OldNews USA Wins Top Honors at RootsTech 2017 Innovator Showdown

The Innovator Showdown at RootsTech was an exciting time this year. All ten of the finalists had impresive concepts and products, but all ten could not win. Five finalists were selected for the showdown on Friday – and OldNews USA walked away with $95,000 in cash and in-kind services. Following is the RootsTech news release:

Old news, it seems, is actually “new” news. Very innovative news in fact. Today at RootsTech, the world’s largest family history technology conference, OldNews USA took top honors in the 2017 Innovator Showdown, walking away with $95,000 in cash and in-kind prizes. OldNews is an android app designed to help users quickly discover their family in historical US newspapers. The app uses the Library of Congress “Chronicling America” collection of more than 11 million newspaper pages from 1789 to 1922 to deliver its results.

In front of a crowd of close to 14,000 live and online viewers, the six RootsTech Innovator Showdown finalists battled for $199,000 in cash and prizes and bragging rights in the rapidly-growing, multi-billion dollar family history industry. An experienced amateur genealogist, Bill Nelson of Auburn, Massachusetts, designed the program as a solution to tedious, difficult online newspaper searches. The OldNews USA app was designed to simplify and streamline the search process.

Using keywords, users can look for newspaper accounts of a person or topic with the option to look at articles of historical events. In a person search, you type names and dates into your mobile device and choose a location on Google Maps which produces a list of newspapers in the targeted geographic area for a time period. It brings up images of the actual newspapers with the name or event you are seeking highlighted so you can quickly locate it on the page. Images can be enlarged for easier access to detail.

(See video demo of OldNews USA)

Nelson is a software developer by trade. “I was new to android and needed something to practice on. I had felt the pain points of newspaper research and thought ‘this would be a good project,’” he said. Initially he developed the app for his own use, then realizing it could help other researchers, he expanded it into a mobile app.

OldNews is compatible with Android devices, but Nelson is working to create an app for IOS devices and computers. With his winnings, he can now get business and technological assistance to accelerate development. While OldNews USA is designed to search US newspapers, he hopes to adapted the app for other countries.

The 5 finalists were whittled down from more than 40 applicants from the US and Europe. Each took three minutes to convince the panel of five judges and live audience that their product was deserving of a chunk of the $190,000 in cash and prizes.

The major sponsors of the Innovator Showdown this year included Amazon Web Services (AWS), Kickstarter Seed Fund, Sorenson Legacy Foundation, and others.

After each presentation, there was a four-minute question and answer period between each contestant and the judges. The judges then selected the top three winners, and the viewing audience selected the People’s Choice Award winner.

With $190,000 in cash and in-kind prizes and services from sponsors at stake—an increase of nearly $100,000 from the original projection—the pressure, tension, and energy of the event was tremendous.

2017 RootsTech Showdown Winners

First Place Judges’ Choice ($90,000 cash, AWS credits, and an investment from Kickstart Seed Fund), Bill Nelson of OldNews USA.
Second Place Judges’ Choice ($44,000 cash and AWS credits), The Qroma tag mobile app for embedding stories into pictures, tagging them by voice commands, and making the data accessible on various platforms.
Third Place Judges’ Choice Award ($26,000 cash and AWS credits), Louis Kessler, Double Match Triangulator, an app to help sort DNA matches into groups of relatives.
People’s Choice ($25,000 cash and AWS credits), Kindex, an app designed to help users create searchable, shareable archives of family letters and other documents using tags to help users easily locate information.
Emberall was the other finalist. It provides a method to capture and store pictures and videos creating an accessible archive.

The judges for the final round included Alan Doan, CEO of Missouri Star Quilt Company, John Richards, Founder and CEO of Startup Ignition, Kenyatta Berry, host of The Genealogy Road Show, Thomas MacEntee, founder of High-Definition Genealogy, and Dalton J. Wright, partner in Kickstart Seed Fund.

The Innovator Showdown, now in its third year, was designed to foster innovation in the family history industry.

Music – It Runs in the Family – An Evening at RootsTech

Thursday evening we will enthrolled and entertained by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir with an evening at the Assembly Hall in which they sang the music of Rodgers & Hammerstein. I was actually moved to tears a few times.

What really made it special was that between songs, Oscar “Andy” Hammerstein III told stories about his famous family, the trials and trevails, as well as the triumphs. Andy is the grandson of Oscar Hammerstein II who collaborated with Richard Rodgers to bring us many of those timeless show tunes that were so much a part of many of our lives.

