I’m heading back to the US for the largest West Coast genealogy conference - and the largest number ever of participating genealogy bloggers (70) – at the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree 2011.
I just finished a short visit home after a long trip covering the East Coast. Here are some highlights of that trip.
At the end of March, I ran the MyHeritage.com booth at the Ohio Genealogical Society regional conference in Columbus. I reunited with old friends and colleagues, met new friends and also gave some lectures for local genealogy groups in Dayton and Cleveland.
The New England Regional Conference - in Springfield, Massachusetts – was next. I tried to find the Simpson family, but it seems it was the wrong Springfield. There were some very interesting lectures and the opportunity to work on my personal research with a lecture about genealogy repositories in Romania and Ukraine. A later conversation with the speakers discovered some previously unknown resources.
MyHeritage's own Daniel Horowitz has a daunting tour schedule in the coming months, and I will also be speaking in numerous venues. We will both be speaking at the major genealogy events as well as staffing the company's booth.
We invite MyHeritage.com users to stop by and say hello at the conferences or to attend the other programs at the conferences.
We are especially looking forward to greeting our UK users at the upcoming Who Do You Think You Are? Live family history fair in London.
Here's Daniel's upcoming tour. His topics cover information-packed talks covering a broad range of topics - from MyHeritage features, technology, genealogy school projects, resources and more.
Now that I'm back to my normal routine, I'm trying to review the great experiences from this summer.
Great times included four conferences in California, Washington State and Texas; visiting dear friends and family members; and meeting several relatives for the first time as we shared family history.
At all the conferences, I helped explain what we do at MyHeritage.com and how our tools and features make it easy for families to connect and communicate no matter where they live.
My suitcase now includes several new T-shirts from this year's events and some for 2011 events.
Here are some highlights:
Some 50 geneabloggers attended the Southern California Genealogical Society's Jamboree this year.
In a move that could be a real moneymaker - and thus an incentive to provide genealogical services - for many additional countries, Ireland will begin providing Irish Heritage certificates by the end of 2010.
There are some 70 million individuals worldwide with Irish heritage, and this seems like a great way to show it. The certificate may also provide travel and tourist discounts when the certificate-holders visit Ireland.
Are you planning a family roots trip this summer? If so, it's time to make plans.
Whether you stay at home or plan an international trip, the basics are the same: Decide where you are going and what information you would like to find. Contact local historic or genealogical societies in the area for more information, and see below for even more suggestions.
Make a list of your names of interest and the towns your ancestors lived in. Try to group the towns regionally, by a particular geographic area. If this is an ambitious trip, you may want to make several groupings of towns.
A good way to put everything into perspective is to get a big map of the region you are planning to explore. Make a trip to your local office supply store and pick up a few packages of colored (but transparent) removable adhesive dots - they come in all sizes. Using the transparent ones mean you won't be covering up important information.
Color code your map. For example, put a red dot for the town, a blue dot for the cemetery, a yellow dot for archives, courthouses or libraries, and a green dot for possible accommodations.
Use other colors for restaurants.
And, if your family is coming with you, mark sites they would like to visit either with you or while you are digging through documents. Pay attention to fun places like water parks, amusement parks, a beach, music festivals or childrens' museums. Remember that cemeteries are not high on other people's must-see lists.
In this small example, the reddish rectangles are towns family lived in. The blue rectangles are places of fun for the family. Pittsfield is near Tanglewood's music festival, while Sturbridge is home to an open-air museum which recreates life as it was, complete with artisans in period dress.
Once you've got the regional map marked, you'll be able to see where the important genealogical target sites are. Connect the lines and figure out distances. Look for accommodations central to several sites or one town from which you can easily reach a few others.
You may also be looking for new-found living relatives or attempting to re-connect with longlost relatives. Contact relatives in the area you will be visiting. They might even invite you to stay with them, or at least invite you for a meal! But do let them know far in advance.