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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

NGS 2015 Day 1 Recap

What a day! What a whirl wind amazing day to be exact.  I saw old friends and ended up making a few new ones.  Always a recipe for a great time don’t cha’ know!  So, here is day one, as I saw it with a few announcements and a lot a fun.

To start, during the opening session we saw many very deserving individuals recognized for their hard work.  Highlights from the award winners announced were (from the NGS press release):

The NGS Newsletter Competition
Family Association Newsletter:
Winner: About Towne, newsletter of the Towne Family Association, Inc., edited by Rae Russell Johnson.
Honorable Mention: The Seeley Genealogical Society Newsletter, newsletter of the Seeley Genealogical Society, edited by Katherine M. Olson

County/Local Genealogical and/or Historical Society, for societies with less than 500 members:
Winner: GRIVA News and Notes, newsletter of the Genealogical Research Institute of Virginia, edited by Sharon Barden Garber.
Honorable Mention: The Newsletter of the Irish Family History Forum, newsletter of the Irish Family History Forum, edited by Patricia Mansfield Phelan, and BIGWILL News, newsletter of the British Interest Group of Wisconsin and Illinois, edited by Karen Glass.

Major Genealogical and/or Historical Society, for societies with more than 500 members:
Winners: Wisconsin State Genealogical Society Newsletter, the newsletter of the Wisconsin State Genealogical Society, edited by Tina Krummel

The President's Citation
The President's Citation is given in recognition of outstanding, continuing, or unusual contributions to the field of genealogy or the Society. The NGS President selects the recipient(s). This year’s the citation went to two outstanding individuals: Pat Richley-Erickson aka Dear Myrtle of South Jordan, Utah, and Dr. Ruth Ann Murray, Assistant Dean of the Metropolitan College, Boston University.

I saw Pat (aka Dear Myrtle) later in the day and she was still on cloud nine from the surprise.  It was such a great response from the crowd (there was cheering and hollering the hall) that I was so happy that I was able to be there and see accept her award. 

Keynote with theater!
After the award winners were announced we were treated to an excellent keynote by J. Mark Lowe titled The Tales of Pioneer Paths: Rivers, Roads, and Rails.  It started with him singing Oh Shenandoah dressed in 19th-century costume.  It was unique and wonderful, which I hope everyone in the room appreciated.  He played a man from the time telling us stories, family history stories, about the characters family.  It was enthralling to hear a man’s struggles (honestly the struggles of many of our ancestors) living on the frontier come to life in front of you.  At one point there was not a dry eye in the room. 

I was able to attend 2 lectures today but most of my day was spent in the exhibit hall meeting, greeting and networking.  One of the main reasons I come to conferences.  Especially since this may be the one time I see many of these people each year. 

My favorite session of the day was John Colletta's "Principles of Good Writing and Good Storytelling."  Mainly I enjoyed it because he touched on subjects that I think are fundamental to good genealogical writing.  Now, this not scholarly writing. They type of writing I, and he, mean is the conversational prose that everyday people enjoy.  You know, like your cousins.  Those people who we want to read our hard work.  Writing well, knowing your audience and putting your research out there in an easily accessible way I feel only helps future generations.

If you want to hear more about my days at the conference make sure you follow me on my twitter account.  In fact, some of the tweets are found here on my twitter roll on this account.  Hint, hint.  Also, follow tweets from the conference by reading #NGS2015GEN on twitter too.

Well, I am off to work out for the night.  Yes, I have had dinner and talked to the family so I really should go workout in the hotel gym.  Or I could watch TV.  Decisions, decisions….

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