Saturday, March 29, 2014


Today I attended the 2014  New England Family History Conference at the LDS
Franklin Chapel in Franklin, Ma.

My first class was at 9:50 a.m., so I left my apartment around 8am and  after a
short stop for a coffee and croissandwich at Dunkin' Donuts was on my way. I had
already programmed the directions into my GPS, primarily because while I know how
to get to the town of Franklin, I tend to drive past the turnoff or miss the side streets
sometimes and end up in a neighboring state.Thanks to the light Saturday morning traffic
and the GPS I arrived at the Chapel, picked up my name tag and syllabus and waited for
the classes to start.

My first class was 10 Brick Wall Tips for Beginners with Marian Pierre-Louis of Fieldstone Commons, who is one of my fellow New England geneabloggers. While I'm not really a beginner anymore,  I don't know everything and always looking to learn something new that might help with my John Cutter West brickwall. Marian's a great speaker and I want to try her tip about Mapquest.

I thought I'd signed up for a class at 10:50 but I hadn't, so I stayed in the same room for
the next class schedule there which was given by Mike Maglio on Autosomal DNA: Your
Genetic Tapestry.
I have a Bachelor of Arts in History; science makes my head hurt. But
Mike presented the subject so I could understand it and had some tips on what do do with
DNA test results. Like Marian, he is a very good speaker and the session passed quickly.

There was a lunch break of 50 minutes so I went out to the table where the brown bag lunches were to be given out and presented my lunch ticket to a nice young lady after
I told her "I am a Ham". I decided I'd go sit in the classroom where my next class was
scheduled and ate my ham sandwich and potato chips while looking through the
conference syllabus. Gradually more people came in, one of whom was a nice lady who
asked me if I knew about birds and then showed me some pictures on her camera. We
decided  the bird was either a larger hawk or young  osprey.

The next class was a video from Rootstech, Denise Levenick's How to Scan an Elephant:
Digitizing Your Family History from Artifact to Zombie
. She mentioned Midge Frazel
during her talk. Again, a good presentation, and at one point in the video when Denise
asked her Rootstech audience if they had tried to do something with digitizing, several
people in the classroom in Franklin raised their hand. I thought that was a testimony to
good a speaker she was, that people would respond to a video as if they were at the
actual event.

My final class of the day was another with Mike Maglio, Secrets of a 21st Century
, which covered blogging and using social networking to promote your blog.
Again, a very enjoyable session.

While I didn't see many people I recognized, I did get a chance to speak briefly with
Marian and Mike after their sessions, and I had the pleasure of meeting fellow
genealogist Sharon Gillis before I left. I decided to skip the Refreshment hour and
drove home, which took a little longer because it was now raining and there was much more traffic than earlier in the day. But I had the classic rock station on and sang along
to Bob Dylan and other rock artists of my younger days.

All in all, a good day!


Barbara Poole said...

Thanks for your report, Bill. And congratulations on being in Randy's Best of, for this week. I really enjoyed your piece, and hope you enjoyed your ham sandwich.

Anonymous said...

Bill - you show a p;icture of a man in a WWI uniform (?). Is he your grandfather? I have one of my grandfather and his family.

Howland Davis

Bill West said...

Hi Howard! Yes, that's my grandfather Floyd E West Sr.

Kathleen Brandt said...

That sounds like a success successful day!

Family Curator said...

I'm catching up with blog posts, Bill, and was happy to read your review of the Family History Conference, and mention of my recorded presentation. I admit it's strange to be presenting remotely -- I miss the audience feedback. Your comments are a real boost; I'm glad to know that folks forgot about the camera and enjoyed the talk. Thanks again for postiing this.