Saturday, November 19, 2011

Georgia Family History Expo

Last Friday and Saturday, I attended Georgia Family History Expo in Duluth. The schedule was a little different this year - instead of starting early Friday morning, the Exhibit Hall opened at 1:00 Friday afternoon and the Opening Session started at 2:00. After spending the previous four days researching in north Georgia, I was happy to have the morning to relax a bit.

The late start meant a late end to the day with the last session ending about 8:40 P.M. Based on the feedback given at the closing session, not everyone loved the new schedule but after hearing that this schedule would keep registration costs down by saving an extra days rent on the facility, it seemed most people agreed it was just fine. I can see why people who were commuting from home might not like getting out later but this schedule also probably saved a good number of people the cost of a Thursday night hotel room and allowed some people to take less time off work.   

I apparently made good choices because the seven sessions I attended were all very good.

Arlene Eakle knows so much more about Georgia Land Records than she can begin to cover in a 50-minute session but luckily she has a new book on the subject. By the time I made it to her booth on Saturday, she was sold out but it will be in my mailbox in a few days.  

In The Clothesline Approach to Documentation and AnalysisDearMYRTLE gave us a visual concept for analyzing sources. If one end of the clothesline is the most reliable source and the other end the least, where would you hang the document you are evaluating? Thinking in those terms can really help you break down the information contained in any source. 

Special Sources for Confederate Research in the National Archives and Records Administration and The Campaigns Forgotten: American Wars after the American Revolution and before the Civil War Records in NARA by Robert S. Davis were both great sessions - informative and entertaining. Did you know that the saying "God willing and the Creek don't rise" was a reference to the Creek Indians, not some creek that was about to flood? 

Lisa Louise Cooke presented three sessions - Ultimate Google Search Strategies, Google Earth for Genealogy-Rock Your Ancestor's World and How to Create Awesome Interactive Family History Tours with Google Earth. I'd heard good things about these presentations so I was very happy when I learned Lisa would be in Georgia. Not to take anything away from her Google search session or any other presentation at Expo but those Google Earth sessions were beyond explanation. No one can tell you how amazing those presentations are. Mind blowing. I bought the book and the DVD's even before I saw the presentations and that turned out to be a good decision. I could just enjoy the show without worrying about taking notes.   

And, of course, one of the best things about any genealogy gathering is socializing with other genealogist. I believe this group of bloggers enjoyed Expo.


  1. It sounds like it was a wonderful time! Atlanta is my old stomping ground, and half my family (my "cotton" half!) are GA ancestors. I'm hoping to make it down next year. It sounds like it was well worth it!

  2. I love your blog and website. Thanks for sharing and for the motivation to do more with Genelines: you have great examples!