Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Debunking Myths About the FGS Conference

There are a few myths swirling around about the Federation of Genealogical Societies' annual conference being held this year in Fort Wayne, Indiana from August 22-25 — myths that might make you think that you can't come. Don't miss out on one of the premier genealogy events because of some bad information! Here's what you need to know.

Truth: There Is More Than Society Management Sessions

The FGS conference has topics ranging from records and methodology to technology and DNA. The sessions on Wednesday are aimed at topics that will help genealogy societies be better and stronger, but Thursday through Saturday is all about genealogy and family history research. Check out the full program!

Truth: You Don't Have to Be a Society Member to Attend

Anyone with an interest in genealogy and family history can attend. We think that genealogy societies are great (after all, that's what we are!), but the conference is open to all genealogists. No membership required.

Truth: There Are Topics for All Levels of Genealogists

There are sessions for every experience level. Just beginning to work with genetic genealogy? The Thursday DNA sessions are for you! (Then work your way through intermediate and advanced DNA topics on Friday and Saturday.) Want an in-depth case study showing how a brick wall was knocked down? We have several to choose from.

Truth: There Are a Variety of Speakers

You'll see favorite presenters like Judy Russell, Blaine Bettinger, Tony Burroughs, and Maureen Taylor, along with new presenters like Charlotte Noelle Champenois and Sydney Bjork. (It isn't the same ol' same ol'!) Check out this speaker list!

Truth: There Are Topics Outside the US

Tracks this year include researching in Eastern Europe, German, Scandinavia, and the United Kingdom.

Join Us in Fort Wayne

The FGS conference features more than 100 sessions to help you be a better genealogist. The conference is conveniently located across the street from the Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library, allowing you to put into practice what you learn. It's 4 days of learning, inspiration, and camaraderie. Click here to register now!

Friday, June 15, 2018

German Research Track at FGS 2018

German ancestry is claimed by millions of Americans. Because it is such a common research need for genealogists, there is an entire track devoted to it at FGS 2018, in Fort Wayne, Indiana 22-25 August 2018.

Chuck Knuthson Memorial Lecture: Methods for Identifying the German Origins of American Immigrants by Michael D. Lacopo, DVM
Sponsored by Midwestern Roots
If all you know from conventional records is “Germany” as a place of origin, then this lecture will help you mine other resources to locate WHERE in Germany your ancestor came from.

Newcomers Documented: Finding Your Ancestors in German Residential Registration Lists by Charlotte Noelle Champenois
Sponsored by BYU Center for Family History and Genealogy
If you move to Germany, you have to register your place of residence with the city. Every time you move within the country, even within a single city, you have to abmeld (de-register) from the old place and anmeld (register) at the new place. This system is a way of life in Germany and is nothing new—in fact, your ancestors may have had to register in much the same way. Learn how to use residential registration lists to find German ancestors and to trace them back to their hometowns.

German Historical Geography by Daniel R. Jones, MA, AG
Sponsored by FamilySearch
Want to figure out where the records of your German ancestors are? Come and learn what historical geography is and how it effects where to look for records. We'll be talking about what exactly "Germany" is and tools on how to identify where to go next for records.

German Census Records 1816–1916: Where Are They Hidden? by Charlotte Noelle Champenois
Sponsored by BYU Center for Family History and Genealogy
In U.S. family history research, the first record to turn to is the census. The same does not hold true in German research, but censuses were taken in Germany as well—and about half of these records still exist. Of the thirty-eight states of the German Empire, every single one has conducted censuses. Dr. Roger P. Minert’s book German Census Records 1816-1916: The When, Where, and How of a Valuable Genealogical Resource, published in 2016, helps identify which German states have censuses from which years. Learn how to locate existing German census records, including what German words and phrases to look up when in search of German census records (the variety will surprise you!).

Register now for FGS 2018 in Fort Wayne, Indiana August 22-25! (Early bird discount until July 1. Register now and save!)

Monday, June 11, 2018

Extended Hours at the Genealogy Center for #FGS2018 Attendees

What's better than learning about genealogy? Being able to put what you've learned into practice right away at one of the nation's premier genealogy libraries! Attendees of the FGS 2018 conference will be able to do that with extended hours at the Genealogy Center of the Allen County Public Library.

Extended hours for conference attendees will be:

  • Wednesday, August 22: 9am-11pm
  • Thursday, August 23: 7am-11pm
  • Friday, August 24: 7am-11pm
  • Saturday, August 25: 7am-6pm
  • Sunday, August 26: 9am-5pm
There will be "in and out" privileges; you'll be able to come and go during these hours. (Just be sure to have your conference badge!)

The Genealogy Center features one of the best genealogy collections anywhere. It has more than 800,000 books, microfilm, and microfiche titles from around the world. You'll definitely want to spend some time there!

Register now for FGS 2018, August 22-25. (Early bird pricing is in effect until July 1. Register now and save!)

We'll see you at the library!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Learn About DNA at FGS 2018!

