Sunday, March 31, 2013

Exhibitor Profile-Stories To Tell

Booth #126

As a family historian, have you dreamed of publishing your family story in a book? There is no better way to pass down the stories that make family history relevant and exciting. If you haven’t published before, an experienced editor can answer your questions, provide valuable guidance, and speed your book to completion and successful publication.

Stories To Tell is a team of editors and book designers who help authors to create memoirs and family history books. Stories To Tell editors help at every step: to improve the book's contents, to edit both the text and images, and to design a professional, unique book. They assist with the publishing process, for private printing and commercial publishing. 

Nancy and Biff Barnes, the partners of Stories To Tell, specialize in family histories and memoirs. They are experts on self-publishing, which is often the best course for family histories. They have worked with hundreds of authors to develop non-fiction, fiction, and creative non-fiction. Stories To Tell serves authors nationwide.

Jump start your family history book project at this year’s NGS Conference. Visit booth #126 in the exhibit hall to meet with a Stories To Tell editor. If you have a book draft in progress, bring it along and receive a free consultation.


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Speaker Profile-Dawn C. Stricklin

Everyone is familiar with kinship. We all have relatives, grandparents, parents, and siblings. How the family is conceptualized among Native American tribes is often radically different from how European Americans define family. For example, the vast majority of Americans restrict usage of the term “mother” to a single female, usually the birth mother. On the other hand, among many Native American tribes the term “mother” can be applied to numerous women at the same time, regardless of whether or not a blood relationship exists. This cultural practice of referring to many family members by the same term can cause havoc for the family researcher whose primary goal may be to find lineal ancestors.

Kinship is a subject that Dawn has been studying professionally for years. She earned her BA (2007) and MA (2008) in Anthropology and is currently a doctoral student in Anthropology where her research focuses on kinship.

Although the focus of this lecture’s particular case study is on a Native American family, the information gleaned from this lecture can be applied to a myriad of ethnic groups. By providing a deeper understanding of kinship and making it easier to understand, attendees can learn to avoid common mistakes especially when researching Native American lineages. I look forward to seeing you there!

Friday, 4:00 p.m., F354, "From Lumper to Splitter: John Little Crow and Kinship Conundrum"

Iroquois Chart


Friday, March 29, 2013

Exhibitor Profile-Oklahoma Historical Society Research Center

Booth #536

The Oklahoma Historical Society Research Center offers numerous family history resources. Family and county histories, US Federal Census records, American Indian rolls and records, vertical and biographical files, cemetery, military, and land resources can provide valuable information to genealogical researchers. 

Of special interest are the Dawes Final Rolls of the Five Civilized Tribes, the 1890 Oklahoma Territorial Census, Smith’s First Directory of Oklahoma Territory, and the Oklahoma Federal Land Tract Books. Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Applications, Compiled Service Records of the Revolutionary War and Oklahoma Confederate pensions are available on microfilm. 
Online indexes include select divorce, marriage, land, school, and death information. 

The new Gateway to Oklahoma offers online access to digitized material including thousands of pages of Oklahoma newspapers. 

Visit the OHS Research Center in booth #536 or online at


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sponsored Lecture-Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh

2012 GRIP (John third from right)

                                             John T. Humphrey, CGSM, Memorial Lecture
ponsored by Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP)

“Baptism: Sacrament, Ceremony, Practices, and Records, ” Thursday, 9 May, 8:00 a.m., T203, presented by Rev. David McDonald, CG.

When John T. Humphrey, CG, died 12 August 2012, he left a large hole in our genealogical community. Well-known for his German research expertise, John’s final public appearance, just two weeks prior to his death, was teaching a week-long German genealogy course at Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh. Not only did his class enjoy his presence and knowledge that week, but students and faculty from other courses were able to sit with him for a meal or have conversations with him on campus.

John was also known for the Pennsylvania Births book series in which he indexed church baptismal records for southeast Pennsylvania counties. His roots were deep in that area and it is where he was raised and has been laid to rest. Many people can claim being a cousin with John due to those early German roots, including GRIP co-director Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL, who is related to each of John’s parents.

It is quite fitting that GRIP sponsor this memorial lecture and that David McDonald, CG, a pastor in his “day job,” present it at an NGS conference, a society for which John worked as education director. In areas where civil birth records do not exist, church baptismal records, if kept, may be the only direct evidence of a child’s birth. John was aware of their importance and dedicated years to compiling his books. He probably would be pleased that David is making this presentation on the same subject.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Speaker Profile-Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL

"Baker’s Dozen Steps to Writing Research Reports," Saturday, 11 May, 8:00 a.m., S401

Each time we conduct research a report of the findings (and non-findings) should be written. This is true whether we share our research with others or our own files. The writing process helps drive the analysis and research process and makes us better researchers. Recording the research path through its twists and turns also helps us to not repeat work unnecessarily. Following the thirteen steps laid out in this lecture will help you become more efficient and systematic about writing. This lecture concludes with a real example of how to build a research report from the first question to the last conclusion.

