SCGS Jamboree 2017 – My Session Picks

Last week, I proposed several reasons why one might want to attend SCGS Genealogy Jamboree, being held June 8-11, 2017 in Burbank, California. If you are still on the fence about attending, the Early Bird pricing is good for 11 more days, so there is plenty of time to get registered and save money!

If the DNA Day plus all the wonderful speakers haven’t quite convinced you, perhaps some of my choices for session picks will entice you to learn more.

Here is what my experience might look like:

Thursday –

8:30 – Using Autosomal DNA Results from Cousin Clusters in Your Research with Tim Janzen
Using DNA results from clusters of cousins dramatically improves the predictive power of autosomal DNA testing to solve genealogical research questions. Multiple examples of the use of DNA results from clusters of cousins to predict genealogical relationships will be included in this presentation.

Or, another possible choice:
Diving In from the Other Side: European DNA Case Studies with Paul Alan Woodbury
Genetic genealogy research in a European context demands specific considerations. Through these case studies, learn how endogamy, migration, testing prevalence, geographic projects, and record availability contribute to the challenges and the successes of DNA investigations in European research.

10:00 Y-DNA of the British Monarchy with Brad Larkin
Review of nine Y-DNA dynasties of the British Monarchy over the past 1,100 years and how genetic genealogy may connect your family to them.

11:30 DNA and the Aftermath of Uncovered Family Secrets with Blaine Bettinger
Does a truth uncovered by DNA always trump secrecy, or can/should the truth have boundaries? If so, what are those boundaries? Together we’ll dissect the roles of secrecy and openness as we examine real-life examples of both the joy and the fallout from family secrets uncovered by DNA.

The DNA Day luncheon will feature Debbie A. Kennett speaking on The DNA of the British Isles. (Luncheons are extra fees.)

2:00 Was Henderson Dowell’s Father of African or European Descent? with David R. Dowell
At Emancipation Henderson Dowell of Wilkes County, North Carolina, was 20 years old and enslaved by Pricilla Dowell. His living descendants are mixed African-American and European-American. Did his paternal ancestors come to America from Europe or from Africa?

3:30 After You Identify The Common Ancestor: Advancing Your DNA Agenda with Shannon Stewart Christmas
Identifying the most recent common ancestor shared with a DNA match is just the beginning. Learn how to design and execute autosomal DNA projects that extract more genealogical data from your DNA than you ever thought possible.

5:00 Using Mitochondrial DNA Testing for Genealogical Problem Solving with Michael D. Lacopo
Mitochondrial DNA usage in genealogy is often diminished, but when used wisely in combination with the Genealogical Proof Standard, it can break down brick walls!

There’s an extra registration fee for Diving into DNA, but it is well worth it, based on the session descriptions!

Friday morning – The JamboFREE event allows participants to sign up for just one event, so my pick would be the 8:30 to 10:00 a.m. first session of Genealogy World Roundtables.

Here is the description from the Jamboree website: Attendees may change tables at any time during the sessions. A table guide and schedule will be available. Pick a table according to topic and ask questions to assist in your research or assist someone else. Share experiences, suggest search strategies, and answer questions about researching ancestors across the globe. With table hosts keeping the conversation going, participants can look forward to a spirited, valuable exchange of information. Groups will also discuss genealogy methodologies and topics of special interest to genealogical societies. Level: Beg., Int., Adv.

Next, would be a visit to the Expo Hall to check out the vendor displays and then to an early lunch.

In the afternoon, I’d have to make some hard decisions.

1:00 – Finding John Lee: Using DNA, Online and Offline Genealogy with Nicka J. Smith
Discover how DNA, online and offline genealogy converged to break down a more than 100-year-old brick wall revealing the life, times, and relations of a mysterious multi-ethnic man named John Lee.

Or maybe:
Bagging a Live One: Connect With Cousins You Never Knew You Had with Mary Kircher Roddy
Learn to find distant relatives, ones you never knew existed. Come away with skills to target specific people and to find their contact details. Understand the pros and cons of various contact strategies. By the end of the session you will have the tools and confidence to bag some new relatives!

Next session, being a blogger, would be:
2:30 – Generating Genealogy Blog Content with Michael John Neill
Content is key to maintaining a genealogical blog. In this session we will look at a variety of ways to generate fresh regular content for your genealogical blog, length of posts, serializing content, and more.

However, I think this session with Annette Burke Lyttle would be excellent for beginnings:
Genealogical Proof for the Novice Genealogist
How do you know if the genealogical facts you’ve uncovered are correct? How do you avoid attaching somebody else’s ancestors to your family tree? The Genealogical Proof Standard will get your research moving in the right direction from the beginning and help you avoid errors and frustration.

The third Friday afternoon session:
4:00 Treasures in Township Records with Peggy Clemens Lauritzen
A part of the rectangular survey system, the township had its beginnings in Europe. Still in use today, we will focus on the many types of records of our ancestors that may be found there. Some records may be found there, and nowhere else.

Or, then again, maybe:
Shamrocks in Cyberspace: Irish Genealogy Databases with Michael Brophy
Information about our Irish ancestors is exploding on the Internet. The best websites for Irish research are explored and analyzed.

Final Friday session:
5:30 Decoding Secret Societies: Sisterhood in Fraternal Organizations with Michael Strauss
Did you have ancestors who had membership in the Eastern Star, The Daughters of Rebekah, or another women’s fraternal organization? This lecture focuses on the rich genealogical material of family members who may have belonged to one or more of these female auxiliaries and secret societies.

Or:
From Famine to Plenty – Finding My Immigrant Ancestors’ Stories with Tessa Keough
They might not be famous, but their experiences shaped our families. Come learn how I combined genealogy research with social history to follow my ancestors from Ireland to Nebraska. With libraries and archives at our disposal, we have a wealth of information to help us tell their stories.

See what I mean about difficult choices? And this is only one day’s worth of sessions.

The Friday evening banquet will feature Lisa Louise Cooke speaking on Texas Ranch House: Unveiling “Keeping House” in the Census. That should be a fun talk.

This post would be way too long, if I outlined my session picks for Saturday and Sunday, but just FYI, there are six time slots on Saturday and four time slots on Sunday.

There are also Saturday and Sunday morning breakfasts, plus a Saturday night banquet featuring Rev. David MacDonald presenting If I’da Known the Future, I’da Got Here Sooner, which sounds like another entertaining talk. (The meals and speakers are extra fees.)

Aside from all of my session picks, if you are researching African-American, Armenian or British Isles & Ireland, then there are entire session tracks planned out for you!

So, I hope by now, I’ve convinced you why you really, really need to attend the 2017 Genealogy Jamboree. Just click and do it! You’ll have a terrific time.

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