Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Be Still My Heart! A Genealogical Conference in the Heartland!

I have been to exactly one genealogical conference in my life. I really wasn't sure that I had much to offer on the topic of genealogical conferences. Over the years, I've read what others have had to say about conferences. I especially agree with the oft-stated desire that conferences make their syllabi available on CD's to save trees and make carrying easier. Based on the one conference I've been to and having reviewed potential conferences, I wish there could be more time or different scheduling so my favorite sessions didn't overlap. And if one can't travel for some reason or another, how about webcasts of major conferences?

On that last issue, as a lawyer, I've sometimes attended continuing legal education seminars that are nationally webcast. As for the social interaction aspect, various law schools around the country "host" (in the social sense, not the techie sense) the webcast as if they were actually hosting the seminar. So how about this: a national conference is webcast to local genealogical societies?! Seems like a potential win-win for all.

Last spring, I was quite excited by the possibility of attending the Conference in the States & Family History Fair of the National Genealogical Society. I'm a member of NGS. The Conference last year was held in Richmond, Virginia. The venue afforded opportunities to mark the 400th anniversary of the first colony in Virginia as well as the 225th anniversary of the Battle of Yorktown (which was the previous October).

The sessions and speakers at the NGS conference seemed very interesting and struck me as the most exciting conference lineup I had ever seen. But alas, I had already planned the Big Train Trip to Missouri, so time and finances conspired to keep me away from Richmond.

My perception has been that a lot of the big conferences are held on either Coast or in major cities. I understand the practical reasons for that. But how about a really major conference in mid-America?

Imagine my thrill when I signed into the NGS page not long ago and discovered that next year's NGS Conference in the States & Family History Fair will be in Kansas City!

I've just been to Kansas City on my research trip this year, but I'm ready to go back next spring! Kansas City is a very affordable city and there's a lot happening there. I can't wait!

The clever parking garage across from the Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library


footnoteMaven said...


As a Missouri girl, I had exactly the same feeling.

Road Trip!


Janice said...


Not having any ancestors from mid-America, do you know of any research libraries in the Kansas City area that might have resources, such as libraries or museums, that would interest me (if I attended the 2008 conference there)?

My ancestors hail mostly from New England and New York.




A head's up:

Researchers of Jewish ancestry will gather in CHICAGO in August 2008.

The 28th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy will be held August 17-22.

Great posting.

Craig Manson said...

Thanks for the info, Schelly!