I am attending the Federation of Genealogy Societies Conference in Birmingham, Alabama this week.
My plan for Tuesday was just to get there safely, hoping for no airline problems or weather delays. The Bloggers Dinner was scheduled for 5:30, sponsored by FamilySearch.com.
That worked out fine, except there was a long wait for the hotel shuttle from the airport. I befriended some very nice staffers from the New England Historic Genealogical Society, including the head of research services and some marketing folks, who will be setting up an NEHGS booth in the Exhibits. They liked my story about finding my ggggg-grandmother crossed out of the family bible at NEHGS. We were remarking that it’s quite a miracle that the page was ever preserved where I could find it. I am so grateful that a place like NEHGS exists.
So I’ll be wearing those during the conference.
The dinner was sponsored by Family Search. I sat with (seriously, this happened) Dick Eastman, Mr. Myrt, Michael Hall (Deputy, Chief Genealogical Officer, Family Search) and several other friendly people. Mr. Hall and I had a terrific talk about his Fall River, Massachusetts roots and how he traced his family.
The Family Search folks had several messages for the community of genealogists:
- First and foremost, they are deeply grateful for the volunteer indexers that have worked on projects, including the 1940 Federal Census. They have created an “Indexer Community” booth in the upcoming Exhibits here where conference attendees can write messages thanking the indexers. Let me write my message here (I only indexed a little bit): you guys are awesome, and should be justifiably proud of your high level of accuracy. As an end user I can tell you that I do not see the mistakes in Family Search 1940 census that I saw in Ancestry.com. Just sayin. thank you.
- Another message about the Family Search indexing is that people are asking for a way to correct indexing in cases where they know there was an error. Such functionality is coming.
- Since the need for great indexing in today’s digital world is only increasing, they have launched an ambitious and important project: the U.S. Naturalization and Immigration project. Far larger than the 1940 census, it will take years, but with the help of all of us, they are very hopeful that this can be accomplished.
- Readers can register for RootsTech 2013 now for the low price of $119. Use the code BLOG119.
- They discussed their digitization of their microfilm, which will take some time, but is on track. They also pointed out that in their book section (which is growing all the time), they are planning to build an electronic library borrowing function for copyrighted works.
Personally, I am grateful for Family Search since they make original records (or in some cases, index records only) plus compiled books available to the public for free. By and large, nothing will improve quality more than easy access to records.
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