Special guest soloist Dallyn Vail Bayles sang in about half the songs. He did such a great job with Oklahoma! that I want to jump to my feet and yell as he wrapped it up. But I didn’t. I stayed dignified, and applauded loudly – yelling from my seat…

Following is a list of the songs they sang, with the Broadway show in italics:
It’s a Grand Night for Singing – State Fair
Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin” – Oklahoma
Oklahoma! – Oklahoma!
You’ll Never Walk Alone – Carousel
If I Loved You – Carousel
Some Enchanted Evening – South Pacific
Hello, Young Lovers – The King and I
The Sound of Music – The Sound of Music
My Favorite Things – The Sound of Music
Climb Ev’ry Mountain – The Sound of Music

Illinois State Genealogical Society 2017 Annual Fall Conference – Call for proposals

The following is from the Illinois State Genealogical Society:

January 24, 2017 – Springfield, IL. – Lecture proposals are now being accepted for the Illinois State Genealogical Society 2017 Annual Fall Conference to be held October 27 & 28, 2017 at iWireless Center in Moline, IL.

This year’s conference theme is “Build Your Family Tree: DNA, Research, and Writing.” The ISGS Conference draws attendees of all experience levels, from the beginner to the professional and the hobbyist. Submissions utilizing our theme to promote the expansion of our knowledge and skills are encouraged as well as topics on Illinois, Midwest resources, and the Northwest Territory.

The deadline for submission of proposals is February 27, 2017. Notifications will be sent via email to all speakers who submitted proposals no later than March 10, 2017.

Please visit the Illinois State Genealogical Society’s website for more information. Contact the Conference Committee at isgsconference@ilgensoc.org with any questions.

The RootsTech 2017 Free Online Broadcast Schedule

Patty and I are heading to Salt Lake City Monday to participate in the annual RootsTech conference. For those of you who can’t make it, RootsTech is free live streaming 17 of the sessions. The following information is from RootsTech:

SALT LAKE CITY, UT (January 26, 2017)–Mark your calendars! RootsTech, the massive family history and technology conference held in Salt Lake City, Utah, February 8-11, 2017, announced its free live online streaming schedule for 17 of its popular sessions including Jonathan and Drew Scott of HGTV’s Property Brothers, Star Trek’s Levar Burton, The Cake Boss, Buddy Valastro, and the Genetic Genealogist, CeCe Moore, Liz Wiseman, and Steve Rockwood.. The live broadcasts online give those unable to attend in-person worldwide a sampling of the show’s marquee content. Interested viewers will be able to watch the select broadcasts live at RootsTech.org.

“RootsTech 2017 offers over 200 sessions for those fortunate to attend in-person,” said Chad Schumacher, RootsTech marketing manager. “However, the select sessions we will live stream for free will expand the show’s reach significantly, giving many, many more the opportunity to participate remotely online in this world class conference.” In 2016, over 150,000 viewers watched the conference sessions streamed live online. Even more are expected in 2017.

The streamed sessions will include the popular general sessions and a sampling of technology and family history presentations appealing to varied interests.

RootsTech Streaming Schedule

Watch at RootsTech.org. No registration is required to view the live streams. All times are in Mountain Standard Time (MST). The stream will automatically refresh at the beginning of each session (otherwise use the Refresh button on your browser).

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Innovator Summit General Session
Steve Rockwood (CEO, FamilySearch)
Liz Wiseman (Author, Multipliers)

10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Industry Trends and Outlook
Craig Bott and Guest Panel

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Innovation – Best Practices and Applications
Cydni Tetro

Thursday, February 9, 2017

8:30a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
RootsTech General Session
Steve Rockwood
Jonathan and Drew Scott (HGTV’s Property Brothers)

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Getting Started in Genealogy
Kelli Bergheimer

12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
DNA: The Glue that Holds Families Together
Diahan Southard

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
DNA Matching on MyHeritage
Dana Drutman

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Jewish Genealogy: Where to Look and What’s Available
Lara Diamond

4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Family History is Anything but Boring
Crystal Farish and Rhonna Farrer

Friday, February 10, 2017

8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
RootsTech General Session
Levar Burton (Star Trek, RootsTech, Reading Rainbow)
Special Guest Panel

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
RootsTech Innovator Showdown Finals

12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Mother’s, Daughters, Wives: Tracing Female Lines
Judy Russell (The Legal Genealogist)

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Censational Census Strategies
Mary Kircher Roddy

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Big 4: Comparing Ancestry, Findmypast, FamilySearch, and MyHeritage
Sunny Morton

4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Cross the Atlantic with Religious Records
Jen Baldwin

Saturday, February 11, 2017

8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
RootsTech General Session
Cece Moore (The Genetic Genealogist)
Buddy Valastro (The Cake Boss)

11:00 a.m. 12:00 p.m.
Journaling Principles that Work
Steve Reed

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Don’t Just Be a Searcher, Be a Researcher
Crista Cowan

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Creating Google Alerts for your Genealogy
Katherine R. Wilson

SCGS Jamboree 2017 Registration is Now Open

The following is from SCGS:

Jamboree 2017 takes place at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel, Burbank, California, Friday through Sunday, June 9-11, 2017. To register, visit the Jamboree website at http://genealogyjamboree.com/ and register online or download a mail-in registration form.

