NGS conference wrap-up

Hard to believe, but it’s been nearly a week since the 2012 National Genealogical Society conference wrapped up in Cincinnati, Ohio. With my work schedule, I was only able to attend a short time, yet I returned home bursting with new ideas, energized for my own personal research, and optimistic for what the future holds in the field of genealogy. A successful conference, to be sure.

NGS 2012 Family History Conference, May 9-12, Cincinnati (OH)

Always a highlight at conferences, I reconnected with colleagues from across the country, sharing updates on our places of work, and discussing future conferences and learning opportunities. I also enjoyed meeting new Facebook and Twitter friends face to face. My Friday program on Michigan genealogy went well, too, researchers’ enthusiasm and interest in Michigan continues to amaze and motivate me.

En route to Cincinnati, I stopped in Blue Ash at Blue Ash Chili for some outstanding 3-way chili and delectable mac & cheese. Skyline Chili was an enjoyable lunchtime spot the next day, although I preferred Blue Ash. Yet my Cincinnati culinary highlight was Graeter’s ice cream, conveniently located two blocks from my hotel. Black Raspberry Chip!

Although I unfortunately missed the opening program on the 1848 Cincinnati panorama, I did have the opportunity to visit the exhibit at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. It’s simply incredible how much detail we can glean from that image, down to the exact time it was taken. The exhibit hall is always an important part of the conference experience, both in conversations with vendors and in emptying one’s wallet; this year was no exception. It’s equally amazing – and inspiring – that FamilySearch is expecting the 1940 Census to be completely indexed by the end of August!

I look forward to my next visit to Cincinnati, perhaps at the Ohio Genealogical Society‘s annual conference in April 2013. Hope to see you there!

NGS 2012

The car is packed, fueled up, and pointed due south. Lunch dates and appointments with friends and colleagues have been confirmed. The conference schedule has been pored over and analyzed. Restaurants and watering holes have been identified. My program has been edited, rehearsed, and polished. It’s time. Cincinnati, here I come!

Next week, the genealogical community will converge on Cincinnati, Ohio for the 2012 Annual Conference of the National Genealogical Society. I have the privilege of speaking at this year’s conference – “Michigan Roots: Genealogy Research in the Wolverine State” on Friday, May 11 at 11:00a. I’ll be giving an overview of Michigan, its rich history, migration patterns, and the genealogical records available both online and in print.

NGS 2012 Conference, May 9-12, Cincinnati (OH)

As I’ve written in earlier posts, I am a big supporter of conferences and seminars, that collection of subject experts, content providers, vendors, local societies, booksellers, and attendees, complete with new product announcements and content releases. The 1940 Census and’s acquisition of will certainly be two of the hot topics of discussion, and there will no doubt be many new announcements and product launches.

On the culinary side, my Michigan friends still give me a hard time for my trip to Philadelphia for the FGS conference a few years back. Taking advantage of the local cuisine, I ate a hearty number of Philly cheesesteaks, in pursuit of the “best.” With Cincinnati known for its chili, I’ve been busy compiling a list of “best” candidates. Although my chili intake in Cincinnati will not reach those Philadelphian and stomach-churning heights, I’ll still give it my best effort. I’m sure my blog post review of the conference will discuss this important development….

I’m looking forward to meeting new researchers, reconnecting with old friends, and learning about new resources, gadgets, online tools. Whether it be to learn new research techniques, empty your wallet in the exhibit hall, or sample the local cuisine, there is truly something for everyone in Cincinnati. See you next week!

NGS 2012, Cincinnati

With the attention of the genealogical community focused, understandably so, on the release of the 1940 U.S. Census in just a matter of days, I’d like to write about an equally important event to be held in southern Ohio a few weeks later.

The National Genealogical Society’s Annual Conference will be held this year in Cincinnati, Ohio from May 9-12, 2012. I have the privilege of speaking at this year’s conference – “Michigan Roots: Genealogy Research in the Wolverine State” on Friday, May 11 at 11:00a.

NGS 2012 Conference, May 9-12, Cincinnati, Ohio

In today’s one-click world of Tweets, Likes, and Pins, with instant communication and information sharing, there is still something to be said for attending a national conference, such as NGS or FGS. There is a certain energy and excitement in the air at these events, a hybrid collection of subject experts, content providers, vendors, local societies, booksellers, and attendees, plus new product announcements and content releases, all set against the backdrop of the host city. I’ve experienced this phenomenon recently at NGS 2010 in Salt Lake City and at FGS 2011 in Springfield, IL, and am already looking forward to RootsTech 2013 in Salt Lake City. I expect NGS 2012 in Cincinnati to have that same vibe.

Conferences like these offer attendees limitless possibilities. Myself, I look forward to reconnecting with colleagues and friends, making new friendships, and of course, spending some serious money in the exhibit hall. Let’s not forget about studying the new technological gadget, exploring the latest time-saving solution, and the opportunity to discuss product with the content providers themselves, including Ancestry, FamilySearch, Fold3, and others; as a librarian that works with these products on a daily basis, this opportunity to have a face-to-face conversation is priceless.

One other benefit of these conferences is the opportunity to dive into the local cuisine. As my Michigan and Ft. Wayne friends will attest, I take it as a personal challenge to find the “best” example of the food the host city is known for: the Philly cheese steak, a deep dish Chicago-style pizza, or the horseshoe in Springfield, Illinois. A big fan of chili, I’m particularly excited about the culinary possibilities in Cincinnati; I’m open to suggestions and recommendations!

With a number of the national-level conferences being held recently in the Great Lakes region, including Cincinnati, Springfield (IL), and Ft. Wayne (IN), plus the superb Ohio Genealogical Society Conference held annually, Midwest-based researchers are incredibly fortunate to have these fantastic events so close to home. I encourage everyone to look at their calendars and try to find some time in May to spend with an enthusiastic gathering of family history researchers at the “Gateway to the Western Frontier.”

I hope to see you in Cincinnati in May!