Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Did you know you may still register for this conference?

It has been interesting to see that the number of people viewing the blog is still high. It might be the articles that appeared in the Boston Globe and New York Times are drawing curious folks. If you would like to join us at the conference, you can still come to the Hynes Convention Center in the Back Bay area of Boston and register to attend the lectures on genealogy and history from speakers representing 5 countries.

I have already seen a few genealogists who have made connections with someone related to one of their ancestors. Others are peering at the place names on the name tags and finding someone who lives in their family's old home town.

Some details for those of you at the conference

Don't forget to attend the Plenary Session at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday. The theme for this hour is "Visions of the Future from Keepers of the Past." This takes place in the Sheraton Boston Hotel in the Grand Ballroom. We are privileged to have two of those keepers of the past at that session, the Archivist of the United States, Dr. Alan Weinstein and the President and CEO of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, D. Brenton Simons. As if that isn't enough to draw you, this is the place to get additional conference information.

For more information on this exciting session, check this previous posting on the blog. Immediately following this is the Grand Opening of the Exhibit Hall. I peeked into an open door of the Hall today and saw a hotbed of activity. Booths being set up, computers being connected, books unpacked, CDs and DVDs being lined up, and oh, were my feet itching to get in there and browse.

Live excitement in Boston

Hello from the conference host hotel, the Boston Sheraton. This afternoon at 3:00 folks began to arrive to pick up their registration materials, the 4 volume syllabus, and a very nice tote bag. It was an explosion of genealogists as suddenly it seemed like everyone arrived at once. But this was a nice explosion -- the kind that made the conference planners smile. The volunteers working at registration did a phenomenal job.

It was also exciting to see a lot of folks who showed up to register for the entire conference. Today's Boston Globe had a long article about a special release of detailed Irish maps. It even ranked as one of the most e-mailed articles as readers shared the news with others. Stop by the Ordinance Survey Ireland booth in the Exhibit Hall this Thursday through Saturday -- you don't have to be registered for the conference to visit the Hall - it is a free visit! To see a list of most of the exhibitors please visit the FGS Website.

If you want to attend the full conference or just one day --just come to the Hynes Convention Center in Boston and register at the door!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

"It's a Small Biz: Genealogy is Just the Product You Sell"

One last posting on the Association of Professional Genealogists Professional Management Conference at the FGS/NEHGS Conference on Wednesday, August 30th. Some space is still available -- you can still sign up online or at the Hynes Convention Center.

"It's a Small Biz: Genealogy is Just the Product You Sell"

by Beverly Rice, CG

So you want to start a genealogy business or maybe you've already started one? But as the words "genealogy business" imply, you will be involved in genealogy and business. In the genealogy part of the business, you use your skills to produce a service or product. On the business side, you manage the finances and sign up clients. In this lecture, you will learn how the balance between the two sides of your business will help it become successful.


Hope to see you there,

Richard F. Robinson, CG
Publicity APG PMC

Shopping and Dining Nearby

The Shops at Prudential Center is just steps away from both the Shertaon Boston Hotel and the Hynes Convention Center. Purchase a bouquet of flowers, chocolate chip cookies, make-up, socks, shoes, jewelry, books, cheesecake, slacks, shirt, newspaper, get your shoes shined, a haircut, pray in a chapel, buy a stamp, and . . .

An information desk is located in the Center Court. Maps, brochures, restaurant menus, and other items are available at this desk.

For a layout map of the "Pru," a merchant and service directory, and other details visit:

Hopping a train to FGS/NEHGS Boston

Sharon Sergeant of Waltham, MA shared this with the blog. Thanks, Sharon!


Below you will find train, commuter rail and subway routes to The Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston this week (August 30-September 2). Note handicap accessible station icons in the links. Bus routes references are also available on the system wide map.

While Boston traffic will be light during this pre-Labor Day vacation week, parking and hotel savings outside the city, combined with the extensive public transportation system, is a very convenient option. Read More

Email me if you are interested in hotel recommendations in Waltham - convenient to the Federal Archives, Lexington/Concord side trips and both Belmont and Waltham train connections.

Download the FGS/NEHGS Conference PDF overview at and open the bookmarks to view highlighted segments with clickable links. Irish -especially- need apply! See the "Irish are Coming" 4 track segment and Irish Pavillion.

Amtrak Discount for FGS/NEHGS Conference in Boston

Amtrak: Back Bay Station Boston
(less than 1 mile from the Hynes Convention center or see subway map link below for connections to the Hynes Convention Center or Prudential Center stop on the Green line)
145 Dartmouth St
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 345-7958

Amtrak: South Station Boston
(about 2 miles from the Hynes, though most would continue to Back Bay Station you can also take the Red line subway to Park street, then the Green line subway to the Hynes Convention Center or Prudential Center stop)
2 South Station
Summer St & Atlantic Ave.
Boston, MA 02110

Commuter Rail MAP

Commuter Rail PDF Schedules

Commuter Rail Lines from the North and West to North Station (then take the Green line subway from North Station to the Hynes Convention Center or Prudential Center stop).
Newburyport/Rockford Commuter Rail Line to North Station through Goucester, Manchester, Rowley,
Ipswich, Hamilton, Wenham, Beverly, Salem, Swampscott, Lynn

Haverhill/Reading Commuter Rail Line to North Station through Bradford, Lawrence, Wakefield, Melrose, Malden

Lowell Commuter Rail Line to North Station through Billerica, Wilmington, West Medford

Fitchburg Commuter Rail Line to North Station through Leominster, Shirley, Littleton, Acton,Concord, Lincoln, Waltham, Belmont and Cambridge.

Commuter Rail Lines From the South and West to Back Bay and South Station (see directions above for subway lines to Hynes Convention Center or Prudential Center stop).

Framingham/Worcester Commuter Rail Line to Back Bay and South Station through Grafton, Northborough, Southborough, Ashland, Natick, Wellesley, Natick, Newton

Needham Commuter Rail Line to Back Bay and South Station through West Roxbury, Roslindale, Hyde Park, Forrest Hills

Franklin/495 Commuter Rail Line to Back Bay and South Station through Norfolk, Walpole, Norwood, Dedham, Readville, Dorchester

Providence/Greene Airport/Attleboro/Stoughton Commuter Rail Line to Back Bay and South Station through Foxboro, Marshfield, Sharon, Rt 128/95 Westwood, Hyde park, Forrest Hills

Middleboro/Lakeville/Plymouth/Kingston Commuter Rail Line to Back Bay and South Station through Bridgewater, Brockton, Holbrook, Halifax, Whitman, Hanson, Abington, Weymouth, Braintree, Quincy, Dorchester

Boston Subway Connections
Red line: Cambridge/Alewife from the Route 2 Western connection or Braintree and Mattapan from the South to Park Street station to pick up the Green line to the Hynes Convention Center stop.

Green Line: Newton/Riverside from the Route 128/95/30 Western connection or the Somerville/Lechemere Rt 93 Northern connection to the Hynes Convention Center stop.

Orange Line: Malden from the RT 60 Northern connection or Forrest Hills from the Southern connection to North Station to pick up the Green line to the Hynes Convention Center stop.

Blue Line: Revere/Logan Airport Northern connection to the Government center stop to pick up the Green line to the Hynes Convention Center stop.

Subway Map

Boston MBTA detailed System maps with bus lines

See you in Boston!
Sharon Sergeant
Program Director, Massachusetts Genealogical Council

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Getting to the New EnglandHistoric Genealogical Society

1. Be sure to check their website for hours and some times when you need to sign up for a reserved spot. The fire marshall just won't let all the conference registrants in there at one time!

2. From the Hynes Convention Center, Sheraton Hotel, or the Prudential Shopping Mall -- just follow signs or ask other people to direct you to Boylston Street. Once on Boylston Street turn to the right. Then there are severall options. Read on for more details
  • At the cross street called Gloucester, you can cross to the other side of Boylston and walk a block on Gloucester to Newbury Street. Once on Newbury, walk 4 blocks to 101 Newbury Street which is the address of NEHGS. The location is just past the intersection of Newbury Street and Clarendon. Using this route you will pass by the many shops and restaurants on famous Newbury Street.
  • Or, once you have crossed to the other side of Boylston, you can continue walking down Boylston. Walk 4 blocks until you come the the cross street, Clarendon. Take a left on Clarendon and walk a block to Newbury Street. Cross Newbury Street and turn right and a couple of buildings down you will see NEHGS at 101 Newbury Street.
  • The third option is to look at the people walking ahead of you on the street who are carrying those heavy tote bags (or even the conference tote bag ) we all take to libraries -- and just follow them!
  • Taxis are always available at the main entrance to the Sheraton Hotel.
  • Taxis may be flagged down once you are on Boylston Street.

