Saturday, May 11, 2013

2013 NGS Conference - Day 4

I set the alarm last night so I could get up early enough to shower and actually sit down in the Paradise Cafe for breakfast.

My first class was at 8 am, presented by Elissa Scalise Powell - Baker's Dozen Steps to Writing Research Reports. She gave a very detailed lecture of the process of compiling and writing that all important report that I should have been doing all along. I've been jumping from ancestor-to-ancestor, record-to-record, collecting information I thought I needed. Not realizing that I should be documenting all the steps of positive and negative research results. I've taken several of these classes from the different Skill Building Tracks during the conference. I'm so glad I attended this session.

My next class was at 9:30 am, presented by Laura Murphy DeGrazia - Of City Slickers and Straphangers: Tracing Urban Ancestors. This speaker was fun to listen to. She was from Long Island New York, and even poked fun of her own accent. When I was at Rootstech this past March, I hung out with a woman who was also from Long Island New York. If I closed my eyes, Laura sounded just like her; her topic was great. Stressed the need to know the locality, ethic and religious background of your ancestor who was a city-dweller. She gave us great examples of her written works, problems and strategies with URLs for more research.

I took a break and went over to the Exhibit Hall and purchased a book from the NGS booth. I got a signed copy of his new book, Mastering Genealogical Proof by Thomas W. Jones. I attended several of his sessions this week. Several of the speakers have referenced different books in their talks. "Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians" and "The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy: 3rd Edition". Since one of the book sellers was marketing a 10% discount and free shipping, I ordered both books. That will save me from having to schlep them home in my luggage.

At 2:30 pm I'm going to attend the session, presented by Gordon Atkinson - Getting to Know Fold3. I took Gordon's first class on Wednesday, very informative so I believe this one will be an overview of the resources available on Fold3. Looking forward to it. Our local library has a free trial of Fold3 until June.

After that class I'm going to drop off my excess baggage in my room, then jump on the Monorail for a ride to the end, MGM Grand. I'll be back in time to attend Dick Eastman's After the Conference Dinner being held tonight at our hotel

Thursday, May 9, 2013

2013 NGS Conference - Day 2

Today's conference sessions were really good for me. They kept my interest and even if I knew some of the content, I learned a new tip, trick, or how to search on a particular website. I'm full of hope that when I get home I'll be able to try out and use all the new resources I now have.  Here's a rundown if the classes I took today:

8:00 am
"How to Find What You Are Looking for on Fold3" - Gordon Atkinson
I once won a subscription to (predecessor to Fold3). I didn't like their format and felt it was clunky to use, and I never got any "hits" for my family. I'm now looking forward to searching Fold3.  I plan on uploading my father's WWII information and search some of the non-military records as well.

9:30 am
"Cloud Genealogy" - Shamele Jordon
I'm familiar with the "Cloud." I use Dropbox, Evernote, Box and several other products. This speaker made her presentation not only interesting and enjoyable, she was funny and entertaining too. I learned so many new facets of Apps I already have and use. Enjoyed her talk very much.

11 am
"How to Find Your Relative on the Internet Without Really Searching" - Daniel Horowitz
This class was for the program. I have uploaded my GEDCOM file to the site. The speaker explained about the Smart Matching and Smart Research tools to help the genealogist discover information and help relatives to participate and benefit from social networking. Good speaker and I'll definately use his search techniques as I get more familiar with the site.

12:15 pm
Board for Certification of Genealogists Luncheon "Blackguards and Black Sheep: The Lighter Side of the Law"
At lunch, I sat next to a very nice lady from San Angelo, TX.  She gave me a clue to one of my brickwall dilemmas.  I had been pondering about that dilemma for years.  You just never know who you'll be sitting next to at these luncheons.

2:30 pm
"Information Overload? Effective Project Planning, Research, Data Management & Analysis" - Elizabeth Shown Mills
Yes, the title sounds very weighted (especially after a heavy lunch). Ms Mills is an excellent speaker. I was riveted to my seat. I felt like I was looking over her shoulder as she showed us how to make and use a Research Report Template and a Research Notes Template. She made all the steps in the process easy to understand to made me want to start all over with my database.

4:00 pm
"How to Create an Exciting Interactive Family History Tour with Google Earth" - Lisa Louise Cooke
I've taken classes from Lisa many times. Her presentations are informative; she gives you a step-by-step instruction, and she makes you feel, "Yes, I can do this!" Her presentation really pulls you into her story and you get excited along with her as she "flies" you to the next destination. She gives you links to various internet sites and explains just what you'll find there and why you need to check out that website.

This has only been the second day of the conference and I'm jazzed and excited to use all my new resources. Can't wait until tomorrow's sessions.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

2013 NGS Conference - Travel Day

I'm in Las Vegas this week to attend my first National Genealogical Society (NGS) conference. This is actually my third conference this year. January I attended the Family History Expo in Mesa, AZ. March, I went to Salt Lake City for Rootstech 3. In June I'll make my annual trek to Burbank, CA for Southern California Genealogical Society's Jamboree.

I flew in early this afternoon, got my room; settled in. I then went in search of the convention center so I could pick up my conference materials. I plan on attending the 8 am opening session, then spend some time to scope out the exhibit hall.

Here's the sessions I hope to attend on Wednesday. The first in each group are the sessions I hope to get a seat; the second choice is my backup:

11 AM, W121: Debunking Misleading Records - Thomas W. Jones
11 AM, W129: The Ultimate Genealogy SuperSearch Engine - Daniel Horowitz

2:30 PM, W142: The Genealogical Proof Standard - Elizabeth Shown Mills
2:30 PM, W143: Basic Military Research - Craig Roberts Scott

4 PM, W155: Divorce Records in Genealogical Research - Pam Stone Eagleson
4 PM, W152: Impossible Immigrant! I know Everything About the Man Except Where He Came From - F. Warren Bittner

I'm looking forward to tomorrow.

Copyright (c) 2013, Gayle Ficarra Wolcott