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Friday, Sep 19, 2014
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Book your room for May conference


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Registration opens today for the 2014 National Genealogical Society Family History Conference, but if you haven’t already booked your room, you might have to pack a tent for accommodations.

The society has posted online full conference details — including lecturers and the topics they’re presenting. Links to conference-certified hotels also are on the site. Weeks before registration opened, more than 3,000 hotel nights already had been booked for the conference, which will be held May 7 to 10 in Richmond, Va.

The society chose six area facilities as official hotels, but four of them (the Marriott, the Omni, the Hilton Garden Inn Richmond Downtown and the Holiday Inn Express Richmond Downtown) are sold out. Only the DoubleTree by Hilton and the Crowne Plaza still had rooms available at the writing of this column.

Full details about hotel locations and rates are at http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/attend/accommodations. Registration is at http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/event-registration.

In its pre-registration announcements, conference planners urged early registration for two events with limited seating. One is the Board for Certification full-day Education Fund Workshop on May 6, the day before the official conference opening.

Planners describe the “Putting Skills to Work” program as “an intensive day of learning, focusing on skills needed by genealogists and advocates quality research.” This workshop is geared for intermediate and advanced researchers. The $110 fee includes lunch, hands-on exercises and syllabus materials.

The workshop will be presented in two parts, each three hours long. Vic Dunn will give the first, “I Rest My Case: Constructing a Convincing Proof Argument.” I am excited to give the second, “Passing Out the Property: The Probate Process.”

The other limited-attendance program will be a Virginia Genealogical Society-hosted program at the Library of Virginia. Planners are promising participants a step back into the 18th century as Robert Lucas, surveyor in York County, Va., in 1774 presents “Land for the Taking.” This event Thursday evening will cost $30.

The conference is a social and educational opportunity for family historians ranging from novices to experienced researchers. Lecture sessions traditionally cover a wide range of topics from getting started to the latest in genetics and genealogy software.

Expensive? Yep — when you add up travel, hotel and registration costs. So get with your research buddies and arrange to drive and share a room. (An 11-hour drive from Tampa isn’t much considering what’s waiting at the other end of the trip.)

I promise you’ll have the experience of a lifetime and will bring home skills that will open doors to discovering your ancestors.

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Those of you who have researched to the ocean’s edge and are ready to cross the Atlantic in your ancestral quests might want to look into the latest National Genealogical Society’s offering of “My British Isles Origins: Where and How Do I Cross the Pond?”

This is a four-week online learning course that will begin on Jan. 9 and will guide researchers through discovering their roots in the British Isles.

Registration and course details are online at www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/pharos_public.

If you aren’t a society member, it’s a good time to join, because fees for all conference and training sessions are reduced for members.

Sharon Tate Moody is a board-certified genealogist. Send your genealogical methodology questions and event announcements to her at stmoody0720@mac.com. She regrets she is unable to assist with personal research and cannot respond to requests for locating or researching individuals. Past Heritage Hunting columns are available online at tbo.com, search words “Sharon Tate Moody.

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