Need to make a copy or ship something during the conference?

If you need to make a copy or ship something home during the conference, you are in luck.

  • During the conference week, including Saturday, the FedEx Kinko’s location in the Hynes Convention Center will be open all day, but not in the evenings.
  • There is also an independently operated business center in the Sheraton Hotel. You will see it as you walk between the hotel and convention center.
  • A full service Post Office is in the same complex; read this earlier posting

What do the Archivist of the United States, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island, President of NEHGS and Abraham Lincoln have in common?

I could just stop here and let you find out at the conference. Hmmmm . . .

They all play important parts in the FGS/NEHGS conference that begins in a few days.

First, Abraham Lincoln will be greeting registrants and passers by at the Prudential Mall entrance to the Hynes Convention Center on Tuesday, August 29th. That day from 3:00-7:00 p.m. registrants may pick up your registration materials at the Hynes. Not registered? You can register at those same times and on any of the conference days.

Lincoln himself won’t be there, but George Cheevers has an uncanny resemblance to Lincoln (though several inches taller at six foot ten inches), and also presents himself in the Lincoln re-enactor wardrobe as a thoughtful and knowledgeable student of Lincoln, the man. Read More
Cheevers has an undergraduate degree in Economics from Harvard, a Masters degree in education from the University of Massachusetts, and is continuing advanced studies in English and American Literature. He is an educator in history as well as English as a Second Language in the Boston school system, and has also taught in Japan. He also worked for several years as a legislative aid in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

Second, The Archivist of the United States, Dr. Allen Weinstein, one of the Keynote speakers, is being introduced by The Honorable Frank J. Williams, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island and a member of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. Justice Williams has been a leader in the Lincoln community and a Lincoln scholar for 30 years. He is the founding Chair of The Lincoln Forum and author of over 11 books including Judging Lincoln and The Emancipation Proclamation - Three Views.

the first Keynote Speaker, Dr. Allen Weinstein, was appointed as the ninth Archivist of the United States in 2005. Dr. Weinstein is a noted scholar and professor of history and a recognized leader in global democracy issues. He is a former Professor of History who has held positions at Boston University, Georgetown University, and Smith College, is the author of numerous essays and books, including The Story of America (2002), The Haunted Wood: Soviet Espionage in America-The Stalin Era (1999), Perjury: The Hiss-Chambers Case (1978 & 1997), and Freedom and Crisis: An American History (3rd edition, 1981). From 1985 to 2003, he served as President of The Center for Democracy in Washington, DC. His international awards include the United Nations Peace Medal (1986).

Fourth, the other Keynote Speaker is D. Brenton Simons, President and CEO of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. He is the author of Witches, Rakes, and Rogues: True Stories of Scam, Scandal, Murder, and Mayhem, in Boston, 1630-1775. Simons is also the author of The Langhornes of Langhorne Park and the originator and co-editor of The Art of Family: Genealogical Artifacts in New England. A native of New Haven, Connecticut and a graduate of Boston University, Mr. Simons lives in Boston. He currently appears as a guest narrator on "The Boston Audissey, See the Sites -- Hear the Legends," an audio walking tour of Boston.

The Keynote Speakers will appear during the conference Plenary Session on August 31st at 8:00 a.m.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Exhibit Hall Grand Opening and Door Prizes

Immedediately following the Plenary Session on Thurday morning, we are all invited to the Grand Opening of the Exhibit Hall. We anticipate it opening between 9:15 and 9:30 depending on the ending of the exciting Plenary Session. The day's lectures don't begin until 10:30, so be prepared to browse the Hall and maybe purchase a thing or two (or ten, I have seen some of you with several bags of purchases at conferences!) Don't forget to return to the Hall in-between lectures or other times on Thursday through Saturday -- I often find something I did not see on my first time through.

Everyone with a full conference registration will get 30 door prize tickets to use in the Exhibit Hall. These tickets will be in the registration packet you pick up at the Hynes Convention Center beginning Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. You get to choose which door prizes interest you and put your tickets into those boxes only.

Special Session for Genealogical Societies -- Open Forum

Wednesday, 3:30-4:30, Session W62

Open Forum for all society officers, committee chairs, committee members, other volunteers and any other interested conference registrants.

This is an opportunity for an hour of discussion about running a genealogical society. Whether you are the person who labels the newsletter, the webmaster, the secretary, greet people at the annual semminar, or the society president, there will be Read More
something of interest for you in this session. Bring along your great tips that may help a volunteer from another society. If your society is experiencing a problem bring that along to share and the others in this session may have some great advice for you. Even if you don't have anything to discuss, join us for the hour and you will learn tips to take back to your genealogical society. (Many of these will also be helpful for family organizations, library committees, and historical societies.)

Don't forget to check the online program grid at the FGS website to see the other Wednesday sessions designed especially for those involved with their society.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Another Lecture for Professional Genealogists

We're just days away from what will be another great Association of Professional Genealogists' Professional Management Conference on August 30 at the FGS/NEHGS Conference hotel, the Sheraton Boston, in historic Boston's Back Bay. And there's still room for you at the PMC! Not sure about attending? Here's a taste of what you'll be missing!

"Kinship Theory"
Speaker: Carolyn Earle Billingsley, Ph.D.

The main principle guiding your genealogical research should be an understanding of kinship theory. This lecture explores the meaning of kinship and kinship theories that can help genealogists produce more . . . Read More

sophisticated research results, particularly in the areas of settlement and migration, religion, political and economic power, marriage, and naming patterns.

Professional genealogists and those considering a new career will also hear nine other great presentations. Nowhere else will you find the information and networking opportunities that can help you achieve, prosper, and grow in your career.

Don't let the ship sail without you.

The Association of Professional Genealogists Professional Management
30 August 2006 in Boston at the Federation of Genealogical Societies
conference Registration

Hope to see you there.

Richard F. Robinson, CG
Publicity, APG PMC


The Subways in Boston

A couple people have shared info about the transportation system in Boston.

Peggy Baldwin said:
I'm already in Boston and have been using the subway. It works great! Some stations are in transition with the Charlie card, so buying both some trip tokens and adding credit to a Charlie card is a good idea. People won't have any trouble using the Boston subway, especially if you have taken a subway anywhere else in the world. The signage is good. Get a good subway map, which our hotel had and you will do fine.

Barbara Poole said:
The "T" is going through a change and installing new machines for riders to purchase Charlietickets (they are replacing the tokens). Some subway stations sell these and some still use the tokens (which you buy from a person). Depending upon where you travel, you might need to buy both tickets and tokens. The cost for each is the same, $1.25 per trip, no matter the distance. I just want the readers who plan to do a little travelling around the city via subway to be aware of this. The MBTA web site is with good information, including maps and the FAQs have additional information about the Charlieticket.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

What to Wear at the Conference

These tips apply whether you a packing for an airplane ride to the conference or thinking about a daily commute from your home.

First of all, comfort is an issue. Be sure to bring your walking shoes. It can be a bit tough to walk around in flip-flops or loose sandals at a conference. I can’t figure out how they can do all the walking from room to room and not trip or get a blister! Heck, for most of us a few too many birthdays have passed and we need to be careful! (Oh, yes, I do . . . Read More

count myself in this category) Dress in layers for the lectures sessions in case you feel a room is too cool or too warm for you.

Sitting in the Lecture Rooms
Those layers really do work. A vacation outfit of Hawaiian shirt and Bermuda shorts might make you feel a bit out of place. Comfort does help as you will be sitting in a chair for an hour. I do like to wear something a bit tailored but not too dressy. Often I will wear a skirt or slacks and a somewhat dressy jacket. I like jackets that have pockets. Others are quite comfortable in jeans. You may be going directly from a lecture to a luncheon so read the next section.

What about the luncheons?
There is no time to change clothes between the lectures and the luncheons. You will see a variety of clothing. Many of the men wear a sport shirt or a polo shirt. A few do wear shirts and ties. Some women wear slacks with a jacket. Some wear dresses. You will also see some jeans and t-shirts.

What to wear for the Banquet on Friday night?
It is not a formal event, but usually folks wear clothing they might wear to church or a business meeting. Many men wear a shirt and tie, or sportcoat and slacks. Some do wear suits. Many women wear a dress or dressy pantsuit. Some women wear just what they wore all day and add a bit of jewelry. As previous posts have said, each year there seem to be a few more really dressed up women. (We need to wear those clothes somewhere!) There are also a few folks who come dressed very casually.

Now That I Have Said All That.
What you wear is up to you! We each have our own clothing tastes and we definitely don’t want to tell you what you can and cannot wear. We have faith in you, a faith that tells us you WILL wear clothes!

