FGS 2018 at Fort Wayne

Just two weeks from today, on August 22nd, the 2018 conference of the Federation of Genealogical Societies gets underway in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with Society Day, followed by the general opening on Thursday, August 23.

The Legal Genealogist will be there — and you should, too.

We’re going to have so much fun in Fort Wayne, and there’s something for everybody — not to mention with a world-class genealogical library that will have extended hours…

FGS 2018

So… what kinds of fun is in store at FGS 2018, “On The Three Rivers: Past, Present & Future”?

Well, Blaine Bettinger and I get to tell four Fort Wayne area broadcasters about their family history and their DNA results in the Thursday opening session: Breaking Down the Broadcasters: Discovering the DNA of Fort Wayne’s Famous. All of them are in for some real surprises — what rich tales their family histories contain!

If DNA is what you want, there will be plenty of it. Consider these, just for starters:

Creating a Research Plan for DNA Testing, Shannon Combs-Bennett. Learn how to integrate DNA results into a genealogy research plan to unlock more clues to your family’s past. (Session T-203, Thursday, 11 a.m.)

DNA Baby Steps, Blaine Bettinger. For DNA beginners, a look at some of the first steps that new test-takers should follow when they open their results for the first time. What do you need to know to understand your test results? (Session T-221, Thursday, 3:30 p.m.)

Doing DNA Right: The Ethical Side of Testing, Judy G. Russell. How do we use this 21st century tool in the most ethical way possible for all those impacted? (Session F-303, Friday, 11 a.m.)

No Chromosome Browser? No Problem, Angie Bush. Learn how to make the most of your matches even if you tested at a company with no chromosome browser. (Session F-313, Friday, 2 p.m.)

When You’re Not Who You Thought You Were, Pamela Boyer Sayre. If Y-DNA testing identifies a totally different surname or ancestor than the expected one, what path leads to finding your own true biological identity? (Session F-321, Friday, 3:30 p.m.)

Genetic Genealogy: Advanced, Diahan Southard. A look at several advanced tools that can help you glean more information from your DNA test. (Session S-412, Saturday, 2 p.m.)

There’s more beyond these — other sessions by top speakers (see Sessions F-328, S-420, and S-427), a great lunch talk by Blaine Bettinger, and AncestryDNA (Sessions T-228 and F-403) and MyHeritage DNA (Session T-213 ) both have sessions focusing on their offerings.

And if that’s not enough, there are still slots available for the Friday night fun event, Speed DNAting: A Hip Haplogroup Happening, where you can learn something about your haplogroup though networking, DNA themed cocktails or mocktails, trivia, and other contests. (Extra cost, of course.)

There are tons of sessions devoted to Midwest research, to ethnic research (lots of Germans and Scandinavians and Irish and African-Americans and…), and so much on different record types and genealogical methodology.

And this blog wouldn’t be the what it is if I didn’t mention the law-related options, including:

Bibles, Beds and Bobbins: Early Indiana Laws, Judy G. Russell. The laws our ancestors lived by tell a story of life in their times, and Indiana’s early laws tell tales of Bibles, beds and bobbins, of habitual drunkards, and of runaway apprentices.. (Session F-315, Friday,2 p.m.)

Finding Treasures in the Hoosier Courthouse, Michael D. Lacopo. There is far more than meets the eye in the Indiana courthouse! Learn what records each office retains and how to find them. (Session F-332, Friday, 5 p.m.)

And if that’s still not enough, think about that world-class genealogical library. The Allen County Public Library is a two-minute walk, if you walk slowly, from the convention center. Its genealogical holdings are amazing… and it’ll be open late during the conference…

You can still register online for another five days — through August 13 — at the conference registration page. The full conference registration fee is $250, two days is $200, a single day is $109, and students get in for the bargain basement price of $49.

Hope to see you in Fort Wayne!

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