Conferences are a great place to network. If using the term networking makes you roll your eyes, perhaps you can think of networking as making friends and keeping up friendships. If you are a blogger, networking means talking to all the people who read your posts or want you to talk about their product. This is the first conference I have attended where I seem to have a tiny bit of name recognition. So what is new? The BYU Conference is for genealogy, not a place to announce new products or talk about technology. The Conference is all about finding your ancestors. With a syllabus of over 500 pages, it would be virtually impossible for you not to find something that would help your own personal research.
The afternoon sessions started with a class called "Your Legally Involved Ancestor Left a Message for You, Courtesy of the Court" from Stephen Ehat, a Utah attorney, specializing in researching legal records. This is extremely interesting and helpful information. Even though I am an attorney, I choose this class because I can always learn something. Quite frankly, I have done little genealogical research in legal documents, although I have recognized the value of the documents for a long time. I found the class to be very interesting and I learned something about doing searches that I will pass on in the future.
On to "Tips and Techniques for searching Ancestry.com" from Michelle Ercanbrack. The BYU Conference Center has some large conference rooms with stadium seating. I have recently taught classes on Ancestry.com, but who knows, I might learn more. The class turned out to be very fundamental, but guess what? I needed the fundamentals. I did find out that the new 2012 version of Family Tree Maker is supposed to finally synchronize with the online Family Trees! Synchronization seems to be the buzz word.
I actually got more information from talking to the people at the conference than I did in the classes. You might find out more in the classes. But I need to go to the classes that deal with my own family lines. The last hour, I went to a class on Welsh research. Everything in the class was applicable to all sorts of research not just in Wales. The class was "Wales Research Peculiarities" by Judy Jones. I should have gone to the classes earlier in the day.
Let's see what tomorrow brings!