10 Things I learned at the 2016 NGS Family History Conference

NGS2016 Conference LogoOne week ago, I returned from my second National Genealogical Society Family History Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The first one I attended live was in 2014 in Richmond, Virginia.

What a difference a second conference makes!

So what did I learn?


  1. Every level of genealogist attends this conference, from beginner to pioneer – and you can learn from all of them.
  2. Every year you go, you will re-connect with people you met before, they’ll introduce you to new people, and someday, you will become the one doing introducing!
  3. Working the Association of Professional Genealogists booth – or any booth – is a great way to meet cool new people.
  4. Networking is easy at luncheons, ProGen gatherings, or just sitting next to someone waiting for a lecture to begin.
  5. Supportive spouses and partners who “aren’t all that into genealogy” rock!
  6. Legends in our field are approachable.
  7. Citations don’t have to be complex or intimidating to write.
  8. Indirect evidence can be just as powerful as direct evidence.
  9. I really DO know some of this stuff!
  10. BCG (Board for Certification of Genealogists) certification is doable!

Next year’s 2017 conference will be in North Carolina – driving distance from Franklin County, Pennsylvania. And I can’t wait to re-connect with all my old and new friends.

Maybe I will be on the clock for certification by then?!?

Franklin County Genealogy Just Got Easier

Last week, the National Genealogical Society’s January-March 2016 NGS Magazine hit their members’ mailboxes. Included in this publication was an article by me, Pam Anderson! As my good friend and mentor, LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson described it, “Cameras in the Courthouse – a model for other courthouses and genealogists to use in developing a camera policy to assist with research!”

NGS Magazine Article 2016

Genealogists from everywhere encounter roadblocks to accessing genealogical records, and making copies of the ones they are lucky enough to find. So I decided to write up my experiences and submit an article to NGS. I enjoyed the collaborative process of working with our courthouse officials and staff to carefully craft a policy that could work for everyone. And they now have a better understanding of genealogy, its documentation requirements and standards. But the best thing was stopping by each office, showing them the final product, and thanking everyone for making it all happen.

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