My summer was very busy, filled with several genealogy conferences and speaking engagements in California, Washington and Canada.
If you're interested in discovering your family history, I highly recommend that you attend a genealogy conference. These events usually offer special sessions for newcomers, some provide classes in essential skills, and all provide information on new resources, publications and much more.
There are numerous genealogy conferences each year and they highlight different research areas. There are events for people researching Polish, German, Dutch, Eastern European, Jewish and other specialties, as well as general events addressing topics common to all genealogists and family history researchers.
My summer began as a speaker at the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in early June, which was attended by more than 1,000 regional genealogists, offered many top speakers, sessions on technology and ethnic research, a vendor room packed with books, software and useful displays. This year's event was co-sponsored by the Cajun research group, so there was a definite Louisiana flavor to special sessions.
My topic was "Creating Hope," which focused on how writing on genealogy for general publications and newspapers presents the possibilities of family research to a wide audience that has never thought about pursuing their roots.
From Los Angeles, I visited genealogy friends along the way and spoke in Seattle and Vancouver BC on the same topic, adjusting the content to the specific audience.
In Seattle, Washington, the joint program was sponsored by the Jewish Education Council and the Jewish Genealogical Society of Washington State, while in Vancouver, the event was sponsored by the Jewish Genealogical Institute. In Victoria BC, I connected with a long-lost branch of my husband's family, and we spent a delightful day in the mountains about an hour's drive away.
On my way once again, I arrived in Salt Lake City to attend the annual Federation of Eastern European Historical Societies (FEEFHS), followed by the 27th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy.
Unfortunately, I missed the two major general genealogy conferences, but perhaps I can schedule them for next year.
In the next few postings, I'll provide you with highlights of each stop, the programs and more. Readers who have questions or comments about these events are invited to write in, and I look forward to hearing from you.