A professional genealogist specializing in western Pennsylvania research for over two decades and president of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, Elissa Scalise Powell, CGSM, CGLSM, realizes the importance of communicating our research to both others and to our future selves. She is an educator who has taught at several genealogical institutes, conferences, and seminars and is co-director of the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP). With her dedication to genealogical education and professional development, Elissa is always willing to help genealogists become better no matter their present level of experience and to provide opportunities in which learning can occur.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Las Vegas home to celebrity chefs

Are you a foody? Las Vegas is home to some awesome celebrity chefs that you're going to want to check out. The Las Vegas Weekly featured "The 20 most important restaurants in Las Vegas," focusing on the specialty of each chef.
 To view the article go to

Monday, March 25, 2013

Get involved with the conference-volunteer!

 Volunteers Needed!

 Once you get a chance to look at the syllabus and pick your sessions, you might see that you'll have some spare time during the conference. Please consider volunteering!

It takes many, many people to keep everything running smoothly during such a large conference, and volunteering is a fun way to get to know other genealogists.

Shifts are available at various times from Monday–Saturday. Registration workers, Ask Me hosts , room monitors, and Youth Camp registration (Saturday, 7:45 a.m.–8:45 a.m.) are all needed.

Registration volunteer
Check in pre-registered attendees, verify, and distribute registration materials.

Ask Me host volunteers
Stationed at key points around the conference area to answer attendee questions about room locations, directions to lecture rooms and restrooms, lecture times, and other general queries.

Room monitors
Assist with readying lecture room, monitor admissions, help speaker or attendees if necessary, and obtain room count.

Anyone wishing to volunteer, please contact Volunteer Chair, Lynne Bogner,  at Please add NGS REGISTRANT VOLUNTEER in the subject line. In the message, let Lynne know what day and time you are available to help. If you're not sure and need more information, contact Lynne.

NGS and the Local Host Societies thank all our wonderful volunteers. We couldn't have a conference without you.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Exhibitor Profile-ST Imaging

Booth #331

Discover the hidden history within your film collection! The ST ViewScan system is an industry leading all-digital view and capture system that allows you to easily find what you are looking for and enhance the film images. Loading film is simple and causes less wear on the film than other scanners. The scanner allows you to quickly scroll and read the film like you do on an old reader/printer.  The easy to use software allows the user to enhance the selections and then print, e-mail, or save them to a thumb drive or web address.  Last year, on NBC’s Who Do You Think You Are?, the ST ViewScan was featured at Jones Memorial Library and was able to uncover old funeral home records that were practically unreadable on other systems. “Jones Memorial Library has 3,000-4,000 rolls of film in its collection and the ViewScan System has made this history more accessible,” said Director Susan Pillow.

The new ST Imaging Premium Edition software, available spring 2013, includes ST Annotation and ST ClipMerge. These two highly requested features will revolutionize the way you work with and share microfilm.  Mark any images with the libraries name or citation information which is great for interlibrary requests.  Now you can easily combine clips of articles that are spread over multiple columns or pages into one page for printing or saving.

See it for yourself in booth 331 at the NGS Conference in Las Vegas.


Local Host Society-Jewish Genealogy Society of Southern Nevada

Meet one of the members of the Local Host Societies!

The Jewish Genealogy Society Southern Nevada, Inc. was founded in 1985 by Maida Dacher and Carole Montello. A small group of dedicated Jewish genealogist met every month to learn and share aspects of our budding hobby. Several years later the society became dormant due to lack of publicity and educational programs. In 1997 word starting getting out that a group of Jewish genealogists were reforming and JGSSN became a reality again.

In 2004 we took the big step and incorporated which made us eligible to host the 25th International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies International Conference on Jewish Genealogy in 2005. With just eighteen devoted volunteers we hosted an extremely successful conference during the hottest week of the summer.

Today we are a strong group meeting on the third Sunday of every month at the Sahara West Library. We have welcomed such internationally known speakers as Steve Morse, Crista Cowan of Kahile Mehr of the Family History Library, David Horowitz of My, Hal Bookbinder, Gary Mokotoff, Beau Sharbrough, Ron Arons, and many others.

Our meetings are open to the general public, everyone is welcome to attend!

Thanks to Betteann Myers, Local Society Publicity Chair

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Speaker Profile-Robert Raymond

Robert Raymond is a deputy to FamilySearch Chief Genealogical Officer, David Rencher. He works to increase genealogical soundness of FamilySearch products. He also helps set the record collection acquisition and publication strategy. He is a member of the National Genealogical Society Board of Directors.

