This past weekend I was in Toledo attending the Ohio Genealogical Society's annual conference. I had a lot of fun and learned a ton. Here's the second part of my story:
By Friday night, I had convinced my husband that he should attend the free beginner's class offered Saturday morning. I felt so proud when I dropped him off at the class. He said there were about 30 people there, mostly conference attendees. I think that OGS dropped the ball on this part of the event. It should have been widely advertised. With "Who Do You Think You Are?" airing on television, there should be lots of people who want to learn. Keeping this event hidden in the conference booklet was a missed opportunity.
While he was there, I attended "When A Brick Wall Crumbles Onto the Wrong Path: A Case Study" by Nancy Waters Lauer. She had some great examples of when her own research tried to lead her astray. I wish that she would write about them in NGSQ or something else and get the correct story published. Next I went to Patricia Van Skaik's "Follow the Special Census Trail to Vital Information." I can't wait to dive into the agricultural census. If Ancestry doesn't put my states online soon, I'm going to have to go through the microfilm at ACPL.
Then I found my husband with lunch again. (I know you are all shocked now.) I sent him over to the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library to look for obituaries for his ancestors. He found one in a book and the index listings for a few more, but didn't get the microfilm. I guess we'll need to plan a research trip to Toledo eventually.
Next I sat in the OGS annual meeting. Seating was very limited for those who did not pay for the lunch and way in the back. They gave away lots of awards to chapters. It seemed that every time the president spoke, he was asking for donations. I wasn't impressed.
In the afternoon, I attended "Cluster Genealogy: Finding Your Lost Ancestor" with Deborah A. Abbott. It is amazing how what seems like the wrong path will actually give you the answers you are seeking. She had some wonderful examples from her own research.
For the last session of the conference, I listened to George G. Morgan's lecture "Bring 'Em Back To Life: Developing An Ancestor Profile." He had some great advice about building a timeline and filling in everything you can find about your ancestor's life. (Of course he did lose me when he said that everyone remembers where they were when they heard that JFK and MLK had been shot. It's kind of hard to remember something that happened 20 years before you were born.)
In between all the great lectures over the conference, I checked out the vendor's hall. I was able to meet Bruce Buzbee from Roots Magic. Most of the vendors were from Ohio county societies. Since my ancestors, never stayed long in one place in Ohio, they were not interesting to me. I would have liked to see more genealogy products represented.
Overall the conference was fantastic, and I plan to attend again next year. The 2011 OGS Conference will be in Columbus, March 31-April 2. The theme is "Genealogy through the Centuries.
I have another post coming tomorrow about advice for future conference organizers.