This will be my first NGS conference, although it won't be my first ride on the national conference band wagon. In February 2012, I attended RootsTech in Salt Lake City, Utah. And a couple of years before that I attended the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies conference in Los Angeles, California.
Why am I excited to attend a national conference?
- It is being held in Las Vegas, Nevada - an inexpensive plane ride from from my home town.
- It will be an opportunity to see and hear some of the academic all-stars of the national genealogical community, including Elizabeth Shown Mills and Thomas W. Jones. I only hope I can rush to their classes early enough to get in. I am particularly interested in buying my own copy of Jones' brand new book, "Mastering Genealogical Proof."
- The keynoter on Wednesday morning, May 8, will be someone dear to the hearts of all Jewish genealogists, Marian Smith, Chief, Historical Research Branch, USCIS. She is responsible for the most useful, to my mind, InfoFile on JewishGen: "Manifest Markings."
- It will be an opportunity to meet, in person, several genealogists I've admired from afar (or at least via email or blogging). I'm particularly interested in meeting the Legal Genealogist, Judy Russell. I'm already signed up for her lunch talk.
- I'm an official blogger. Not sure of the criteria for selection. I applied. I got. The duties appear to be fairly free-form. But I figure this responsibility will give me added impetus to blog the classes I attend, write about my experiences and network like crazy.