealogy melting pot.

I have found that most people who set off on their winter vacation down I-75 don't think sun, sand, sunset, and family research. We usually figure that the summer months are the time to plan a research trip to Virginia or Indiana. That's true, but did you every think that a lot of your long lost family members might be vacationing in Florida in the condo a couple of blocks away.

This is a small sample of what is available in a state where most visitors don't "think" genealogy:

The Villages (near Ocala, Florida) - They have monthly meetings plus special interest groups. You can attend these activities as a guest. 

Florida State Genealogical Society Their website will give you a list of Florida genealogical societies by county.

Lee Count Genealogical Society The Fort Myers area draws a lot of mid-western retirees. If you are from Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, or Michigan you have a good chance of running into people you knew in high school. Their meetings are open to snowbirds. Be sure to check out this website if you will be hitting the beaches of southwest Florida.

Also, Florida history is quite interesting and there are a lot of books at the local libraries about "old Florida",crackers, Micanopy, the Keys and the Everglades. Many of the libraries have temporary cards for snowbirds. The Sunshine State is much more than high rise condos and t-shirt shops.

By the way the weather up north is still cold so stay another week or so, go pick up a book on old Florida, stretch out by the pool and discover the "other Florida"