Update on Genealogy Table Quiz

Mary Ellen Grogan just shared this update and said there is still space available. For other details on the Quiz and and to learn how to add fun event to your conference registration check the August 6th blog posting.

Warning: you will be hungry after reading about the food for that evening!

Genealogy Table Quiz
The Genealogy Table Quiz will take place on Thursday evening, August 31st from 6:00pm to 10:00pm, in the Sheraton Boston Hotel, Constitution Ballroom B.

Attendance is limited to 120 players; 30 teams of 4 players each. There will be a cash bar and the following buffets: Read More

INTERNATIONAL CHEESE DISPLAY: Selection of Assorted Domestic and Imported Cheeses
Garnished with Fresh Berries and Grapes, Cracker Assortment and Baguettes

FRESH GARDEN CRUDITÉS: Elaborate Presentation of the Season’s Freshest Vegetables
Served with Classic Ranch and Parmesan Peppercorn Dip

SAVORY SNACK DISPLAY: Assortment of Pretzels, Mixed Nuts, Chips and Tortilla Chips
Served with Guacamole, Fresh Salsa and Onion Dip

SEASONAL FRESH FRUIT AND BERRIES DISPLAY: Presented with White and Dark Chocolate Fondue, Pound Cake and Whipped Cream

6:00pm: Doors open, bar open, refreshments out

6:30-7:00 Quiz rounds one, two and three

7:00-7:30 Break (Time to talk and refresh your drink and food plate)

7:30-8:00 Quiz rounds four, five and six

8:00-8:30 Break and draw raffle prizes

Raffle prizes will be theme baskets. This will be a wonderful opportunity to take a chance on some great gifts for yourself or someone you love.

Cape Cod Basket – this basket will take you outside for a quick sandwich on the deck, beach or porch. Finish up with some great saltwater taffy, a Cape Cod treat.

Christmas Basket – a great combination of items to help decorate your home for the holidays.

Family Basket – create memories by serving from your new Pfaltzgraff platter. Includes memory book, family themed frames and photo album.

Boston Sports Basket – celebrate the best of Boston with memorabilia of our famous teams.

Halloween Basket – decorate for this fun holiday with the items in our basket.

Laura Ashley Basket
– this basket is full of stationery items from Laura Ashley.

Boston Irish Basket – a great collection of items from Boston and Ireland.

8:30-9:15 Quiz rounds seven through ten

9:15 to 9:30 Final tally and prize giving

We will have prizes for first, second and third place tables. All 4 players at each winning table will receive a prize. The first prize will be a special new CD from Eneclann which will be formally introduced with a CD signing event on Friday!

Monday, August 21, 2006

James Dent Walker Memorial Lecture

Lecture Title: Let No Man Put Asunder: Freedmen's Bureau Marriage Records
Speaker: Reginald Washington
Thursday, August 31, Session T-178, 5:00-6:00 p.m.

The lecture will include a state by state discussion of Freedmen's Bureau marriage records in the National Archives and their importance for African American genealogy research. The presentation will highlight marriage reports, licenses, certificates, and the Bureau's overall effort to assist former slave couples to formalize marriages they had entered into during slavery.

The James Dent Walker Memorial Lecture
James Dent Walker Memorial Lecture has been presented at FGS Conferences since 1994. It honors the late Jimmie Walker, one of the most popular and respected lecturers in genealogy. His thirty-year career at the National Archives in Washington, DC, included . . .
Read More
directorship of the annual Institute of Genealogical Research (now known as the National Institute of Genealogical Research) and supervision of the Military Service Records Section at NARA. This notable man did pioneering research on minorities in the American Revolution and helped thousands of genealogists during his career. He is a credit to his archival profession and essentially was a groundbreaker for black genealogical research in Federal records. He did not keep this knowledge to himself – he shared it with eager researchers.

Speaker Bio
This year’s lecture presenter is Reginald (Reggie) Washington, an archivist/genealogy specialist with the Research Support Branch of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. He lectures frequently on records and research procedures, and has served as the African American Genealogy Subject Specialist at NARA for ten years. He has spoken at Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society conferences, National Genealogical Society, Federation of Genealogical Societies, National Institute on Genealogical Research, and numerous Washington DC area genealogical societies and clubs. Mr. Washington has conducted numerous workshops on the use of Federal records for African-American genealogical research, and his articles have appeared in Prologue, The Record, and Ancestry.

Keeping Public Records Open for Genealogical Research: What Do We Need to Do?

This session, sponsored by the Massachusetts Genealogical Council, is another special presentation at this conference. Genealogists need to stay on top of legislation these days if we hope to keep even the access we currently have.

We expect a lively discussion from a variety of perspectives - ably presented by Alvie Davidson from Florida, Diane Gagel from Ohio, Sharon Sargent from Massachusetts, and Marie Melchiori from New Jersey. With such a varied cast, we'd like to solicit questions in advance so we can be extremely efficient with the limited twenty minutes or so alotted for audience participation. Constructive queries, phrased like "Why haven't we done.....?" or apt observations would be much appreciated and can be sent to moderator Melinde Lutz Sanborn at in advance of the conference.

The British are coming . . .

…but this time without the muskets and red coats. A team from various parts of the UK has been assembled to give a selection of talks on a range of English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish sources for your family history. You’ll be surprised at what you can find in British records – even if you think you have no British ancestry.

As an island nation and a former Imperial power Britain has always had a strong military and naval tradition, so it is a rare British – or Irish – family that does not contain a soldier or a sailor or two, or more. There are talks on the records of both the British Army and the Royal Navy from Paul Blake. He will also tell you . . . Read More

He will also tell you about Land Grants and American Loyalist Claims from 17th and 18th century records. He and Maggie Loughran are giving a pair of lectures on the Scots-Irish; they explain who these people were, when, where and why they migrated, and how to find out more about them. Paul and Maggie have previously lectured extensively in the USA, and will be doing so again immediately after Boston.

Genealogists like nothing better than lists of names, and Maggie will tell you about some early British ones, predating the first really useful census of 1841. There are several early censuses and other useful name lists, if only you know where to look. She can also help you identify the ‘Best of British’ websites for your research. Finally, she will tell you how to make use of the wealth of knowledge and experience that local and family history societies in Britain have amassed over the years, not only to help you with your research, but to expand and enrich it.

Else Churchill is the Genealogy Officer of the Society of Genealogists, and will talk on the related themes of local and specialist library collections throughout the UK, and her talk ‘I’m Stuck!’ aims to help you become un-stuck when researching your elusive English ancestors. She is particularly knowledgeable about 17th and 18th century records, and is in such demand that she has to leave the Conference early to fly back to England to speak at another International Conference there!

Audrey Collins comes from The National Archives (TNA) to give an overview of its records and facilities, and how to use them in your research; and the good news is that you can find an amazing amount of information online. She will speak separately on Irish resources in TNA; you’ll be surprised at the amount of information about Irish people that is held in England, and not in Ireland where you might expect to find it. And if you’re confused about the difference between England, Great Britain, the United Kingdom and the British Isles, she hopes to explain exactly what is ‘Britain’. She is also speaking as part of Librarians’ Day, where she will explain how the Family Records Centre in London deals with its patrons (we call them customers).

Roger Kershaw, also from TNA, specialises in the records of migration, and he talks on a number of subjects, all in different lecture tracks; child migrants to Canada in the International: Canada track, free migrants from Britain to North America in the New England track; passenger lists held in TNA comes under Archives and Repositories, and he teams up with Connie Potter from the U.S. NARA for ‘Hopping the Pond’ about sources for migration in the two archives, and how to identify them.

Joanna O’Rourke comes from Scotland, representing both the General Register Office for Scotland (GROS) and the National Archives of Scotland (NAS). She is an expert on the vital records and census returns held by GROS, essential for anyone researching their Scottish ancestry, and in a separate session deals with the wills and probate records held in NAS. Many of the records she talks about have been digitised and are available online. She also brings the latest news on the exciting new Scottish Family History Service Project, being developed jointly by the two offices and the Court of the Lord Lyon, and of which she is project manager.

We are all looking forward to meeting old and new friends in Boston, and we have a combined ‘Best of British’ stand in the Exhibit Hall, where you can find out more about us, our archives and our records. See you there!

Thanks to Audrey Collins for sending this to the blog.

Counting the Days

The excitement is definitely building. The FGS/Boston Conference is days away! Since I live in the Boston area, I'm pretty happy this conference is in my backyard. I know where to find everything I need, but I'm sure conference attendees coming from outside the local area probably have lots of questions about Boston. Blog postings mention where to find groceries, a drug store and even a post office, but perhaps you have a different query. This is your chance to ask. All you have to do is post a comment/question for this blog listing and you could see your question answered on the blog. Remember there are no stupid questions!

