2019 Federation of Genealogical Societies National Conference

This past weekend, Clan Forbes Society member Antonio Uribe and I visited the trade show of the 2019 Federation of Genealogical Societies National Conference in Washington, D.C. We both came away with a lot of good information -- and a real appreciation of the professional genealogists. Here are some of our favorite booth visits.

Ancestry.com is the largest for-profit genealogy company in the world and operates a network of genealogical, historical record and genetic genealogy websites. We both maintain our family trees on Ancestry.com. Clan Forbes Society also manges the official House of Forbes Family tree. The big push during the trade show was for their DNA services through AncestryDNA -- but we both are already involved with FamilyTreeDNA. (See below.)


Association of Professional Genealogists were very helpful in providing information for becoming a certified genealogits. Another project for when I retire! They provide an on-line directory of specialists. Click on "Search by Research Specility" then on the drop-menu for "Research Specialities" you can select "Scottish Clans" then "search."

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Book1One provides another option for self-publishing family histories. They are very flexible in both the format provide (PDF) and the dimension and type of the finished project. They provide short run book printing, no minimum order requirements, no set up fees, and quick production turnaround times.


Brigham Young University (BYU) Center for Family History and Genealogy was quite impressive. They offer a 4-year bachelor's degree, many library resources, innovative computer applications, and assistance in publishing your family histories.

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FamilySearch has partnered with Ancestry.com to co-operate in digitizing records and offers its services for free -- after creating your account. You can view scanned documents, look up details about your ancestors and build a family tree complete with photos.


FamilyTreeDNA was absolutely our favorite (and most expensive) stop! My friend genealogist Bob McLaren was assisting with the booth. I also reconnected with group team manager (and native Texan) Janine Cloud, whom I had met at previous Council of Scottish Clans and Association (COSCA) events. We spent about an hour badgering them with questions and getting some great information. We both bought basic DNA kits for family members and I finally opted into upgrading to the "Big Y-700" paternal DNA test. Stay tuned for my results!


General Society of Mayflower Descendants booth staff finally convinced me to submit my application, through my mother's English side of the family. I received a paper form -- but I felt more comfortable in entering the information online. All I needed to do was enter the names of my lineage from a "Pilgrim ancestor." The Mayflower Lineage Match service determines what portion of my lineage has already been documented in a previously approved application and for what portion I'll need to provide documentation.


Maia's Books lured us in for another 30- to 60-minutes with a wide assortment of genealogical books and magazine. We both walked out with more reading projects.


OurCards has the brilliant idea of converting the photos on your family tree into a custmized deck of cards! We thought was exciting -- and discussed the converting notable characters from the House of Forbes into playing cards. What do you think?


Virtual Genealogical Association provides an amazing array of online classes or "webinars." Coming up: three full days of online genealogy education on Friday, November 1, through Sunday, November 3. Wow.


The 2020 FGS Conference and Trade Show is scheduled for September 2 - 5 in Kansas City, Missouri.

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