AFHS FamilyRoots Event a Success

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

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

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

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. is a great place to create your own genealogy blog for free.  Thomas has many ‘how-to’ guides available on his website.

AFHS FamilyRoots Seminar Oct 2010
President Kay Clarke, Director and Events Coordinator Heather Jaremko, Speakers Thomas MacEntee, Lyn Meehan and Dick Eastman.

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.



Trip to Banff and Lake Louise with the speakers. (video and photos).

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

Video from our AFHS FamilyRoots Event

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6 Responses to AFHS FamilyRoots Event a Success

  1. Marion Peterson says:

    Congratulations to everyone on the committee for an amazing day.

  2. Heather Williams says:

    An excellent day, I learned so much and all three speakers were fantastic. I have even tried blogging Thx to the Special Events Committee for a job well done

  3. Charlie Aubin says:

    My sincere thanks to the committee for a great job, especially to Heather. I learned something new from each speaker. The best $30 I have spent on genealogy in a long time. We also owe a big thanks to everyone who donated door prizes. Lastly the dinner at the Bigrock was very, very good.

  4. Kay Jamieson says:

    Thanks for the great learning opportunity. The speakers were excellent with lots of tips to spur us on.
    ps—this is my first blog event and will not be the last.

  5. Thank you so very much for this posting Joan. Really great seminar and glad to see good numbers. We did have a couple drive 10.5 hours from Idaho Falls, Idaho to be here. Loved meeting all three speakers and enjoyed the talks and great dinner at Big Rock Grill.

  6. Joan Miller - AFHS PR says:

    Hi Heather J.
    You are very welcome. It was a fun day for all. Thank you for all that you did to organize this event.

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