I'm spending the next several days plotting out what I want to do at the conference using the "Create Your Schedule" form on the FGS conference page. I downloaded the program and the form to make it easy to keep track of the lectures and events I'm attending.

See you soon!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Share the blog details with other registrants

Not all registrants know that the blog has a lot of last-minute reminders and info about the conference. If you know someone else who is registered, would you please tell them to check the blog (both past and current postings)?

If there are additional last-minute things we have not covered, please email me your suggestion for the blog. These should be general things that would also apply to others attending the conference. Just click on my name in the right hand column for the link to my email.

During the coming week the blog will contain some last-minute tips about packing for and attending the conference. Thanks for your help in getting the word out.

Once you arrive at the Hynes Convention Center -- Registration

Once you arrive at the Hynes Convention Center, you need to pick up your conference materials that includes a tote bag, syllabus (one volume for each day with all four total 1200+ pages), layout maps of the convention center and host hotel, a name tag, luncheon and banquet tickets, the chart of which lecture is at what time (and in what lecture room), and other items.

Hours for on-site registration and pick up of materials (signs in the Hynes will point the way):

Tuesday, August 29: 3:00p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, August 30: 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Thursday, August 31: 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Friday, September 1: 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 2: 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Excitement about Visiting Boston

I had a message from Connie Bilkowski of Appleton, Wisconsin and in part her message said: Or are you "blogging" from St. Paul? Boston is such a neat city. I fell in love with it in 2002 after a Northeastern Mass. coastal vacation. I have been back there doing genealogy research at various repositories and combining a vacation to various parts of coastal Mass. every year since, excluding 2005. . . I successfully made my luncheon and banquet reservations per your good instructions. Thank you!

My reply was that I am currently blogging from St. Paul -- and that I have not been back to Boston since June. I have lots of local help for some of the details. I too fell in love with Boston in 2002 and understand her excitement at going back. For those of you visiting for the first time or if you haven't been there in many years -- you will soon experience why we are so excited about the city. Local residents know what a neat place it is and get the joy of the conference being in their own backyard.

Vanity Sketches: Discovering the Sources and Truths Behind Mugbooks

Speaker: D. Joshua Taylor.
Friday, Session F-210, 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Large volume works including state histories, multi-state histories, and regional histories often include a section devoted to biographical sketches, known as the mugbook section. Learn how to find the source of those sketches, their compilation, and . . . Read More
how to evaluate them as a genealogical source. If you are a subscriber of the FGS Forum, you can read a prelude to the lecture “Vanity Sketches: Mugbook Sources and Truths” beginning on page 13 of the Summer 2006 issue.

Speaker bio
D. Joshua Taylor "Josh" is a nationally known and recognized genealogical author, lecturer, and researcher. Josh has spoken for genealogical organizations throughout the United States including the Utah Genealogical Association and the National Genealogical Society. Josh has served as the Recording Secretary, Exhibit Chair, and Parliamentarian for the Utah Genealogical Association. Josh is currently a coordinator of the USGenWeb Project, serves as a member of the Election Committee and as their parliamentarian and is chairman of USGenWeb at FGS/NEHGS 2006, in celebration of USGenWeb's 10th Anniversary.

Josh is a member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the National Genealogical Society, and the Association of Professional Genealogists where he serves on the Web Enhancement committee. Josh is the recipient of the 2003 and 2004 Distinguished Service Awards from the Utah Genealogical Association, and the Rubincam Youth Award from the National Genealogical Society. Currently Josh serves on the Youth and Website committees of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, and is a member of the 2006 FGS/NEHGS National Conference Committee. He is a Reference Librarian at the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Need to add a luncheon, the banquet or the Irish Table Quiz?

Several variations for adding these to your conference registration appeared on this blog July 28th. Just click on that date to get to the step-by-step instructions.

Be sure to have your conference registration confirmation email handy for your confirmation number. This e-mail was sent to you by Michael Leclerc after you registered. If you can't find that -- you can obtain the number by checking on your registration via the FGS website.

One last thought, in your rush to get ready for the conference, are you sure you really registered? That's just one of those "oops" things that can so easily happen. I admit to doing that once. (And that was also for a conference in Boston!)

Last day to add meals to your registration is August 24th.

Still need to reserve your spot at the banquet or a luncheon? The last day to do this is Thursday, August 24th. There will be very few meal tickets available for sale at the conference -- so get your last minute meal additions done soon!

To do this, click on the link in your registration confirmation e-mail that takes you to the registration page. Follow the pages through till you come to the one that has the various conference paid items followed by a circle. Scroll down that page to verify what you have already paid for and then click in the circle for any items you wish to add.

A full-service Post Office just feet away

The Hynes Convention Center entrance to and from the attached Prudential Mall opens into a world of stores and services.

A full service U.S. Post Office is just one of these services. It is open from 8:00 a.m. till 7:00 p.m. on Monday-Friday and until 2:00 p.m. on Saturday. That is so convenient and something I have always wished for at a conference.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

More on the Hynes Convention Center

Today I had 3 e-mails from people who wanted to know more about the convention center where the conference is being held. If you were at the GENTECH conference there in 2002, you know that the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center is a perfect place for the conference. The easy navigation between the host hotel, the lecture rooms in the Hynes, and the Exhibit Hall make this a popular choice for conferences. The Exhibit Hall space is large enough so . . .
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you can easily walk around and browse without feeling crowded -- and don't forget there are some exhibitors that have never been at an FGS Conference before as well as our usual favorites. The layout enables us to get from one lecture room to another or to the Exhibit Hall in just a few minutes. Check out the layout map for the convention center at

Some other conveniences at the convention center are:

Lots of restrooms
Elevators and Escalators
An entire facility that is handicap accessible
Signage to help you get around
Snack bar
Air conditioning, of course
FedEx Business Center
Plenty of places to sit
Walk out the door into a shopping mall that even includes a Post Office
It's near drug, convenience, and grocery stores

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Groceries Near the Conference

Will you need some bottled water for your hotel room, an apple, pretzels, or maybe a candy bar? (Rumor has it that there are genealogists who need their daily dose of chocolate!) Some food items will be found at the drug stores mentioned in a post yesterday. The area also includes some convenience stores such as 7-11. However, there are two other nearby options for such purchases and one Farmer's Market:
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Shaw’s Prudential Supermarket
53 Huntington
Open 6:00 a.m. to Midnight
A full-service grocery store

Deluca’s Back Bay Market
239 Newbury Street (at Fairfield)
Open 8:00 a.m to 8:00 p.m.
Interesting corner market that is fun to visit

Copley Square Farmer's Market
Copley Square is across the street from the Boston Public Library
Just walk down Boylston Street from the Hynes Convention Center Complex.
Tuesday and Friday 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

With a Little Help From Our Friends

The Beatles knew what it took to make a difference--friends. A lot of genealogical friends are coming to Boston in a couple of weeks for FGS, but we'd like to make this the biggest genealogy event EVER. You can help us! All you have to do is tell two of your friends about the conference. They might not know about it. As you know, attending a conference is a great way for anyone involved in family history to meet like minded individuals and have fun. If your friends need convincing try economics. It's a dollars and sense issue.
Read on to see how you can entice them:
  • Amtrak is offering a is offering a 10% discount on the lowest available fare to Boston, MA between August 27 – September 5, 2006.
  • It's not too late to get a hotel room! Additional rooms at the Sheraton Boston are now available at the conference discount of $159.00 single/double and $40.00 for each additional person. That's approximately $100.00 off the usual room rate. To reserve a room at the Sheraton, contact the reservations line at 1-800-325-3535. Identify yourself as part of the Federation of Genealogical Societies 2006 Conference when calling.
  • Attending the conference is cheaper and easier than traveling the world looking for your long-lost cousin. Vendors and speakers from major repositories in England, Ireland, Canada, and the United States will be on hand. You can check out the list of exhibitors or take a peek at the program.

