Atlanta Family History Expo Day 2 Recap

If you missed my recap of Day 1 of the Atlanta Family History Expo, you can read about it here.

The second day I made it to the convention center with no problems. It helped that I was familiar with the route, had left a little earlier in case of traffic and it being early Saturday morning, most people were still in bed while I was driving.

I started off the day's sessions with Breaking Down Brick Walls with Location Based Genealogy. It was presented by Bernie Gracy of Ancestral Hunt. Of all the sessions I attended through the Expo, this one ranks as one of the higher ones. Starting tomorrow, I will be putting his advice to work on my brick walls. With a little luck, I should see some walls come crumbling down in the near future.

Next up was Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations for Family Historians by Jean L Cooper. This particular record group was actually mentioned in the syllabus for one of the classes I took my first day so I was especially interested in it. Two really interesting things happened during this session. First, some of the example documents used in the slide show were of one of my classmate's ancestor. Second, one of the names mentioned on a document matches the name of one of my ancestors. I will be digging more into that particular document to see if it is the same person as the one in my family tree.

The third session of the day was Digital Photography for the Family Historian. It was supposed to be presented by Andy Pomeroy of Limited Edition Publishing, but he had to leave early so his partner Tom Underhill did the presentation instead. I had chosen this session because it had said one of the topics would be using your digital camera in place of a scanner to capture documents and pictures, as well as microfilm images. Unfortunately, the presentation didn't go into a lot of detail on this.

I threw my initial choices out the door and decided to go with The DAR Library for All: Near or Far, Member or Not for my fourth session. This was presented by Jennifer Dondero. I learned a few new things about the DAR Library. For instance, I didn't know that the holdings of the DAR Library are not listed in WorldCat, the online catalog of the holdings of libraries around the world. I also learned about some new features that have been added to the site since my last visit.

Since I had gave up the session on Civil War ancestors to attend the DAR session and had already attended two sessions by Arlene Eakle, I decided on Finding Your Civil War Era Ancestors for my last session. It was presented by Leland Meitzler of Family Roots Publishing.  The presentation was based on the book Genealogy Resources of the Civil War Era by William Dollarhide, who, as I understand it, was originally supposed to be presenting the session.

This session covered a lot of ground. My only complaint about this one was that there was so much information covered during the session time that it felt rushed. I think I would have rather had it broken up into two sessions or trimmed down to cover a little less ground. However, it was obvious that the presenter really enjoyed talking about the Civil War.

The closing keynote was by Holly Hansen, President of Family History Expos. She talked about some of her own research. She even gave a good shot at saying all y'all. There were some great door prizes, including t-shirts, a year's subscription to Ancestry's World Records, a RootsMagic Software Combo Pack, books by Friday night's sponsor Bridget Cook and a FamilySearch goodie bag. The grand prize was a complementary registration to the upcoming Family History Library Retreat with hotel fees paid. I'm sad to say I didn't win a single prize and have severe prize envy. However, since I won the tickets that enabled me to go to the Expo in the first place, I shouldn't complain.

Traffic issues aside, I had a great time at the Atlanta Family History Expo. I've already started saving for next year. I got to meet a lot of great people, including Tonia Kendrick, the blogger that gave away the tickets I won; check out some neat genealogy stuff and learned tons of new information for use in my family tree research.

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