Robert is a popular speaker and writer. His blog (authored pseudonymically) has won many awards and recognitions and is consistently ranked among the top ten genealogical blogs. He is the author of an acclaimed family history website where he has published hundreds of digitized genealogical records and personal histories, written numerous articles, and created several maps. Before FamilySearch, Robert worked at, and before that was vice president of an award winning technology company.

Robert is a genealogy technologist with more than forty years experience in genealogy and thirty years in technology. Robert holds over a dozen technology patents and earned a masters degree in electrical (computer) engineering from Brigham Young University where he was honored as a Kimball Scholar. He is a volunteer at a FamilySearch Family History Center where he can be found in the trenches every Wednesday night.

Come join Robert as he discusses "Life After the IGI," on Thursday, 9 May, at 9:30 a.m., T219
The International Genealogical Index (IGI) is a computer file created by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was first published in 1973 and grew to contain several hundred million entries, making it one of the earliest large genealogical collections. The old FamilySearch website went away, taking the IGI with it. But is the IGI really gone? Learn where the IGI went and what changes were made. Learn about indexed records, user submitted records, and batch number search.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Exhibitor Profile-Boston University

Boston University Provides You with the Tools You Need to Succeed in Your Genealogical Research

Booth #224

Whether you want to improve your credentials, ensure your research can withstand scrutiny, or increase efficiency, our programs can help you meet your individual genealogical goals. With both online and on-campus courses available, our programs are perfect for students who want to take their skills to the next level.

Learn more about our program offerings:
Certificate in Genealogical Research at
Genealogical Essentials at
Summer Seminars at

Not sure which program is right for you? Our website features a helpful quiz that can assist you in the decision-making process. You can also visit us at booth 224 to learn more about our programs.

Boston University Is Coming to Vegas!

Visit us at booth 224 to learn more about our prestigious genealogy programs and enter our scholarship raffle! BU will be raffling off one $1000 and two $500 scholarships to our online Certificate in Genealogical Research program during the NGS conference.

On Friday during the conference, Boston University is sponsoring a luncheon, session F322, about forensic genealogical investigation featuring program director and instructor Melinde Lutz Byrne, CG, FASG; instructor Mary Ann Boyle, Ph.D., CG, PI; and GRCP graduate and teaching assistant Corey Oiesen.

Many of our world-renowned instructors and advisors are also speaking at NGS, including:
* Barbara Matthews, CGSM
* Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL
* Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA
* Mary Ann Boyle, Ph.D., CG, PI
* Melinde Lutz Byrne, CG, FASG
* Pamela Boyer Sayer, CG, CGL
* Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Las Vegas golf courses

Feel like hitting the links before or after the conference? Las Vegas has lots of golf courses, many close to the conference hotel, the Las Vegas Hotel & Casino (LVH).

Here are a few suggestions:

Royal Links Golf Club was inspired by the British Open courses. It’s an eighteen hole course located only ten minutes from the Las Vegas Strip at 5995 Vegas Valley Blvd.  Call 702.450.8181 for information.

Bali Hai Golf Club is an eighteen hole, 7,002 yard bit of tropical paradise on the strip at 5160 South Las Vegas Blvd. Call 702.450.8191 for information.

Bears Best Golf Course is an eighteen hole, 7,194 yard Jack Nicklaus course. It’s located at 11111 West Flamingo Road just a few miles from the hotel. Call 702.804.8500 for information.

Thanks to Betteann Myers, Local Society Publicity Chair

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Speaker Profile-Billie Stone Fogarty

Do you have a disappearing ancestor?  Maybe he or she fell off the edge of the world!  Okay, maybe not …. but they might have succumbed to the flu epidemic of 1918 or fallen into the gaps that opened up in the great New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-12 when even the Mississippi  River ran backwards for a time! 

Our ancestors did not live in a vacuum. They were affected by the disasters of their day just as surely as we are today.  Sometimes these events have had a lasting impact on our lives as well as theirs.  You probably know about the Irish Potato Famine causing so many to come to America to escape starvation and to find a better life. But what other tragedies might have occurred that caused our ancestors to give up on life where they were and risk everything to find a new life?

Speaker Billie Fogarty had some of those questions answered when she found accounts of an ancestor dying in a tornado and another who remembered the New Madrid earthquakes nearly ninety years after they occurred!  She leads us on a journey through epidemics, pandemics, and catastrophes (oh my!) in "The Great Madrid Earthquake and Other Calamities That Shook Our Ancestors," Friday at 11:00 a.m., F326.  But never fear!  You might be amazed at what you discover!

Billie Stone Fogarty, M.Ed., is president of the Genealogical Speakers Guild and serves on the Board of Directors for the Association of Professional Genealogists and the Oklahoma Genealogical Society.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Clark County Museum-A Step into the Past

Mark Hall-Patton at Ghost Town

Founded in 1967 by the Henderson Chamber of Commerce, the Clark County Museum comprises 30 acres of exhibits and restored historic structures in Henderson, Nevada.  In 1979, Clark County acquired the museum site and its collections, and has been adding to the complex since that time.

