Sunday, September 9, 2012

Midwest Family History Expo - Day 2

The second day of the Midwest Family History Expo in Kearney, Nebraska was less hectic and more relaxing for me. My first stop was the conference bookstore. I wasn't the least bit surprised to see Ruby Coleman and Robbi Ryan there. You always know where you can find fellow book people in between sessions!

Ruby Coleman
Nebraska Genealogist of the Year
I opted to attend Ruby's class on Nebraska: A Research Journey. Each time I hear Ruby speak, my admiration for her knowledge grows and grows.If you are doing any kind of research in Nebraska, you must have Ruby's book, Genealogical Research in Nebraska. I thought I knew quite a bit about Nebraska, but clearly, after listening to Ruby, I need to dig out a few more history books and do some more cramming! I did not know that Nebraska towns going west were named in alphabetical order as the railroad moved west. How did this significant piece of information escape me all these years?!?! And my ancestors were railroad contractors in this state!

My only choice for the next session was about for advanced users. This room was already overflowing with standing room only as soon as the previous session was over. The syllabus materials were extensive, so I figured I could wing that on my own and opted for a leisurely solo lunch when I was able to get caught up a bit on reading the genealogy blogs.

Not wanting to get aced out for a seat in my next session by James Tanner, Getting Started with Heritage Quest Online, I arrived early. This room was nearly full and James was explaining and demonstrating FamilySearch. Interesting because the topic for the earlier presentation was blogging! People went and got their lunch and brought it back to the meeting room to soak up his knowledge. This is a man who gives and gives and gives. He gives the people what they want and he was willing to keep talking and demonstrating as long as people wanted to listen. He kept speaking through the entire lunch break!

I had used Heritage Quest sporadically in the past, but after learning more about it from James, I'm willing to go back and give it another shot. This resource is available via most libraries with your library card. For Nebraskans, you can access this resource with your driver's license number on the NebraskaAccess government web site.

James' next session was about cloud computing. I was glad that he mentioned that it would not be a "how to" of Dropbox, Evernote and Skype, but more of an overview of how to use the cloud for genealogy.

That was the sign for me to call it a day and begin the trip back to Lincoln. I already was on information overload about all of the new resources I want to check in to. I'd already touched based with the friends I've made from previous conferences and our social networking online. I was perfectly satisfied with my conference experience.

And the good news is that Family History Expos will be coming back to Kearney in 2013. So mark the weekend after Labor Day on your calendar and plan to attend.

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  1. Susan ... thanks for your nice comments about my Nebraska lecture. It's a wonderful state (not just because of football) and I hope all genealogists will explore the many resources we have available.

  2. Ruby, my Nebraska roots go back to 1864 on Mom's family and to 1872 on Dad's. So we've been around here a LONG time! Now it's time to brush up on more of my Nebraska history! It was a great conference and so were you!

  3. Thanks for the kind comments. Hope to see you again next year, if not sooner.

  4. Susan, it was great to see you at the Expo and terrific to see that you enjoyed the program. Thanks for sharing your experience with all of us.