My UPDATED Tips for Attending a Genealogy Conference

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Just in time for SCGS Jamboree in a few days, I’ve updated my list of tips for attending a genealogy conference.  You can read the original post here.  In a few days I will be at the Southern California Genealogical Society’s annual Jamboree conference.  This conference is one that I have attended for several years now.  I have learned a lot about what to expect and have listed my best tips here for you.

Here are my 10 Tips for Attending a Genealogy Conference

 1.            Dress comfortably and wear good walking shoes.  This is a must, there will be lots of walking especially around  the exhibit hall but to each session you attend as well.

 2.            Bring a sweater.  It would be better to dress in layers but some prefer to bring a light sweater.  Depending on each person, the lecture rooms can either be too warm or too chilly so either dress in layers or bring a light sweater.

 3.            Bring some water.  With the lecture rooms possibly being too warm and to help you stay hydrated, you can bring your own water, however, the hotel do offer small cups of water in each room.  Just keep in mind that sometimes they don’t refill it as often as needed.

 4.            Bring items to take notes with.  For those who pre-registered, we automatically get a digital copy of the syllabus on a flash drive of some sort.  Some also took advantage of the fact that they can order a printed copy of the syllabus.  If you didn’t and don’t have access to print out the handouts from the syllabus, then go old-school and bring a pad of paper and a pen to take notes with.  Old school is always a good back up.  🙂

 5.            Arrive early for your session.  Sometimes, especially if the speaker is a popular one, the rooms will fill to capacity.  When that happens, the room will be closed to anyone who does not have a seat.  This is due to fire regulations on the capacity of the room and SCGS can’t make any exceptions.  If they do, they could get in trouble with the Fire Department and/or be fined.   One way to guarantee your seat in your favorite lecture is to volunteer to help in said lecture.  Volunteers are always guaranteed a seat in the class.  Ask someone at the volunteer desk in the hallway outside the exhibit hall.

 6.            If you have business cards/calling cards, bring them.  It will help you to network with others even if you aren’t a professional genealogist.  You never know, you could meet a distant cousin and want to stay in contact.

7.            Network!!!  Along those same lines, collect business and personal cards from others.  You never know when you might need some help in a distant area.

 8.            Don’t be a wallflower!  If you have questions, ask the person next to you.  It’s a great way to make new friends!  This comes in handy when your family is tired of hearing you talk about genealogy.

 9.            Remember to be courteous to the speaker.  Don’t take pictures, unless you ask and get their permission first.  The speakers put a lot of time and effort into their lecture and more often than not, they don’t get paid enough for it. 

 10.          Finally, have Fun!!!  Yes.  This conference is a learning experience, but there are new people to meet, vendors to see and new speakers to listen to.  Relax and enjoy it all!

 Want to meet up?  Leave a comment and let me know.  Maybe we can get a group together to have lunch?



SCGS Jamboree is Next Week!

I am so excited!  This is my 5th year in a row that I have attended SCGS Jamboree, but what I am so very excited about is that this year, I will be attending DNA Day too!  Yippie!  I can’t wait.  This time next Thursday, I will be attending Tim Janzen, M.D.: Family Finder, 23andMe, and AncestryDNA: An Introduction.

What’s Coming Up

The Jamboree convention starts the day after DNA Day and on Friday, my first session is Drew Smith’s Organizing your Genealogical Communications.  Some of the other sessions I plan on attending is Cyndi Ingle’s Unappreciated Treasures Online: Libraries, Archives & Degital Collections.  Then another Drew Smith session called Organizing Your Genealgocial Files.  Drew is the expert in my book on the topic of genealogical organization and how to use Evernote with Genealogy which was a session that he had at last year’s Jamboree.
On Saturday, one of the sessions I plan on sitting in on is Geoff Rasmussen’s Using the Latest Legacy Family Tree Software.  I use Legacy Family Tree Software and I always like to stay on top of the tips and helps that I learn from Geoff Rasmussen.  I always love to learn new ways to stay on top of the genealogy technology field and Cyndi Ingle’s Coordinating the Cloud: Ancestry, Dropbox, Evernote, Family Search, Google Drive and More is one that I won’t miss!
Sunday is a more slower day with only two sessions on my list.  The first one is Jean Wilcox Hibben’s Five computer Programs to Simplify the Life of a Genealogist and the second one is Janet C. Hovorka’s 18 Genealogy Contest to Play with Family Online.

What to Watch For

If your not a friend of mine on Facebook, friend me quick!  I will be not only posting the fun happenings from Jamboree, but towards the end of each day (exact time TBD) I will be Facebook Live with updates from SCGS Jamboree.  We may or may not have some friends stop by so stay tuned to see what happens!  I will also be tweeting from Jamboree as well.  Find me to see what I am doing at Jamboree – @tricia520.  REMEMBER:  when you friend me on FB or want me to follow you back on Twitter, please send a note that you read my blog post so that I know how you found me.
Are you going to Jamboree next week?  Let’s get a MeetUp going, leave a comment below and we will get it scheduled.  🙂

FREE Live Streaming from SCGS Jamboree!

