2017 FGS National Conference Call For Presentation Proposals

2017 FGS National Conference Call For Presentation Proposals

Deadline for Submissions is 1 June 2016

March 7, 2016 – Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announces that presentation proposals are now being received for its 2017 Conference, “Building Bridges to the Past,” to be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania August 30 – September 2, 2017. The conference will be held in cooperation with the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society as local host. The deadline for submission of presentation proposals is Wednesday, 1 June 2016.

“Building Bridges to the Past” references not only the many bridges in Pittsburgh, but the bridges between old world and new, as well as our journeys to discover our past. Topics related to methodology and research skills are always welcomed, in addition to content-specific areas, such as:

  • Military: Revolutionary War, War of 1812, American Civil War, Indian Wars, World War I, World War II, colonial and frontier wars.
  • Migration: Europe to North America; naturalization records; passenger lists; ports of entry; to and through the Mid-Atlantic; migration trails and routes (Braddock Road, National Road, Great Wagon Road); refugee resettlement.
  • Immigrant Origins: Great Britain and the former British Empire; Germany and other German-speaking countries; Eastern and Central Europe; the Mediterranean/Adriatic Basin; the Scandinavian countries; Latin American research.
  • African-American Research: Reconstructing families; free persons of color; identifying slave owners; slavery in Colonial America, including Pennsylvania; African-American newspapers and other lesser-used sources; anti-slavery movements; migration and after the Civil War.
  • Occupations & Work: Farmers, carpenters, glassworkers, iron/steelworkers, coal miners, brewers/distillers, boatmen, firefighters/police, railroaders, canal builders, laborers and factory hands; women in the workforce; unions, guilds and apprenticeships; smugglers, bootleggers and other illicit trades.
  • Religions, Adherents and Records: Quaker, Jewish, Orthodox, Catholic, Amish, Moravian, Mennonite, Presbyterian, and other Protestant traditions and records; religious colonization’s and refugee movements; Pogrom and Holocaust survivors and research; Mormon/LDS; utopian communities; peace churches, pacifists and conscientious objectors; convents, monasteries and cloistered communities.
  • Regional research: Research in Pennsylvania and nearby states—Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, West Virginia; archival collections; research repositories in the Mid-Atlantic; college and university research collections; migration destinations from Pennsylvania, such as the Midwest and the Carolinas.
  • Genetics & DNA: the basics of DNA research; autosomal studies and advanced analysis; testing procedures; ethical considerations; adoptions; forensic and expert work; case studies.
  • Skills, Abilities & General Knowledge: Beginning research techniques; evidence analysis; online resources and tools; wikis; collaboration techniques and etiquette; terminology; comparative analysis; units of measure, trade and currency; time, calendars and dates; writing a family history; publishing; creating websites, blogs and vlogs; earning genealogical credentials.
  • Society Management: Use of technology by and for societies; adaption to change; internal and external communication; meeting changing member needs and member engagement; membership growth; education projects and events; society leadership; fundraising; team building; volunteers; implementing large projects.

The program committee specifically seeks new and dynamic proposals that will provide exceptional learning experiences for conference attendees. Different formats in addition to the traditional lecture format are encouraged. (Sessions still must fit into a one-hour time slot.) Proposals for workshops and sponsored sessions are encouraged.

Multiple proposals (more than four) are welcome and encouraged, as most chosen to speak will be engaged for more than one presentation. There is no limit on the number of proposals a speaker may submit.

Submission Requirements

Speaker submissions and deadlines for the FGS 2017 Conference reflect the implementation of an online submission system. Interested parties must submit all presentation proposals using the online forms. The Call for Presentations is now open and will close on Wednesday, 1 June 2016. This deadline is for all proposal submissions, including sponsored presentations.


Selected speakers receive an honorarium, travel compensation, and conference registration as well as per diem and hotel nights based on the number of presentations given. (Sponsored speakers only receive conference registration and syllabus materials. See more about sponsorships below.) Non-sponsored speakers receive compensation according to the FGS Conference Speaker Policy.

Sponsored Presentations

Societies and businesses are encouraged to submit proposals for sponsored talks by the stated deadline for proposal submission. The sponsoring organization will cover its speaker's costs to present the presentation. Sponsored speakers are expected to abide by all speaker deadlines and syllabus requirements. Sponsored speakers will receive complimentary FGS conference registration and electronic syllabus materials.

Additional Information

Invitations will be issued in Fall 2016. Contracts and syllabus format guidelines will be sent to speakers at that time. Camera-ready handouts are required for each presentation or workshop presentation and will be compiled in a syllabus distributed to conference participants. The deadline for submissions of syllabus materials is 27 March 2017.

About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was founded in 1976 and represents the members of hundreds of genealogical societies. FGS links the genealogical community by helping genealogical societies strengthen and grow through resources available online, FGS Forum magazine (filled with articles pertaining to society management and genealogical news), and Society Strategy Series papers, covering topics about effectively operating a genealogical society. FGS also links the genealogical community through its annual conference — four days of excellent lectures, including one full day devoted to society management topics. To learn more visit http://www.fgs.org.

Follow us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/FGSgenealogy), Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/FGSgenealogy) and on our blog at (http://voice.fgs.org).