Celebrating Families Across Generations
This morning at 7:15, a large group of genealogy bloggers met RootsTech 2015 coordinator Paul Nauta, who gave us a VIP tour of the Exhibit Hall.
Celebrating Families Across Generations is the theme of this year’s conference, which numbers 20,000 plus thousands more children and families for Family Day on Saturday. The Exhibit Hall is set up very differently this year with big sponsors and the media hub in one area and meandering paths rather than traditional straight rows hosting vendors. We were told that this is the largest genealogy vendor hall in the world and I believe it, as the hall is bigger than a football field. Technology abounds, with computers and scanners available for paid and free activities, products and events. Not surprisingly, the 170 vendors include start ups and new companies offering genealogical products.
After a group photo with the FGS ambassadors, I decided on an early lunch to avoid the very long lines that would form by noon. Lunch done, I headed to an interesting sounding session: Infamy in the Family: Online Tools to Help Identify Family Members of Ill Repute. The speaker was a gentleman who I had not heard speak before, B. Douglas Conley from New York is a genealogist and cultural researcher whose focus has been the Northern Neck Of Virginia.
Mr. Conley separated out celebrity infamy from finding records about infamous members of our own families. Statistics about family black sheep will revolve around many 50 other people, while an international infamous celebrity might touch a billion people around the world. How can records be found about one solitary familial member who might be considered infamous? Often, it takes a lot of time and effort to find tidbits about the person who one might be researching. A main source of information would be court records. Mr. Conley shared case study work that he has completed on infamous people, who lived in Virginia and who worked as slave overseers. A second case study involved a man named David Lyne, who migrated from Virginia to Missouri and who was murdered. Only his surname was known until he used the FAN principle to fill in family records.