All it takes to make this conference a spectacular event is a few more genealogists. Let's turn it into a challenge. If each and everyone one of us tells two friends we could double the number of attendees. So, how many of your friends can you convince to come to Boston?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Drug Stores in Walking Distance

Drug Stores

If you get into Boston and find that you need some lip balm, toothpaste, chewing gum, aspirin, deodorant, razor, hair gel, a new curling iron, or even a tube of lipstick, there are plenty of nearby options including a Walgreens and two CVS Pharmacies. The Hynes Convention Center is at 900 Boylston St.
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841 Boylston St.
24 hour store (Pharmacy more limited hours)
Across the street from the Hynes Convention Center complex

CVS Pharmacy
240 Newbury Street at Gloucester St.
Store 7:00 a.m - Midnight (Pharmacy more limited hours)
1.5 blocks from the Hynes Convention Center complex

CVS Pharmacy
587 Boylston St. at Dartmouth St.
24 hour store (Pharmacy also 24 hours)
4.5 blocks from the Hynes Convention Center complex

FGS/NEHGS Conference Hotel Deadline Extended

The Sheraton Boston Hotel, conference hotel for the 2006 FGS/NEHGS Conference in Boston, has graciously extended the discount deadline to Wednesday, August 22. The conference is proving so popular that the conference committee has added additional rooms to the block to accommodate the increased demand. Plenty of rooms are available. The Sheraton Boston is conveniently located at 39 Dalton Street, attached to the Shops at Prudential Center and the Hynes Convention Center. Rooms are $159.00 single/double and $40.00 for each additional person. To reserve a room at the Sheraton, contact the reservations line at 1-800-325-3535. Identify yourself as part of the Federation of Genealogical Societies 2006 Conference when calling. There is still time to register for the conference. Get details about the program, including all of the sessions by international speakers from Canada, the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland Scotland, and England, at

Saturday, August 12, 2006

5 Days Left to Reserve Hotel for a 60% Savings

If you haven’t made your reservations yet, now is the time to do so. The last day to reserve at the special rate is August 15th. Counting today, that gives you only 5 days left. This hotel can accomodate one heck of a lot of people.

The FGS/NEHGS Conference hotel rate is almost 60% off the regular room rate at this hotel. [If you recently tried to reserve a room and the hotel said it was too late - try again, the deadline is truly August 15th.] Read the pricing and contact details

Take advantage of the FGS Conference Special in the next week and save money by reserving a room for only $159.00 per night. The $159.00 rate is for one or two people in a room. To add extra people, the cost is $40.00 per night.

Sheraton Boston Hotel
39 Dalton Street
Boston, MA 02199


When you call, please identify yourself as a part of the Federation of Genealogical Societies 2006 Conference in order to get this incredibly reduced rate.

To learn more about the hotel’s amenities (including incredibly comfortable beds, pool with retractable roof, non-smoking restaurants, and other neat things): Boston Sheraton Hotel

Friday, August 11, 2006

Lecture: Irish-American Famine Immigration sponsored by the Irish Family History Forum

Lecture Title: Irish-American Famine Immigration
Speaker: Dr. Kevin Whelan
Sponsoring Organization: The Irish Family History Forum

Speaker biography
One of Ireland's best known and widely published scholars, was named the inaugural Michael Smurfit Director of the Keough-Notre Dame Centre in Ireland in 1998; has lectured in over a dozen countries; has published fifteen books and almost 100 articles on Ireland's history, geography and culture.

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Sponsoring Organization
The Irish Family History Forum (IFHF) is a Long Island(New York)-based organization that supports the Irish family research efforts of its members. Founded, in 1991, as the Long Island Chapter of a prominent Minnesota based genealogy group, the Forum became an independent organization in 1993. It is a member of the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), the Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS), the National Genealogical Society (NGS), and the Genealogy Federation of Long Island (GFLI).

It is also a sponsor of the all-volunteer GFLI Indexing Project. This project has made available on the internet an index of approximately five million naturalization, marriage, and death records for the boroughs of New York City. Some of these records are from as early as 1866 and as late as 1938.

The Forum hosts monthly meetings that feature professional guest speakers. Recent guests have included Dr. Brian Trainor and Fintan Mullan from the Ulster Historical Foundation in Belfast; genealogists June DeLalio and Donna Moughty; and Irish-born author Tom Phelan. Each meeting is usually preceded by an informal help session, where members come together to discuss their research problems, to share their success stories, and to seek guidance from more experienced members.

The Irish Family History Forum has a rapidly growing and expanding member-use library consisting of over 300 items including: books, audio and video tapes, CDs, pamphlets, reference materials, journals, and newsletters of general and Irish-related genealogical significance.

The Forum’s bi-monthly Newsletter of the Irish Family History Forum (indexed in PERSI), features informative articles on the latest developments in genealogical methodology, resources, finding aids, and repositories; articles on historical topics relevant to Irish family history research; reviews of our monthly presentations; articles from members discussing their genealogical experiences; a member queries section; and other items of interest. Our series on the Roman Catholic Parishes in the five boroughs of New York City - which includes the starting dates, current contact information, and map location for each parish - has earned mention in several genealogical publications for its value in determining the parish our ancestors most likely attended at a particular point in time.

The Irish Family History Forum can be contacted by mail at P.O. Box 67, Plainview, NY, 11803 or by visiting our website at

The U.S. National Archives Northeast Region: Waltham, MA

This conference is filled with lectures about the national archives of several countries – and representatives who will tell you about these wonderful places for research. Some of these will also have a presence in the Exhibit Hall. The blog just received the following from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration Regional Archives location in Waltham, Massachusetts. Once you hear these lectures and read about the resources at Waltham, you will definitely be planning a research visit.
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Thursday, 10:30am - Naturalization Records at the National Archives in New England

Thursday, 2:00pm - Records of Deceased & Deserted Seaman

Friday, 9:00am - The Boston Passenger Arrival Records, 1820-1891: The Federal Records

Saturday, 10:30am - Boston Custom House Records: Quarantine & Immigration,1884-1912

Presenter biography
These four lectures will be presented by Walter V. Hickey. Mr. Hickey has been with NARA since 1990, serving at both the Waltham and Pittsfield Regional Archives in the Boston area. Previous to joining the National Archives, he was the Special Collections Librarian at the Pollard Memorial Library in Lowell, Massachusetts, having previously taught Social Studies for a number of years. Mr. Hickey has written articles for many genealogical society newsletters and is a frequent speaker to societies throughout New England.

Region Biography (
The National Archives, Northeast Region consists of three regional facilities in Waltham, MA, Pittsfield, MA and New York, NY. The Waltham facility is located just outside downtown Boston, NARA's Northeast Region has its headquarters in Waltham. This facility is among New England's renowned learning centers for local, regional and national historical research, serving Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. This facility also serves as a Records Center where retired Federal records are stored temporarily and made available for agency retrieval as needed. Our Records Management program staff provides assistance to Federal agencies throughout New England. The Pittsfield facility is located amid the beautiful Berkshire Mountains area of Massachusetts, NARA's Northeast Region, Pittsfield office is a research center for genealogical, local, and national historical records. The New York facility is located in Greenwich Village, NARA's Northeast Region, New York City office is an integral part of the tri-state area's internationally renowned network of research and cultural institutions, such as universities, libraries, archives, and museums. Our holdings consist of Federal records from New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Our Records Management program staff also provides assistance to Federal agencies throughout these locations.

Historical Resources
The National Archives, Northeast Region in Waltham holds vast quantities of records over and above the microfilmed resources commonly used for genealogical research. Many of these records contain information pertinent to local history. It is highly probable that there are many records pertaining to your community, making these records worthy of further research. Examples include, New Deal/World War II agencies dealing with life on the home front, Bankruptcy case papers, including Depression-era files, Tax assessment lists for the post Civil-War period, Documentation of Federal land condemnation.

Genealogy Resources available in NARA's Northeast Region in Waltham
The most widely used microfilm and original records for family history research at our facility are Census Records, Naturalization Records, Passenger Arrival Lists, Canadian Border Entry Records, Customs Records, Post-Civil War Tax Records, Draft, Military Service, and Pension and Bounty Land Application Files, Chinese Exclusion Act Case Files, Freedmen's Bureau and Records to African American Families, Dawes Commission Final Cards of the Five Civilized Tribes.

Census Records
Microfilm copies of the existing Federal population census schedules, taken every ten years, for all states and territories 1790-1930 (nearly all of the 1890 schedules were destroyed by fire in 1921).

Non-population census schedules for Massachusetts 1850-1880 and Vermont 1850-1870
Special census of Union veterans and widows of veterans 1890

Naturalization Records
Records of immigrants living in New England who applied for American citizenship through the courts.

Federal court records (U.S District Courts and U.S. Circuit Courts)
Connecticut, 1842-1991
Maine, 1790-1991
Massachusetts, 1790-1991
New Hampshire, 1873-1977
Rhode Island, 1842-1991
Vermont, 1801-1982

Select state, county, and municipal court records for Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, 1790-1906.

Non-Federal Connecticut courts, 1790-1974. Included are records of Connecticut Superior Courts, Courts of Common Pleas, District Courts, and some municipal courts. Complete or partial indexes are available for some of the Courts. There is also a Soundex index to naturalization petitions and records for all Federal and non-Federal courts in the New England states covering the years 1790-1906 (Connecticut 1790-1939).

