30 September 2015

NGS Releases Two-minute Video To Promote 2016 Conference


Arlington, VA, 30 September 2015—The National Genealogical Society releases today a video promoting its 2016 Family History Conference, which will be held 4–7 May 2016 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Produced in collaboration with Playback Now, the video is available on the NGS YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/_4QAMgx8mHw.

Utilizing clips from the 2015 NGS Family History Conference, the video highlights the wide scope of educational and networking opportunities that the conference offers attendees. The video’s featured speakers are Angie Bush, MS, member of the NGS Board of Directors and chair of the Genetic Genealogy Committee; Elizabeth Shown Mills, CGSM, CGLSM, FASG, FUGA, FNGS, and Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS, both of whom are well-known speakers in the genealogy community.

With well more than a hundred sessions and a hundred exhibitors, the 2016 NGS Family History Conference promises to be one of the best genealogical conferences ever.

Registration for conference opens on December 1st, but you may make your hotel reservations now at the main conference hotel, the Hilton Ft. Lauderdale Marina, or at the Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Cruise Port Hotel or the Fort Lauderdale Embassy Suites. Details are available at conference.ngsgenealogy.org.


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.

Please visit the NGS Pressroom for further information.





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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
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29 September 2015

It's Banned Books Week -- Let's Celebrate the Freedom to Read


We are fortunate that family history books per se don’t seem to make it to lists of banned books. We posited last year, What if Genealogy Books Were Banned?  Fortunately, another year has passed and I am not aware of any banned family history books.  Are you?

What genealogical or family history book are you thankful has not been banned?

To learn more about the initiative, Celebrating the Freedom to Read: Sept. 27 – Oct. 3, 2015 (Banned Books Week) check out this website or the associated FB page.








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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
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Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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28 September 2015

Electronic Records Day is 10 October 2015


Electronic records are becoming more and more prevalent in our life.  Just as paper records are critical and need to be preserved, the same holds true for electronic records. 

Many of already have massive archives of electronic records.  Will future generations have access to what you’ve accumulated?  As stated by the Council of State Archivists (CoSA), in Survival Strategies for Personal Digital Records “Electronic files are much more fragile than paper records, and their long-term survival requires attention and planning.”

October 10th is a day to celebrate electronic records, create awareness about their importance, share information about how they are managed, and most importantly, it’s an opportunity to enlist help to ensure that electronic records are preserved.

From CoSA ...

What is Electronic Records Day?

Electronic Records Day is an opportunity to raise awareness among government agencies, related professional organizations, the general public and other stakeholders about the crucial role electronic records play in our world.  Now in its fourth year, E-Records Day was created by the Council of State Archivists (CoSA) as part of its State Electronic Records Initiative (SERI).  This year CoSA is promoting an entire week of electronic records awareness leading up to 10/10, with a special focus on electronic communications.  Please join CoSA and others in observing E-records day in 2015!

How can I participate?

Use ALL your networks to help raise stakeholder awareness of important electronic records issues.
o      Spread the word through social media
o      Write a post on your blog about electronic records
o      Engage the public in a presentation on risks to digital content
o      Start a dialog with other organizations in your area that work with electronic records
o      Host a workshop on digital preservation standards and practices.

Need a starting point?

See CoSA‘s Electronic Records Day webpage for tip sheets, posters and flyers:  http://www.statearchivists.org/seri/ElectronicRecordsDay.htm

If you have questions, want to offer suggestions or need copies of promotional materials, please contact seri@statearchivists.org.

Materials include:  Ten Reasons Why Electronic Records Need Special Attention, Survival Strategies for Personal Digital Archiving, Tips for Government Agencies Working with Electronic Records and Managing Electronic Communications in Government.

Electronic Records Day is 10/10/15!

Are you doing all that you can to help preserve electronic records?



Editor’s Note: Upfront with NGS also blogged about this day last year, Today is Electronic Records Day. Are your electronic records at risk?





