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Monday, September 12, 2011

FGS 2011 - The Who

Many thanks to the Board, the members, and the volunteers of the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) for a fantastic conference last week! And to the Board, members, and volunteers from the Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS), thank you too! Both organizations worked around the clock to create an awesome event. It absolutely exceeded my expectations!

This is the first of seven posts I'll write about my experience in a "who, what, when, where, why, and how" series (with a bonus at the end).

Nearly 2000 people from 48 states and multiple countries gathered to learn from and be inspired by, a knowledgeable group of instructors on a wide variety of genealogically-related topics.

It might be easy to get lost in a crowd that size, but remember these are genealogists. We excel at making connections!

Seeing Paula Stuart-Warren at the Thursday night Geneabloggers gathering was like old home week. I met Paula last year when she presented at the Anoka County Genealogical Society. Her warmth and passion for family history is unforgettable. Meeting Thomas MacEntee was a treat; he's just as focused and charismatic in person as I imagined from reading his blogs. Then there was Sean LambRandy Seaver and other bloggers ~ neat to finally meet in person.

While at the conference I connected with an Illinois friend I hadn't seen in far too long. I met an 80 year young gentleman who was technically (and socially) blessed. We ate breakfast with knowledgeable sisters and lunch with Salt Lake-savvy cousins. There was a friendly local couple who sprinkled laugh-out-loud ancestral anecdotes throughout dinner. There were people everywhere who had lots in common. In this group alone:

5 of these genealogists live in the area 3 of these genealogists are currently researching

3 of these genealogists started their trees after attending a funeral

2 of these genealogists who had never met are researching the same tiny town in the south

The conference was a networker's dream; so many interesting people with fascinating stories. Such a wealth of family history research experience and expertise waiting to be shared. The connections I made at FGS 2011 made it an experience I can't wait to repeat!


Becky Higgins said...

It was great seeing you at the conference, Laura. Wish we had had more time to talk but with my "room monitoring" and such...

Keep up the good work!

Laura said...

It was great seeing you again too! We'll connect again soon, I'm sure.

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