Passenger Arrival Lists
Microfilm copies of the lists for the ports of:
Baltimore (1820-1891) New Orleans (1820-1902)
Boston (1820-1943) New York (1820-1926)
Galveston, TX (1896-1951) Philadelphia (1800-1926)
Gloucester, MA (1906-1942) Portland, ME (1820-1868; 1893-1943)
New Bedford, MA (1826-1852; 1902-1942) Providence, RI (1820-1867; 1911-1943)
Canadian Border Crossings (1895-ca. 1954)

At least partial indexes exist for most of the above lists. We also refer researchers to Boston passenger lists held by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Customs Records
American seamen from New England are documented in U.S. Customs Service records. Researchers will need to know what ports individual seamen may have shipped out of in order to effectively use these records. To locate crew lists it is usually necessary to know the vessel name and port.

These are available for various New England ports, 1789 ca. 1950. Please inquire about using these records before visiting, since the records listed above do not exist for every New England port in all time periods.

Information contained in the Customs House Records may include: place of birth, town of residence, physical description, names of relatives. Specific types of records include, Crew Lists, Shipping Articles (which document payments), Records of Seamen's Protection (issued for identification), Case files of Deceased and Deserted Seamen, Marine Hospital Returns of Seamen (not medical records, documents money withheld for dues)

Draft, Military Service, and Pension and Bounty Land Application Files
Microfilm copies of the applications for pension and bounty land warrants issued to veterans of the Revolutionary War and military service records of those who served in the war. These records cover all states and include name indexes. Microfilm copies of War of 1812 Military Bounty Land Warrants; an index to compiled service records of volunteer soldiers who served in the War of 1812; the pension index for veterans of the War of 1812, the "Old Wars", Mexican War, and Indian Wars, as well as a general index to pension applications, submitted between 1861 and 1934, for military service performed up to 1916. These records cover all states. Microfilm copies of abstracts of service records of naval officers for the period 1798-1893 and indexes to compiled service records of volunteer Union soldiers who served in organizations from each New England state. Military Records at Waltham include, Revolutionary War, War of 1812, selected Civil War papers and indexes available on mircofilm, Naval Records, and Pension Indexes

Chinese Exclusion Act Case Files
Chinese Exclusion Act Case Files for Boston (1911-1955) and Montreal (1900-1952) are a valuable resource for the study of Chinese immigration and Chinese-American travel, trade, and social and family history from the late-19th to mid-20th century. A typical Chinese Exclusion Act case file contains information such as the subject's name; place and date of birth; physical appearance; occupation; names and relationships of other family members; and family history. Materials in the files may include, applications, certificates of identity and residency, various correspondence, INS findings, recommendations, and decisions, maps of immigrant family residences and villages in China, original marriage certificates, individual and family photographs, transcripts of INS interrogations and special boards of inquiry, witness statements and affidavits. The records are indexed by the individual's name. Privacy Act restrictions may apply to some cases.

The blog thanks Priscilla Foley and Diane LeBlanc for supplying the preceding details. Read on for more information on these two examples of great NARA staff.

Priscilla Foley Biography
Priscilla Foley started with the National Archives in 2002 working first for the Northeast Region in Waltham and then John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. Ms. Foley recently returned to the Northeast Region in Waltham to serve as Regional Archives Director.

Diane LeBlanc
Ms. LeBlanc began her career at the National Archives as a Northeastern University Co-op student and since then she has served as Assistant Director, and Director of the Federal Records Center. Diane LeBlanc currently serves as the Regional Administrator for National Archives and Records Administration, Northeast Region consisting of Boston, Pittsfield, and New York facilities.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Getting from the airport to the hotel and convention center

Shuttle options vary from Boston Logan Airport. Once you have claimed your luggage, look for the overhead signs that include arrows pointing you to Ground Transportation, Taxis, or Shared Van Service. This is where you'll find transportation to the Sheraton Boston Hotel and Hynes Convention Center.

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While most shuttle services do not require advance reservations, they are recommended. These are shared van services that may make multiple stops. Please check the websites listed below or place a call to the service for rates. The contact details are from the Logan Airport website.

Verify the hours of operation for the service you choose and the method of payment they accept. If you purchase a round-trip transportation service, ask how much notice is required to pick you up at the hotel. Not all these shared van services have accessible vans.

Check this website for other transportation methods:

Ace American Super Shuttle

Back Bay Coach Shuttle

J.C. Transportation Services

Logan/Boston Hotel Shuttle

Star Shuttle Inc.

Zebra Airport Shuttle
800) 242-0064

For the Professional Genealogist: Pricing Your Services

The great people who are working on the APG PMC have sent word that spaces are still available in the Association of Professional Genealogists' Professional Management Conference. This conference within a conference takes place on August 30 at the FGS conference hotel, the Sheraton Boston, in historic Back Bay Boston.

Are you a professional genealogist in need of some assistance with your business, someone who is thinking about joining this profession, or realize that some concentrated networking is needed? If so, then the APG PMC is the place for you. Not sure about attending? Here's one more example of what you'll be missing!

Read More "Pricing Your Services"

by Kory L. Meyerink, AG, FUGA

Are you earning enough as a professional genealogist? Of course not! But the reasons may not be what you think they are. Pricing your services should not be a mystery; indeed, it is economic science. Unfortunately, they didn't teach you that in "genealogy school." Well, we do now! Come join our lively discussion on "Pricing Your Services" and learn how you are undervaluing your services, and what you can do about it.

Professional genealogists and those considering a new career will also hear nine other great presentations. Nowhere else will you find the information and networking opportunities that can help you achieve, prosper, and grow in your career.

Don't let the ship sail without you.

The Association of Professional Genealogists Professional Management Conference 30 August 2006 in Boston at the Federation of Genealogical Societies/New England Historic Genealogical Society. For more details on the PMC and a link to registration for the PMC and the FGS/NEHGS Conference visit:

Hope to see you there,

Richard F. Robinson, CG
Publicity, APG PMC

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Part-Time Professional Genealogist?

Dick Robinson, who is in charge of publicity for the APG PMC, just shared this message:

We still have room for you at what appears to be another great Association of Professional Genealogists' Professional Management Conference on August 30 at the FGS conference hotel, the Sheraton Boston, in historic Back Bay Boston. Not sure about attending the PMC? Here's the info on one more session you'll be missing!

"The Part-Time Professional Genealogist: A Jekyll and Hyde Existence"
by Ann Mohr Osisek

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If you are considering a career as a professional genealogist but haven't yet "taken the plunge," then join us at the PMC. This session will help you to "expect the unexpected," stay focused on your aspirations, and impress upon you the importance of a support network in a positive atmosphere. You will learn that, with goals and patience, there can be a balance between a career in genealogy and another field.

Professional genealogists and those considering a new career will also hear nine other great presentations. Nowhere else will you find the information and networking opportunities that can help you achieve, prosper, and grow in your careers.

Don't let the ship sail without you.

The Association of Professional Genealogists Professional Management Conference 30 August 2006 in Boston at the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference Registration

Hope to see you there.

Richard F. Robinson, CG
Publicity, APG PMC

Monday, August 07, 2006

Sheraton Boston Hotel Deadline for Reduced Rate

August 15 is:

The last day to register at the Sheraton Boston Hotel under the special nightly rates for the 2006 FGS/NEHGS Conference. If you booked online today and used a AAA discount, you would pay $100.00 more than the FGS rate per night. [If you recently tried to reserve a room and the hotel said it was too late - try again, the deadline is really August 15th.]
Read the pricing and contact details

Take advantage of the FGS Conference Special in the next week and save money by reserving a room for only $159.00 per night. The $159.00 rate is for one or two people in a room. To add extra people, the cost is $40.00 per night.

Sheraton Boston Hotel
39 Dalton Street
Boston, MA 02199


When you call, please identify yourself as a part of the Federation of Genealogical Societies 2006 Conference in order to get this incredibly reduced rate.

To learn more about the hotel’s amenities (including incredibly comfortable beds, pool with retractable roof, non-smoking restaurants, and other neat things): Boston Sheraton Hotel

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Librarians Day at the FGS/NEHGS Conference

The Annual Librarians Day will be offered at the Federation of Genealogical Societies/New England Historic Genealogical Society Conference on Wednesday, August 30, 2006. Please join us for presentations by "front line" staff that will help enrich genealogy patron contact. This day is for library staff members to come and learn, network, and meet others serving genealogy patrons. Sponsored by ProQuest, the day will include a buffet luncheon for those attending.

