Sunday, January 22, 2012

Arizona Family History Expo Report on Friday

On Friday I attended the Opening Exercises with the Keynote speaker and 5 classes all of them good and I learned something from all of them.  Or so I thought at the time, let's see if I can remember what that was I learned.

  • Arlene H. Eakle started us off with enthusiasm and passion for doing good research.  She talked about using every kind of documents even those we don't think apply. She told a wonderful story of how she found out more about an ancestor by looking at military records when she was sure he would never be in the military.  Guess what he had been.

  • How the Genealogist Can remember Everything with Evernote! by Lisa Louise Cooke was next.  Now I have been using Evernote and wanted to learn more and to learn how to use it better.  She pointed me in the right direction to use more tools than I knew about such as the clipping tool, using the search function within Evernote.  I learned I need to increase my use of tagging.

  • How to Plan & Organize a Family History Book with Nancy & Biff Barnes.  It is nice to know I am on the right track as far as adding stories to the lives of my ancestors.  No I don't want a formal book but I want my scrapbook of My Family History to be interesting and also contain good information that my audience will want to know.  So the two big things I can away with was find out the top 10 things my audience wants to know and write about that.  Second dramatize the story, add your thoughts and feelings to the story to make it more interesting.

  • Colleen McHugh did a dinner presentation which I am sad to say I missed some of it, because I was busy getting my dinner.  Her topic was designed for beginners but was given with a clever title.  What Do Skeletons & Family History Have in Common.  I am not sure now of the correct wording she had the answer but my take on it was: Skeletons need tissue to be held together and Family history needs facts and stories to be held together.  She did a good review of the steps to get started with a good remind to do those citations. 

  • The next presenter was so good I went to two of her classes.  Ruth Ellen Maness.  Friday's class was Much More than Passenger Lists! Putting your Ancestors Back in the Homeland. I learned about records that were made in the old country that I never knew existed.  Records at the church taking the person off of the church roles in Germany and would be used to add them to the roles in America.  The American record f found would take you back to his/her home church.  What a find that would be.  Your ancestor also has to speak to a civil official on the local area he/she was leaving as well as at the port he/she was leaving from.  I have more reading to do as she had a 9 page handout. 

  • The last class for the day was a panel discussion of Social Media - How New Technologies Increase Success.  Holly had invited me to join the panel earlier in the day but I can in late, because I went to the wrong classroom so I didn't bust in as they had already started.  Thanks for the invite Holly.  I have to admit I haven't meet any lost cousins with my blog, but it has helped keep me in touch with the cousins I know.  The panel spoke about Blogs, Facebook, Google + and Twitter.  I had everything but Twitter and my Google + is very neglected.  One of the presenters brought up a good tib bit that Google + can be geared more to the circles and reading only what you want such as Genealogy.  So I came home and Friday night I beefed up the people in my Genealogy circles on Google + and opened a Twitter account.
So that is the account of my first say at the Arizona Family History Expo.  I did remember the things I learned, now to use them.

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