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   Conference season starts early this year.  The Federation of Genealogical Societies, whose conference is usually in August, will be joining forces with RootsTech this year for a mega conference in Salt Lake City (last year RootsTech pulled in 13,000 people).  Can you beat that!  Not only do you get to attend the conferences, but you get to research in the largest genealogical library in the world!  Mark your calendar for February 11-14, 2015 (actually, I’d schedule a few days before or after for research).  

   My first FGS conference was in 1999 in St. Louis (how do I remember that…the syllabus is on my bookshelf).  I’ve only missed a few since then.  The most recent FGS conference was San Antonio this past August.  

   Why do I attend, not only FGS, but also other conferences during the year?  Genealogy has a never ending learning cycle.  There are always new resources, new methodology, new information.  For the past dozen years or so, I’ve lectured at many of the conferences, but I also attend sessions and visit with the vendors.  If I’m learning about something new, I might plan to attend all of the lectures on a certain topic (this August is was DNA).  I also try to attend all of the sessions on Irish research (in August I attended a 2 1/2 hour workshop on Scots-Irish research done by David Rencher and Dean Hunter).  Then there are the sessions by specific lecturers that I try not to miss.  I always leave a conference with my head full of new ideas to try and break through those brick walls.

   I will also spend time with the vendors.  If I have a specific question or concern, or want to give feedback, I’ll try to catch them at a quiet time, perhaps when most people are attending a session.  Sometimes I’ll come away with a different perspective on their product.

   But one of the best reasons for attending a conference is to be able to visit with others who share my passion.  It’s no secret that my family is “not into dead people.”  Being with like minded people and able to share successes (and brick walls) is for me, one of the best reasons for attending a conference.

   Happy Hunting!

© Donna M. Moughty 2007- 2018