13 November 2011

Day 2 of the 2011 Georgia Family History Expo

     Yesterday was day two, the final day, of the 2011 Georgia Family History Expo. Mom and I got there bright and early, only a few minutes after 9am. We made our way down to the end of the exhibits where DearMYRTLE had already set up her own "mini booth" to talk about blogging. I chatted with other ladies there, talking about the expo and other genealogy topics, then headed to the first class.

     First up was "Special Sources for Confederate Research in the National Archives and Records Administration" by Robert S Davis. I learned so much from this class! I had no idea how many different resources there were for civil war soldiers. I've got a lot of ideas for researching my GGG-Grandfather, Frank E Leaphart, who died in the war and who's parents are unknown. If you have the chance to sit in on Mr Davis' lecture, I highly recommend that you do so. He was very knowledgeable and very funny!

     Next up was another class from Anna Swayne of GeneTree. I learned that a DNA test I'd taken a long time ago from the Sorenson Molecular Genealogical Foundation (SMGF) was now online at GeneTree. I can upload my test results from other companies to this site for free and look for matches. They'll work to connect my information with others in order to try and create a sort of universal DNA tree. I'm going to look into this and see what they can do for me. (Also, check out the GeneTree site, like them on Facebook, and be entered to win a Kindle Fire)

     After this, was the lunch break. Then, instead of sitting in a lecture for the next session, mom and I decided to visit the vendors. Mom bought some scrapbook supplies and we picked up brochures and free swag from many other booths. When there was no one else at the Family Tree DNA booth I visited there - but that conversation deserves it's own post!

     The last class of the day was Lisa Louise Cooke's "How to Create Awesome Interactive Family History Tours with Google Earth." This was yet another class that drew in a number of bloggers (see the photo).  I was very interested in this class. I'd tried to do a Google Earth tour on my own, but couldn't really figure out how to do it. Well, now I know and I'm really excited to try it out. And it very easy to do too!

     Finally, we headed back in for the closing keynote and door prizes. I really appreciate how Holly Hansen, the FHExpo organizer, solicited our feedback. It's nice to know that she's taking our opinions into account.  And to top things off, Mom won a door prize! She got the printed syllabi from the previous three Expos, which amount to the class outlines for the California, Arizona and Colorado Expos. There should be some really great stuff in there.

     I had a ton of fun this year, probably more than last year. Attendance seemed to be down this year and let me tell you: if you could have come but didn't, you missed out. There's a lot to learn and a lot of great people to meet. I'm not necessarily a social person and often find conversations with new people difficult, but I still managed to make a few new friends. Where else can you launch into a random story about your great-Grandparents and have people actually willing to listen to you? I'm looking forward to next year and hope I see you there.

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