#scgs11 – Once again, the Southern California Genealogical Society delivers something for everyone at the annual SCGS Jamboree genealogy conference. Even before the first presentation or the opening of the exhibit hall, attendees can choose several activities to attend.
Parents brought their Boy Scout sons to Kids Camp to earn the Genealogy Merit Badge, but according to “camp counselor” Elyse Doerflinger the parents were learning right along with the kids.
Here’s Elyse at the Blogger Panel. She has enough energy to power the entire conference.
Cemetery tours, and special hours at the SCGS Library were available, as well as a special Jamboree orientation session for first-timers.
“Something for everyone” could be a theme for Jamboree. I think this is one of the biggest reasons for the event’s success. It was certainly one of the features that my mother enjoyed most about Jamboree. The program includes sessions to challenge, educate, and entertain at all levels of expertise, with the bonus of time and opportunity to meet fellow genealogists, family history writers, and bloggers.
Speaking of bloggers, the Blogger Island tables in the convention center provided great place to meet and greet. A large monitor showed sessions via streaming video, and monitors thought the hall displayed a rolling Twitter feed. Blogger antics kept the #scgs11 stream rolling way into the wee hours, and moving fast and furious as presentation highlights were tweeted throughout the day.
Bloggers congregated at Bloggers’ Island throughout the conference.
Tonia Kendricks (left), Randy Seaver, Lisa Alzo, Joan Miller, Dick Eastman;
Thomas MacEntee (right), Amy Coffin.
It could be tough choosing which sessions to attend. Here’s a few highlights —
They’re Alive, searching for Living People with Thomas MacEntee was helpful because I am trying to reunite some lovely heirlooms with descendants of the original owners. Thomas is an expert with internet searches and gave a lot of great tips for culling free information from for-pay websites.
Using Derivative Sources: How to Evaluate Evidence with John Philip Colletta continued with a case study from Colletta’s book, Only a Few Bones, to show how to build a solid story from scant resources. I thought this was a great example of teaching and sharing, and I’m anxious to try to flesh out the bones of a few of my ancestor’s tales.
Photography, The Civil War, and Your Family Pictures with Maureen Taylor, delivered a full hour of wonderful photographs from the Civil War era. Maureen’s talk was like looking through a photo album with a friend, a very knowledgeable friend. She explained details such as dress style or photo imprint information that help to date photos from a particular era. I plan to go back through my collection with a fresh eye and a copy of her newest book Finding the Civil War in Your Family Album, watching for clues to help date my own pictures.
Researching Your Union Civil War Ancestors with David Allen Lambert of The New England Genealogical Society was an outstanding presentation by the society’s military expert. I learned details to watch for in pension files, new sources, and ideas for further research.
Advanced Photo Detecting: Cracking the Cold Case with The Photo Detective, Maureen Taylor presented a jam-packed hour of examples from her collection to illustrate analytic techniques. Maureen talked about determining the subject, date, and location of a photograph and then going on to investigate the story behind the photograph. I can’t wait to pull out my box of photos and apply her detective tactics.
The Live Genealogy Gems Podcast with Lisa Louisa Cooke is better than a ticket to a Hollywood talk show. I wondered how Lisa would tape the show and make it interesting for the audience — no problem! Using an “Oprah-style” format, Lisa invited her guests to join her on stage for an informative and fun conversation. The Editor of Family Tree Magazine, Allison Stacy, and blogger Heather Wilkinson Rojo were joined by Certified Graphologist Paula Sassi to learn more about their ancestors from samples of their handwriting. Lisa Louise projected images of the documents on large screens so the audience could follow along. The discussion was followed by a hilarious Quiz where two audience members competed for some nice prizes.
Lisa Louise Cooke (left) interviews Paula Sassi (center) and Heather Rojo.