The theme for Jamboree 2017 is “Hunting Your Heritage” and our heritage focuses for 2017 include the British Isles and Ireland, Armenia and the Caucasus, and African American Research.

This three-day conference features:

  • 60+ speakers
  • 125 class sessions
  • JamboFREE sessions Friday morning
  • In-depth workshops (space limited, additional fee required)
  • Research tours Thursday and Friday
  • Friday and Saturday banquets and sponsored breakfasts
  • Exhibit hall packed with vendors and societies FREE all weekend
  • One-on-one research assistance provided by members of the Southern California Chapter, Association of Professional Genealogists.

Genetic Genealogy 2017

Back by popular demand, SCGS will hold its fifth Genetic Genealogy Conference, “Diving Into DNA”, on Thursday, June 8, 2017, at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel.

The SCGS Genetic Genealogy Conference provides a unique opportunity to hear from some of the top leaders in the field of genetic genealogy, with topics suitable for all levels of experience using DNA for genealogical research.

The Genetic Genealogy Conference is separate from Jamboree, and separate registration fees will apply.

Workshops 2017 – June 8, 9 and 11

Fifteen intensive workshops will also be offered during these two events providing an opportunity for in-depth study of genealogical research techniques (additional fee required, workshops overlap with some Jamboree and DNA sessions. Visit the website for registration requirements).

Call for APG 2017 PMC Presentations – Deadline 23 December 2016

The following Call For Presentations is from Annette Lyttle, 2017 PMC Coordinator:

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The Association of Professional Genealogists will hold the 19th annual APG Professional Management Conference on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 29 September – 1 October 2017, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Washington, D.C. – Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia.

CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS
APG is now accepting proposals for the following categories of presentations for the 2017 APG Professional Management Conference:

– Classes presented by an individual or panel—one hour in length
– Workshops—two hours in length
– Discussion groups led by one or more individuals
– Poster sessions – informal discussions of a topic during networking time, posters to remain accessible to attendees at other times

PMC presentations should challenge professional genealogists to increase their genealogical research skills, evaluate and improve their current businesses, and meet the demands of the 21st Century client. Prospective speakers are encouraged to consider creative ways to educate and inspire professional genealogists.

TOPICS OF INTEREST
Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

– Advanced genealogical research skills or methodology (for example, little-known or little-used records, truly complex case studies demonstrating advanced methods)

– Technology (for example, hardware and software to assist in research, writing, lecturing, and business management; platforms for podcasting or doing one’s own webinars or instructional videos; website development; genealogy’s technological future; hands-on workshops are particularly of interest)

– DNA (for example, becoming a genetic genealogist, understanding DNA results, how to educate clients about DNA, when is DNA useful for a client project and when isn’t it)

– Business skills (for example, business organization and management, business plans and goal setting, collaborating with other genealogists on a client project)

– Marketing and branding strategies (for example, marketing with social media, how to establish a brand for one’s business, creative marketing strategies that have worked, discussion session in which the group reviews/critiques websites)

– Speaker or lecturer training (for example, writing effective speaker proposals, effective use of visuals, crafting a dynamite presentation, overcoming fear of public speaking)

– Genealogical writing and publishing (for example, report writing, editing one’s own work, writing articles for different publications, self-publishing platforms)

– Client relationships and communication (for example, managing client expectations, communicating unexpected or unwelcome findings, explaining complex research)

– Certification and Accreditation (for example, meeting the GPS, strategies for success, educational preparation)

– Organization and time management (for example, how to organize one’s office for efficiency, how to manage client projects, how to manage speaking engagements, planning efficient use of time)

– Career paths for professional genealogists (for example, forensic genealogy, house histories, dual citizenship, conference planning, producing videos for clients, lineage society work, providing archiving services)

– Success stories that inspire (for example, solving a difficult research case, breaking into a new line of genealogical work, taking a risk and how it worked out)

– Washington, D.C. (for example, orientation to the city for first-time visitors, orientation to using a D.C. repository)

Successful proposals will offer innovative, unique, and out-of-the-box approaches to topics and to presentation and teaching methods. Presentations that feature case studies and practical examples, or that offer hands-on learning or discussion, are encouraged as they offer powerful learning opportunities for attendees.

