Saturday, August 21, 2010

FGS Conference – Day 2 Presentations

When I woke up Friday morning, I did not really feel like rushing off to the early (8:00) presentation, but then I remembered that I had planned to attend Russell P. Baker’s presentation, “The Five Civilized Tribes of the South and Their Genealogical Records,” so I rushed through breakfast at Pete’s Coffee Shop and headed off to the lecture. I was glad I made it, because there was a lot of information that might apply if my brick wall Lizzie Smith does actually turn out to have had a background from one of these tribes. Mr. Baker described the matriarchal nature of their society and how many of the records would actually center around the women.

Next I went to “Alabama Ancestral Records” presented by Lori Thornton. I have not yet dug deeply into Alabama resources, so this was a good introduction.

The half hour in between presentations turned out to be insufficient to really be able to do the kind of browsing among the booths in the Exhibition Hall that I (and most other people I spoke to) needed/wanted to do, so I took the next presentation block off and went to lunch with my husband, then returned at noon, when the hall was scheduled to open again. This was a more satisfactory approach, and I was able to peruse the books and other wares to my heart’s content and shmooze with the people at the booths.

After lunch I settled in at Pamela Sayer’s presentation, “Murder at the Sawmill,” which is both a mystery story and a genealogical case study (and illustrates the idea that the interrelationships in many of these backwoods communities is too complex to be represented by anything as straightforward as a plain ole tree).

While I was waiting in the same room for the next presentation to begin, Tina Lyons came over and asked me if I wanted to come sit on “GeneaBloggers Row” – I certainly did and I wondered how nearsighted I actually am that I didn’t see them before. It was a lot of fun to be able to share stories and discuss the Convention. Meeting up with the other Genea-Bloggers made me realize a couple of things: 1. I am way behind everyone else in terms of technology. The disparity in our cell phones (that’s all mine is) alone illustrates how backward I am. 2. I may have to give in to Twitter and at least become a “Conference Tweeter” (one who only tweets during conferences so as to maintain contact and plan get-togethers with fellow attendees).

We were all enthralled by Elizabeth Shown Mills’ presentation on “The Genealogical Proof Standard. I had never seen any of her presentations before, and was truly inspired and energized by her lecture. (And I am not prejudiced just because she is a Southern girl.)

Most of us stayed in the same room for the next presentation, which I cannot describe here because the presenter did not want people to blog about it or Tweet it.

Afterward we all headed down to the Exhibition Hall to visit the booths and be present during the drawings for door prizes. None of us won the iPad – sob! But one of us won a prize – I did! It was Megan Smolenyak’s Who Do You Think You Are? Which I just happened to have bought right before this trip! So I passed it to another deserving Genea-Blogger. Missy, if you ever win anything … like an iPad … I hope you will be inspired to return the favor.


  1. Hi Greta, just wanted to say I enjoyed meeting you at FGS. Hope we all have more conferences in our future.

  2. Greta,
    Don't feel bad. I just realized that I am behind in technology too. I just got an iphone last month, and that was only b/c the $30 phone I had bought at Wal-Mart 2 years ago finally died. Tina had to remind me that I have a compass and GPS on on my phone. Who knew? And I never used Twitter until this conference. I am really starting to like it. At first I thought I would just be a conference tweeter, but who knows? Anyhow, it was great meeting you and your husband!

  3. There is always time to catch up on technology, it's not going anywhere! :) I heard Elizabeth Shown Mills speak at NGS a few years ago, I agree she is enthralling!

    Enjoyed your posts of the conference!

  4. Linda - I'm working on reserving rooms for NGS!
    Jennifer - Yeah, I realized I have to wait for my current phone to die before I can get an iPhone....
    Thank you, Jenna! And on the technology thing - as Donna Moughty pointed out at her presentation, it's best not to be an early adopter.