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The Genealogy Talk Circuit

Because I live near a large city, I frequently have the opportunity to hear nationally-known genealogy speakers. Just this fall, I attended day-long seminars by Dr. Michael Lacopo (sponsored by the Palatines to America), and David MacDonald (sponsored by W.I.S.E., the Wales, Ireland, Scotland, England research group). The genealogy speaker’s market has exploded in recent years, and most of the well-known genealogists make their way to Denver sooner or later.

For those genealogists who live in more remote area, the pickings are not so rich. To view similar presentations, they must attend genealogy conferences. The National Genealogical Society (NGS) and the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) host large annual conferences around the country. A consortium of societies and vendors sponsors the technology-focused RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City each year. Some state societies hold large conferences as well.

Potential speakers pitch topics to the event organizers. The subjects selected for the conferences often focus on development of professional skills or research in the conference locale. There may be a group of presentations on a current hot topic, like DNA.

The speakers for the upcoming FGS conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana were announced recently, and I was surprised to learn that Thomas McEntee will not be among their presenters. He is well-known in genealogy circles as the organizer of all the genealogy bloggers out there, including me. At this year’s RootsTech conference, he spoke on Twitter for genealogists and inspired me to try it. He has a lot of good ideas about how to use technology in genealogy.

Those in the Denver area will get to hear Thomas McEntee next year even though he will not speak at FGS. The Computer Interest Group of the Colorado Genealogical Society has invited him for their one-day spring seminar on May 25, 2013. I am eager to learn more from him, so I plan to sign up for this seminar. I am lucky to live in the midst of a large genealogy community that provides these opportunities. I wonder who FGS selected to speak next year when they passed over Thomas McEntee. Would it be worth a trip to Indiana?

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