Saturday, March 27, 2010

Spring Conference of the Fairfax Genealogical Society

Some scenes from the vendor area of the Conference

Today was an activity-packed second day at the Spring Conference of the Fairfax Genealogical Society. There was also Conference programming Friday afternoon and evening: individual consultations with Conference speakers, an Advanced workshop with Thomas W. Jones, CG (which unfortunately was already all filled up by the time I registered), and a presentation entitled “What is Britain?” by Audrey Collins.

In addition to another two workshops with Thomas Jones (also filled up by the time I registered) and two lunch-time mini-sessions (“ World Archives Project” and “Family Search Indexing Project”) with Jennifer Dondero, today there were three tracks with four lectures each: “Basic Research” with Sharon Hodges, “Research in England” with Audrey Collins, and Mid-Atlantic Colonial Research” with Charles S. Mason, Jr. I attended the two morning sessions of Mid-Atlantic Colonial Research and the two afternoon sessions (Courthouse Research and Original Records) of Basic Research. Both had lots of information that is new to me in areas where I really need to sharpen my research skills, so that alone would have been worth the modest price of admission.

But there was more! There were, of course vendors, and when I arrived bright and early at the opening time of 8:00, they were already in full swing (note for next year: remember to arrive early!). I hit one of my favorites first: Dr. A. Bruce Pruitt, who has lots of materials on North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee, including a number of deed abstract books and map books he has compiled for various districts or counties of these states. The three books I bought from him last year have been hugely helpful in my research, so this was where I focused my purchases this year, in contrast to last year, when I was buying more how-to, citation, and terminology books. He is very knowledgeable about the history of these areas and the nature and location of all different types of documents of genealogical relevance and is very generous with sharing his knowledge; stopping to talk with him is like getting another educational session.

Elsewhere I picked up Courthouse Research for Family Historians by Christine Rose, William Dollarhide’s Census Substitutes & State Census Records Volume 2 – Western States, and, in return for a contribution to the Society, a number of back issues of genealogy magazines. Below is a picture of my “geek” purchase for the day.

And, to counter my trend of never winning anything, I actually won a book – Fairfax County: Historical Highlights from 1607. So now I can’t say that I’ve never won anything.

My rating: A very enjoyable, genealogy-filled day! I’m still hoping to make it to Knoxville this year for the FGS Conference, and I learned at the NGS table today that their 2011 conference is to be held in Charleston, South Carolina (yippee!).

My geek purchase for the day: a lovely wooden bookmark with "Cite Your Source" carved in it


  1. Sounds like you had a great day Greta! I love your purchase too!

  2. Hey, you won something! Now you had better read it. Maybe the conference wouldn't have been so packed if it wasn't for WDYTYA, it prob. brought in more people. Hope you had fun. Love to my old county(lived there 20 yrs.).

  3. Sounds like a wonderful fun conference!

  4. Cheryl, Barbara, Tipper - Yup, it was my idea of a really enjoyable day!

  5. It was a really good conference this year!