National Genealogical Society (NGS) 2013 Conference
I have just returned from the NGS Conference in Las Vegas. I must admit that Las Vegas is not one of my favorite places to visit, since I don’t gamble, and much of the entertainment is not to my liking. However, someone needed to be there for our Palatines to America luncheon during the conference. It appears not too many Palatines to America are fond of Las Vegas either, since of the 120 who paid to attend our luncheon, only five including myself were Palam members. I recruited my wife, Regina, who isn’t into genealogy and a member who was in attendance, Suzanne Spangler to collect tickets at the door and another attendee (who probably wasn’t a member) to help pass out membership brochures. On the positive side, the brochures placed on the table were mostly taken. We may gain some new members.
My topic for the luncheon was “Our German Ancestors: when they came and where they went.” This provided me with the opportunity to promote our June conference in Albany. I attempted to highlight some of the key periods of German immigration during the talk. Some of those in attendance commented that they had signed up for the luncheon because that was the only presentation that talked about German ancestry. They were correct, since no other presenter talked about German research.
In talking to some of the NGS board members, I learned that it has been difficult to find speakers to cover German topics. The death of John Humphrey, and the poor health of Mel Wolfgang has reduced the number of speakers on German topics. In time there will be others who will come forward with the proper credentials, but at present the available speaker pool is limited. I was asked by an NGS board member to consider sending in possible talks on German themes for next year’s NGS conference even though the deadline for submission is past. Since next year will be in Richmond, VA, I may very well do that, since I love visiting Virginia.
However, for all of you who are readers of this blog, I would remind you that there will be no shortage of speakers on German topics at the Palatines to America’s 2013 National Conference in Albany in June. We have as main speakers, Hank Z Jones and Ernie Thode. Additional speakers will be Christine Crawford-Oppenheimer, Hans Pohlsander, Jeff O’Connor and myself, Joe Lieby. Check our www.palam.org website for further details. We hope you will join us there in June.