Friday, November 14, 2008

Fun Friday - Mesa Family History Expo

I have been at the Mesa 2009 Family History Expo today. What a great way to spend a Friday. I did manage to get to a session this morning before I had to speak this afternoon. Unfortunately there is no Internet service available at the convention centre, so I was not be able to blog throughout the day like I wanted to.
Nevertheless, the session I attended was called "What's New at Ancestry?" Well, there is certainly a lot new at Ancestry. Besides new content, there is a new Ancestry toolbar which you can install. You can now customize your own Ancestry homepage and add quick links to all your favourite research databases. Oh, and the books they publish. You can upload a GEDcom file to Ancestry family trees and then you can publish a book based on that information. Ancestry will search its records and find matching documents that you add to the book, such as census records, and birth, marriage and death registrations. The books can be customized any way you like. The Ancestry booth in the Exhibit Hall had some samples of the books. They are gorgeous. I am definitely considering using this service to publish a book about my grandfather.

This afternoon I spent speaking. My first session was "Tracking Your Ancestors on the Internet - US & Canada Census Records". Second session was "Tracking Your Ancestors on the Internet - Points of Entry. This session dealt with Ship Passenger Lists, Immigration Records and Border Crossing Records in Canada and the US. Both session were quite well attended. I had some good comments from the audience afterwards. It makes me feel good when I know people have learned something that they can put to use in their family history research from my sessions.

And now, I am off to the evening banquet. Beau Sharbrough is the keynote speaker. It will be nice to have someone serve me dinner, and I don't have to clean up.

Much more tomorrow.