The main museum structure was built in 1990, and houses a timeline of Clark County history and a changing gallery.  The timeline exhibits show prehistoric Clark County, the Native American tribes which have called the area home, early explorers and settlers, and the growth and development of Las Vegas. 

When you visit the museum grounds, there are over a dozen restored homes and commercial buildings to visit.  The museum also boasts railroad rolling stock, from a Union Pacific switcher engine to a caboose, box car, and combination passenger/baggage car. These bracket the 1931 Union Pacific railroad depot, which is also open for tours. 

Other restored buildings include the 1966 Candlelight Wedding Chapel (which is unfortunately not available for weddings), the1952 barn from the Esslinger Homestead, a recreated newspaper print shop showing early printing equipment, and Mobile America, an exhibit which includes a 1947 Spartenette Trailer and the Motor Court cabin #14.

There is also a  Ghost Town, which includes the Toll Cabin from Lamoille, Nevada, and the jail from Tuscarora, Nevada, as well as the Sweet Shop from the Las Frontier Village, a Las Vegas Strip attraction taken down in the early 1960s.  Even with all this, there is an extensive walking trail complex on the site and the Mojave Garden Outdoor Classroom, which shows four distinct eco-systems of the Mojave Desert.

Giles House

The Museum is the headquarters of the Clark County Museum system, which also includes the Howard W. Cannon Aviation Museum and the Searchlight Community Museum. 

The Clark County Museum is open seven days a week, from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm.  Admission: $2.00 for adults, $1.00 for children under 18 and seniors over 50.
1830 S. Boulder Highway
Henderson, NV 89002-8502
(702) 455-7955

When you visit the Clark County Museum you will see the history of Clark County and the west.  How people lived and where, why they settled here, what happened before gaming, and what has happened since. 

Come explore our amazing history.  Take your Step into the Past!

Museum entrance

Thanks to Mark Hall-Patton, Clark County Museum Administrator.


Last Chance for the Early Bird Discount – Today!

Today is the last day to save $35 on conference registration. As of tomorrow, 20 March, member and non-member registration fees will increase by $35, and you will no longer be able to order a print syllabus. (Everyone will receive a syllabus on flash drive.)

To register, go to .

Monday, March 18, 2013

Tomorrow early bird discount ends

The early bird registration discount ends tomorrow, Tuesday, 19 March. In addition to enjoying a $35 discount, only early birds have the opportunity to order a printed syllabus. (Everyone will receive a syllabus on flash drive.) NGS members get even deeper discounts, so this is a great time to join.

Space is still available for most breakfasts and luncheons, the NGS Banquet, and Tuesday bus tours. The BCG Education Fund Workshop is sold out. To be placed on the wait list, e-mail the NGS conference registrar, Courtney Holmes, at .

All full-conference registrants will be entered in a drawing to win a seven-night stay at the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel at Temple Square, courtesy of the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel. The prize will also include a free spot on one the Ancestor Seekers Salt Lake City research trips. Be sure to attend the opening session to find out if you are the winner. The winner must be present at the opening session to claim the prize.

To register online, visit the NGS website at and complete the registration form.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Exhibitor Profile-Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department

Booth #437

Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department is a state agency with the mission of advancing Oklahoma’s exceptional quality of life by preserving, managing, and promoting the state’s unique natural assets and cultural amenities.  Oklahoma played a vital role in building the heart of the country with its rich past of pioneer settlers, land runs and the great cattle trails, the Indian removal saga and the commitment of the Buffalo Soldiers, to its fortune seekers following the oil boom and travelers migrating during the 1930s across Route 66.  With a state history this varied and layered, you may also discover your story here. 

Visitors will connect with people, places, and landscapes that are part of the diverse heritage and culture marked by legends such as Francisco de Coronado, Geronimo, and Will Rogers. 

Today, Oklahoma is home to thirty-nine federally recognized tribes and preeminent Western and pioneer history collections, drawing genealogy travelers to Oklahoma to explore their roots. makes it easy to uncover your family connection to this state that sits at the crossroads of our nation.

Our website offers a comprehensive listing of researching resources.  Brochure tools designed for genealogy research and travel opportunities in Oklahoma are also available.

Come visit us in Booth # 437 for a free Discover Your Roots Along Our Routes: Genealogy Travel in Oklahoma guide and other travel information.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Speaker Profile-Mara Fein, PhD, CG

Mara Fein, PhD, CG, a professional genealogist, wrote her doctoral dissertation on "The Imperial Family, Domesticity, and Nationalism in the Victorian Novel."  Her Southern California research presently includes a history of William J. Hunsaker, pallbearer for Wyatt Earp and attorney for Earp's wife Josephine.  She offers the following peek into her Conference presentations.

