Sunday, April 3, 2011
Ohio Genealogy Society Conference
I attended the 2011 Ohio Genealogy Society Conference this weekend. It was my first time attending any genealogy conference, generally because I would rather save my money for actual records and fabric. I was convinced to attend by the many blogs that say how wonderful it is to go to a conference. And I thought it would make me feel more like a "real" genealogist if I actually attended a conference and mingle with the big wigs in genealogy.
The conference was held in a hotel, and since this was their milestone year (40 years?), the attendance was bigger than they anticipated. They had a lot of classes. Each session ran for an hour, and there were several sessions to choose from each hour. I didn't have any difficulty choosing one for each hour. We got a printed book that gave a syllabus for every class, so even if you missed the class, you could look at the notes. And most of the classes were recorded, so you could get them on CD.
As you would expect, some of the classes were very basic, while others were more advanced and had a lot of information. All of the speakers were good public speakers who seemed to be knowledgeable on their subject matter.
The classrooms were long so I'm not sure I would recognize the speakers if I saw them up close. While I did talk to people, we didn't exchange names much, so I'm not sure if I met any of the big wigs. But it was interesting to find out how different people conducted genealogy differently, mostly due to their comfort level with computers.
There was a vendor mall area. There were booths by publishers who sold new genealogy books, and a booth that sold older books, postcards, etc. There were county genealogy societies who sold their publications where they had transcribed cemeteries, etc. There were a couple of smaller software companies, who sold specialized genealogy software. You can get software that keeps track of your family in different census years, and a book company where you can publish your information (mostly like photo books).
There was a place that sold family tree products. Even though I had vowed not to buy anything there, (and I want to make quilts from kits I already have) I got this fabric panel from Fun Stuff For Genealogists. It also came in kit form. I think it is a good way to showcase the family or genealogy research. You put the names in the ovals, and you can either put the ovals on the tree, or you can put photos in the border and use the ovals on the picture. There are 21 ovals, so now I have to decide which family members to include. I think this would be a great gift.