Sunday, January 27, 2008

Exhibitor Spotlight: Generation Maps

Be sure to bring your computer file!! Generation Maps, your comprehensive genealogy chart printers, will be printing charts at the NGS conference in Kansas City. No need to process your information any special way, just bring any genealogy data file and tell us how you want your chart to look, and it will be printed while you wait. A chart is a wonderful, easy way to explain to your family members the research that has been accomplished. Generation Maps will also be selling their easy to use kits for beautiful decorative charts and Canvas Giclee fine art photo reproductions. The kits make great gifts and allow the user to work with the design professionals at Generation Maps to make a one of a kind expression of their family. Let Generation Maps help you get your research out where you can see it and surround your family with a sense of their heritage.

NGS 2008 Checklist - Planning for a Great Time at NGS 2008!!

Just a little advance planning can make the difference between a just so – so experience and a GREAT experience. The NGS 2008 conference is just 5 months away. Now is the time to spend a little effort to plan a GREAT experience in Kansas City. Use the Checklist provided below to make your plans.

1. Make your Hotel Reservations - Now!!!!!

2. Register for the Conference – Now!!! Early bird discount ends 31 March 2008.

3. Plan your travel – will you fly, drive, take the train -- yes AMTRAK goes to Kansas City! You may be able to find bargains on airfare with early planning.

4. Plan a few extra days for researching in nearby State repositories ---Just to start your planning, the mileage to 10 great repositories is listed below :

  • Missouri State Archives – Jefferson City, MO <>
  • Missouri State Historical Society – Columbia, MO <>
  • Kansas State Historical Society and Archives – Topeka, KS <>
  • Nebraska State Historical Society – Lincoln, NE <>
  • Iowa - State Historical Society of Iowa – Des Moines, IA <>
  • The National Genealogical Society collection is housed in St. Louis at the St. Louis County, Library <>
  • Illinois State Archives – Springfield, IL <>
  • Oklahoma State Archives - Oklahoma City, OK <>
  • Arkansas History Commission – Little Rock, AR <325>
  • Minnesota Historical Society – St. Paul, MN <>
  • Colorado State Archives – Denver, CO <>

5. Check out tour guides for other things to do – shopping, jazz, great restaurants, history, art, other conventions, visit friends / relatives, resorts, visit Branson and so much more.

6. If you plan to do some research – organize your work and make a list of documents you want to find. Find out when various libraries, courthouses and other repositories are open.

7. Study maps of the area to plan your side trips.

8. Plan your conference wardrobe – be sure to dress comfortably and in layers. The weather can be variable in May so you will want to bring some clothes for both warm and cool days. Bring comfortable shoes.

9. Some other things you might want to bring with you if you are going to be doing any research --- research checklist, magnifying glass, laptop or genealogy forms / charts to record information, maps

10. Bring your camera, batteries, charger, film, etc.

Most important -- Rest before you leave so you are in top shape for four great days at NGS 2008!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Speaker Spotlight: John Humphrey

John Humphrey is a professional genealogist who is an entertaining and knowledgeable speaker. He has lectured nationally for many years.

Mr. Humphrey's research specialties include eighteenth-century Palatines and Pennsylvania as well as nineteenth-century Germans. He has authored numerous books and articles. Humphrey specializes in German research at the Library of Congress, the National Archives, and record repositories in eastern Pennsylvania and southwestern Germany. He is a member of the National Genealogical Society and the Association of Professional Genealogists. In 2001 he lead an NGS research trip to Northern Germany. Currently he is working on records created prior to the Second World War of interest to genealogists in the United States and Germany.

This award winning author has managed several, local and regional conferences. He is president of the Mid-Atlantic Germanic Society and a past vice president of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania. He was manager of the National Genealogical Society Learning Center in Arlington, Virginia and he has appeared on national television and public radio where he discussed various aspects of genealogy.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Pre-conference programs – Something for Everyone

We hope you plan to come early and take advantage of one of the other programs offered the day before the NGS conference starts. There are three programs for your choice.

· Option 1: See some local historical sites in the Kansas City area. This tour is on Tuesday, 13 May 2008. You will visit the Truman Presidential Museum and see his nearby home. From there you will visit the National Frontier Trails Museum. Then after lunch (on your own) you will tour the Arabia Steamboat Museum.

· Option 2: Librarian Day will also take place on Tuesday, 13 May 2008. Open to all librarians and library volunteers. The program will offer ideas for librarians working with limited resources; ideas for providing information for genealogists and online resources available to libraries for genealogy. Lunch will be provided.

· Option 3: If you would like to make use of your time to improve your skills, why not sign up for a day long workshop hosted by the Board of Certification of Genealogists (BCG). Dr. Thomas Jones, CG, CGL, FASG and Barbara Mathews, CG have a great session planned for you. You will work through hands on exercises to practice evaluating evidence and learn proper documentation of genealogical research. Lunch will be provided. For more information check the website at:

For your convenience you may register for these events by checking the official NGS 2008 conference website at:

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Exhibitor Spotlight:

Offering easy access to 200 million U.S. genealogical records from 1690 to the present, helps researchers uncover fascinating details about their ancestors’ lives. Genealogists can find, browse, copy and email digital images from over 2,200 newspapers and a wide variety of military and government documents, including obituaries, marriage notices, birth announcements and more. Go to: <> for more information, or visit booth #212.

Speaker Spotlight: Kelvin Hulet

Kelvin Hulet is the Product Manager for Ancestry Press and was also a Product Manager at for image-based content such as ship photos, postcards, maps, yearbooks and more. Prior to working at he owned a digital printing business that specialized in printing for the genealogy industry.