As one advances in years, and spends, let's face it, an enormous number of hours on genealogical research, one realizes that names, dates and places make for a pretty boring family history. 

Of course, you need those facts.  And if you need them in Southern California, you should join me Thursday at 9:30 am for "Finding and Using Records in Southern California." We'll start with a bit of the history of Southern California at the state and county level.  Then we'll discuss the most useful resources.  No matter where you live, you'll leave knowing exactly how to access those records.

Since you also need to "flesh" out those ancestors, join me in "Imagining Our American Family" on Wednesday at 11 a.m.  We'll have a nice family discussion  ... we're all related, you know ... about what our ancestors meant when they talked about "the family."  Because ... and it shouldn't be necessary to say this ... they talked about it a little differently than many do today.  So come with me and examine how "family" was defined in European and American society through the years.  You'll leave thinking about those facts you've gathered just a bit differently.


Friday, March 15, 2013

Exhibitor Profile-Crystal Inn Hotel and Suites- Salt Lake City

Booth #133

 Crystal Inn Hotel and Suites- Salt Lake City is the perfect fit for any genealogist! We are within walking distance to Historic Temple Square and the Family History Library. The Crystal Inn is in the center of fine dining and nightlife; ideal for guests who wish to fill their evenings with unique entertainment. Our guests enjoy: Complimentary (24) Hour Airport Shuttle, Complimentary Hot Breakfast Buffet Daily, Free High Speed Wireless Internet, Complimentary Business Center Usage, and Spacious well lit rooms!

We will be at booth# 133, make sure to stop by our booth for an opportunity to win a six (6) night stay and an opportunity to have personalized research assistance!

We pride ourselves in providing the type of service set forth in our mission statement:  “To delight every guest, every day, one at a time."



Thursday, March 14, 2013

Librarians' Day at conference

Attention librarians! Are you a librarian or archivist who works with family history patrons? Are you waiting for a good reason to sign up for Librarians' Day at the conference?  How about the grand prize worth $2,200 in value!

The committee just received word of a grand prize being offered to librarians by ProGenealogists worth $2,200 value.  ProGenealogists® is the official research firm of  The firm has worked as researchers for PBS's Ancestors Series, African American Lives, the BBC’s TimeWatch series' episode entitled “The Iron Coffin,” and Showtime’s production The Tudors. ProGenealogists provided research for the first three seasons of NBC's Who Do You Think Are? TV series, which was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for "Outstanding Reality TV Series." That is twenty hours of professional research by the same team that has worked on WDYTYA TV shows. For more information about ProGenealogists, please visit their site at 

Librarians will also have an opportunity to win personal subscriptions to Fold3 and  Family Tree Maker team at has also donated 10 Family Tree Maker 2012.  Additional door prizes are coming in at this writing. 

This exciting day is sponsored by ProQuest at the LVH-Las Vegas Hotel & Casino on Tuesday, 7th May 2013.  The day has been planned with outstanding speakers:
  • "Confessions from the Reference Desk" by James K. Jeffrey, Collection Specialist in Genealogy at the Denver Public Library
  • "Hookers, Crooks, and Kooks:  Aunt Merle didn’t Run a Boarding House" by Jana Broglin, Certified Genealogist and a Fellow of the Ohio Genealogical Society and Director of FGS
  • "Fact or Fiction:  Finding Truth in Family Legends of Famous Relations" by Crista Cowan, AKA The Barefoot Genealogist at
  • "Strategies for Assisting Patrons to find their Irish Immigrants" by David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FUGA, FIGRS and Chief Genealogical Officer for Family Search
  • "Newspapers – The Story of the West" by J. Mark Lowe, professional researcher, educator (SLIG, IGHR & RIGS Alliance), and worked on Who Do You Think You Are?
Additional information about the NGS conference please visit their site at  Remember early bird registration ends on 19th March 2013. 

Thanks to Kim Harrison, Librarians' Day Chair.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Eileen Polakoff winner of travel upgrades from LVH

Eileen Polakoff of New York City is a lucky (and happy) lady. Eileen’s name was drawn by the LVH—Las Vegas Hotel & Casino on 4 February from among the names of those who booked their rooms in the NGS 2013 Family History Conference room block by 6:00 p.m. on 31 January. Eileen won a complimentary room upgrade for her stay during the conference and limousine transfers to and from McCarran International Airport, courtesy of the LVH.

A long-time leader in the genealogical community, Eileen cut her genealogy teeth trying to sort out the relations in her fiancĂ©e’s family. She found her first brick walls with Bubbe and Zayde Schwartz, not realizing until after she visited her future husband’s grandaunt that bubbe and zayde were Yiddish for grandmother and grandfather, respectively.

