Today was the first real day of the FGS conference in Knoxville, Tennessee. It started with the keynote session by J. Mark Lowe and Kent Wentworth. They were hilarious fighting over which was better, Kentucky or Tennessee.
Then the exhibit hall opened. Except it didn't open right away and everyone piled up at the bottom of the escalator while they let the exhibitors in first. I talked to Missy Corley and Kimberly Powell while waiting to enter. Then we had a brief blogger meetup. Thomas McEntee passed out beads and Geneablogger ribbons. Amy Coffin has the picture. (She wouldn't let anyone else use their cameras. But luckily Greta Koehl got one and has it already up on her blog!) Here's who I remember in the photo: Thomas MacEntee, Amy Coffin, Missy Corley, Tonia Kendrick, Greta Koehl, Linda McCauley, Jennifer Trahan, Paula Stuart-Warren and Kimberly Powell.
Then we all split up and spent some time in the exhibit hall. There is so much great stuff there and I plan to spend some more time (and money) there in the next few days.
Then it was time for the first session. I went with Amy to Tom Jones' "Solving the Mystery of the Disappearing Ancestor". He is a great speaker. So good that he ended at exactly 12:00.
Then I had lunch with Tonia, Missy, Amy and my husband. We all had club sandwiches at the Hilton hotel because it had started sprinkling (even though there was nothing on the weather map.)
In the afternoon, I sat by Tonia at "Advanced Web Methods and Sources" by Karen Clifford. For people who actually use the internet, it wasn't advanced. But maybe the second half of her lecture that she didn't even get to covered the hard stuff.
Then I attended Amy Harris' "Tracing Ancestors in Pre-1858 English and Welsch Probates". I really enjoyed Amy's style and learned more about what I need to do to find probate records for my ancestors. One source she mentioned was David Pratt's "Discovering English Ancestors" website. Click on the Probate section to figure out the jurisdiction that would have your ancestor's probate records. (And you'll need that when there are 300 jurisdictions before 1858.)
I was going to go to the live Genealogy Guys Podcast, but I was getting tired. So I went back to the hotel and took a nap. Then the husband and I went to the university district for dinner. He asked me if I ever thought about going back to school. I asked him what he thought I was doing this week and my online National Institute of Genealogical Studies classes. Then I told him I missed not having to go to work or wake up early or do chores. And he told me that I didn't do those things now.
Then we took a walk around downtown Knoxville. We went shopping at the Mast General Store and found some neat gifts for the family. Then we went back to the hotel to rest before another big day. Tomorrow will be a long day of classes, late night at the exhibit hall and the 1812 Reception. Husband says he is going to Gatlinburg to get moonshine and hang out in the woods.