Saturday, February 21, 2015

Society Saturday - Root Cellar SGS on Display

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner-Benward

I wanted to show off and show you what the SOCIETY SHOWCASE looked like in Salt Lake City in the exhibit hall under the watchful eye of Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS). A big Thank you very much to FGS for all the exposure . I feel it is important to participate when given the opportunity, Next time maybe a better representation might be our publications list.

You entered the  FGS booth with lots of balloons encircling the entrance to the booth. Lots of color and fun too.

There are several circular towers moving round and round with information about so many great societies from around the country...........  participants were coming in and going through the flyer's and taking just the ones they wanted AND that included our brochures too. Big thanks to the FGS marketing group for coming up with this idea.


Pretty cool idea. Something that we could do in a lesser scale during seminar or other events. It took me a long time to get a fairly clear shot. So many people at this conference. 

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tuesday's Tip - FGS/RootsTech2015 OVER

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner-Benward

What a ride all week.........
attendance tripled this week for the conference time.  Over 20,000 conference goers attended. Can you believe that? But it is true, I am sure I touched the hands, elbows or shoulders with them all. This is the largest conference I have attended. It was overwhelming. They (RootsTech & FGS) got together the best keynote speakers and presenters.  We were entertained with CEO's & Presidents, D Joshua Taylor, President of FGS;  Former First Lady Laura W Bush and her daughter, Jenna Bush Hager,  NBC Today Show Correspondent;  A J Jacobs, New York Times Best Selling Author and is hosting the largest family reunion in New York in June2015...everyone is welcome,  everyone in the audience held up a sign that said "I am a Cousin"; and Donny Osmond, singer and entertainer; Alex Boye and the One voice Children's Choir; David Archuleta and the cast of BYUtv"s Studio C;  performers showcasing the sights, sounds and dancing from various world cultures. Everyday we had the opportunity to be informed, and entertained at the beginning of each day and at the end of each day. The exhibit hall was huge and I think that there was something for everyone, Because I still attend classes when attending a conference there is not much time for the Exhibit Hall and this time was no exception. I was literally running through the Hall on my way to the next class. The rooms were really spread out and the need to get to that class before it filled up OR you needed to take you second choice. (which I did a couple of times). I need a couple of weeks to recuperate and start applying what I have learned.

Some highlights..................

you are looking at only about a third of the Exhibit Hall- Doors just opened 

Demo Stage.....  something going on all the time. Check out those comfy chairs and couches
a friend from San Diego, Paul Hawthorne, showing off his collection of tags.....
contest for the most is on and I think he is losing already!

one of many small gatherings of Ambassadors, &/or  Bloggers ....... this is at the Find My Past booth with Jen Baldwin

Family Day on Saturday - lots of families, lots of children attended. Special classes & events set up for the families. I brought back 3 booklets being handed out for children to fill in - having fun and learning about family at the same time. Can hardly wait to see my own grandchildren and watch them while they fill their own booklet out. I wonder what questions they will have, what they know and what they don't know.............

Family Tree DNA Booth extremely busy, every hour of every day. But I managed to upgrade to of my kits. AND yes, AncestryDNA was just as busy. Both ran out of kits each day. 

one of the many LAB's offered during the conference- this is EVERNOTE. You are looking over my green screen into the room & Drew Smith presenting the LAB standing in between the two huge screens in front of room. All labs were sold out with some auditing allowed.


                           Bagpiper's marching through the entire exhibit hall........ up and down each isle.                                                                          Oh those Scottish them
                                     BUT Oh my the echoing.........echoing ..........echoing.........!!

Sorry I don't remember the name of this group but they were good........ ole time cowboy group

Mark your calendars

2016 RootsTech Conference 
Feb 4-6, 2016 

Salt Lake City

FGS 2016 National Conference
Springfield, Illinois
August 31 - September 3, 2016

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Military Monday - President's Day OR Washington's Birthday OR Lincoln's Birthday Celebration

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner-Benward

Presidents’ Day, officially Washington’s Birthday, in the United States, is a federal holiday observed on the third Monday of February in honor of George Washington (born on February 22), the first President of the United States. The holiday is popularly recognized as honoring also Abraham Lincoln (born on February 12), and sometimes all the U.S. presidents

Learn more about this day and other holidays.............
More than you wanted to know about George Washington's Birthday

Hope you had a relaxing day off........... 

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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Surname Saturday - Valentine's Day

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner-Benward / wikipedia

What is in a name?

Valentine is a masculine given name derived from the Roman family name Valentinus, which was derived from the Latin word valens, which means "strong and healthy." Valentine was the name of several saints of the Roman Catholic Church. St Valentine's Day was named for a third-century martyr. The name is in occasional use for girls in France. The usual feminine form of the name is Valentina..... see how many people have the surname VALENTINE ..... & more

Behind the Name...........

or is it just a day for lovers, or for friends to express their love for you. .............

Does this bring back memories? .......... my thoughts went to grammar school, when we would exchange Valentines in class. We spent some time creating valentines and then decorating a box to receive valentines. Then the fun begins as you receive Valentines in your special mailbox over the hours at school that day.

I would think to myself,  "Oh my, who will drop a valentine in my box? Will I find a valentine from Billie, or George? OR someone totally different? It could be a happy day or NOT".

