Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Connecting with others

This past weekend Ol' Myrt received a genealogical shot in the arm by attending and presenting at the Cheyenne Family History Jamboree sponsored by MyAncestorsFound.com. Isn't that always the way? We join local genealogical societies and take family history classes whenever possible, to get that genealogical "fix".

70mph wind gusts and daytime temperatures of 27 degrees provided sharp contrast to the hot topics discussed among hundreds of happy Jamboree attendees. At the beginning of my class sessions, I asked for opinions about the conference -- and all but 2 were very positive:

-- One participant said "THANKS A LOT, I thought I was almost finished with my research, but I didn't know I had to find original (primary) records. Now I've got tons of work to do."

-- One gentleman wished we could REPEAT THE FIRST DAY CLASSES on a different schedule the second day. Fortunately, the syllabus on CD has the handouts from all classes. That makes for easy searching, viewing and printing of topics that interest you now, and others later. If you'd like to order one see: http://www.myancestorsfound.com/jamboree/jamboreeCW.htm

The RUNAWAY HIT of the vendor's area was GenSmarts, the artificial intelligence software available for free to Family History Centers. I recommend buying your own copy to use regularly at home. My keynote address included screen shots demonstrating how GenSmarts creates research suggestions based on the data we type into our genealogy management programs (names, dates, localities, etc.) Then Beau Sharborough, from Footnote.com and past president of GenTech, mentioned GenSmarts in his 1st hour presentation. I think by lunch time GenSmarts partner Bruce Buzbee (from RootsMagic.com) sold his entire inventory.

On the subject of CONNECTING WITH OTHERS, one topic I discussed in the RootsWeb/USGenWeb class was ROOTSWEB MAILING LISTS. After explaining the easy method for subscribing to these free genealogy email lists, I asked for audience input. Many had received replies to their mailing list postings:

-- One connected with someone who had inherited the family bible of a great-grandmother.

-- One received a reply 6 years (!) after her initial posting, while another received her answer 3 hours after pressing the send button on her email form.

Newbies decided that genealogy mailings lists such as those at http://www.rootsweb.com are definitely worth the effort.

-- MyAncestorsFound (genealogy conferences and SLC research trips)

-- GenSmarts (artificial intelligence for genealogists) http://www.gensmarts.com

Ol' Myrt needs all the extra intelligence she can get, artificial or otherwise!

A big thanks for the wonderful enthusiasm of the Jamboree participants. The atmosphere was simply electric -- positively! A special thanks to Sharon Collier for the sweet note and two tatted snowflake ornaments. (((((Hugs to all.)))))

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)

Snail Mail Address:
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Bellevue, WA 98004

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