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Yes you heard me right, FREE!  I just got an email from the Southern California Genealogical Society and here are some of the facts:

  • It’s sponsored by Ancestry
  • Selected sessions = 14 hours (handouts included)
  • If you can’t watch it in real time, you have until July 5th to watch all of the sessions.

There are some important notes to remember:

  • You do not have to be a member of SCGS to registers for these free Jamboree sessions.
  • The free Jamboree sessions will be viewable on their own website.  It will be seperate from the pay-to-view Genetic Genealogy/DNA Day sessions that you pay for.  It will also not be shown on SCGS’s website and are not the same as the Jamboree Extension Series Webinars.
  • Although these sessions are free and available to the public, viewers MUST register to view them.

For more information, you can read SCGS Jamboree’s blog post here.

Heading to SCGS Jamboree in Burbank, CA this year?  Can’t go but plan on watching via the free live stream sessions?  Leave a comment and let me know the session your most looking forward to, whether at Jamboree or the live stream sessions!


Monday Memories

Family History, Genealogy, #MondaysMemoriesThis is the first of my Monday’s Memories series.  This series will be posted on the 4th Monday of the month.  These posts will be of my memories from my lifetime and will be a way of me getting the information written down and on the internet for other family members and blog subscribers to read.
This first memory is my memory of the 1971 Earthquake, also known as the San Fernando Earthquake, that rattled Southern California on February 9, 1971.  It is one of my earliest memories and occurred when both of my parents were still together.
Here are the facts:
Date:               February 9, 1971
Time:               6:00:14
Duration:        12 seconds
Magnitude:     6.5 or 6.7
This earthquake hit early in the morning and my father told me that he was right in the middle of shaving and getting ready for work when it started.  I remembered my dad waking me, picking me up and standing me in one of the 7 doorways that led into our hallway.  This hallway had doors connecting to all 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, the living room, a linen closet and a small storage room.  My dad put me down in the doorway that led to the living room and told me to hold on to the door jam.  At first, I was confused, I had been abruptly woken to chaos.  My mom was yelling for my brother to wake up and I can hear the urgency in my dad’s voice.  My dad then went to get my two sisters up and they stood in their bedroom doorway.  After my mom’s yelling, my brother got himself up and stood in the doorway to his bedroom and my mother got my younger sister, she was only 3 at the time, and was in the doorway to her and my dad’s bedroom.  After my dad was able to get my sisters up and they were standing in the doorway, he came to my side, and stood in the doorway with me.  I remember holding on to the door jam with my right hand and my left hand was hugging my dad’s knee, I was only 5 years old.  During the time everyone was getting into the doorways, there was shaking.  I remembered it started as a slow rolling motion and by the time we were all in the hallway, the real shaking began.  My dad said to hold on and my sisters were crying while my Mom was trying to comfort them from across the hallway.
We used to have a toy that we called knicker-knockers.  It was two glass balls connected to each other by about 6 inches of rope, it was the 70’s and was the toy of the time.  Someone had placed this toy on the doorknob of the small storage room and during the heaviest shaking, the two glass balls were moving up and down fast and were touching each other at the top and again at the bottom.  This frightened me because I was thinking it was going to break apart.  I remember turning around and looking behind me into the living room and watching the windows, which were floor to ceiling, move with the shaking.  I remember asking my dad, “Daddy, when is it going to stop shaking?”  I was scared and hung on to his knee.  Later when I was older and remembering this event, my dad said that I was holding on to his knee pretty tight and possibly cutting of circulation.  There was a lot of damage and deaths due to this earthquake but for me and my family, we survived it.
What do you remember from the 1971 San Fernando earthquake?  Let me know in the comments below.

SCGS Jamboree Updates


This time, two weeks from now, I will be at the Jamboree 2016 – DNA day which kicks off the Jamboree 2016.  I’m so excited to go.  Here are some updates and news regarding Jamboree 2016.

Live Streaming

The Southern California Genealogical Society’s (SCGS) blog has been buzzing today.  They had several posts regarding updates for the SCGS Jamboree which is being held June 2nd through the 5th.

First, Jamboree 2016 will be live streaming selected sessions from this weekend and you will have until July 5th to view them.  On Monday, May 23rd, they will list the details.  You can check back on their blog here or you can pre-register here.  This is the first time I have seen a conference make available live streaming to the public.  Register quick so you don’t miss out!

The App is here!

The Jamboree 2016 app was released on Sunday, May 15th and you can download it now from the App store or on Google Play.  I have been playing with the app since it was released on Monday and I have to tell ya that I love it!

I have added my daughter who is attending Jamboree with me, as a friend.  We will be able to see each other’s schedule and if we wanted to, send messages to each other.  I also love that when I select a session, it is automatically added to my schedule.  I can also add my own appointments to my schedule so that I can keep track of where I am supposed to be during the day.  I have already added my ProGen Lunch and the NextGen happy hour events to my schedule.

I will be able to download session handouts and presentations when available and I will also be able to join in on social media with the #SCGS2016 hashtag.  The app has each of the social media channels I use and it will be easier for me to post on Facebook, tweet, and post on Instagram!

You can get more details on the app here.

Jamboree 2016 and DNA Day Registration Ends soon!

Don’t forget that registration closes at Midnight on Sunday, May 22nd.

It’s not too late, register today!  You can find more registration details here.