FGS 2013

The Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference recently held in Fort Wayne, Ind., from August 21-24, 2013, did not disappoint this blogger. As with other genealogy programs, the professionalism and knowledge shared by all presenters was impressive. But now that the traveling is over, the unpacking almost done, and a sufficient period of time has elapsed for glazed eyes and tired feet to recover, I am reflecting back on conference week.

Based on no scientific analysis whatsoever, here is my list of favorites attended by this writer at FGS 2013. Please feel free to add your favorites to the list!

Favorite Workshop Out of My Comfort Zone: “German Gothic Handwriting-Anyone Can Read It” by F. Warren Bittner, MS, CG, on Thursday, August 22. Mr. Bittner made an imposing topic non-threatening. Definitely a topic I need to continue exploring given my personal ancestry.

Favorite Session That I Didn’t Plan to Attend, but Glad I Did: “Using the Indianapolis Recorder and the Freeman Newspapers, 1890-1930″ by Timothy N. Pinnick on Friday, August 23. I have printer’s ink running through my veins plus have a personal interest in historical newspapers. After genealogy, what is more fun than reading old newspapers?

Favorite Session That Made Me Go Hmmm: “Mennonite Research: The Forgotten Swiss Germans” by Michael D. Lacopo, DVM, on Saturday, August 24. Not only did Dr. Lacopo’s presentation make me miss my cat, Christopher, I realized that my father’s memories of attending a Mennonite church and possible ancestors from Alsace deserve some more attention.

Favorite Door Prize That I Failed to Win: A Salt Lake City trip package from Ancestor Seekers/Salt Lake Plaza Hotel valued at $1,163 won by a very lucky person at the Farewell Brunch on Sunday, August 25.

Favorite Paraphrased Conference Tweet That I Remember Reading, but Now Cannot Find and Unable to Give Proper Credit: “What is a genealogy conference? Like Comic Con except with dead people?” If anyone knows the identity of this tweeter, please let me know!

Favorite PowerPoint Presentation: “The Keepers and I: Tales of Accessing Historical Sources” by John Philip Colletta, PhD, at the Association of Professional Genealogists Luncheon on Friday, August 23. Dr. Colletta proved that storytelling is alive and well! If you weren’t there to experience it, his PowerPoint presentation was a lesson in imagination!

Favorite Local Hosts: The committees, staff, and volunteers from the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana and the Allen County Public Library (including The Genealogy Center in the library). A conference well done! Thank you!


About Joyce L. Bates

Joyce presently lives in Portland, Oregon. She is not overly impressed with fancy cars or exclusive zip codes, but has no issues traveling first class.
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