Monday, October 28, 2013

How I Spent My Weekend #2

The ISGS Conference, The Way We Were, was held Oct 25 and 26 in a beautiful facility, The Best Western Hotel and Convention Center, in Sandwich, Illinois. My only complaint (you always have to have at least one, right?) was the difficulty I had with phone and internet reception. I had no problems in our room but basically nothing in the conference area. For me, and some of my techie friends, it was like being stranded on a deserted island. However, I remembered back-in-the-day we managed to survive without even owning a cell phone or tablet/pc with internet access and I knew I'd make it through.

The choice of sessions varied from beginning genealogy to using various records to technology helps. Overheard conversations (no, I wasn't eavesdropping so much as standing near by) often mentioned the difficulty in deciding which session to attend. Whatever decisions were made, I'm sure the attendee found value in the lecture.

Even with my volunteer schedule, I was able to sit in on Thomas MacEntee's Evernote for Genealogists (Catch Thomas at Hi-Definition Genealogy), Nancy Loe's Managing Your Digital Environment and Cataloging Family Photographs (You can learn more from her at her blog, and George Morgan's Alternate Records You May Have Never Considered. I took something new from every one of these talks. Some things I'll put into practice right away, some I'll have to think on for awhile.

Our Friday night dinner talk by George Morgan (you may know him best from his work with FGS or his podcasts with Drew Smith, Genealogy Guys), When Ancestors Demand to be Found, followed his personal journey being led to and by one of his ancestors. It was heartfelt and funny, highlighting events we often call serendipitous.

All in all, I had a great time learning from others, conversing with old friends, and making new ones. Jim and I topped the day off on Saturday by stopping in Yorkville at the Lake View restaurant for a wonder dinner before making our final journey home.

Next year, the ISGS conference will be held in O'Fallon, Illinois in St. Clair county. I know that's a bit of a trek from our neck of the woods but, if you can, plan to go. I know you'll be glad you did!

~ Becky

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