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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
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25 September 2015

Did you know that Ancestry.com has photos collections (beyond public member ones)?


Sarah N Dippity(*) (aka serendipity) is such a part of the fabric of our family history research.

I will be doing researching on one thing and stumble across something unrelated that is valuable.  It kind of reinforces my scorched earth approach to research – it never hurts to look at all extant records for a time and place of interest, you never know what you might learn!

That said, I was just reading about news that might become the basis for an Upfront with NGS blog post and I came across Historic images of Britain’s towns, cities and villages revealed in searchable online archive which refers to a collection of “nearly a quarter of a million historic images of UK towns, cities and villages dating back to 1857.” Since my maternal ancestry is 100% UK, this piqued my curiosity.  

I learned that this particular database was found in the UK version of Ancestry.com.  I was able to access it with no issue via my US-based Ancestry.com subscription

I have always been aware of images associated with individual family trees and I had not known that Ancestry.com also had image collections separate from the images provided by users.

So, of course, I needed to explore this further.

I searched on pictures as a keyword and was rewarded with 80 relevant entries.  I am so glad I discovered this feature.  In the past, I would just Google search for images if I wanted a “visual” related to some research, now I will make a point of checking out these Ancestry.com databases.  Of course, since I do love images, it might be even harder now to not distract myself.

Have you stumbled across an image collection in an unexpected place?  If so, let us know about it.






(*) coined by my good friend James P Jones

Editor's Note: [added 28 Sept 2015] As with all Ancestry.com collections, there are restrictions on what can be accessed based on what level of subscription one has.  If you only have a US subscription, you will NOT be able to access the UK photo collection and there are other picture collections available to you. 


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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
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Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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24 September 2015

FREE War of 1812 Pension Access -- Have you supported this effort?


Preserve the Pensions is all about preserving the War of 1812 pensions.  These are invaluable documents rapidly deteriorating with use. 

Did you know that you benefit and for FREE from this effort? Yes – the digitized pensions are FREE for you to access as soon as they become available.

Did you know that Ancestry.com provides dollar for dollar matching?  Make a donation and the impact is immediately doubled!

More support is needed to see the entire collection digitized (aka preserved)!      

We bring this up now as this project has recently again been in the news due to some recent fundraising efforts which were reported on at the recent New York Family History Conference.  There was an individual (Mike Hall) fundraising effort with matching contributions (The Legal Genealogist and her readers) as well as real-time contributions (literally cash on the table) which further supported the effort, enough that over 70,000 further pages will now be preserved!  You can read more about these efforts here, Thank you, New York! (includes a video) and The last quarter mile (The Legal Genealogist).

Additionally, the FamilySearch Blog recently posted You Can Help Save the War of 1812 Pension Records which gives a nice and quick summary about this effort.  Digitization efforts are now working on the Ms (or so I have heard) and the project is about 65% complete.

You can access (for FREE) the War of 1812 Pension Application Files on fold3.

Are you or a local society seeking a charitable donation to make before the end of the year?  Is your society planning a fund-raising activity in support of family history research? If you answered YES, consider the Preserve the Pensions project.  It will keep these invaluable documents available for future generations (and provide us easy and FREE access right now!)





Editor’s Note: We’ve previously posted about this effort which has been occurring for several years!

Editor’s Note: Related post about the War of 1812 and its records.




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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
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Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
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23 September 2015

Personal Digital Archiving Conference Re-Cap


We are ALL archivists.  Our collections may not all be large or open to the public and they are still an archive.  Archives need to be preserved. Digitization is a means of preservation.

Earlier this year New York University hosted Personal Digital Archiving 2015, The Personal Digital Archiving 2015 Conference.  Many of the presentations are available as videos or in PDF format. Topics includes preserving digital photos, preserving art, video preservation, use of open-source tools, digital humanities and social sciences research, community archiving, and much more.