Eileen joined the Jewish Genealogical Society, Inc. (NY), in 1984 and served fifteen years on the JGS Board of Directors. Within two years of joining the Association of Professional Genealogists in 1986, she was elected treasurer (1989-1990). She also served APG as a board member (1998-2004) and founder and coordinator of the Roundtable (1992-2002) and the Professional Management Conference (1997-2005). Since 1992, Eileen has led research trips to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City with Gary Mokotoff. She will lead a trip again this year with another colleague.

Beginning in 1988, and for more than twenty years, Eileen consistently attended what she calls “the big three national genealogical conferences”—NGS, FGS, and IAJGS. After an absence from the NGS and FGS conferences in recent years, Eileen jumped at the chance to attend NGS in Las Vegas because she could combine her conference travel with a family visit.

Eileen looks forward to NGS in May because seeing her many genealogy friends “will be like attending a family reunion,” and she can’t wait to enjoy her upgraded room and limousine service.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Speaker Profile-Mary Penner

Wednesday, 8 May, 11:00 a.m.
W123, “Rough Riders in the Spanish-American War”

Most of the Rough Riders spent just three and half months in the military over a century ago, but their short-lived service resulted in long-fasting fame. These famous Westerners, along with a handful of Easterners, charged into the history books with the same vigor that they charged up and down hills in Cuba. Learn about the unique records created for and by this storied group of men and pick up some tips on Spanish-American War research, too, so famously described by Ambassador John Hay as a “splendid little war.”

Saturday, 11 May, 2:30 p.m.
S445, “Practical Spanish for Genealogists: Reading Sacramental Records Written in Spanish

Think this Spanish-language record is impossible to read? It may look like the writer scribbled this in his sleep, but you’ll be able to decipher it after attending my presentation “Practical Spanish for Genealogists: Reading Sacramental Records Written in Spanish.” We’ll study the typical structure of sacramental baptism, marriage, and death records. You’ll learn to spot standard words, phrases, and proper names. Plus, I’ll offer tips on subtle irregularities in the records that can signal major clues. There’s a lot more to the rich records penned by these Southwestern priests than simple hatched, matched, and dispatched dates. Even if you don’t speak or read Spanish, this lecture will give you a foundation to help convert that perplexing scrawl into a rich genealogical record.


Monday, March 11, 2013

Register for the NGS Conference by 19 March and Save $35.

Have you registered for the NGS Family History Conference in Las Vegas yet? Only eight days until the 19 March deadline for the early bird discount and ordering a print syllabus. After that date, the NGS member price will increase from $195 to $230 for all four days, the non-NGS member price will increase from $230 to $265, and only the flash drive syllabus will be available. You really don’t want to miss this year’s exciting conference program from 8–11 May at the LVH-Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. For conference information and to register, go to

Space is still available for all conference social events including the Tuesday bus tours, luncheons, and breakfasts.
Breakfasts, Luncheons, and the NGS Banquet
Participating organizations sponsor several breakfasts and luncheons during the conference, and the NGS Banquet is an event not to be missed! Make your reservation by the deadline, 22 April, at Tickets for social events will not be sold on-site. Breakfasts are $28; luncheons are $32; and the banquet is $51. Menus are in the registration brochure at

Las Vegas Area Tours
There’s still time to sign up for three exciting Las Vegas area tours on Tuesday, 7 May. Tour tickets are available only until 22 April 2013.

Hoover Dam and Ethel M. Chocolates Tour: This six-hour tour allows participants to explore the rich history of the Hoover Dam, enjoy a buffet lunch, and tour a chocolate factory and botanical garden.

Museum Tour: Tour the 30-acre Clark County Museum and the National Atomic Testing Museum in this five-hour tour.

Night Tour: Experience the full brilliance of neon Las Vegas in a five-hour tour of the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown!

For more information, please see Las Vegas Area Tours at

Add Items to an Existing Registration
To add meals to your current registration, log on at, click on My Account, select My Events, and then click to Add Sessions. To add pre-conference events and tours, click on My Account and then select Upcoming Events.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Exhibitor Profile-Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems

Booth #415

Whether you are at work, home, exercising, or traveling the countryside in search of your family history, you can bring The Genealogy Gems Podcast right along with you. Stop by Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems booth #415 to learn how to subscribe for free in iTunes, listen from the website, or download the app. 

Each genealogy-packed episode is pre-recorded which puts you in the driver’s seat as to when and where you listen. You’ll hear innovative ideas to help you achieve success in your genealogy research, interviews with top experts and celebrities, and creative ideas for sharing and displaying your family history. 

Your host is Lisa Louise Cooke, author of books such as Turn Your iPad into a Genealogy Powerhouse, How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers, The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, and producer of the Google Earth for Genealogy video series. 

If you enjoy the free podcast, you’re going to love being a Genealogy Gems premium pember! A one year membership gives you exclusive access to video recordings of Lisa’s most popular classes, and a vast catalogue of premium podcast episodes. All of her genealogy resource products will be available at the booth, and Genealogy Gems membership will be available at a special discounted conference price.

