The National Genealogical Society conference is coming up this year in Cincinnati, May 9-12. Each year this represents one of the best opportunities to meet other genealogists, and learn from some of the best researchers in the nation.
Ohio is a great place for a genealogical conference. It is one of the main gateways for immigration in the United States. One of your ancestors is likely to have lived in, or travelled through, Ohio as they immigrated west.
The classes range from “Strategies for finding your ‘unfindable’ ancestors” by Tom Jones to “Pathways to cross the Ohio River” by J. Mark Lowe, to “Hatched, Matched, and Dispatched: Vital Records Research” by C. Ann Staley. These are only a few of hundreds of classes that will be taught. There are classes for experts and for beginners. One of the real challenges, this year will be choosing what to attend. It appears that the conference will be running ten simultaneous tracks.
In recent years NGS has begun hosting a youth camp for budding genealogists. The camp provides an experience for youth who are just beginning to learn family history. It is taught by some of the best researchers worldwide and the youth who attend gain a solid footing in good research principles.
The conference will also be hosting a tour of the National Railroad Underground Freedom Center. The center tells the story of the enslaved crossing over the Ohio River on the journey to freedom. Anti-slavery men and women of all backgrounds created a secret network of escape routes that came to be called the Underground Railroad. The museum houses many unique and inspiring exhibits including The Slave Pen, From Slavery to Freedom, and the film Brothers of the Borderland. Come for an hour or stay for the entire three hours. The museum also houses one of the best FamilySearch affiliate libraries in the United States.
The exhibit hall at the conference has also always been a highlight. Participants have the ability to network with those who are involved in technology, publishing, and other aspects of family history. New products are often announced, and discounts on products are nearly always available. I expect that this year there will also be significant buzz about what is happening with the 1940 census.
If you have the resources and time there are few better conferences to learn about family history. If you decide to attend, look me up while you are there. More details about the conference can be found at ngsgenealogy.org .