ATTENDEE DEMOGRAPHICS FROM THE 2016 PMC
Half of attendees have been professional genealogists for five years or more and 56% hold a master’s or doctoral degree. 57% are lecturers themselves, and 37% are genealogical authors and writers. Almost all attendees (83%) offer genealogical research services for clients, and many hold or have held leadership positions in local, state, and national genealogical societies.

Successful proposals will recognize the knowledge, professionalism, and accomplishments of attendees and will seek to take their skills to the next level.

SUBMISSION DETAILS
Presentations must be new and original. They should not have been presented prior to the 2017 PMC other than at the local level. Individuals who submit multiple proposals will be considered for multiple presentations. Proposals from non-APG members will also be considered.

Submit proposals via email to admin@apgen.org in PDF format. Proposals are due by Friday, 23 December 2016.

Proposals must include the following:
– Name, address, phone number, and email address of the presenter(s)
– Title of the presentation and category (from the list above)
– Summary of the presentation (not to exceed 100 words)
– Detailed description of the presentation (not to exceed 1,000 words)
– Explanation of how the presentation meets demands faced by professional genealogists (50–75 words)
– Presenter biography highlighting qualifications and expertise in the proposed topic (75–100 words)
– Presenter experience: list of presentations given in the last 18 months, including topic, audience, and location
– Indicate whether or not you are willing to have your presentation recorded and broadcast for the virtual PMC (Granting permission does not guarantee your presentation will be recorded or broadcast.)
– Submit one PDF file per proposal. Name the file with your surname and the presentation title, for example SMITH Running a Genealogical Business.

Presenter Compensation
Presenters giving lectures or workshops will receive:
– Complimentary PMC registration and digital syllabus
– Lunch for the day of the presentation
– Reimbursement for flight or mileage at the current government rate up to $700
– All-inclusive honorarium per presentation:
$400 for a one-hour presentation by an individual or panel
$650 for a two-hour workshop
$550 for a one-hour keynote presentation

Presenters leading discussion groups will receive
$50 for a one-hour discussion group led by one or more individuals

Presenters providing poster sessions will receive
Complimentary PMC registration for a poster session

All one-hour presentation proposals will be considered for keynote spots.

Royalty payments for syllabus sales and recording of the live-streamed session following the conclusion of the PMC will be detailed in the speaker contract.

APG does not pay separate hotel costs.

Leadership Expert Liz Wiseman to Keynote RootsTech Innovator Summit

The following news release is from FamilySearch:

Salt Lake City, Utah, (8 November 2016) —Do you multiply or diminish intelligence? Liz Wiseman, a leadership strategist, best-selling author, and inspiring speaker whose recent clients include Disney, Microsoft, eBay and PayPal, Google, and Facebook, is excited to share highlights of what she has learned as the keynote speaker for the 2017 Innovator Summit at RootsTech. Innovator Summit is a one-day event for developers, entrepreneurs, and innovators who want to explore business and technological opportunities in the multibillion dollar family history industry. The Innovator Summit will be held on February 8, 2017 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Liz Wiseman teaches leadership to executives and emerging leaders around the world. She is the founder and president of the Wiseman Group, a leadership research and development firm headquartered in Silicon Valley. She has been listed on the biennial Thinkers50 ranking for 2013 and 2015 and named one of the top 10 leadership thinkers in the world.

Wiseman is the author of three best-selling books: Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work; Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter; and The Multiplier Effect: Tapping the Genius Inside Our Schools.

She has spent years working around a lot of really smart executives in tech industries and conducted significant research in the field of leadership. She’s observed how some leaders actually shut down the brain power of people around them.

“Yet, other leaders seem to amplify the intelligence of people around them,” said Wiseman. “These leaders were intelligence multipliers.” She said that “when these leaders walked into a room, it was as if you could see lightbulbs going off over people’s heads, and ideas flowed and problems got solved.”

Wiseman has emphasized that one of the most important aspects that she learned in this research was “that when we linger too long on a plateau a little part of us dies inside. But when we step out of the space of knowing—where we are fully capable—and step into unfamiliar territory, we feel alive. I think it is actually where we feel divine, and, in some ways, I feel like it is where we see God’s hand working in our lives.”

Wiseman is a frequent lecturer at BYU, Stanford University, and the Naval Postgraduate Academy. She is a former executive at Oracle Corporation, where she worked over the course of 17 years as the vice president of Oracle University and as the global leader for human resource development. During her tenure at Oracle, she led several major global initiatives and has worked and traveled in over 40 countries. She writes for Harvard Business Review and Fortune. Her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Inc., and Time.

