I cannot believe that there are only 2 weeks left before we have our genealogy reunion in Pleasanton, CA. That's one of the things I like the most: getting together with friends and cousins to network, reminisce, learn, and create new memories. I truly love this group of folks and am honored to be in their midst.
But what if you are new to genealogy? Will you feel out of place? Will there be anything for you? I know that sometimes there is an assumption that everyone knows the basics and some of the speakers can approach topics as if everyone knows that an "M" on a census record may stand for "Male," "Married," or "Mulatto," depending on which column it is in. Sometimes, as speakers, we forget to be clear. Please, if that happens and you are confused, ask for clarification (ideally, wait until the end of the presentation, but if it's something that will make the presentation meaningless until it's clarified, speak up, especially if the presentation is advertised as being for "beginners").
That said, let me make some suggestions for beginning researchers to "fill your bill" of genealogy presentations:
Friday, 10 am - "Genealogy for the First Time" - Laura Best
Friday, 11:30 am - "Google Search" - Lisa Louise Cooke
Friday, 1:30 pm - "Best Strategies for Searching Ancestry.com" - Ancestry.com Staff
Friday, 3:00 pm - "FamilySearch 2010 and Beyond" - Gordon J. Clarke
Friday, 4:30 pm - "What Can I Learn from the United States Census?" - Debbe Hagner, AG
Saturday, 8:00 am - "Clue to Clue: Tracking a Family across Time and Miles" - Jean Hibben, CG
Saturday, 9:30 am - "How to Use Your Family Tree to Improve Your Health" - Jordanna Joaquina
Saturday, 11:00 am - "Facebook for Genealogists" - Thomas MacEntee
Saturday, 1:00 pm - "Using Timelines and Historic Maps in Genealogy Research" - Laura Best
Saturday, 2:30 pm - "How to Find Your Ancestors on Ship Passenger Lists" - Debbe Hagner, AG
Saturday, 4:00 pm - "Kiss Those Brick Walls Goodbye! Research Success Stories" - Holly Hansen
Please note: these are general ideas for beginners. If you are particularly interested in working with FamilySearch, then I would recommend you attend more of their programs; if you are working on finding an ancestor from a particular culture (Irish, Scottish, German, etc.), check out the offerings for those beginning ethnic research endeavors. Click on the image above to access the full schedule of the event to select what is perfect for you.
Next week I'll talk a little more about the blogging that will be part of the expo.