Whether you've just taken your first DNA test or a seasoned genetic genealogy researcher, learn from some of the best in the field at FGS 2018!

The DNA track this year is designed to be progressive. DNA beginners can start with the sessions on Thursday, while intermediate and more advanced researchers might want to start with the sessions on Friday or Saturday. There are also 3 special DNA workshops, allowing you to go even deeper into the subject.

Thursday, August 23

Creating a Research Plan for DNA Testing by Shannon Combs-Bennett
You have tested your DNA, or are you thinking about it? Still not sure how it will help you with your genealogy research? Learn how to integrate those results into a genealogy research plan to unlock more clues to your family’s past.

MyHeritage DNA 101: From Taking the Test to Understanding the Results by Daniel Horowitz (Sponsored by MyHeritage)
MyHeritage's affordable, easy-to-use DNA home testing kit can reveal valuable family history information and tell you more about your origins. MyHeritage’s DNA Matching service enables you to enjoy exceptional matching capabilities for family history research. Review your Matches, contact and exchange information with others, and learn how you’re related.

DNA Baby Steps by Blaine Bettinger
Although DNA testing has been available for 18 years, there are millions of new test-takers every year. Let’s look at some of the first steps that new test-takers should follow when they open their results for the first time. What do you need to know to understand your test results?

Advancing Your Genealogy Research with DNA by Crista Cowan (Sponsored by Ancestry)
You’ve scoured the census, dug through probates, and even visited the county courthouse. What’s left? DNA. It’s the oldest record of your family, and technology and science are coming up with more ways for you to use it. Come and learn what new tools AncestryDNA has to advance your research and get more out of your DNA results.

Friday, August 24

Doing DNA Right: The Ethical Side of Testing by Judy G. Russell
Genealogy has always involved airing family secrets, but DNA testing poses more immediate risks of disclosing the secrets of living people. How do we use this 21st century tool in the most ethical way possible for all those impacted?

No Chromosome Browser? No Problem by Angie Bush
Chromosome browsers are a tool that can be used by genetic genealogists to better understand their matches, but not all testing services provide them. Learn how to make the most of your matches no matter where you tested.

When You’re Not Who You Thought You Were by Pamela Boyer Sayre
If Y-DNA testing identifies a totally different surname or ancestor than the expected one, what path leads to finding your own true biological identity?

Charts and Diagrams: The Genetic Genealogist’s Bread and Butter by Angie Bush
Understand how to read and interpret all of the various charts in diagrams that are so prevalent in genetic genealogy and learn about tools that can be used to create your own charts to share with family members or in client reports.

Saturday, August 25

Using Genetic Communities™ to Tell Your Story by Crista Cowan (Sponsored by Ancestry)
Genetic Communities™ is an exciting innovation in DNA testing that can take you on a journey through specific stories about our past. In this class, you will learn about how Genetic Communities™ are formed, why you get assigned to a particular Genetic Community™, and how to use them in your research.

Genetic Genealogy: Advanced by Diahan Southard
Have you mastered the basics of autosomal DNA testing? There are several advanced tools that can help you glean more information from your DNA test.

DNA Doesn’t Prove Anything by Angie Bush
A common misconception is that DNA testing “proves” things that were not “provable” before. Attendees should come away from this lecture with a better understanding of the concept of proof and how to avoid common mistakes in interpreting their DNA results.

Advanced Third-Party Tools by Blaine Bettinger
We will examine tools like Phasing, Matching Segment Search, Lazarus, and Triangulation tools offered by GEDmatch, DNAGedcom, and others. These tools are almost always excluded from typical third-party tool lectures.

There are also 3 special DNA workshops and a fun Friday evening event!

Try Your Hand at Genetic Genealogy with Diahan Southard (Thursday)
Working in pairs or small groups you will get a chance to take a DNA case step-by-step to learn exactly how to explore your autosomal DNA match list and make family connections. No computer required. Tickets $50 (advance purchase required)

Visual Phasing Workshop with Blaine Bettinger (Friday)
Visual Phasing is the process of breaking down your chromosomes into grandparent contributions using the DNA test results of 3 siblings (and sometimes even fewer than 3 siblings). Although Visual Phasing is challenging, many genealogists find the puzzle-like nature of the method to be extremely rewarding! After studying the basics of the methodology, we’ll launch into some hands-on examples and exercises! Tickets $50 (advance purchase required)

GEDmatch Workshop with Blaine Bettinger (Saturday)
A hands‐on workshop that guides attendees step‐by‐step through many of the third‐party tools available at GEDmatch. Tickets $50 (advance purchase required)

Evening Event on Friday: Speed DNAting: A Hip Haplogroup Happening
Come learn something about your haplogroup through networking, DNA themed cocktails or mocktails, trivia, and other contests. There will be light refreshments and lots of information during this hip happening. Tickets $30 (advance purchase required)

Register now for FGS 2018 in Fort Wayne, Indiana August 22-25! (Early bird discount until July 1. Register now and save!)

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