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Training Time

Seminar season rolls in during the spring months. Many genealogists recently attended the giant RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City last month. Others will head for Richmond, Virginia for the 2014 National Genealogical Society Family History Conference in May.

I have never attended RootsTech, but I have been to a couple of NGS conferences. In 1998, Denver hosted the event, so of course I went. I even served as a room monitor for a few of the sessions. Ten years later, I drove to Kansas City, Missouri for the 2008 conference. Both times I came away with renewed enthusiasm and much helpful information.

Unfortunately, it costs quite a bit to attend these wonderful conferences—travel, hotel, meals, registration fee. An additional deterrent to February’s RootsTech is that it requires a treacherous drive over the mountains to Salt Lake City in the winter weather. So I usually stay home.

In recent years, the motive for staying put in Denver has grown because so many nationally-known speakers now visit our area. Thanks to the efforts of our local societies working with the Denver Public Library (DPL), I can receive my genealogical training for a fraction of the cost of attending a national conference.

This spring I plan to visit DPL to hear four great speakers:

  • On March 8 the WISE (Wales, Ireland, Scotland, England) research group will host an Irish seminar featuring Fintan Mullan and Gillian Hunt from Northern Ireland;
  • On March 29 the Palatines to America will host noted German researcher Roger P. Minert;
  • On April 26 the Colorado Genealogical Society is bringing in Judy Russell, the Legal Genealogist;
  • On May 17 the Computer Interest Group will host Rick and Pam Sayre from Washington D. C. to speak about tech topics.

Thus I will get four full days of training for about $150, much less than it would cost me to attend a national conference. Call me the Practical Genealogist.

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