The RootsTech Innovator Summit keynote session begins at 9:00 a.m., followed by a full day of classes, the semifinal round of the RootsTech Innovator Showdown, a networking social, and other related activities.

The annual Innovator Showdown contest is designed to foster innovation in the family history industry. Twelve semi-finalists will be chosen and announced, with $100,000 in cash and in-kind prizes offered by sponsors to the winners.

About RootsTech
RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, is a global conference celebrating families across generations, where people of all ages are inspired to discover and share their memories and connections. This annual event has become the largest of its kind in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants worldwide.

The Cake Boss Buddy Valastro Will Keynote & Judge at RootsTech 2017

The following news release was received from FamilySearch:

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SALT LAKE CITY, UT, 27 October 2016)RootsTech, the largest family history conference in the world, is pleased to welcome the popular Italian-American celebrity chef, Buddy Valastro, also known as the hit TLC series, Cake Boss™ as a keynote speaker on Saturday, February 11, 2017, in Salt Lake City. Valastro will also judge a local cake decorating contest hosted by RootsTech.

The amicable Valastro is a Hoboken, New Jersey, resident and owner of Carlo’s Bakery. He has endeared himself to millions of people as the animated, passionate chef on the TLC series, The Cake Boss. His staff’s creative expertise in designing over-the-top cakes for locals and celebrities is only half the allure. The show’s long-running success can also be attributed to the fun, dynamic interactions and involvement of 3–4 generations of Valastro’s Italian-American family who help run the thriving family business.

“Family is the most important part of my life,” says Valastro. “You have to embrace and be proud of where you come from. I can’t wait to share my story of how my past, present, and future have shaped who I am with the audience.”

During his RootsTech 2017 keynote address, the Cake Boss will share the story of how his strong family ties, roots, and traditions have shaped his life and business success, which include 12 bakeries, additional TLC series (The Next Great Baker and Buddy’s Bakery Rescue), and several books, to name a few.

Running bakeries is almost genetic in Buddy’s family. His grandfather and great-grandfather were both bakers in Sicily, Italy. His father, Buddy Valastro Sr., ran his own bakery for many years in New Jersey. When Buddy Valastro Jr. was 11 years old, he began working side by side with his father at Carlo’s Bakery.

Buddy Sr. died when his son was 17, leaving a very large hole in the teenager’s life. However, his tutelage had provided Buddy with “cast-iron business sense” and imbued in him a work ethic and a wealth of knowledge. He stepped up and took over his father’s role as proprietor and baker in Carlo’s bakery.

Buddy learned much without his father’s presence in the business but struggled making sfogliatelle dough, which is used in making Italian shell-shaped filled pastries called lobster tails, one of the bakery’s specialties. Buddy recalls the night his father came to him in a dream and told him, “I am here for one reason, to show you how to make lobster tails.” The next day, for the first time, Buddy successfully created the seemingly impossible dough and the very popular lobster tails were back. From then on, he says, he knew he could do anything he put his mind to and found comfort knowing that his father was looking after him.

After a few years, Buddy Jr. decided to take cake decorating to a new level with designer cakes. He created, among other spectacular cakes, a NASCAR racecar cake weighing over 10,000 pounds. In 2004, he was invited to participate in the Food Network Challenge where he took top prize in the fourth battle. He was urged to try a show for himself so he pitched a show featuring himself with his family. TLC executives were impressed enough to shoot a pilot episode in the shop which was a hit with audiences, and Cake Boss was born. The show is now in its eighth season.

Buddy’s extended family is indispensable both to the show and in running what has now become a chain of bakeries in New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, and some Norwegian Cruise Line ships. The business has diversified and expanded, but the legacy that began three generations ago in Sicily lives on. Buddy willingly holds to the traditions of his father’s bakery.

“Life lessons my parents have taught me define who I am today. I never forget where I’ve come from and try to pass that down to my children today,” says Valastro.

In addition to keynoting at RootsTech 2017, Valastro will help judge the first-ever RootsTech cake decorating competition.

There will be four different categories to compete in—wedding, birthday, holiday, and graduation—and there will be three finalists and one grand prize winner selected in each category. Cakes will be on display Saturday during RootsTech and Family Discovery Day where thousands of people will view and have a chance to vote for “People’s Choice” winners in each category. Official rules and entry information for the contest will be available soon at RootsTech.org.

The Mayflower Society to Mark the 400th Anniversary of the Sailing With Week Before Thanksgiving Program

americas-homecoming-2016

PLYMOUTH, MA (PRWEB) OCTOBER 22, 2016 – 2020 will mark the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower and, in the first of many events leading up to that year, members of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants will gather in Plymouth on November 19 for the Plymouth 400 ‘Illuminate Thanksgiving’ program.

