Next was the opening session of the conference. It was announced that over 2000 genealogists have descended on Springfield, making it the biggest FGS conference to date.
Michael Maben, president of the Indiana Genealogical Society, presented a check $24,234 to the War of 1812 Preserve the Pensions campaign. This check included $12,117 donated to the project through IGS. IGS matched all those donations. Ancestry is matching all donations, so over $40,000 dollars will go to digitizing the War of 1812 pensions (available for free on Fold3).
Here is a photo of Michael presenting the check to Pat Oxley at the press conference that followed the opening session.
IGS board members with the check and Pat Oxley.
My first session was "The Jones Jinx: Tracing Common Surnames" presented by Tom Jones. Best part - Someone asked a question about how he organized all the research he has done on unrelated or unknown Jones lines. His response: "Poorly." I can't tell you how much applause there was to find out that Tom Jones isn't much better than the rest of us.
Then I had lunch with Melissa Shimkus, a librarian at the Allen County Public Library, and Susan Clark of Nolichucky Roots blog. Plus my husband.
Next I attended Craig R. Scott's session "Reasons for Not Serving in the Civil War." Craig is a wealth of information about all topics. I loved that he took questions before the session even began.
The last session of the day for me was "The Curious Case of the Disappearing Dude" by Debra Miezala. She was very entertaining and reminded us to search many types of records to find where else to search. I look forward to hearing more of her sessions at the IGS annual conference in April.
Then it was time to head to the exhibit hall for the Society Showcase. I worked the IGS booth with our Southwest District Coordinator, Connie. We had a lot of fun meeting potential members, current members and discussing ideas for our society.