Saturday, May 11, 2013

Last Day in Las Vegas at the NGS Conference

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner-Benward

As an official blogger at the Conference there are some perks from time to time and one of those perks was this morning.........  a free breakfast sponsored by The problem of course is that the breakfast is at 7am,,,,,,,, the sun wasn't even up then?  FYI: All official conference bloggers were invited so you can assume that there is going to be some type of  special announcement that can be blogged,or tweeted out.
YES you guessed it that is what It was. AND you are hearing this for the first time
...and YES I am wearing my Root Cellar name badge - always. Great ice breaker and again I made two new contacts from people at this conference- just from wearing it. I really get a lot of compliments on it and want to know where they can get one for themselves and for their organization. I sure wish I had an answer for them
...............drum roll please has added a NEW feature meet the RECORD DECTECTIVE...  a breakthrough technology that will save you time with your family history research. It is smart, reliable, and unlike anything else. For every record you find, it'll identify other records and people linked to it. It finds this new information from searching billions of records, in seconds. It gives you links to the related records and family trees. It's extremely accurate, so you can trust the information and sources. As they say "Let the Record Detective turn your dead ends into new leads at MyHeritage  I am really excited about and can hardly wait to try it out for real when I get home. Try it!!  Did you know that there is a Mobile App - build your family tree and research on the go. Perfect for family get-togethers.
Another great day but sure was dragging at the end......
Session 1- "How Genealogical Societies Can Provide a Meaningful for their Distant Members" presented by David. I am always drawn to the sessions that are geared to help society's. David Rencher is very passionate about helping all societies. He wants them to succeed and thrive, make the changes they need to make in order to survive. This session really dealt with "What benefits do members receive that live a distant a way" But what about members that live close by but because of health OR other commitments are not able to make the meetings and some activities. How are we as an organization supporting them. Do you have a board that only meets face to face or do you allow distant members to run for an office or be on the board? How about having virtual board meetings so that distant members could participate in. How do you determine what services to provide to your members and how do you gather that information. There is something to be said to reevaluate your goals, mission statement and services every few years.
Session 2- "Using Emmigrant Guides for Genealogical Records" presented by Julie Miller. Julie is an extremely active member of NGS and was awarded the "Shirley Langdon Wilcox Award for Exemplary Volunteerism. The list of accomplishments were pages long. She is a go getter, patient, and very nice.  You would need to Google, Bing etc "emigrant guides" sometimes called travel guides. Apparently they have been around since the 1600's.Little booklets giving complete information about an area, and why you should move there, giving the weather, land, and whatever else is important for people to know.  Very interesting. I'll be keeping an eye out for these.
Session 3- "Pinterest - a Visual Tool for Genealogists" presented by Jennifer Crowder Daugherty. Yes, another social media website. I am told it is the third most popular website behind Facebook and Twitter. I am signed on, but not feeling the excitement yet. I will keep trying. If we can figure it out, it could be a great place to tell our story (Root Cellar) in pictures.   
National Genealogical Society GenTech Luncheon with the Ancestry Insider "The Future of Family History- According to You"......  how fun!!  Our speaker was 'Ancestry Insider' (Blogger) It was an interactive discussion of what we would like to see changed, improved, deleted, with Ancestry and FamilySearch, Very interesting ideas. 
Session 4- US Immigration and Naturalization presented by  Hal Bookbinder. We totally went over the progression of laws on Immigration and Naturalization over the years to current times. He used a family case study to show the different documents in the time frames they lived in. You really need to know the history of these things in order to know how to research for your ancestors. 
Session 5- "Face Recognition and Photo Tagging for Genealogy Research" with David Horowitz with  Looks like it is my time with Seems I have spent quite abit of time with them this conference. It is not a bad thing.  David has one these presentations in our area in the past so this is not the first or second time I have heard the information. But it is always fun to hear about.
It gets me excited about going back and trying it again. Things have improved over the years. (I believe Sammie is really into it and can lend some experience if someone has questions about the program.) And of course like I said earlier, there is an APP for this too. To get the most out of the program, you sign on, (FREE), upload a gedcom of your family tree or a branch of it. Now start uploading family pictures into one folder probably labeling it Family. And let the program do it's job with face recognition. Best to start with pictures that are directly on the face and only one person in the picture and it would be best if they were pictures of the family members you know for sure. Let the program learn your family and then upload group pictures and the 'mystery' pictures.  Good Luck 
I have ordered my shuttle for the morning. Called up my boarding pass for the morning. Packed my bags and will be ready to go too early to even think about. I am exhausted and need to come home to catch up on my sleep and then try out all these wonderful resources I have learned about.
 NITE all!

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