Led by Pilgrim William Bradford, members dressed in Pilgrim attire will walk from the Mayflower Society House to Hedge House on the waterfront where an inspirational program filled with live music, illuminated art, and more will occur. A GSMD member who is a proven descendant of Governor William Bradford will read Bradford’s famous “One Small Candle” quote during the program.

The descendants will then return to the Mayflower Society House front lawn where they will conduct a brief service of remembrance for the Mayflower passengers who traveled to the New World in 1620. The tribute will include 102 luminaries lit in commemoration of our Pilgrim ancestors and their accomplishments. General public is welcome.

“The Mayflower Society invites visitors and guests to join the procession to and from the event,” said Lea Sinclair Filson, Governor General. “Families visiting Plymouth will create lasting memories that make Thanksgiving more meaningful.”

A full day of activities in Plymouth will delight visitors and locals. A Thanksgiving parade takes place at 11am with festive shopping along Court Street throughout the day. The Mayflower Society House will be open to the public for tours from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The ‘Illuminate Thanksgiving’ event takes place at Hedge House, located at 126 Water Street. Historic Plymouth downtown will illuminate windows across the area to add a magical effect to the anniversary event.

“We welcome visitors to the Mayflower Society House at 4 Winslow Street,” said Dr. Walter Powell, Executive Director. “It is important to us that the story of the Mayflower pilgrims’ importance as founders of America is remembered by all.”

Partners in Lieden, the Netherlands and in Plymouth, England will mirror the ‘Illuminate Thanksgiving’ ceremony in those countries and will also hold commemorative events from now through 2020.

Day at a Glance: http:// America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Weekend – Saturday, November 19, 2016
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. – Historic Village and Demos – Brewster Gardens
10:30 a.m. – Opening Ceremonies – DCR Pilgrim Memorial Park
11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. – America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Parade – Main Street
11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. – New England Food Fest – DCR Memorial Park
11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. – Wampanoag Education Village – DCR Memorial Park
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Mayflower Society House open for tours – 4 Winslow Street
3:00 p.m. – Gather for procession at Mayflower Society House
3:30 p.m. – Walk to Hedge House for ‘Illuminate Thanksgiving’ event – 126 Water St.

Following event – Memorial Service for Pilgrims – Mayflower Society House
6:30 p.m. – Drum and Bugle Corp Reunion Concert – Memorial Hall

For more information on America’s Hometown Thanksgiving weekend including security, parking, lodging and a detailed schedule of events in Plymouth for Nov. 18-20, visit USAThanksgiving.com

About The Mayflower Society
Founded in 1897, The Mayflower Society, or General Society of Mayflower Descendants (GSMD), is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with national headquarters in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Membership requires proof of lineage from one of the passengers who travelled to America on the Mayflower in 1620. Its mission is two-fold: to educate the public about the importance the Pilgrims had on Western civilization; and to maintain the highest standards possible for genealogy research on the lineage of the Pilgrims. The Society operates a genealogy research library at its Plymouth headquarters and publishes the GSMD Silver Books, a series of genealogy books on lineage of the Mayflower passengers; the Mayflower Quarterly Magazine; and The Mayflower Journal. It also operates and offers tours of the historic Mayflower Society House in downtown Plymouth.

Three Swedish Workshops – Portland, Tacoma, and Seattle – Sept 20, 24, & 25

The following is from my friend, Kathy Meade:

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SwedGen Tour 2016
www.swedgen.se
There will be three wonderful Swedish genealogy research workshops in North America this autumn that you don’t want to miss if you have the opportunity. Three genealogists from Sweden, Anna-Lena Hultman, Charlotte Börjesson, and Olof Cronberg plus Kathy Meade from ArkivDigital will be visiting Portland, Oregon on Tuesday, September 20th, Tacoma, Washington on Saturday, September 24th and Seattle, Washington in Sunday, September 25.

The genealogists from Sweden and Kathy Meade of ArkivDigital will lead a one-day workshop at each city giving lectures on records in ArkivDigital, Swedish emigration and culture, historical maps and other Swedish genealogy topics. The Swedish genealogists will provide one-on-one consultations. To request an individual consultation, go to: http://www.swedgen.se/researchquery/ and fill out the form. There are a limited number of consultations and the selection will be based on order of request. Event information is listed below:

Portland, Oregon Sponsored by Nordic Northwest
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
2 PM – 8:00 PM
West Hills Unitarian Church Universalist Fellowship
8470 Oleson Road, Portland, Or 97223
Program Price – $10 for only one lecture, $20 for entire program
Individual Research Consultation – $25
Registration – http://www.scanheritage.org/#!calendar-1/mbrew or call 503-977-0275

Tacoma, Washington Sponsored by the Scandinavian Cultural Center
Saturday, September 24, 2016
9 AM – 4 PM
Scandinavian Cultural Center, Pacific Lutheran University
2180 Park Avenue South, Tacoma, WA 98447
Price – $25 includes program, light lunch and two snacks; one-on-one consultation additional $10
Registration: – Call 253- 535-7411
Click here for the Swedish Genealogy Workshop Page.

