31 January 2013

FGS 2013 Conference Week Overview

Are you planning on attending the 2013 Federation of Genealogical Societies 2013 Conference this coming August? As one of the conference co-chairs, I am excited to share this 2013 FGS Conference Week Overview. The actual conference website debut is just days away. Be sure to check www.fgsconferenceblog,org for big announcements! The conference hotels are filling fast and details on those are on the blog.

Monday, August 19
∙    Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center open 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

Tuesday, August 20
∙    Librarian’s Day (all day)
∙    Q&A panel and genealogy consultations in the afternoon, 2-5 p.m.
∙    Onsite registration begins, 3-7 p.m. (additional hours each day – see conference website)
∙    Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center open 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

Wednesday, August 21
(Focus on Societies Day)
∙    Plenary session
∙    Lecture sessions all day (27 sessions + 1 workshop)
∙    FGS Opening Social Evening sponsored by findmypast.com
∙    Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center open 9 a.m.-Midnight (extended hours!)

Thursday, August 22

∙    Keynote session
∙    Grand opening of Exhibit Hall
∙    Lecture sessions all day (31 sessions + 2 workshops)
∙    Vendor Demonstrations
∙    GenSpiration Sessions
∙    3 luncheons
∙    Extended Exhibit Hall hours until 7:30 p.m. (with door prizes!)
∙    Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center open 7 a.m.-Midnight (extended hours!)

Friday, August 23

∙    Lecture sessions all day (47 sessions + 2 workshops)
∙    Vendor Demonstrations
∙    GenSpiration Sessions
∙    3 luncheons
∙    “Journey Through the Generations with Our Veterans” local host societies evening event at the Allen County Public Library sponsored by FamilySearch
∙    Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center open 7 a.m.-Midnight (extended hours!)

Saturday, August 24
∙    Lecture sessions all day (47 sessions + 2 workshops)
∙    Vendor Demonstrations
∙    GenSpiration Sessions
∙    3 luncheons
∙    Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center open 7 a.m.-6 p.m. (extended a.m. hours!)

Sunday, August 25
∙    Farewell Brunch 9-11 a.m. (with door prizes!)

28 January 2013


Good news and yet bad for my schedule! Are you craving a family history TV show? Just received this press release:

Tune in to findmypast.com to view episodes from the hit UK television show, Find My Past, now entering its second season. Each episode links living individuals to real historical events found in their family tree. Findmypast.com is the only place in the US where you can watch this show!

Register on findmypast.com for free and watch Find My Past episodes that aired in the last 30 days at no cost. Missed an episode or want to watch your favorites again? Findmypast subscribers can watch the all episodes for an unlimited time. Every episode will be available to watch on findmypast.com a week after it airs.

Register now!

Find My Past the TV show is an exciting series which unites ordinary members of the public with their ancestors. Each week in the new 10-part series, we reveal how three people are related to someone from a significant historical event by searching the ancestry records on findmypast. We follow their journey as each person discovers which of their ancestors played a role in modern history.

At the end of every episode, we unite the participants and reveal how each person's family history is connected to monumental world history– such as the sinking of the Titanic, the WWI Christmas Truce, and the Great Fire of London.

Hosted by Chris Hollins of BBC Breakfast, Watchdog and winner of Strictly Come Dancing 2009, the hit UK Television series is now available for the first time to watch online, exclusive to findmypast registered users. The remaining five episodes will be shown after Christmas.

22 January 2013

Tour Germany with genealogist Michael Lacopo

I have had a wonderful two weeks in Salt Lake City this January. What a way to begin 2013! Among the many friends I was fortunate to spend time with is Michael Lacopo from Indiana. I learned that he is leading a tour to Germany this coming October 14-22. I know he spent much of his time at the Family History Library on level B-1 researching in German records.

In Mike's own words: "There are simply too many places in this wondrous country worth seeing! In many respects the “tour” is indeed geared as just a trip to Germany, and not for genealogists per se. But what is most important is to experience Germany and seeing the magnificent sites along this thoughtfully planned itinerary is going to be amazing. And, having the opportunity to do some research along the way will make this a truly unique experience for us all." 

If you would like to learn more about the itinerary, cost, and other details click here for details on German Roots Tour 2013.

14 January 2013

Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) registration opens Feb. 7th

Registration for the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh's 2013 edition begins on Thursday, February 7, 2013. Add it to your calendar so you won't forget.

At noon, you can register for any one of the six courses. Preview the course description, coordinators, instructors, and session lineup at www.gripitt.org.

I am coordinating and instructing in Course I: Intermediate Genealogy: Tools for Digging Deeper. The other instructors are D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS and add Debra S. Mieszala, CG. 

I am also instructing in Course 3: Bridging the 1780-1840 Gap: From New England to the Midwest


The July 2012 GRIP was a smash hit and the set-up of the dorms, lecture rooms, and the cafeteria was perfect! The dorms were great for networking.

10 January 2013

History lesson: Don't try to sell official county records

Did Grandpa's old trunk or Great Uncle Alfred's house yield some sort of old record book from a county or state government? Maybe you have the volume labeled Marriage Record 5. Perhaps your cousin told that they had the original records of the early tax lists for the county. In many states the law prohibits the selling of such items whether online or at an antique shop. Many dealers know that they should contact the state archives or county officials if they come upon such an item.

An article in the Arkansas Times blog  tells the story of original tax records from Jefferson County, Arkansas that were being offered on Craig's List for $10,000. Yes, you read that correctly.

Thank goodness someone saw the ad and contacted the proper authorities and the records are being returned to the county.

Read that blog post here.

Some older records that neither the county or state officials deem worth keeping may be ok for you to own. Check with officials. Better safe than sorry or embarrassed. Archivists and others check shops and online auction sites all the time for missing records.