FGS Conference-RootsTech 2015 Is Almost Here!

We are already half way through January 2015. Days are flying by and the FGS-RootsTech 2015 schedule of sessions is being finalized. I had made a list of sessions of interest a couple of months ago, but since conference time is drawing near, it is time to review and update my list found in the FGS 2015 Registration Booklet.

One thing to remember about conferences is that while most sessions are presented as published, changes do happen before the conference and even during the conference. A few sessions are even completely cancelled. I have already discovered that two prospective sessions I had noted are not being offered at the time and day first published.

Each conference session in the booklet has a short description about the presentation/speaker and notes whether the session is appropriate for Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced researchers. What I have found when attending previous sessions is that an attendee should not skip a session based on the B, I, or A level assigned. The only exception I would probably make to this philosophy is perhaps a session that might offer highly technical information, such as a detailed DNA analysis in genealogical research.

My session choices will undoubtedly be updated when I am actually in Salt Lake because of conference updates and a few impulsive changes made when there is a conflict between sessions which interest me.

Here are the FGS Conference Sessions currently on my interest list:


9:30-10:30 – Tech Soup – Technology by the Bowlful for Your Genealogy Society by Thomas MacEntee

10:45-11:45 – How the Genealogist Can Remember Everything with Evernote by Lisa Louise Cooke

1:30-2:30 – The Ethical Genealogist by Judy G. Russell

2:45 – 3:45 – 7 Surefire Ways to Involve Broy Jetson (and Others) in Your Genealogical Society by J. Mark Lowe

4:00-5:00 – Tradition and Technology: Finding Your Society’s Balance by D. Joshua Taylor


11:00-12:00 – Getting the Most Out of Genealogical Evidence by Thomas Jones

1:30-2:30 – Bridging the Gap: Tracing U.S. Ancestors Between 1780-1840 by D. Joshua Taylor

3:00-4:00 – Problem Solving with Probate by Thomas Jones

4:30-5:30 – Go West, Young Man: Online Resources for the Western United States by Cyndi Ingle


10:30-11:30 – Cluster Genealogy: Finding Your Lost Ancestors by Deborah Abbott

1:00-2:00 – Doing the History Eliminates the Mystery by Curt Witcher

2:30-3:30 – Fraternal Organizations: Records and Resources by Kris Rzepczynski

4:00-5:00 – Using Tax Records for Genealogical Problem Solving by Michael Lacopo

The biggest challenge for me is part of the fun of two conferences in one – this list only has the FGS sessions of interest. A second list of RootsTech sessions will also be created and, at the conference, I will have to make decisions about which conflicting sessions to attend.

Further conflicts will happen because time is needed for the Exhibit Hall, Family History Library and eating. Hmmm – eating will be relegated to the bottom of the list!

 Two last words of advice to everyone:

First, if you think you may try to attend parts of two sessions during the same time block, be considerate of the presenter and sit in the back of the room. That way, when it is time to leave one session, you can easily slip out the door without creating a distraction for either the speaker or the other attendees.

Second, choose sessions that meet your own research interests and needs and have fun!

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