Tuesday, September 24, 2013

New York Family History Conference

This weekend, I returned from Syracuse, New York, where I attended and spoke at the New York State Family History Conference.  It was co-sponsored by the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society and the Central New York Genealogical Society.  The conference organizers billed the conference as “The First”, because they intend this conference to become a regularly scheduled conference focused on those researching New York families. This first conference was well attended.  In fact it was sold out with about 400 attending.  Those who tried to register in the final weeks for events such as the bus tour or the luncheon on Friday at which Terry Koch-Bostic spoke about “Finding Spicy Stories of New York Ancestors in Newspapers Online”, were out of luck.

The conference offered two tracks of presentations, one on New York State, and the second entitled “Beyond the Basics”.   One of my two presentations was “German Heritage and History in New York State”.  The second of my talks was entitled“Were Your Ancestors Refugees from the 1848 German Revolution?”  I was pleased that the conference made the decision to include at least those two German themed presentations.  Based on feedback from those who attended my two talks, there were many who were seeking information to help them research their German ancestors.  I am sorry to say that there were no other presentations dealing with German research.

However, the lack of more German content does not mean that the conference didn’t have a lot to offer.  Paula Stuart-Warren gave several talks, including one on indexes and databases for American Indian research. Karen Mauer Green spoke of the Huguenots in New Amsterdam and New York.  There was an interesting presentation sponsored by the National DAR and given by Eric Grunset on New York in the Revolution.

Next time this conference is held, I hope they will find a larger venue to hold all the people who wanted to attend this one.  

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