The Day will take place at the Sheraton Boston Hotel, which is the conference host hotel. A full schedule for the day follows below. Pre-registration is required.

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Already registered for the conference and want to add Librarians Day? To do this, you'll need your registration confirmation number from your confirmation e-mail. Don't have it? You can request it via the conference registration Website.

You can either click on the live link in your confirmation e-mail or may modify your registration by going to the FGS website, click on the yellow box for the 2006 conference, and enter your personal information as requested. Next you will be asked for the confirmation number, and then will be directed to a link to modify your registration.

Go through the same online process and when prompted you may request that number via e-mail.

For further explanation on the process of adding items to your registration, visit the conference blog entry for July 28th at

If at any time you need help adding Librarians Day, please call the FGS office at 1-888-FGS-1500.

We invite you to register for the full conference if you haven't done so. The FGS/NEHGS conference offers many one-of–a-kind opportunities for education, networking, and exhibit browsing. For a full conference brochure, visit, click on the 2006 Conference box, and then on the program grid link.

Call the FGS office at 1-888-FGS-1500 to register. There is no charge to attend Librarians Day. Please leave your name, address, and the subject of registering for librarian's day. Please leave a phone number where we can reach if the office needs to contact you. You can also send an email to the FGS office at with Librarians Day in the subject line.

9:00 AM – Welcome

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Mary Celeste
ALA Local History and Genealogy Committee: An Overview

10:00 AM – BREAK

10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Timothy G.X. Salls – NEHGS Archivist
Genealogical Sources: Internet

11:30 AM – 12:45 PM
Buffet Lunch
William Forsyth, Director of Product Management – ProQuest

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
NEHGS Assistant Archivist – Patron Service

2:00 – BREAK

2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
David Allen Lambert – NEHGS Online Genealogist
Genealogical Sources: Internet

3:30 PM – BREAK

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Audrey Collins – National Archives – United Kingdom
The Family Records Centre: How We Deal with our Patrons.

5:00 PM – Closing


The Federation of Genealogical Societies, the New England Historic Genealogical Society, and ProQuest invite you to attend this great opportunity to meet and greet your fellow librarians, learn some "best practices," and have a fun day.

I hope to see you there!

Sue Kaufman
FGS/NEHGS National Conference Co-Chair
"Birthplace of American Genealogy"
August 30 – September 2, 2006
Boston, Massachusetts

Clayton Library, Center for Genealogical Research
Houston Public Library
5300 Caroline
Houston, TX 77004

You Don’t Have to Be Irish to Join the Irish Table Quiz!

Do you have plans for Thursday evening, August 31, during the FGS/NEHGS Conference?

Mary Ellen Grogan from Boston and Eileen O’Duill from Dublin, Ireland shared the details on something fun for that evening.

Please join other genealogists for the Genealogy Table Quiz being organized by TIARA (The Irish Ancestral Research Association). If you like Trivial Pursuit, you will love this Quiz. The Quiz is a trivia game with a genealogy theme and promises to be lots of fun and a place to make new friends. Be prepared to socialize, to laugh a lot, and even use some of your hard-earned genealogy knowledge.

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In Ireland , the Table Quiz or Pub Quiz (as pubs are the usual venues) is a popular way to spend an evening. Teams of four players ( to each table) compete for prizes and the honor of winning.

The Details
: anybody who wants to have a great evening (but you do have to preregister)
What: Genealogy Table Quiz
When: Thursday evening, August 31, 6-9 pm
Where: Sheraton Boston Hotel (the host hotel and adjacent to the Hynes Convention Center)
Why: because we are genealogists and we like to have fun
What to wear: there will be a little bit of everything, most will be casually dressed
Cost: $20.00 per person; pre-registration is required for planning purposes and ordering food
Limits: the number of teams is limited to 30 groups of four; no limits on laughter

In addition to food, a cash bar will be available starting at 6:00 p.m. Come and mingle. Participants are grouped in teams of four people. You can organize your own team or let the organizers assign you to a team.

We will start the quiz portion of the evening about 6:30. There will be ten rounds of ten questions on genealogy, Irish and American history, and general knowledge. Clearly, you won’t be given a lot of time to come up with your answers. Be aware, however, that cheating is considered part of the game; consider your strategy. There will be prizes for the top three teams as well as a raffle featuring swell prizes from Ireland and from Boston.

Since TIARA is organizing this event, ½ of the questions will be about US genealogy and ½ will be about Irish genealogy. If you don’t know anything about Irish genealogy, this will not necessarily prevent you from winning. In a Table Quiz, there are prizes both for the correct answer and the best incorrect answer.

There will be at least two breaks so you may refresh your drink, your snack plate, and visit with other participants.
The organizers will use this time to tally the scores of each team, and post the information on a scoreboard for everyone to see!

A portion of the proceeds will be given to the U.S. National Archives branch in Waltham, Massachusetts for the purchase of research materials from Archive Specialist Walter Hickey’s "wish list." Please join us. You will have chance to unwind, have fun, and make a gift to a very good cause.

The Questions and Answers Attempt
I asked Mary Ellen to share the questions and especially the answers with me. Even a "please"didn’t work. I just wanted to be prepared to cheat legally! Her reply was "Unfortunately the questions and answers are in a high-security vault. I have no access. Only Eileen O'Duill (Ireland) and Janis Duffy (U.S.) are in the know. They have let it slip that some of the questions are "zingers!"

The Quiz Master
Quoting directly from Mary Ellen, "the inimitable George B. Handran [of Boston] will be the QUIZ MASTER" and then said "I can provide one teaser question: What famous Irish writer does the QUIZ MASTER resemble? HINT: go to the National Library of Ireland website."

How do I register?
It is easy to register for the Conference and the Table Quiz on the FGS website. If you are already registered for the conference, go to the Registration page, enter your name and confirmation number, and click "Modify." This will allow you to add additional items to your registration. The Table Quiz is near the end of page 2 of the Registration Form under "Optional Items."

How do I join a Team?
Go to the TIARA table in the Exhibit Hall (#820) on Thursday. We will be assigning people to Teams at the booth. We will try to assign someone with knowledge of Irish research to each Team, but there may not be enough Irish experts to go around. We suggest you stop by the TIARA booth early in the day. If you don’t have a chance to do so, you can join a team when you arrive at the Table Quiz in the evening.

Where exactly will the Table Quiz be held?
It will be in the Sheraton Hotel in one of the meeting rooms near the Hynes Convention Center. The room detail will be on your Quiz ticket, which will be in your Registration Packet.

If you have any other questions, contact Mary Ellen Grogan ( Thanks to Mary Ellen and Eileen O’Duill for this info on the Quiz.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

GO BOSTON CARD - Special pricing for FGS conference attendees!

Go Boston Card is a multi attraction pass that offers unlimited admission to more than 60 attractions in Boston and beyond for one price! With the Go Boston Card you design your own itinerary while enjoying all that Boston has to offer including a 2 day trolley pass, Boston Duck Tour, New England Aquarium, Whale Watch, Boston Harbor Cruise, and so much more! Included with your card, you'll receive a free full color pocket sized guidebook and special offers on dining and shopping. FGS Conference attendees enjoy a 15 % savings on any of the following:

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1) One Day Go Boston Card

2) Go Boston Card Consecutive Day (good for any 2,3,5 or 7 consecutive days)

3) Go Boston Card Day Hopper (good for any 2,3,5 or 7 days out of a year!)

Simply visit this website and click on "Go Boston Card." After placing your order, enter this coupon code FGSBOSTON The 15 % discount will automatically pull in to your total price.

Note: While placing your order, you may elect to have your cards/guidebook shipped to you or you may pick up your cards/guidebook in Boston for free.

FGS thanks Sharon Sergeant for arranging this special discount.

Friday, August 04, 2006

The Program Grid and the Syllabus

FGS/NEHGS Conference Program Chair, Rhonda R. McClure, has shared some great news with the blog. The program grid has been updated on the FGS Website and the syllabus that each registrant receives is going to be quite a production.
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1. An updated program grid is on the FGS Website. Click on this link
and then scroll down the page to "Download Grid Brochure" and click on that to open the file.

2. The syllabus material you will be receiving at the conference is over 1200 pages in length. Don’t groan about the weight of carrying this many pages. It will be in four sections, one for each day of lectures. You will receive these when you check in at the Hynes Convention Center – details on this will be posted on the blog in the upcoming weeks.

If you are not familiar with the syllabus format at FGS Conferences, prepare yourself for a nice surprise. Most speakers supply the program chair with 1-4 pages of material related to their lecture(s). Normally these are combined into one or two volumes. With so many sessions being presented at this conference, you will receive a volume for each of the four days.

