I have to admit it, I am beginning to get excited. I will be attending my first Genealogy Jamboree since the old days when it was held at the Pasadena Center. I know there will be differences, if only because of the passage of time, but I am already noticing some just from browsing the website.
First of all, on Sunday, the Genetic Genealogy 2016 live streaming sessions were announced. DNA isn’t really on my list (because I have no brick walls close enough in time where testing would tell me anything), but if you aren’t able to get to Jamboree in person and want to learn more about DNA and genealogy, this is a great opportunity.
With only three weeks to go, I have started to take a more serious look at sessions. I also discovered the exhibit hall map, which outlined a rather small vendor area.
The Pasadena Center had a humongous exhibit hall, not the size of RootsTech, but larger than this one appears to be. Although this area doesn’t seem to be as large, the exhibitor list is quite extensive. I recognize some old names who have not been at RootsTech and it will be fun visiting again with them.
Again, back in the Pasadena days, there didn’t seem to be many speakers that I really wanted to here. The 1980s were a few decades back, but my memory is that many of the classes were very much at the beginner level, although topics were quite varied. There was no internet and, where my research was at the time (mostly colonial New England, Czechoslovakia and paid research, and a Danish brick wall that didn’t come down until 2011), the classes didn’t seem to offer much for me. On the other hand, the exhibit hall was a full time job.
Through the intervening years, speakers and topics have grown considerably. Jamboree has some absolutely top notch speakers on this year’s roster and, I am very pleased to see, there are multiple talks that are classified as for intermediate and advanced researchers. (Personally, I think that is where RootsTech needs to step up its game, but that is another subject for another day.)
So, how will I spend my time from June 3-5? Here are some of my choices, subject to change, at the moment:
Friday, June 3:
Friday morning kicks off with Jambo-Free sessions, which include various round table discussions, covering beginning genealogy, DNA and genealogy, becoming a professional, librarians and genealogy and using social media for your local society.
Since I am staying with a friend in the Inland Empire on Thursday night and we will be in the midst of the Friday morning slow-and-go commute to Burbank, I will likely not attend any of these sessions. We aren’t staying at the host Marriott hotel, either, so Friday morning will give us a chance to get settled in nearby and then go through registration. If we happen to be at the Marriott in time, I would attend one or both of the JamboFree Genealogy World Roundtables sessions.
The regular afternoon sessions begin at 1:00 and end at 6:30 p.m. Here are my picks for this time range:
Getting Beyond the Bare Bones: Reconstructing Your Ancestors’ Lives with Thomas Wright Jones, Level: Intermediate/Advanced
This is a way under-used resource and I’m always looking for new, hard to find, resources:
Unappreciated Treasures Online: Libraries, Archives & Digital Collections with Cyndy Ingle, Level: All
I am pretty organized, but the ladies in my genealogy group are asking for more information and tips on getting a handle on their “stuff”:
Organizing Your Genealogical Files with Drew Smith, Level: All
Case Studies in Forensic and Family Genealogy with Sheila Benedict, Level: Intermediate, Advanced
That finishes up Friday afternoon.
Saturday, June 4:
These sessions make for a long day from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., but I will be in them!
Always on the lookout for vital records online:
Vital Records Online: Beyond Ancestry and FamilySearch with Ted Gostin, Level: All
I own Legacy 8, but it has a steeper learning curve than the other software programs I am trying out to replace FTM, so Geoff’s session might answer a lot of my questions:
Using the Latest Legacy Family Tree Softwarewith Geoff Rasmussen, Level: All
Otherwise, this sounds fun:
What a Story! Evaluating Family Legends and Genealogical Sources with Sharon Hoyt, Level: Beginner, Intermediate
Refugees, Claims, and Conscription: Your Ancestors during Reconstruction with Michael L. Strauss, Level: Beginner, Intermediate
Using Military Pension Files to Fill Gaps in Family History with J.H. Fonkert, Level: Intermediate, Advanced
Apprentices, Indentured Servants, and Redemptioners: White Slavery in America with Peggy Clemens Lauritzen, Level: Intermediate, Advanced
German Genealogy on the Internet: Beyond the Basics with Michael D. Lacopo, Level: Intermediate, Advanced
That will finish up Saturday’s sessions and I bet I will sleep well that night!
Sunday, June 5:
Sessions run from 8:30 to 3:00 with closing activities over at 3:30.
Some of my husband’s lines appear to have come from Switzerland into Germany in the 1600s:
Beginning Swiss Research with Michael D. Lacopo, Level: All
Why Were They There? Merging Evidence to Understand Migration with J.H. Fonkert, Level: Intermediate, Advanced
Indexing Photographs and Documents with Philipp Mayer, Level: Beginner OR
Connecting with your Eastern European Genetic Origins with Jim Brewster, Level: Beginner, Intermediate
How to Overcome Brick Wall Problems in Pennsylvania Research with Michael D. Lacopo, Level: All
That will wrap up Sunday sessions. I will be heading back to the Inland Empire to spend the night at a friend’s before heading back to Arizona on Monday morning.
It is not too late to register for Genealogy Jamboree. If this has tempted you to attend, you can pre-register until May 22.