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The Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference 2014:Part 1

The River Walk in San Antonio

No, I’m not briskly traversing the famous walk in San Antonio right now. I’m in my hotel room after my first full day at the FGS Conference in San Antonio trying, after a first failed attempt, to remotely post my musings. My body experienced both the swelter of Southern Texas humidity and the local remedy, toe numbing, shiver producing air conditioning. But never mind, a well organized conference and engaging presenters more than made up for it.

The opening session featured Riders on the Orphan Train with Phillip Lancaster and Alison Moore, a multi-media presentation about the 70 plus years beginning in the early 1850’s when tens of thousands of children from New York were placed on trains heading all over the country to be adopted. Learn much more at this web site and, if you haven’t read Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline, do it. It is quick, well-written and inspiring.

I then headed to a session by Marion Pierre-Louis giving many excellent suggestions on blogging. I plan to implement many of them soon, but right now I am breaking an important rule, keep them short. Next time???

After lunch I moved on to a session by Melissa C. Tennant called Discovering Female Ancestors. She gave a plethora of suggestions regarding how to analyze artifacts looking for hints that can point the way to uncovering the who, where, and what of women in history. I filled my notes with many ideas on how to proceed with a special mystery woman of my own from my last post, my GGgrandmother Margaret “Pugh” Croy.

Finally, my WOW of the day, Lisa Louise Cooke! Her session called Turning your iPad or Tablet into a Genealogy Powerhouse confirmed what a good friend kept telling me, “Ipad’s can really be amazing if you learn more.” Okay, Ron, you are right. (Well, maybe…I don’t exactly feel that way right now as I try to complete this post!) But Lisa was fabulous, so fabulous that I dropped my last session and went rushing to her next one down in the exhibit hall. I will probably catch one more before the conference ends. Get her newsletter, subscribe to her podcasts, read her book! Not a genealogy geek? Don’t let that stop you. If you want to maximize the value of your tablet, check her out at