Speaker Spotlight: Thomas W. Jones

Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, is joint editor of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, former trustee and a past president of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, board member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, and recipient of its 2004 Grahame T. Smallwood Jr. Award of Merit. An active genealogist since his teens, Tom’s research has encompassed records of every state east of the Mississippi, as well as Iowa, Missouri, Texas, France, Germany, Italy, and Ireland. He specializes, however, in Georgia and Virginia research. Tom writes and speaks frequently on genealogical methods that have broad application across geographic areas, time periods, and levels of expertise. He recently retired from a career in higher education.

Vendors – Everything you ever wanted for Family History Research

You may still be undecided about attending NGS 2008. You may think you can read the abstracts and purchase the tapes, but one thing you can’t do from home ~~ you can’t visit the booths sponsored by the vendors at NGS 2008. The vendor display itself is like a Genealogy Show!! This year there will be about 100 vendor booths and thousands of great products on display at this year’s conference. The exhibits will be in Exhibit Hall A at the Hyatt with many hours for your viewing pleasure.
For your convenience a schedule, listing of vendors and map of vendor locations is available at the following websites:

Why not take some time now in the comfort of your home and plan which booths you will need to visit while attending the conference. Watch the 2008 NGS Conference Blog for features about some of the exhibitors who will be in Kansas City.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Speakers, Speakers, Speakers ---- Just to name a few!!

We have many well known speakers you won’t want to miss hearing. Be sure to check the 2008 NGS Blog often for features about some of the speakers. Our keynote speaker opening “Show me the Nation’s Records” is Dr. Robert Sandfort, President of the Friends of the Missouri State Archives. He will set the stage for this year’s conference with his talk about history of the settlement of the Missouri Valley. You will want to hear him tell about the arrival of the early pioneers and their influence on the settlement along both sides of the Missouri River from St. Louis to Kansas City.

If you have German ancestry you won’t want to miss at least one of Dr. Roger P. Minert’s presentations. Improve your skills by attending sessions presented by Dr. Thomas Jones, CG, CGL, FASG; Connie Lenzen, CG; Barbara Vines Little, CG; Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG,CGL, FNGS, FAS; Paula Stewart-Warren, CG; and others. For more about Midwest research you will want to hear Robert de Beradinis; Evie Bresette, CG; Mary Clement Douglass, CG; Ann Fleming, CG; Kathy Hinckley, CG; and others.

Increase your computer / software skills by attending sessions by these experts –
· Suzanne Russo Adams, AG, (
· Pamela Boyer, CG, CGL and Robert Sayre, CG (Google Earth)
· Bruce Buzbee (RootsMagic)
· Geoff Rasmussen (Legacy)
· Barbara Renick – learn about scanning, downloading, using PowerPoint,
· Jeanne Bloom, CG – learn to put MS Excel to work for your genealogical studies
· David Humphreys (Family Tree Maker)
· Thomas Jay Kemp (GenealogyBank)
· Elizabeth Kelly Kerstens, CG – using effective internet searches in your genealogy
· Debra Mieszala, CG – using MS WORD to present your genealogical research
· Patricia Walls Stamm, CG, CGL – presentation about more computer tips for working smart
· Aaron Underwood (GenSmarts)
· Bob Velke (The Master Genealogist
This is only a few of the experts we have lined up to speak to you at “Show Me the Nation’s Records” in Kansas City, 14-18 May 2008. For a complete listing of the programs visit:
Keep checking our Blog for Speaker Spotlights.

For Love, Not Money

Every genealogy conference—local, state or national—depends on the generosity of volunteers who give up a few hours to help. Please consider giving a little of your time while at the conference to assure that everyone has a great experience in Kansas City. We are assembling a group of wonderful people to help with hospitality, room monitoring, and registration tasks. Please send a note to Barbara Dale, Volunteers Co-chair, at to let us know of your interest and we will provide more detailed information and work with you to schedule times that suit.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Several reasons why you should not miss NGS 2008!!

If you can’t decide for sure if you want to come to Kansas City in May for “Show Me the Nation’s Records” there are dozens of reasons why you should plan to attend the 2008 NGS conference. Some of those reasons are listed below:
  • Many great speakers covering a wide variety of topics
    - Finding your relatives in the records at the National Archive records
    - Learn more about the Homestead Records Project
    - How to find records for ancestors who lived or migrated through Midwestern states
    - Using various record types to research your Native American ancestors
    - If you have German ancestors there are several excellent speakers who will expand your knowledge about researching your German ancestors
    - Do you want to find out how DNA studies can help with your genealogical research
    - Increase your efficiency by learning how to use the latest software and other tools
    - Learn ways to improve your skills as a genealogical researcher

  • The new Midwest Genealogy Center opens in May 2008. Be one of the earliest visitors to tour this state of the art genealogical research facility. It is located at Lee's Summit and Kiger Roads in Independence, Missouri.

    - Visit the National Archives – Central Plains Region in Kansas City, Missouri
    - Great central location with easy travel to Kansas City, Missouri.
    - Lots of non-genealogical sites for your traveling companions – National Frontier Trails Center, World War I and Liberty Monuments, Truman Library, Worlds of Fun, blues and jazz, lots of antique shops, Union Station, Science City and IMAX theater.
    - Close proximity to Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri State Archives.
    Don’t miss out on all of the fun and a great genealogy program --- make your plans now for a trip to “Show me the Nation’s Records” 14-17 May 2008.