Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Registration Opens for the National Genealogical Society's 2016 Family History Conference


ARLINGTON, VA, 30 November 2015—Registration opens Tuesday, 1 December 2015 for the National Genealogical Society’s thirty-eighth annual Family History Conference, Exploring the Centuries: Footprints in Time, which will be held 4–7 May 2016 at the Greater Ft. Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center. To register on or after 1 December 2015, visit the NGS website at http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/register/ and complete the online registration form.

Since Ponce de Leon landed in Florida in 1513, Florida has been a land of ethnic diversity. Its people include Native Americans, Spanish, Irish, English, Welsh, French, and African Americans. These migrations have left many footprints in time and many records to trace our genealogy. Connie Lester, PhD, Associate Professor in History at the University of Central Florida, will open the conference with a talk that focuses on how the farmer, the teacher, or the laborer—people defined as “ordinary”—shaped our history and how their stories contribute to our understanding of who we are. Dr. Lester’s address will be one of many lectures of interest to those who have ancestors who lived in Florida, the Gulf Coast, and the Caribbean.

Other genealogical subjects featured at the NGS Family History Conference will include the Board for Certification of Genealogists’ Skillbuilding track, which focuses on research techniques useful to both the beginning and the advanced researcher. Among the ten lectures in the African American track are Deborah Abbott’s “Using Manuscripts in African American Research,” Pamela Foster’s “Mining Historically Black College Newspapers for History and Heritage,” and J. Mark Lowe’s “Finding Freedmen Marriage Records .” A two-day DNA track features a workshop on chromosome mapping and lectures on other aspects of DNA tests and analysis of the results. Single-day tracks focus on Jewish, military, and British Isles research and include tracks sponsored by the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society and the New England Historic and Genealogical Society. Technology and its increasing role in research is addressed in a variety of presentations including a two-day track on ways to use technology in your family history research.

A number of special events have limited seating, so register on 1 December, or as soon as possible thereafter, if you plan to attend these events. To register online, visit the NGS website at http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/register/. The online searchable program is available at http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/program/ and the PDF brochure is available at http://goo.gl/w40zSO. The brochure includes an overview of the sessions, tours, pre-conference events, registration times, and rates, as well as general conference and hotel details. Attendees are urged to visit the conference blog http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/2016-family-history-conference-brochure/ which will feature tips on local and regional research facilities, things to do in and around Fort Lauderdale, and updated information on hotel availability and local restaurants.

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogical education, exemplary standards of research, and the preservation of genealogical records. The Arlington, Virginia-based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, and guidance in research. It also offers many opportunities to interact with other genealogists.