The material might be an outline, discussion of important points, summary, checklist, a bibliography for further research, maps, overview statement, related websites, and many speakers provide their contact information. Even if you don’t attend a lecture, you will still receive the material the speaker provided to Rhonda.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Conference shirts to be available in Boston

Should you pack one less shirt? One way to make sure that won't cause a problem is to visit the FGS Booth at the conference and purchase a conference shirt!
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Sue Kaufman, a Co-Chair of this conference arranged for these shirts that members of the FGS board and conference committee are already wearing. Yep, we bought our own -- we just couldn't convince Sue that as a good friend she should buy one for each of us.

The shirts are long sleeve denim with a button down collar and left chest patch pocket. The colorful conference logo is on the right side. Shirts are available in two colors, light blue and natural.

The shirt costs $25.00 plus tax for one shirt. Two shirts purchased at the same time are $40.00 and three shirts cost $50.00.

Are you trying to figure out the meaning of the conference logo? Last September 28th, the blog included the neat and meaningful explanation.

If there are any shirts left after the conference, FGS will let you know how to purchase them.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Special Conference Event: The Friday Evening Banquet.

Food, genealogists, and friendly conversation truly do go together. And once in a while we deserve to be treated royally. The FGS Banquet that takes place on Friday evening, September 1st, during the FGS/NEHGS Conference in Boston supplies all that and more. Please join us for this grand evening.
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Wendy Bebout Elliott, President of FGS, recently commented that "It will be an eventful occasion with some major FGS awards, great entertainment, and some added pluses for the evening in celebration of FGS’ 30th Anniversary." Wendy, also said that banquet attendees will "really be getting some bang for their bucks in New England." [Editor’s note – rumor has it that this refers to banquet guests receiving some goodies in honor of the 30th anniversary!]

FGS has received a few questions about the FGS Banquet and that likely means that others have the same questions.

Do I have to be a member of any organization in order to attend the banquet?
Not at all. You just need to purchase a banquet ticket; the evening is already planned and best of all, you get to sit and rest while others do the work and entertain you. You won’t have to fight the Friday evening restaurant crowds. No meal to cook. No dishes to wash. Cloth napkins. Pleasant company at your table.

May I bring a banquet guest who is not registered for the conference?
Everyone is welcome – and just think, it could be the start of that person becoming interested in genealogy once they see that we are truly normal. (Aren’t we all?) The conference registration form allows you to add guests for meal functions.

What should I wear?
Business casual, Sunday best, formal – it’s up to you. Many of the men wear a shirt and tie, some add a sport coat, some wear a suit, and others definitely skip the tie. Over the last few years a greater number of women have gone beyond a pantsuit or dress to adding some glitz and glamour. But, the choice is up to you – the evening is the key, not what you wear.

Where is the banquet being held?
The pre-banquet cash bar reception and the banquet are being held in the Sheraton Boston Hotel. This is wonderful for those of us staying at this conference hotel which is in the same indoor complex as the Hynes Convention Center.

What is on the agenda for the evening?

The evening starts with a cash bar reception from 6:00-7:00 p.m. that will have sodas, bottled water, wine, beer, and mixed drinks. This is a good hour for networking and swapping lots of laughter-filled or poignant stories from the conference. You may join in this hour even if you don’t purchase a ticket to the banquet. The banquet itself begins at 7:00 p.m. and generally lasts about two hours.

  • Food, of course: Chef's Soup du jour, Pan-seared Statler Breast of Chicken with a Tarragon Maple Glaze, Toasted Pecans, Cobb Smoked Bacon, and Sauteed Apples, Whole Grain Mustard Sauce; Ginger Scented Baby Carrots; Roasted Beets and Crisp Green Beans; Basmati and Wild Rice Pilaf. Dessert, of course: Almond Tuille filled with Cinnamon Apple Mousse, Seasonal Berries, and Caramel Drizzle.

  • Awards to some of the best genealogical volunteers ever. These are impressive and often quite moving. Among the special awards is the Ruth C. Bishop Living Volunteer Hall of Honor Award. You will be impressed at the accomplishments of the person inducted into the Hall of Honor at the banquet. No, we won’t give away the surprise.

  • A short presentation that will give you some advance info on the 2007 FGS Conference that will get you revved up for the next event.

  • The evening’s entertainment will be presented by the Boston History Collaborative performing a number of scenes depicting important events in history that are connected to Boston. These events also had a great impact on the world beyond Boston. The evening promises to be very interesting, entertaining, and informative – and as usual history will have an impact on your own family history. Check out the Collaborative’s website at:

  • Among the scenes to which we will be treated:

A short intro on Genius, Boston's genie

Ma Bell – The story of Alexander Graham Bell's genius through the eyes of his wife, Mabel. Mabel, the original "Ma Bell," was the financial genius who enabled Alexander to transform ideas into inventions.

Onesimus – Told from the perspective of Cotton Mather's slave, Onesimus, this is the story of the first smallpox inoculation.

The Mother – A moving piece that portrays the widespread impact of Dr. Sidney Farber's innovative and life-saving chemotherapy treatment developed in Boston's Children's Hospital.

Frederic Tudor – The story of the Ice King! Tudor made his fortune harvesting ice in Boston and shipping it to India and the Caribbean.

How do I purchase tickets for the banquet?
If you have not registered for the conference or the banquet yet, visit the FGS website click on "Get the details" in the yellow box. On the page that pops up, scroll down a bit and click on the words "Register Now." Follow the links on the next pages to register for the conference and meal functions.

If you have already registered for the conference and want to add the banquet to your lineup, check the confirmation e-mail you received to see if it includes the phrase "to modify your registration" and click on the live link, or:

If you have already registered for the conference and now want to add a banquet ticket, check out the instructions for this that were on this blog on July 28th.

It's on my calendar -- see you at 6:00 p.m., Friday September 1, 2nd floor of the Sheraton Boston hotel. Don't forget to bring your banquet tickets!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Do you have a research brick wall?

Pam Eagleson, CG, co-chair of one of the conference special events sent this notice for the blog:

Has that brick wall got you stymied? Here's a chance to ask an expert. Attendees at the upcoming FGS conference will be able to meet for 20 minutes with an experienced genealogist to brainstorm ways to break through the brick wall blocking their research.
Read More Attendees are asked to prepare a concise written statement of one problem and bring it when they sign up for an appointment. Sign up time will be Thursday, August 31, between 9 am and 5 pm in the APG Ancestors Road Show area of the Exhibit Hall at the Hynes Convention Center. Road Show appointments will be held in the Exhibit Hall on Friday from 9 am to 5 pm and Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm.

Sponsored by the Association of Professional Genealogists and hosted by the Greater Boston Chapter of APG, the Ancestors Road Show concept has been very popular at other conferences. This is the first time it will be held at a national conference.

Over 60 genealogists, including many who are nationally known, will be volunteering their time for this event covering such topics as American court records, Irish research, National Archives records, problem solving techniques, dating and identifying old photographs, lineage applications, British Isles research, general genealogy, forensic genealogy, military records, Quaker research, Loyalist studies, Internet research, immigration, census research, naturalization records, Swedish & Danish research, land records, Italian family history, Cherokee research, Canadian research, reading early American handwriting, Polish research, land records, missing heir searches, land platting, neighborhood reconstruction, Jewish genealogy, as well most regions of the United States.

A Guaranteed Seat for Lunch!

One of the neat parts of a genealogy conference is mealtime. Some of the wonderful participating organizations involved with this year’s conference are hosting luncheons; you do not have to be a member of any organization to attend its luncheon.

Having prepaid for a luncheon and knowing you have a guaranteed seat helps to streamline your time. You won't have to run around to find a place to eat and wait in line with the regular business lunchtime crowds.
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Sitting at a table with other registrants is always a plus as you may find a distant cousin, someone who knows about research in your family's ancestral area, or someone who can tell more about a particular type of record. On top of all that, there is a luncheon speaker to entertain and inform you.

  • To learn more about Wednesday Luncheons click here
  • To learn more about Thursday Luncheon click here
  • To learn more about Friday Luncheons click here
  • To learn more about Saturday Luncheons click here
All luncheons on a given day have the same menu. For the full menu for each day go to the FGS website and prepare to get hungry. At that site, you will see a white box that has the words "All Program," click on this box and scroll down to "Meals and click on that word,"and the last step is to click on the word "go" to the right of the white box. All these luncheons will be held in the beautiful Sheraton Boston hotel which is adjacent to the Hynes Convention Center.

Registering online for the luncheons can be done at the same time you register for the conference. If you have already registered or even signed up for a couple of luncheons and want to add more, that can also be done online. Each luncheon costs only $20.00 and this is a fantastic price for a conference hotel. Dessert is included.