Be sure and stop by the booth to sign up for the free Genealogy Gems e-Newsletter and receive a FREE copy of Lisa’s e-book 5 Fabulous Google Research Strategies for the Family Historian.

The Genealogy Gems Podcast is genealogy radio online, all the time!


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Speaker Profile-J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA

  Today, genealogical information is everywhere, existing in large quantities and constantly being created and revised. Information is presented with a wide variety of shapes and sizes. We find facts, opinions, wild stories, logical interpretations, and compiled statistical data often created for diverse purposes and intent. Careful researchers should develop a deeper understanding of documents and their creation before using them to solve problems.

    Religious records are often difficult to obtain in some areas, and may contain information that requires closer scrutiny. 

    “The class was organized at this place on April 2, 1854 by Rev. D.A. Shepard, Daniel Ross being made the class leader, with David Osterhout his assistant. Meetings were held in the schoolhouse, near where the church stands, until the church was erected. This society was incorporated in August, 1870, with Samuel Shook, Thomas Hough, Charles Frear, James Stevens, and Lyman Swartz as trustees. A church was erected, costing $2,478, which was dedicated by Rev. R. Nelson, in September, 1871.” This passage was taken from the History of the Wyoming Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, A. F. Chaffee. (NewYork: Eaton & Mains, 1904) 475.

    Often we don’t understand the roles or titles given in a specific church organization. Daniel Ross was made the class leader. Class leaders were not ordained ministers and are often confused with the ministers who served the church. It is likely that D.A. Shepard was an itinerant minister riding a circuit. The trustees of the “society” are named without details of their work.

    During the conference the session titled “Bible Thumper of Pious Pilgrim: Religious Ancestors on the Frontier,” Friday, 8:00 a.m., F303, will explain the principles and techniques needed to clearly identify the role of your ancestors within their religious context and how to locate those records.


Friday, March 8, 2013

Exhibitor Profile-McClelland Irish Library

Booth #226

The McClelland Irish Library is located at 1106 North Central Avenue in downtown Phoenix, adjacent to the Irish Cultural Center. The three-story building resembles a traditional 15th century Norman castle from the Emerald Isle and houses 5,000 books from Irish authors and poets as well as a genealogical research collection.

The purpose of the McClelland Irish Library is to educate, inspire, and connect the people of Arizona and the Western United States with their Irish and Celtic heritage and culture. The library features an extensive collection of Irish and Celtic books, manuscripts, journals, oral histories, newspapers, maps, works of art, and photographs from the nineteenth century to the present, with a selection of some pre-1800 material as well.  

The genealogy research service includes how-to books, source books for Irish genealogical research, and Irish periodicals for researching your family.  There are books on the various Irish counties and records of their citizens through time. The staff offers help in researching your Irish ancestors.
One highlight of the collection includes a complete folio set of Irish genealogical records compiled by Albert E. Casey over two decades for counties Kerry and Cork. This fifteen volume set, O’Keif, Coshe Mang, Slieve Lougher, and Upper Blackwater in Ireland, is one of only fifty produced worldwide.

Please visit us at Booth 226.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

How to Choose? Nine Tracks Per Hour!

Speaker Jan Alpert
Photo by Scott Stewart
Have you checked the conference program to figure out which sessions you’ll be attending? If so, you’ve already seen how hard it is to pick just one session at a time from the nine tracks every hour. If you haven’t read the schedule yet, this partial list of tracks and topics included with conference registration is bound to whet your appetite:

GenTech: Eighteen lectures on photo restoration, search techniques, social media tools, genealogy software, Google Earth, online catalogs, Excel, ePublishing, Apps, Mac tools, face recognition, and photo tagging.

DNA: Five lectures on understanding DNA, surname studies, tracing all lines of descent, and solving mysteries with DNA.

The Law: Five lectures on tax and land laws, importance of knowing the law, and unusual punishments.

BCG Skillbuilding: Seventeen lectures on misleading records, interpreting symbols and abbreviations, deciphering unintelligible documents, evaluating family artifacts, records of the U.S. Congress, recognizing errors, research reports, and Emigrant Guides.

Methodology and Research: Thirteen lectures on forensic genealogy, Genealogical Proof Standard, solving research problems, tracing urban ancestors, elements of genealogical analysis, and kinship determination.

Records: Eight lectures on county histories, Army Corps of Engineer records, Library of Congress, government documents, and divorce records.

Ethnic Research: Lectures on Hispanic, Irish, Chinese, Japanese; five lectures on African American and five Native American lectures.

Demo: Thirteen lectures demonstrating products from RootsMagic, FamilySearch, Fold3, Family ChartMasters, MyHeritage, and ResearchTies.

Other tracks are Working with Records, Woman, California, Religion, Records Access, Military, The West, New York, Immigration, and more.

That’s 162 lectures!

