Tomorrow afternoon, I will set out from the mountains of North Carolina heading for the Atlanta Family History Expo. If you're not familiar with the Expo, it's two days of jam-packed genealogy. I'll get to mingle with big names in genealogy such as Thomas MacEntee of Geneabloggers and Myrt (Pat Richley-Erickson) of DearMYRTLE, attend sessions on topics from Native American Research to the DAR Library and everything in between, and get to check out a variety of genealogy-related vendors and exhibitors. Plus I get to combine the trip with a visit to my sister and two nieces. I can't wait.
I'm still trying to narrow down the sessions I want to attend. It's so hard when there are multiple ones I want to attend at each time. My original plan was to take someone with me to the Expo. I figured if I narrowed down my choices to two sessions per time I could attend one while my guest attended the other. However, this plan fell through when the person I invited couldn't attend. Currently my choices are:
12 November 2010
8:00 AM-Opening Ceremonies
9:00 AM-Ask the Pros
10:00 AM-Social Networking for Genealogists
11:30 AM-Traditional DNA Testing and Beyond
1:30 AM-Want Land? Will Travel! Southern Land Records State-by-State OR Using Tax Records to Establish Genealogical Relationships OR Census Techniques and Strategies for Finding Elusive Ancestors
I'm really struggling with narrowing this one down. Most of my family tree lies in the southern states and I don't have a lot of experience working with land record so the first session could open the door to additional genealogy resources I have not yet considered. Likewise, I haven't worked with tax records very much either. Last, but not least, I have several elusive ancestors that I have not been able to locate in the census. The session on census techniques could hold the key I need to finally find these missing individuals.
3:00 PM-Birth, Marriage and Death Records in the Southern States OR Tracing Your Immigrant Ancestors
Again, with most of my family tree in the South, the first option would be helpful. However, I have struggled with the immigrants on my husband's side of the family.
4:30 PM-Maiden Names: Did Your Really Look Everywhere? OR Beginning Your Native American Research
I have several women in my family tree with unknown as their maiden name. I would love to find out what it is. As far as Native American research, I have a confirmed ancestor on one line and a rumor that there are also Native Americans in two other lines.
13 November 2010
8:00 AM-Immigrant Cluster Communities: Past, Present & Future OR Breaking Down Brick Walls with Location-Based Genealogy
As with one of the session times on Friday, this first session could be helpful in tracing my husband's immigrant lines. However, the session on brick walls can be helpful in multiple lines, which is why I'm leaning towards it.
9:30 AM-Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations for Family Historians
11:00 AM-Digital Photography for the Family Historian
I'm really looking forward to this session. It goes beyond taking pictures into using your camera in place of a scanner and to capture microfilm images.
1:00 PM-Civil War Records OR Technology and Techniques for Conducting Location Based Field Research
Many of my ancestors served during the Civil War. I've explored some records already, but am interested in finding more that might add to my family tree. I'm also curious about location-based research and would like to expand my knowledge of it.
2:30 PM-What is "The South" and Why is it Different?
4:00 PM-Kiss Those Brick Walls Goodbye: Research Success Stories
I borrowed an idea from Mavis Jones of the Georgia Black Crackers blog and will be making up genealogy business cards. These will let people know who I am, the surnames I am researching and how to contact me. If I'm lucky, I will meet someone at the Expo who is researching the same names I am and we can share information.
If you want to follow along my adventures at the Atlanta Family History Expo, I will be tweeting throughout the two days. Just follow @freefamilytree on Twitter. This will also allow you to stay up to date on new posts here at Free Genealogy Resources as well as learn about various freebies and articles of interest to genealogists.