Interestingly, this overview stated ...

We still have yet to hear much from the genealogy community, from community historians and public librarians about preserving family history and community history. The same for the healthcare, medical and personal-health communities, though it’s just a matter of time before they join the conversation.

This is definitely a conversation that we want to be a part of.  Personal Digital Archiving is critical to genealogists and family historians.  Many individuals have one-of-a-kind, unique, and invaluable material in their personal archive that needs to be preserved!

Maybe our family history community will participate more in the 2016 conference which will be held at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

In the meantime, do also check out Perspectives on Personal Digital Archiving (LOC, 2013) and Personal Archiving (resources for preserving your digital memories).

Some related sources from the UK include 10 Thinks You Need to Know About Digital Storage and The DPP Guide to Digital Archiving.



Editor’s Note: Here are some related posts ...






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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
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Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
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22 September 2015

Social Networks and Archival Context (SNAC) Project -- the potential to really help our research


The Social Networks and Archival Context (SNAC) Project is in its infancy and it has the potential to become another tool in our genealogist toolkit.

We always have the issue of information that we seek being stored in disparate and dispersed collections and it takes a lot of effort to identify, locate and correlate these data sources with the person, place or event we are researching.  This tool has the potential to facilitate our research. It’s unlikely that your ancestors will be directly found and others in the community or those for whom better records survive (e.g. a biggy wig who lived nearby) might help guide us to material that will help with our own family history research.


Dick Eastman introduces the project in Introducing SNAC.

The SNAC project page states ...

SNAC is addressing a longstanding research challenge: discovering, locating, and using distributed historical records. Scholars use these records as primary evidence for understanding the lives and work of historical persons and the events in which they participated. These records are held in archives and manuscript libraries, large and small, around the world. Scholars may need to search scores of different archives one by one, following clues, hunches, and leads to find the records relevant to their topic. Furthermore, descriptive practices may differ from one archive or library to another. The research is time consuming and inefficient: clues and leads may be easily overlooked and important resources undiscovered.

The data needed to address this research challenge already exists in the guides, catalogs, and finding aids that archivists and librarians create to document and provide access to the archival resources. It is buried in isolated guides and finding aids that are stored in different, isolated systems.

As a visual person and believer in the concept that pictures can speak a 1000 words, here is a sample from SNAC for Bennett Henderson Young.



What do you think? Will such linked information benefit your family history research?





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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
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Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
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Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
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21 September 2015

How to Best Research in Libraries -- Don't let anxiety get in the way!


It can be hard to visit a library, archive, courthouse, or other repository that we are not familiar with.

In fact, sometimes it creates such anxiety, that we may talk ourselves out of making the visit.  Who knows what we’ve missed out on by choosing not to make a visit.

This post by Linda Barnickel on Ancestry.com, Don’t Suffer From Library Anxiety: How to Best Research in Libraries is a great read. 

Symptoms: anxiety, uncertainty, sudden shyness, fear, worry that one might seem woefully ignorant, embarrassment, bewilderment, lack of confidence, and perhaps even shame that one should “know better” or already know the answers before the questions are even posed. If not treated, additional more-severe symptoms may develop, including: frustration, despair, a spirit of defeat, giving up, bitterness, and a vow to never do this again (whatever “this” is).

Remember, you are not alone!  Every one of us has been to a “new” library in the course of our research and I definitely always am a bit anxious as I prepare to visit and then arrive on the scheduled day.

Since I am writing this blog post, I have obviously, emerged unscathed from these experiences.  I’ve learned that preparing in advance helps a lot.  It removes much of the uncertainty to have researched the answers to our myriad questions.  For example you may have questions about pencils or pens, real-time copies or not, what tech toys are allowed, request materials in advance or not, signing in and getting set up, costs, etc.

Anne Gillepsie Mitchell helps us prepare with her post, Genealogy Roadtrip: 10 Tips for Researching at a Library or Archive as does Michael John Neill with his advice in Before Your Trip -- Doing Your Homework: A Checklist for Your Genealogy Vacation.

