Download NGS conference recordings

ngslogo200I was really blown away by the quality of the conference sessions I attended at the National Genealogical Society conference this past May. The sessions were in depth and quite scholarly and I really felt like it was a great value. Of course, that value was enhanced by the fact that the conference was held within easy driving distance of my home. But I liked it so much I’m giving serious consideration to attending the 2016 NGS conference in Ft. Lauderdale, May 4-7.

This weekend I was spending a little time on my backlog of papers picked up at the conference this year (I didn’t manage to properly process my NGS papers) and found the order form for conference session recordings. I was delighted to see that they are available as MP3s, rather than CDs, since my 2014 MacBook doesn’t have a CD drive. I downloaded three sessions, and so far have listened to one.

At $9 each, these downloadable sessions are a great deal, in my opinion. If you’re interested, just go to the 2015 NGS conference page of Jamb Inc’s website. (And while you’re there take notice of  the fact there are many past NGS conference recordings available, as well as other genealogy conferences).

I downloaded two sessions I wasn’t able to attend, about resources in states I’m researching, as well one I did attend (Julie Miller’s excellent Anatomy of a Pension File). I wanted to hear Julie’s talk again, as I proceed in processing my own ancestors’ Civil War pension files. And I’m glad I did; it’s already been very helpful.

Whether you attended the conference or didn’t, you might find these recordings really helpful.

Free live streaming of select Jamboree sessions

Free live streaming of SCGS Jamboree!I’m very excited to be attending the Southern California Genealogical Society’s Jamboree June 5 to 7. (I loved the NGS conference so much, I’m ready for more learning!)

Here’s some great news: If you can’t attend in person, you can attend some of the sessions virtually. And there’s no charge, thanks to sponsor

Registration for live streaming is now open.  Once you register, you’ll have access to all streaming sessions. (You don’t have to register for individual sessions.) Four sessions will be streamed on Friday, six on Saturday and four on Sunday. You can see the list of streaming sessions on this Jamboree blog post. You don’t even have to be available that weekend; you can watch archived versions of the Jamboree live streams up until July 5. If you want to purchase recordings to keep forever, that’s another available option (and there are savings if you pre-order).

I’m also attending the DNA Day on June 4. Live streaming is available for that day as well, for a fee. You can watch any of a select six individual sessions for $20 each or all six for $99. The schedule is detailed in this post. These sessions are not archived or recorded.

SCGS is wonderful about educating the public. They offer free webinars twice a month. The fact that fourteen of the Jamboree sessions are being offered free of charge to genealogy enthusiasts everywhere is really laudable. I look forward to meeting these generous people!



Getting ready for a conference

ngslogo200Tomorrow, the National Genealogical Society’s annual conference begins. It’s being held in St. Charles, Missouri, about 30 minutes from my home, so I am not staying at the conference hotel. Since no travel is required, I’ve barely given the conference much advance thought.

But today’s the day for me to focus on it and I’m getting really excited! I love attending conferences (I go to both genealogy and organizing conferences regularly) and I know that some pre-planning can be really beneficial. So today, I’m going to do the following:

  • Pick up the conference registration materials
  • Go through the syllabus and select the classes I’ll plan to attend
  • Familiarize myself with the conference app, which I downloaded a month or two ago
  • Mark the classes I select in the conference app
  • Go through the list of exhibitors and note the ones I want to make sure I see
  • Write down my goals for the conference
  • Think about the people I want to try to meet
  • Reach out to the blog readers who have told me they’ll be at the conference

Taking a few moments to think about and write down my goals for the conference is time well spent. Keeping my goals top of mind will inform my decisions about how to spend my conference time. In my case, I have goals for both my genealogy research and for this blog.

This is my first NGS conference and I’m really excited it’s finally here. I look forward to digging in to the conference materials this afternoon. I know I have four days of great learning and great interactions ahead of me.

If you’re attending the conference, please make sure you say hi!

Don’t forget your conference notes!

arcnotebookcameraYesterday I was flying home from an organizers’ conference and decided to take a few minutes to read through the notes contained in the notebook I take to meetings. (In case you’re an office-supply junkie like me, I’ll tell you that I use the Arc disc notebook from Staples–that’s it in the picture–which has repositionable pages that allow me to easily organize my notes in sections.)

As I read through the genealogy section, I became reacquainted with the notes I took from the wonderful sessions I attended at RootsTech 2015. Honestly, some of those sessions had completely slipped my mind as I re-entered real life after the conference. So I put a note on my task list to try out some of the resources in my next genealogy research session. (I’m particularly excited by trying out what I learned in the excellent session called Map My Ancestors, presented by A.C. Ivory.)

I see now that there is a bullet item missing from the list I created when I wrote the blog post Digging out after a conference. I need to add, Review session notes to the list of things I do at home after a conference. It doesn’t matter whether I took regular handwritten notes, used my Livescribe pen, or typed them directly into my iPad or laptop. If I don’t review the notes I’m going to miss out on some of what I learned, because I certainly can’t keep all of it in my head.

My crazy travel schedule this month has precluded my doing any genealogy research so far in April. But I intend to do some on Sunday. And the first place I’m going to look when I start my session is in my conference notebook. I can’t wait!