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San Antonio!

It’s time for the Federation of Genealogical Societies to shine in the Lone Star State: the 2014 FGS Conference is underway here in San Antonio.

fgs2014-logoYesterday was Librarians’ Day; today is Societies’ Day; the general conference gets underway tomorrow with a keynote presentation on orphan trains and their riders: the last train went to Sulphur Springs, Texas, in 1929.

So what has The Legal Genealogist learned so far?

San Antonio is hot.

It’s supposed to hit triple digits today but “only” the upper 90s for the rest of the week.

Locals tell me that’s nothing and “you should have been here last year.”

East coasters are melting.

The River Walk is gorgeous.

That alone is worth a trip to San Antonio.

Yes, it’s touristy. Yes, it’s designed to part you from the contents of your wallet.

Who cares? It’s beautifully done. I may even get some touristy pictures today.

FamilySearch is on the move.

FamilySearch held its blogger dinner last night to bring the genealogy blogging community up to date on what’s happening at FamilySearch.

Some tidbits from the dinner:

• FamilySearch is adding another 200 camera crews to go out and digitally record documents like vital records, land records, court records and more. By the end of 2015, there will be 500 active crews in operation around the world.

• RootsTech 2014 drew in 5250 paid attendees, plus another 4,000 youth and an equal number of family session attendees. Some 14,000+ people tuned in to the live streaming sessions and, through the medium of remote fairs, roughly 150,000 people around the globe saw parts of the RootsTech conference.

• Registration for RootsTech 2015 — to be held in Salt Lake City February 12-15 — opens on Friday of this week (August 29th). The early bird registration fee is $139. That 2015 conference is being held in conjunction with FGS 2015 (February 11-14) and general sessions and the exhibit hall will be shared. In other words, it’s going to be humongous and ought to be a blast.

• FamilySearch is really focusing on its Family Tree product — on the web and in mobile applications. It’s added record hints, research suggestions and data quality features. Family Tree is a single crowd-sourced worldwide tree that anyone can add to (or subtract from) and, as yet, has no mechanism for resolving conflicts between contributors. The record hints allow users to review the more than 1.2 billion FamilySearch records as to any person in the tree.

FGS attendees take note!!!

If you’re here in San Antonio and you want to sponsor a walker in the Saturday morning Preserve the Pensions Fun Walk, take note! There’s yet another special offer being made.

Michael Hall will be manning the Preserve the Pensions booth at FGS (Booth 506, 508) and he is the creator of a truly exquisite set of miniature War of 1812 figures: foot soldiers, officers and more. They are amazing in their detail and their fidelity to history.

And — while supplies last — anybody who ponies up a $100 sponsorship (sponsor me, will ya? the others have their own rooting sections!) — can get one of these lovely miniatures from Michael.

The exhibit hall opens tomorrow, so there’s plenty of time left to join in the fun.

And if you’re not here in San Antonio, you can still sponsor a walker (me! c’mon!) by heading over to the Preserve the Pensions donation page (scroll down to the section to choose a walker to sponsor). Every penny of sponsorship money goes 100% to the Preserve the Pensions program, and is matched by Ancestry — so your support gets multiplied!

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