Wow! Going to a Genealogy Conference sure does make ones furnace burn bright with the fires of impetus, drive and determination!
Grandma’s Genes is at the Ontario Genealogical Society Conference 2016 in Toronto this weekend (June 2016). We participated in a workshop on running a genealogy business where we learned great strategies for moving Grandma’s Genes into the stratosphere of our niche market (Genetic Genealogy – General, Adoption and First Nations Peoples). It’s Amazing to have this kind of a workshop available to us this weekend and furthers our desire to offer insights and resources to our clients and to the genealogical community as a whole.
Even before we got here, our drive to Toronto from our home base in Ottawa, was incredibly productive. It’s good for Marc and I to be able to banter, talk and formulate ideas to further our vision (without annoying our spousal units and family). From the beginning (since Marc said to me while shoveling over 2 feet of snow from the laneway – driveway for those who don’t speak Canadian – “So I hear you are into Genealogy?!”) we have had a pretty singular vision. But, attending a conference together gives us an opportunity to sharpen that view and reinforce for us that our vision is correct.
From the colorful, the energetic and shameless self-promoting Thomas MacEntee to Maurice Gleeson and his wonderfully self-deprecating presentation of DNA, surnames and one name studies to Dr. Judy Russell’s playground metaphors for the rules we should all follow as genealogists (and everyone else really) to…well we still have another day to go.
Networking with like-minded people is great too. There are other bloggers and hobbyists and Genetic Genealogists, and legal Genealogists and Passionate Genealogists and a more than a few organizers and roving help people, in their green shirts, who are fun to talk to as they scurry from one help request to the next. We have had elevator talks which have lasted a few seconds, we have had break talks that have lasted for a few minutes, we have had late afternoon social talks that have lasted for half an hour. Like the talk Marc and I had with former Speaker of the House, the Right Honorable, Peter Milliken, PC OC FRSC (so many post-nominals – don’t ask me to explain what they mean). Everywhere you turn there is learning and sharing going on – from professional to professional, hobbyist to professional, hobbyist to hobbyist and most definitely from Organizer to all of us.
My favorite time at conferences like this, though, is the time I spend early in the mornings, lining up with my fellow attendees for a breakfast (this morning the line was 20 long at Starbucks). There are so many others with so many great stories to tell about their search for ancestors, and in the case of genetic genealogy, their search for descendants. Spending that time chatting together, hearing personal stories and ending up spread across a few tables engaged in 3 or 4 conversations at once? It’s the best time for me.
Oh it is good to be a part of this great world-wide community. I have heard a lot of the speakers this weekend talk about how we as genealogists, since the advent of the internet age, have welcomed the ability to collaborate and share. We have certainly seen it – all the that collaboration, learning and laughing and growth.