Finally, don’t forget to start with your local library!  You may find that some of what you seek access to might be available locally (via subscription databases, journal archives, print books, etc) or through interlibrary loan (ILL) and for FREE.

For example, I have ancestors who lived in Essex County MA.  A search in my local Raleigh NC library card catalog tells me that there are several books available that I can consult.  

And, your local library can be a good place to ease your anxiety about visiting any library. The stakes aren’t as high when walking into a local library as when one has traveled possibly a great distance to visit a repository.

If you are planning a visit to a library, archives or other type of repository and feel a bit anxious, consider the advice offered above.



Editor’s Note: Related posts ...




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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
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Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
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Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
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18 September 2015

Save the date -- FREE National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair, 21 & 22 October 2015


The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) will once again be hosting a FREE Virtual Genealogy Fair.  It will be held 21 & 22 October 2015.  The programs will be live broadcast via youTube.

Preliminary details can be found here.  The program has not yet been set.



Editor’s Note: Related posts ...





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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
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Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
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Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
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17 September 2015

Findmypast FREE Weekend (18-21 September 2015)


Explore Findmypast, absolutely free this weekend!

From 7am EDT Friday, September 18th to 7am EDT on Monday, September 21st, you’ll be able to access a collection of billions of family history records and millions of historic newspaper pages at no cost.

Don’t forget – NGS members can get a free one-year subscription to Findmypast US and Canada collection.  Read National Genealogical Society Enters Partnership with Findmypast to Benefit NGS Members! for details.  I’ve claimed my subscription, have you?






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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
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Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
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Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
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16 September 2015

RootsTech Registration Now Open


From FamilySearch ...

SALT LAKE CITY, 15 September 2015—FamilySearch announced today that registration for RootsTech 2016 is now open. RootsTech is a highly popular and growing global conference where people of all ages celebrate family and are inspired to share their memories and connections. The annual event attracts tens of thousands of participants worldwide. RootsTech 2016 will be held February 3–6 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The website for registration is RootsTech.org.

Attendees can expect a full lineup of inspirational keynote speakers, over 200 educational classes, exciting hands-on activities in the expo hall, and entertaining evening events, all designed to help celebrate families across generations! Exclusive early bird discount pricing is available now for full passes starting at just $149 and $169 for the RootsTech plus Innovator Summit pass.  Passes for the Getting Started track start at $19 for a limited single day and $39 for a limited 3-day.
  
An exciting change comes to the class schedule for RootsTech 2016. Classes will now start earlier in the week, on Wednesday February 3, with the first class beginning at 1:30 p.m.

For RootsTech 2016, attendees can now use a new scheduling tool to build, edit, and print their class schedule at RootsTech.org. All RootsTech and Innovator Summit classes, including speakers, class titles, and descriptions, are now available within the scheduling tool. Attendees can begin to create and edit their schedules, and continue to edit them after registration. The online tool will sync with the mobile app available later this year.

As part of RootsTech, the Innovator Summit returns to offer developers, business leaders, and entrepreneurs access to the latest content and resources that provide insight on family history data, services, and inspiration for current and future projects. 

Along with the Innovator Summit, the Innovator Showdown also returns to RootsTech 2016 and is even bigger than before. Innovators of all kinds in any industry are invited to compete with their latest hardware and software apps and services. The top six finalists will be invited to demo live onstage for over 23,000 people. The audience and a panel of renowned judges will decide the winners!

Registration for Family Discovery Day is also now open. The event takes place on Saturday, February 6, 2016, and is designed for families and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Members of the LDS Church are invited to register as families and groups up to 10 at a time. This free one-day event includes devotionals, classes, interactive activities, and entertainment to help families and members discover, preserve, and share their family connections. Event details, including speakers and classes, will be made available soon at RootsTech.org. 






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