I suspect that most people who are interested in genealogy or in researching their family history have attended at least a few conferences. When I began researching my family, I attended an FGS or NGS conference each year for a few years. My motivation was straightforward. I knew very little about genealogy, and I decided that attending a conference would provide me with information that I would need to successfully research my family.
Later, I joined a local genealogy society, the Orange County (NY) Genealogical Society. I didn't have any ancestors that lived in Orange County, but I thought it would be helpful to attend their meeting and associate with other family researchers. My involvement eventually led to my becoming an officer in that society. I still haven’t found any Orange County connections for my ancestors, but in some ways, belonging to the Orange County group is my attempt to contribute to the genealogical community.
While attending a national conference one year, I found a booth for the Palatines to America. At the time, I knew that my father’s side of the family had emigrated from Mulhouse, in Alsace. My grandmother spoke German, although I knew that Mulhouse is currently part of France. I explained at the booth that my grandparents were from Alsace, not Germany and asked if Palatines to America would be a society I might join. I was assured that the Society was for anyone with German-speaking ancestors. A few years later, I did join Palatines to America and began attending the meetings of the New York Chapter.
So, the question is, why do you attend conferences and meetings? Is it to support a genealogical society to which you belong? Is it to gain more knowledge about a topic of interest in your research? Or is it to associate yourself with other genealogists to share ideas and fellowship?
Whatever your reason, we hope that you will consider attending our Palatines to America National when we meet in Albany, NY from the 19 -22 of June. Your attendance will be appreciated by the Palatines to America. The topics will be of interest to those with German ancestors no matter where their ancestors settled. And of course, there will be the opportunity to meet and talk to others researching their German ancestors. Go to our website, www.palam.org to register for the conference.