Seattle, Washington Sponsored by the Swedish Club
Sunday, September 25, 2016
2:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Swedish Club 1920 Dexter Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98109
Price – Free for Blue Club members and $20 for general public
Registration: – http://swedishclubnw.org/

Following are a couple of links with registration information.
http://www.swedgen.se/swedgentour-2016/
http://blog.arkivdigital.net/arkivdigital-and-swedish-genealogists-visit-oregon-and-washington/

SwedGen Tour 2016
www.swedgen.se

SWEDGEN SPEAKERS
Charlotte Börjesson has been doing genealogical research for more than 20 years and has deep experience with both Swedish and American resources. She has been a board member of the Computer Genealogy Society of Sweden (DIS) and is currently active as a Disbyt representative. She is the culture leader for the Vasa Order of America in northern Sweden. Her areas of expertise include research within in western Sweden as well as computer genealogical research and photography. She has participated in the SwedGen tours since 2002.

Olof Cronberg was for many years the chairman of the Computer Genealogy Society of Sweden (DIS). He is a medical doctor. He has extensive experience working with both Swedish and American genealogical resources and has a very strong understanding of the genealogical software program, Disbyt. He has participated in many of the SwedGen tours.

Anna-Lena Hultman has been doing genealogical research for more than 40 years and is well-known as an expert on emigration research and Västergötland. She was one of the key persons in the development of the Emibas CD, a CD with information on more than 1.1 names emigrants leaving Sweden between 1845 and 1930. She also guides many North Americans during the summer months in locating their ancestor’s homestead in Västergötland. Anna-Lena has her own research stuga in Hössna. Anna-Lena has participated in all the SwedGen tours.

Kathy Meade is the U.S. representative for ArkivDigital, a company that offers online access to newly photographed color images of the Swedish historical records. Besides working for ArkivDigital, Ms. Meade volunteers at the Swedish American Museum in Chicago the Arlington Heights Memorial assisting patrons in researching their Swedish heritage. Kathy has been helping persons with their Swedish research as well as giving Swedish genealogy presentations throughout the country for more than ten years.

Hotel Reservations Now Open for the FGS 2017 Conference in Pittsburgh

Book your room now for #FGS2017

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9/7/2016 – Austin, TX.

FGS is pleased to announce that hotel reservations are now open for the 2017 Conference to be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Two Pittsburgh hotels are now taking reservations for the FGS 2017 conference – “Building Bridges to the Past.” The conference will be held August 30-September 2 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

The Westin Convention Center and the Omni William Penn Hotel are offering reduced rates to FGS 2017 Conference attendees from Wednesday, August 23 to Friday, September 8 (subject to availability). Both hotels are conveniently located near the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

Westin Convention Center (Main Conference Hotel)
1000 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Omni William Penn Hotel
530 William Penn Place, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Full details and links for FGS discounted reservations can be found on the FGS website.

Conference hotels fill up quickly, so it is not too early to make reservations. We look forward to seeing you in Pittsburgh!

About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)
The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was founded in 1976 and empowers the genealogical and family history community, especially its societies and organizations, by advocating for the preservation and access of records and providing resources that enable genealogical organizations to succeed in pursuing their missions. FGS helps genealogical societies and family history enthusiasts alike to strengthen and grow through online resources, FGS FORUM magazine, and through its annual national conference which provides four days of excellent learning opportunities for both societies and family history enthusiasts. To learn more about FGS visit fgs.org. To learn more about the next annual conference to be held in Springfield, Illinois, visit fgsconference.org. Also, find FGS on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/FGSgenealogy, on Twitter @FGSgenealogy and on the FGS Voice blog at http://voice.fgs.org.

Mid-Atlantic Germanic Society Conference: October 22, 2016 in York, PA

The Mid-Atlantic Germanic Society is sponsoring a conference Saturday, October 22, 2016. Titled Focusing on Our German Heritage, the conference will begin at 8:30 am and run until 4:30 pm. It will be held at the Wyndham Garden Hotel, York, Pennsylvania 17404.

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The following is from my friends at MAGS, and can be found at their website.

The MAGS presents our fall conference with the following topics and speakers.