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Friday, February 13, 2015

Follow Friday - It's Society Day

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner-Benward

Society Day today was excellent. Lots of great subjects to choose from, and speakers plus lots of interested society members with lots of questions, and helpful comments. I wished I could attend
more sessions because there were so many good ones being offered.

The opening session with Curt Witcher was focused on 'Successfully Embracing the Future'.  Always reevaluate resources, look at other successful society's, get help from the main body of FGS. (for those of you that are not familiar with Curt - he is a one of kind, very outgoing and very passionate about family history -  he is the senior manager for special collections at the Allen County Public Library where he manages the Genealogy Center and a unique Abraham Lincoln collection. He is a former president of FGS, NGS and founding president of the Indiana Genealogical Society)

Next was 'Engaging Your Long Distance Membership' ....... this is interesting to me because I am a member of the Ohio Genealogical Society and they have transcription available for those living a distance away. I receive a packet, I have a pass code for their library where I enter the information, when I complete the packet, I just send it back and they will send me another packet. It makes me feel like I am really helping my home state of Ohio get those records transcribed.It is a good feeling. Yes I transcribe locally too but we are talking long distance members and how they can feel like part of the community. Identify your society's needs, know your members. This session was given,by Jen Baldwin (a genealogist, lecturer and researcher, specializing in Rocky Mountains and using Social Media in genealogy.... she is the host of #genchat, co chair of the NextGen Genealogy Network, and outreach manager of US and Canada for findmypast)

Next was 'New Kid on the Block:  Embracing Your Society's Volunteers' with Josh Taylor. Josh really gets around. Volunteers are the backbone of any non profit organization. Without volunteers there would be no organization. Time, energy and planning are needed when new volunteers come on or you are looking for new volunteers. Does your society have enough volunteers? ...struggle to retain volunteers?.... allow volunteers to provide new ideas? ...offer a volunteer orientation session? ...have a volunteer handbook? ... have a volunteer coordinator? ... use the same volunteers for multiple roles? ... and more. I think we all get the point........  volunteers are important, but they need training and to be doing a job or task they are suited for. You want happy volunteers, not ones that have been talked into something. a simple Thank You, awards and recognition are very important.

Next: Creating a Dynamic Genealogical Education Program with Stacie Newton......... Most Genealogical Societies are known for traditional education and that is a great start.  But all education programs need reevaluating from time to time.  Ways of presenting materials is changing, people want the information but only when it fits into their own schedule. Not all traditional programs translate into an online program. Programs need to be re-evaluated and updated.

Next: Tips for Robust Society Websites with Cyndi Ingle.......  does that name sound familiar, yes it should .....  this it the creator and owner of Cyndi's List online. Very good ideas, great observations of what a website should contain especially above the fold.  She went through several websites showing what she thoughts were good examples. I certainly agree with her. It was very eye opening.  Anxious to get together with the Tech Committee and go over she observations.

Next & Last: Social Media for Societies: It's not a Bandwagon, It's a Freight Train with Rorey Cathcart......... I learned what I already knew......... if you want to attract the younger members you have got to get your social media skills updated and get your society's name out there, Keep things fresh and up to date.  But you need to make sure that new information and ideas about the organization are out there almost daily. You need dedicated people but backups too.

So this was my day at FGS Society Day. I did find that quite a lot of society's across the country pay registration fees for their delegates - now that is something to think about. Did you know that they also offer a ByLaw review. That is something that can be very useful.

FYI:So. California  Jamboree in Burbank in June also presents a great track for Society's ........  lots of help available it you just take advantage of them. Why re-invent the wheel

Good Day.................. tired zzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Wordless Wednesday- Live Streaming From RootsTech2015

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner-Benward

live streaming  from RootsTech Conference- starts Thursday

Check out all the sessions that are being offered free. Keep in mind about the time difference- Salt Lake City is an hour later than in Sacramento California.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Wisdom Wednesday- Mecca Time!

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner-Benward 

Ron, Marilyn and I  have traveled to Mecca (Salt Lake City LIBRARY)........

I have spent the last two days in the library (8-5 each day) and I can say I am tired. I did locate a number of items in indexes but I will need to find out where the actual documents are. I have verified a lot of my information which really makes me happy. I certainly have more research to do but I think I will be really tired out by the end of each day so this will probably be all the research I will do this time.

They sure have a lot of information on New Zealand and of course British Isles. I took advantage of all of it, Fortunately there is so much more that I didn't even get too this time around,

OOOOPs!I  had to take a little nap so I could continue.

Registration opened this afternoon. It is automated and went very quickly. Did a little exploring at the convention center, things are really spread out this year. Tomorrow is FGS Society Day for me. That means there will be sessions all day long having to do with the workings of societies, Looks like a couple of new subjects have been added this year. But whatever it is I always learn something and they are usually lively discussions. Looking forward to it and to sharing it with you.

Tonight was a gathering of the delegates, use to be Joseph Smith Memorial Building use to be the Hotel Utah. They are renovating it and it is beautiful - very elegant. Great buffet of finger foods.  Josh Taylor, President of FGS and our Spring Seminar presenter.  He welcomed everyone, he made a couple of announcements (which I can not share with you for a couple of days) a few words from Membership and a couple of other members and then we were left on our own to mingle and get to know each other. A lot of very familiar faces but a lot of new faces too. Nice couple of hours.


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