Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Stop by Springfield, Win Prizes - #FGS2016

The main part of the 2016 conference of the Federation of Genealogical Societies starts tomorrow, 1 September 2016 in Springfield, Illinois at the Prairie Capital Convention Center. You don’t have to be a member of a genealogical society to go. Registration onsite begins Wednesday from 7am to 6pm (except during lunch, 11:30-12:30). Registration on Thursday runs 7am to 2pm. Friday and Saturday hours are 7am to 10am. For more information, visit

FGS 2016 Conference

If attendance isn’t in your budget, but you live in the area, consider stopping by the free exhibit hall. In the exhibit hall there are a number of presentations you can attend, again, for free. Those in the demo area start 10 minutes after each hour. The schedule, as of 1 August was:

Thursday, 1 September 2016
Thursday Demo Area Schedule for FGS 2016
Note that’s Juliana Szucs presents at 12:10. (Did you know that FGS was founded in Juliana’s mother’s dining room back in Illinois in 1975?) FamilySearch’s Mike Provard presents at 4:10.

Friday, 2 September 2016
Friday Demo Area Schedule for FGS 2016
Notice that FamilySearch’s Robert Kehrer presents at 1:10.

Saturday, 3 September 2016
Saturday Demo Area Schedule for FGS 2016
Notice that AncestryDNA’s Anna Swayne presents at 11:10.

FamilySearch makes 30 minute presentations in their booth. Most are between regular conference sessions.

10:00 am Searching for Elusive Records
10:30 am Publishing the World’s Genealogy Records
Noon FamilySearch Hinting
12:30 pm FamilySearch Mobile Apps
1:00 pm Searching on FamilySearch
1:30 pm FamilySearch Family Tree
3:00 pm Publishing the World’s Genealogy Records


10:00 am  
10:30 am FamilySearch and Partners
Noon FamilySearch Mobile Apps
12:30 pm FamilySearch and Partners
1:00 pm FamilySearch Hinting
1:30 pm FamilySearch Photos and Stories
3:00 pm FamilySearch Family Tree


10:00 am  
10:30 am FamilySearch Mobile Apps
Noon Searching for Elusive Records
12:30 pm FamilySearch Hinting
1:00 pm FamilySearch Indexing
1:30 pm  
3:00 pm  

Ancestry also teaches classes in their booth. They post schedules once the hall opens. I’ll try and publish their schedule once I know it, perhaps on my Facebook page.

Genealogy Gems’ Lisa Louise Cooke is again presenting 30 minute classes in her booth (#200), according to her blog. She is joined this time by Diahan Southard (Your DNA Guide) and Jim Beidler (Family Tree Magazine). Their schedule is:

FGS 2016 Genealogy Gems booth schedule

Other vendors will gladly teach you anything you want to know about their products. Some will give you discounts for stopping by and talking with them. See the list of exhibitors here.

The exhibit hall includes a Cyber Café (sponsored by Ancestry, Lexmark, and MyHeritage) adjacent to the demo area.

While you won't find food or drink in this café, it is the perfect place to relax and check e-mail…or recharge your phone, iPad, table, or laptop. It is open during Exhibit Hall hours on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

The exhibit hall hours are

  • Thursday, 9:30am – 5pm
  • Friday, 9am-5pm
  • Saturday, 9am-3pm

To sweeten the pot, I have a few items I’ll try to give to one person who comes to the exhibit hall who isn’t registered for the conference. I received some items in my conference bag that I am willing to give away. They are:

  • An FGS conference tote bag
  • About 30 door prize tickets
  • A $10 cash back coupon – Buy something from a vendor, have them notarize the coupon, and redeem it for $10 cash back.
  • A coupon for $50 off Family Tree Maker.
  • (Sorry; I’ve lost my conference passport, so I can’t give that away.)
  • And you get to meet the Ancestry Insider in person.

Okay; that last one is probably more a downside. Be that as it may, if you want the items, send me an email with “FGS Items Request” in the subject line. I’ll pick someone and make some attempt to meet them and give them the items. I make no guarantees and you promise you won’t hold me responsible for anything that happens in connection with the items.

Hope to see you in Springfield!

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