09 November 2012

The 2012 Georgia Family History Expo, Day 1

     I just got home from day one of the 2012 Georgia Family History Expo. It was a great day!  Like the last two years, the event was held at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth Georgia (only 10 minutes from home!).  I attended as a Blogger of Honor and have been tweeting throughout the event (@ValerieC84).  Here's a rundown of day one:

  • I arrived early and checked in and met up with Linda, Tonia, Dru, Stephanie and Christa. 
  • One of the ladies there with Ask-the-Pros had roots in Elbert County. Her (I think) Uncle married a Craft. I'll have to meet up with her again tomorrow - we're probably cousins of some sort.
  • The Keynote Speech was by the ever entertaining Robert S Davis. He survived the lights fading up and down twice and his mic going dead. What a trooper!
  • First Class: Georgia Land, Maps and Technology by Jennifer Dondero. She gave a lot of great places to find Georgia Maps, some of which I knew, others that I did not. I've used the Georgia Archives' Virtual Vault many times, but after this class I realized that I hadn't even scratched the surface of their Map collection! She also gave tips on using Google Earth that will be very useful.
  • Second Class: Recording, Preserving, & Sharing Your Family's Oral History by Harvey Baker. This class was something of an introduction to the website, SavingMemoriesForever.com. I'd heard about this site/app before, but never really looked into it. It looks like just the thing I need to organize my audio files.  
    • He also gave a lot of tips on why you should use audio to record your family's history. 
      • Consider this: sometimes folks don't want their photo taken, so they certainly don't want you to record a video of them. However, with audio it doesn't matter how they're dressed or if they have a food stain on their shirt from the family reunion picnic. 
      • Also think about audio files. They are almost always MP3. What about your video files? The formats vary and are often changing. You can convert them, or you can stick with audio.
      • Video is often distracting. Not only are your subjects self conscious, but your viewers might get distracted by the visuals and miss out on the actual content.
  • Lunch Break. Mom had picked up some brochures from the Gwinnett Visitor's booth in the expo hall and we had a discounted Chick-fil-A dinner!
  • Third Class: "Non-Genealogy" Tools to Help Your Family History Research by Tonia Kendrick.   Boy did I learn a lot! Tonia introduced me to mind-maps and helped me figure out how to better use spreadsheets in my genealogy research. I'd tried some before with little success, but I'm going to try again. She mentioned a website called CensusTools.com that I've just got to check out. She also gave a brief intro to Evernote and OneNote that had me experimenting during the class. She also promised to put up copies of her FAN Club and Research Log spreadsheets on her blog.
  • Fourth Class: Crossing the Great Divide: Little Known Federal Sources for Place of Birth before 1850 by Robert S Davis.  This class was just chock full of helpful information on finding information in places you've never heard of. He also explained why the information is there; the original purpose of the record. It was a bit complex, but he explained it well and I have new places to look for my ancestors.
  • I bought a book from the Georgia Genealogical Society, "Georgia Research: a Handbook for Genealogists, Historians, Archivists, Lawyers, Librarians, and Other Researchers," by Robert S Davis and Ted O Brooke.
  • I talked to the gentleman at the booth for GenealogyWallCharts.com. They have some great conference prices and I'm planning to take a Gedcom file tomorrow and see about buying a (few?) chart(s).
     Today was over much too quickly and I'm looking forward to tomorrow. If you didn't attend today, and you are in the area, I recommend you attend tomorrow. The first class is at 10am and a one day registration is $60. 

Me, Mom, my sister, Sarah

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