German Gazetteers: Geographic Dictionaries to Your Rescue!
Dr. Fritz Juengling
This presentation will show how to use the following gazetteers in tandem to find virtually any village now or once in Germany: Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs-lexikon des deutschenReichs; Gemeindelexikonfür das KönigreichPreußen; Kartenmeister.com; Map Guide to German Parish Registers.

Finding a German Heimat Online
James M. Beidler
Researching your ancestors deep into Germany simply doesn’t happen unless you know the name of the village of origin. This presentation will review the sources to tie your immigrant to a Heimat and then find the village and its records.

German Guilds and Their Records: Filling in the Gaps for Missing Church Registers
Dr. Fritz Juengling
This class will cover the purposes organization of guilds, various records types kept by guilds and how these can be used to fill gaps or extend research. Some discussion of occupations will also be given.

Practical and Social Decisions for Emigration to America: Beyond the Obvious Reasons
Dr. Fritz Juengling
Millions of Germans emigrated to other lands and their reasons for doing so are varied. Some reasons are obvious, others less so. In this presentation, using a case study, we will learn about a less well known sociological reason for emigration.

Speaker Biographies

Dr. Fritz Juengling
Dr. Juengling received his two Bachelor’s degrees in Secondary Education and International Studies German Emphasis, both with Honors, at Western Oregon University. He attended the University of Minnesota where he received his Master’s and Ph.D. in Germanic Philology with minors in both English and Linguistics.

Dr. Juengling has taught all levels of German, including Medieval German literature, and Old English (Anglo-Saxon) at the college level. He has also taught German, English, and Latin at the high school level. He is an Accredited Genealogist® for Germany and the Netherlands through The International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists. He is a European Research Specialist, specializing in German, Dutch, and Scandinavian research, at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

James M. Beidler
Jim Beidler is the editor of our own publication Der Kurier, the newsletter of the Mid-Atlantic Germanic Society. He has spoken at our conferences many times. Jim just published another new book – Trace Your German Roots Online, A Complete Guide to German Genealogy Websites.

Exhibit Space May Now be Ordered for the NGS Conference, Raleigh, NC May 10-13 2017

I just got the following announcement from Erin at the National Genealogical Society.

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NGS invites you to exhibit at its annual Family History Conference which will be held in Raleigh, NC from 10−13 May 2017.

The benefits of exhibiting at NGS conferences are endless!

  • Dedicated exhibit hall hours when attendees are not in session
  • » Wednesday, 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
  • » Wednesday through Saturday, 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
  • Connect with as many as 2,000 conference attendees with a specific interest in genealogy
  • Free promotional opportunities in the conference program, conference website, mobile app, and conference blog
  • Free Wi-Fi for exhibitor and attendee use within the exhibit hall (hard wire connections are recommended for mission critical tasks)
  • One free conference registration with booth purchase
  • More than 30 hours of exhibit time in four days
  • Traffic builders in the exhibit hall, including concession and Wi-Fi areas
  • Exhibitor lounge featuring free Wi-Fi

10’x10’ exhibit booths are only $310 for a business or non-profit and $250 for a society/association. The Exhibit hall will be located at the Raleigh Convention Center. For booth availability please see the floor plan at http://goo.gl/yIQBR6.

For more information on exhibiting and to reserve a booth please visit the website at http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/exhibit/.

Ancestry Day in Washington State, Sept. 23-24, 2016

The following is from the Washington State Library blog:

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Join Ancestry, Washington State Archives, Washington State Library, Legacy Washington and the Washington State Historical Society as they present Ancestry Day in Washington State, Sept 23-24, 2016. Both novice and experienced genealogists are welcome at this event. Registration for the Ancestry Day on Saturday, Sept 24 is $35.00 and includes admission to all Saturday classes presented by Ancestry. Lunch tickets can be purchased for an additional $15.00, which includes a box lunch and the lunch speaker.

Special presentations will be offered by the Washington State Historical Society and the Washington State History Museum on Friday, Sept. 23, for $15.00. These are limited to the first 225 participants that register for Saturday.

Read the full blog.

Get the details and register for the event.

Two Free Week-Long Online Seminars Available Starting Monday From FamilySearch

The following announcement was received from Raymon Naisbitt, AG® at FamilySearch International:

The Family History Library is hosting two free week-long research seminars that will also be hosted live as free online webinars.

  • Next week, Aug 22nd-26th there will be 19 classes/webinars offered on United States Research
  • From Sept 12-16th there will be 24 classes/webinars offered on research in Europe.

Register for free at http://bit.ly/2blpozl
Or go to wiki.familysearch.org and type “classes and webinars.”