10 May 2010

NGS 2010 Family History Conference Was a Huge Success!

The National Genealogical Society 2010 Family History Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, achieved record attendance of more than 2,700. The NGS officers and board of directors want to thank all the conference registrants, speakers, vendors, sponsors and volunteers who made the conference a success. We also want to thank the Utah Genealogical Association, the local host society, and our major sponsors FamilySearch, Ancestry.com and ProQuest. The conference included many people just beginning their family history research and first time attendees to a national conference. NGS President, Janet A. Alpert, attributed the record attendance to increased interest in genealogy as a result of the two new television shows “Faces of America” on PBS and “Who Do You Think You Are?” on NBC.

The conference included almost 200 lectures and workshops, an expanded exhibit area featuring the latest in genealogical technology (GenTech), and a kids camp on Saturday. Many of the lectures were recorded and will be available to purchase on CD-ROM in a couple of weeks. Notice will be posted on the NGS blog when they are available.

The keynote speaker was Jay Verkler, CEO of FamilySearch, providing an inside look at the granite mountain where FamilySearch stores a secure copy of records from all over the world. The highlight of the week was “A Celebration of Family History” featuring David McCullough and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Highlights can be seen at http://www.newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/news-releases-stories/-a-celebration-of-family-history-delights-thousands-of-genealogy-enthusiasts. On Friday night a large group viewed the final session of “Who Do You Think You Are” and heard Ancestry.com describe the research process for the various celebrities.

Many participants remarked that there was more to see, hear, and do at this year’s conference, including research at the Family History Library until 11:00 pm in the evening.

A number of awards were presented at the NGS 2010 Family History Conference. The NGS President’s Citation is given in recognition of outstanding, continuing or unusual contributions to the Society or to the field of genealogy. The following people received this award at the NGS Banquet:

Peter Broadbent was awarded the President’s Citation in appreciation of his two terms on the NGS Board of Directors, assisting with the sale of Glebe House, for his work on Amending and Restating the Articles of Incorporation and ByLaws, and for his wise counsel on numerous issues which came before the board. Peter served on the NGS Board of Directors for 7 years. His other accomplishments include Who’s Who in America, 2008-2010; former Chairman of the Library of Virginia Board; former President, Virginia Genealogical Society; former Governor, Virginia Society of Colonial Wars; President, 2004 Virginia Electoral College; former Chairman, Virginia State Bar’s Business Law Section, and of its Public Information Committee; member, Virginia War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission.

Connie Lenzen, CG, (pictured to the right of NGS President Jan Alpert) who has served two terms on the NGS Board, was presented the President's Citation for her leadership as Chair of the Education Committee. Under Connie's direction the Home Study Course was rewritten in html format and distributed on CD-ROM. Connie has spent hundreds of hours each year keeping the links to the Home Study Course up to date and answering students' questions about the Home Study Course and other NGS online courses. She authored the NGS Research in the States: Research in Oregon. She has written articles for the NGS Quarterly, the NGS Magazine, Heritage Quest, Ancestry, and the Genealogical Forum of the Oregon Bulletin. She served as a columnist for the Vancouver Columbian newspaper for seven years. Connie earned the 1995 NGS Quarterly Award of Excellence. She was the local arrangements co-chair for the 2001 NGS Conference. She is certified by the Board for Certification of Genealogists and is past president of that organization (2005–2008). She was the winner of the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors Excellence-in-Writing competition in 2003 and 2004.

Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, (pictured to the left of NGS President Jan Alpert) received the President's Citation for her ongoing promotion of genealogical events and broad support of the genealogical community as a whole. Powell is a Trustee for the Board for Certification of Genealogists and often serves as their Exhibits Booth Coordinator for major conferences. She is the course coordinator for the Professional Genealogy course at IGHR at Samford University and course co-coordinator of the AG/CG Preparation Course at the 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. She served as a Director for the Association of Professional Genealogists (2000-2005). She also is the "Foundations" module instructor for Boston University's Genealogical Research Certificate program. Elissa writes articles and book reviews for the NGS Magazine, the NGSQ, and the APG Quarterly.

The Award of Excellence: Genealogical Methods & Sources was awarded to Schelly Talalaly Dardashti for her book, Ties That Bind (Jewish Research Strategies). The award is given to an individual or nonprofit organization for a specific, significant single contribution in the form of a book, an article, or a series of articles published during the past three years that discusses genealogical methods and sources and serves to foster scholarship and/or otherwise advances or promotes excellence in genealogy. Schelly was unable to attend the conference, so the award was accepted on her behalf by David Horowitz.

The NGSQ Award for Excellence is given each year for a specific, significant, single contribution in the form of an article or series of articles that serves to foster scholarship and/or advances or promotes excellence in genealogy. The editorial board of the NGS Quarterly selects the recipient of this award. This year’s winner was Rachal Mills Lennon, CG, for her article “Jonathan Turner- More Than a Name: A Carolina Case Study in Dissecting Records,” which appeared in the March 2009 issue of the NGSQ. The award was accepted by Elizabeth Shown Mills on behalf of Rachal Mills Lennon.

To receive the Family History Writing Contest Award, a contestant must compile a three- or four-generation family history. The prize is an expense-paid trip to the next NGS Family History Conference and possible publication in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. Among the comments from the judges regarding the winner of the award this year: “With thorough research and clear exposition, the author has done a fine job of capturing the Irish Immigrant experience in 19th century New York.” This year’s winner was Patrick Quigley from Ponco Pines, Pennsylvania, and his entry was titled, "The Quigley Family Searches for the American Dream."

The Home Study Scholarship is given to encourage those pursuing a career in genealogy. The winner was Terri Hildreth of Madison, Alabama.