Since nine lectures take place in each time slot, there may be times when you have to miss some sessions you would really like to attend. The syllabus will have materials for all lectures provided by speakers and audio CDs for most lectures will be available for purchase.

Register now at and choose your sessions later, or do it all at once. This is just for space planning, and you can change your mind if you decide you would rather attend a different session.

Whatever you do, be sure to register by 19 March, the early bird discount deadline!

So many lectures, so little time. [sigh]


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Speaker Profile-Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL

I’ve been fascinated by DNA ever since tenth grade biology class. Way back then we never thought it could be used for anything other than medical research. Even articles about the Human Genome Project in the nineties focused on medical discoveries.

Then DNA test prices came down and we learned how to use the results to further family research.
DNA test results are an important part of a reasonably exhaustive search. But the tests don’t contribute evidence unless you understand the results. You have to correlate the DNA and paper trail evidence.

Some of the best researchers have trouble getting their heads around DNA inheritance. My DNA presentations clearly explain how DNA is inherited including only as much biology as is necessary to understand the basics.

“Going Nuclear: DNA Discoveries to Trace All Lines of Descent” includes an easy-to-understand explanation of this complex topic. DNA inheritance patterns are illustrated along with examples of how to correlate your genetic and paper trail evidence. This session focuses on the autosomal DNA that we inherit from all of our ancestors, not just the direct paternal and maternal lines.

I take the same approach to explaining how to use laws when analyzing genealogical evidence. Simple explanation. Demonstrate how to use what is learned. Maybe because I am not a doctor, biologist, or lawyer, I can simplify these topics to help other genealogists learn to effectively use legal and genetic information for genealogical purposes. Join me and let me know if you agree.

Friday, 11:00 a.m., F328, “Going Nuclear: DNA Discoveries to Trace All Lines of Descent”
Saturday, 4:00 p.m., S453, “Ours and Theirs: Tax and Land Laws”

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Meet the Official NGS Conference Photographer-Scott Stewart

Our Official Conference Photographer, Scott Stewart, will join us again this year in Las Vegas. A photographer for many years, he opened Scott Stewart Photography in 2012. Usually found behind a camera at some of our recent conferences, he was officially appointed at the 2012 Cincinnati conference.
Scott has been an enthusiastic genealogist for decades, pursuing ancestors in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and a regular conference attendee since the NGS 1993 Conference in Baltimore. 

You will see Scott moving through the conference taking official as well as casual pictures of events and attendees to make this a richer experience for all our NGS members.  He loves taking pictures of people.  He said, “I see the beauty in each person I photograph, and want to share how great they look to me with others. I think it is sad people hate to have their pictures taken. Trust your photographer, because people love you just the way you are and want to treasure the moments and memories they have with you!  Love them enough to love yourself.”

Scott spent his career in the US Government, retiring in 2005. He is a full time consultant for a company developing trusted and unique solutions to address the global challenges faced by the National Security community. He is married and the proud father of a daughter who will be graduating shortly after the conclusion of the conference in Las Vegas. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Pre-Conference Event-BCG Education Fund Workshop

The Board for Certification of Genealogists Education Fund will again sponsor a full-day pre-conference workshop at this year's conference. The workshop, "Walk in Your Ancestor's Footsteps," will take place on Tuesday, 7 May 2013 from 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Beverly Rice, CGSM, and Connie Lenzen, CGSM, will lead the workshop.

Attendance is limited to sixty for this six-hour, hands-on workshop. Registration is $110 and includes lunch.

For further information about the workshop, go to the three posts (19, 20, and 21 February) by Barbara Mathews, CGSM at BCG SpringBoard. 
Connie Lenzen, CG

Beverly Rice, CG


Friday, March 1, 2013

Exhibitor Profile-Finding the Bad Inn: Discovering My Family’s Hidden Past

You have names and dates, now what?  Imagine while at a quiet family gathering, your aunt happens to mention a fire and a dead body and that your great-grandmother was arrested for murdering your great-grandfather. After you pick your jaw up off the floor, what do you do? Of course, you abandon your successful engineering career and go traipsing across the globe, all the way from Butte to Belfast to Belgium, to find out what happened and write a book about it.

Booth #435

Christy Leskovar’s first book, One Night in a Bad Inn, a book award finalist, tells the true story of what she found. Her second book, Finding the Bad Inn: Discovering My Family’s Hidden Past, tells the story of how she found out who started the fire, how the body ended up on the ranch, why her grandmother was sent to an orphanage when she wasn’t an orphan, what really happened when her grandfather saved that man’s life in the war, and so much more. In addition to being an entertaining adventure, readers have found the practical tips and tools in Finding the Bad Inn to be very helpful in finding their own family stories, the stories behind the names and dates, the stories that make genealogy come alive. "More enthralling than fiction," said one reader.

Excerpts and trailers are at Both books will be available for purchase at the conference, booth 435. The author will be there to sign them.