THE weather cleared and the mountains stood strong and majestic with their fresh dusting of snow on Calgary’s western horizon as AFHS FamilyRoots attendees picked up their registration packages at the Deerfoot Inn. It was going to be a good day of genealogy learning.
Dick Eastman teaching AFHS FamilyRoots Seminar.
The first speaker at 8:30 am was Dick Eastman, founder of the Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter with his talk entitled “The Organized Genealogist”.
Humorous and articulate, Dick had the audience nodding in agreement with his opening photos of the typical genealogist’s home office – overflowing bookcases, papers everywhere and projects undone.
In quick order he shared with us how to get organized. He explained how to search in google using special operators such as “intitle” and “datarange” and also how RSS feeds can make the genealogist’s life easier.
Dick stressed the importance of continuous and multiple location backups, both on-site and off and explained to us how he does this. He also discussed how he handles digital pictures and documents. It was a great talk with lots of useful and practical information.
Next up was Lyn Meehan, a genealogy educator from Edmonton with her talk entitled Records Interrogation 101: Squeezing Records Until They Talk.
Lyn Meehan teaching us how to make the records talk.
Lyn walked us through a death certificate that in the end gave up much more information than would be first apparent to a layperson. She showed us how to separate the facts from the clues and to think outside the box. We looked at sources, information, evidence and proof and the importance of the time line.
This was an excellent example of pro-genealogy forensic detective techniques.
And….We all related to the Joni Mitchell music clip!
Thomas MacEntee, genealogy social media expert. Note those Mardi Gras beads.
Social Networking – New Horizons for Genealogists with Thomas MacEntee was the next seminar. Thomas is the founder of High Definition Genealogy, The Connected Genealogist, GeneaBloggers and much more.
Thomas has the rare gift of being able to create genealogy community both online and off. He shared the value of using social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, Wikis and more to benefit the genealogist. He kept us chuckling and he did explain why he wears those Mardi Gras beads Another great talk.
The afternoon sessions started with Dick Eastman’s talk on Conservation: Keeping up with the Technology.
Will your paper copies be readable in twenty years? How will you pass along your genealogy information? How long will microfilm last? How do you back up your data and be sure you can access it in the future? These were all questions Dick addressed and more.
Thomas MacEntee wrapped up the afternoon talks with “Become a Genealogy Blog User”.
He showed how a blog can help us with our genealogy research, the types of genealogy blogs, how to find them and how to read them. Blogger.com is a great place to create your own genealogy blog for free. Thomas has many ‘how-to’ guides available on his website.
Dinner was led by keynote speaker Dick Eastman with a philosophical look at Putting the Genes in Genealogy. Not a typical Eastman talk, this was a serious look at the possibility that today’s genealogists may become the lifesavers of family and loved ones in the near future. This was an excellent talk and very well presented.
More Photos Here
|From AFHS Family Roots Seminars with Dick Eastman, Thomas MacEntee and Lyn Meehan|
A Special Thank You goes to the following individuals and services:
Heather Jaremko, chair of FamilyRoots and her team, including the PR folks for a well run event!
Kay Clarke, president of the AFHS for her leadership
Dawn-Ann Kirkpatrick, our webmaster for setting up the online payment method and registration web pages. Folks -you have no idea of all the behind scenes ‘stuff’ this gal does! And did you know she is a geneablogger?
Deerfoot Inn and Casino for their conference space and for bringing in extra chairs so quickly when the room filled up.
Big Rock Grill for hosting the dinner.
The many people who donated draw prizes. We must have had 20 or 25 door prizes!
Photo credits – Joan Miller
And last but not least, thank you very much to our esteemed speakers for traveling from near and far to make our event a success.
UPCOMING: AFHS is celebrating 30 years this year. Stay tuned for a celebration next spring.
P.S. to Thomas – Joan apologizes for mangling your last name in the introduction. She must have had family TREEs on the her brain. It appears MacEnTREE is your new surname variant…..not sure how that happened because Joan has never been and never will be a census taker.
P.P.S. Comments encouraged below
UPDATE – Other writings related to this event:
Reflections – Fun North of the 44th Parallel by Thomas MacEntee
What Happens in Banff Stays in Banff by Thomas MacEntee
Great Weekend in Calgary by Dick Eastman