Greetings from downtown Cincinnati! Cincinnati, the Queen City, Porkopolis, home to the Reds, the Bengals, numerous breweries, and this weekend, the host city of the annual <!–[if gte mso 9]>
This year’s conference is being held at the Millennium Hotel, just a couple blocks from Fountain Square. The Millennium has become our place to stay when we visit Cincinnati. We stayed here last year when we attended the 2012 National Genealogical Society [NGS] Conference and Joe and I stay here when we attend the Reds ballgames.
The theme of this year’s OGS Conference is Expanding Your Ancestry Through Technology. I enjoy learning about technology, apps and gadgets and for me combining technology with family history research is great.
Conference-going has indeed changed over the years because of technology. Attendees no longer automatically receive a print syllabus. You can still get the syllabus in print or on a thumb drive, but at an additional charge. Now most attendees download the PDF syllabus a couple weeks before the conference and save it on their tablet, smart phone, thumb drive or laptop. I saved my syllabus in Dropbox, which made it easy to transfer to my tablet’s SD card, making it available even if I am not on-line.
Even though I have the whole syllabus with me on my tablet I printed out the handouts for the sessions I plan to attend. I still like to make notes the old-fashioned way, by pen, on actual paper.
The OGS conference is longer these days and that means more time to learn about new research techniques. It used to be a two day conference but now it runs over two and a half days.
During day one of the conference I learned tips to help find those elusive unfindable ancestors, German newspapers, surname searches on Google and research on FamilySearch.org. The next two days I hope to learn more about Ohio newspapers, Roots Magic, Ortsfamilienbücher, forensic genealogy, German territories and maps, and the War of 1812.
For me, one of the highlights of any conference is the exhibit area. I like to browse for books and see what new technology and software is available for family history researchers.
Friends and friendly faces abound at an OGS conference and it is good to see old friends and make new ones. Networking is part of what makes attending a conference enjoyable.
The Ohio Genealogical Society always has quality conferences and this year’s conference is no exception. But this will not be the only conference I get to attend this year. The Federation of Genealogical Societies [FGS] Conference will be in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in August. Since Fort Wayne is within driving distance I won’t have to stay overnight there. That means more money to spend on books and software and tech gadgets…