GeneaVegas Culture Shock
Shifting from daily routine to conference pace is always challenging, but add the cacophony of casino chimes and lobby music and it's just plain ole culture shock. Where else but Las Vegas could you see by a wedding in-progress, pass by a wine bar, thread your way through buzzing, blinking slot machines, and end up in a quiet ballroom packed to capacity to hear a keynote lecture on historical records?
The day began with the Opening Session and National Genealogical Society awards presentations honoring newsletter editorship and service to the society. Both family association and society newsletters were included in the awards; and several individuals were named for their service to the society. Read the full details at the NGS Conference Blog.
In one of the most entertaining and unusual conference opening events, attendees were treated to a lively musical selection by the Mariachi Los Bravos, from the local J.D. Smith Middle School. The student group performed two numbers in the ballroom, and then led the procession out of the room and across the concourse to open the exhibit hall. Conference attendees responded by enthusiastic clapping, whistling, and calling -- mariachi style.
The buzz continued into the exhibit hall where scores of boots and demonstrations filled the large room. I did a quick tour of the room, stopping to check out the new Lutheran Church databases at Archives.com with Amy Crow, and then headed to the seminar rooms to get a seat for the first session of the day with Dr. Thomas Jones.
It was hard to decide which sessions to attend, the lineup is THAT GOOD. I was really torn between wanting to hear new-to-me speakers and learn more from those instructors I had previously heard at other conferences. I finally decided to purchase JAMB tapes for some sessions and attend others.
Here's a brief recap of my take-away notes from Day One:
Dr. Thomas Jones -- Debunking Misleading Records
Records Lie, Don't believe everything you read.
Elizabeth Shown Mills -- The Genealogical Prof Standard in Action: Case Building When No Record States an Answer
Places Don't Lie, Keep the person in the right location
Warren Bittner - Impossible Immigrant: I Know Everything About the Man, Except Where He Came From
People Lie, or fib (sounds nicer), German names are a puzzle
I highly recommend each of these sessions, available on JAMB recordings, although you won't have the advantage of seeing the actual record images shown on the visual slides.
And, if you think you've heard the topic before, think again. Elizabeth Shown Mills presentation on the GPS reflects the newest refined version of the standard and an outstanding graphic process map. This concept is also referenced in Dr. Jones new book Mastering Genealogical Proof and shows how the GPS is becoming an even better tool all the time.
Then, of course, there was meeting up with old friends and meeting so many new genealogists. Thursday promises to another busy day. Stay tuned.