The session choices were:
Getting the Most out of Your Ancestry.com Subcription
Finding Immigration Records
Best Strategies for Searching Ancestry.com
Organize, Organize, Organize
Discover NEHGS: Your Family History Resource
Getting the Most out of Family Tree Maker
The day began early! Check-in began was from 8-9:30 am at the Westin Copley in Boston. I rode the train from my home in southern Rhode Island. I had a 6:22 am reservation. It was still mostly dark! The train was 20 minutes late but the sun came up.
When I arrived at the event registration was in full swing. There were 700 registrations (with over 200 turned away I heard). The organizers were well prepared but it still took about 1/2 hour to get checked in. However, I never mind standing and talking with fellow genealogists!
NEHGS also had a book sale. They were selling a variety of used books along with some of their newer publications. They were also signing up new members at a great pace with a small conference discount. I spent a few minutes at the table during the day, checking out all the books.
I first attended the Finding Immigration Records session given by Rhonda McClure of NEHGS. She is a great speaker and an avid genealogist herself. She had some wonderful examples from her own research that she shared. The room was packed. I picked up some tips here for looking for all the many immigrant ancestors which we all have.
Next on tap for me was Organize, Organize, Organize also by Rhonda. Here she conjoled and teased us into admitting many of our unorganized ways. I took home some impetus to clean up my biggest mess - my digital images. Ah, good intentions, where will they lead?
Lunch was on your own with lots of choices inside the interconnected mall area or out into a beautiful day in downtown Boston.
Back from lunch I attended Discover NEHGS: Your Family History Resource led by Josh Taylor. He admitted that we will see him on the upcoming "Who Do You Think You Are" where he helped Sarah Jessica Parker! Josh took us through the NEHGS resources of which I have used so very little even though I have been a member for 4 or 5 years! Again, more good intentions to be had!
I finished the day at Getting the Most out of Family Tree Maker led by Tana Pederson who has written "The Official Guide to Family Tree Maker". It was a pretty good introduction to the latest version.
I will admit here that I use FTM but although I have purchased the latest version, 2010, I have stuck with FTM 2006. There were so many disappointed users of the intervening versions. The new version looked good. You can keep all your media files within your database, including your photos, census images etc. They can be attached to individuals and events (and would help with the disorganized stuff I spoke about above). If you are an ancestry.com subscription it interconnects very nicely. I am still a bit skeptical here - how will it perform with a 10,000 plus member tree and lots of images? How large and unwieldy will my database file become? Anyone using it please let me know your thoughts!!
After the last session I had a pleasant train ride back to Kingston and was home by a bit after 6 pm. A long but pleasurable day. I am sure they could take this show on the road and do quite well! Did I see you there?