First Report from NGS 2013

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Every genealogy conference is jam-packed with learning opportunities and this year’s National Genealogical Society Family History Conference is no exception. I’ve been using the handy Conference App to organize my schedule and exchange information with old friends and new acquaintances.

Marian L. Smith, chief of the historical research branch of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). 

The conference started Wednesday morning with a lively Opening Session. Marian L. Smith, chief of the historical research branch of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), delivered the keynote address, “People, Policy, and Records: The Importance of Historical Background. Smith told the fascinating story of her quest to solve the mystery of the origins of the Morton Allen Directory of European Passenger Ship Arrivals. She summed up her tale of dogged perseverance with this advice: “Some questions take years to answer. Be prepared to be surprised. Question your sources.”
Mariachi Los Bravos

After welcoming speeches, awards, memorials, the talented Mariachi Los Bravos, from the J. D. Smith Middle School of Las Vegas, serenaded attendees from the auditorium to the exhibit hall.
Mariachi Los Bravos

On Day one I took the opportunity to hear lectures by two giants of genealogy research methodology. 
Dr. Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS    

Dr. Thomas Jones presented “Debunking Misleading Records.”

Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA
Elizabeth Shown Mills’ first lecture was “The Genealogical Proof Standard in Action! Case Building When No Record States an Answer!”

For members who aren’t able to attend the conference, NGS contracts with JAMB-Inc to record sessions and provide CDs (price: $12) which can be ordered online. It will take about a week for the 2013 recordings to be uploaded to the website. Also available are recordings from the previous annual conferences back to 2007.

Photographs (C) 2013 by the National Genealogical Society, Inc. Used by permission of the National Genealogical Society and the photographer, Scott Stewart. [Thanks you, NGS and Scott Stewart!]

Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.