Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pleasanton Family History Expo

By all accounts, the recent Family History Expo in Pleasanton, California was a success. I'll add my kudos to all of the reports with one exception...

The speakers were good. The topics presented were varied and interesting. Visiting with geneabloggers previously met was wonderful. The exception? In plain and simple terms, the venue was awful. Two classrooms in each building separated by fabric curtains certainly did not enhance the learning experience. To give her credit, Holly Hanson (president of Family History Expos) apologized for the classroom environment in her end of the Expo presentation, saying that the Expo will return to the area next year but in different and hopefully better facilities. That's good news for everyone! All in all, the Expo was well worth the time and money.

The first session I attended was with Arlene Eackle. And even though I have few ancestors in the south (a couple in Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky), I learned a great deal about locating the “right” ancestor through property records.

At 11:30 I learned what was new in RootsMagic4 with Bruce Buzbee. RootsMagic has some interesting features. I'm almost convinced that I should switch from Legacy! Almost.

The lines for getting lunch were quite long and I missed the 1:30 session with Lisa Alzo that I had planned on attending. Her talk was on Websites You Might Be Missing - a review of some cool tools and useful web sites for genealogists. I'll be able to get some of that information from the Syllabus but I'm sure more information was given in the lecture.

At three o'clock I sat in on Tim Cox's presentation on Hard Drive Organization and learned about how he files his genealogy documents and images. I'm always looking at how other people do that since I have several thousand documents and photos that I scanned before leaving home last September and have yet to organize them. I want to devise a system that will not need to be changed sometime in the future! Probably an impossible dream.

The final classroom session for the day was with Jean Wilcox Hibben on Shaking the Myth: Proving/Disproving Family Legends. Jean has devised a method of evaluating evidence by asking a series of questions to help determine if the legend could be true. It was fascinating to “step through” one of her family legends using this process.

The first day wasn't quite over when the last session finished. I, along with most of the geneabloggers and quite a few other people, attended the live Genealogy Gems Podcast with Lisa Louise Cooke. Her guests were Craig Manson and Sheri Fenley. They discussed writing for the online magazine Shades of the Departed which was created by footnoteMaven. Both Craig and Sheri were fantastic guests, and the dessert bar was pretty good too!

Lisa Louise Cooke and Craig Manson

Day two of the Expo, I was a slacker. It was noon before I made my way to where the Expo was being held. I went in to a session at 1:30 but left after 10 minutes. I couldn't hear the speaker due to the noise from the neighboring session... I went to a 3:00 session but left soon after it started because the subject wasn't what I thought it would be. At 4:30 Holly Hanson gave the final presentation on breaking down brick walls on those troublesome ancestors providing several inspiring examples. And then, it was over... a few days respite and I'm back on the road!

1 comment:

Family History Expos said...

Becky, thank you for making a stop at the California Family History Expo during your national tour. It was great seeing you. Best wishes in your travels!