Why attend a conference? That’s a good question and one it took me a bit to answer.
- Learning! Do you know it all? No? Me either, so a conference is a great way to learn from speakers face-to-face. And do you know what? I think every speaker I listened to at OGS 2016 gave out their e-mail addresses, told people to write to them with questions, and…they stuck around their session, just to answer questions!
- The expo hall is full of resources, books, genealogy groups who are there to help. And they are happy to!
- Networking!! Huge! You meet people, and they may be researching where your ancestors lived. They might have access to resources that aren’t on-line, and fingers-crossed, may offer to do a look up or two for you!
This happened to me at the Ontario conference. I had a friend who had a friend… who has access to the archives in Quebec, and she offered to help me with some research. I sent her an e-mail when I arrived home and Bingo – she’s going to see what she can find.
Needless to say, I may have gotten a little carried away when I first sent her an e-mail and gave her the information I had on Richard Lee Norton. And while I was looking through his records I was reminded that his mother-in-law owned a house in Quebec City at 43 St. Ursule Street in the 1850s…so I told her about her. Oh but then I also remembered that her brother-in-law owned the London Coffee House in Quebec City in the 1860s, so I asked how I would access any records from that. There may have been a couple other people I had some questions about as well. Too many questions? YES! I was so excited I couldn’t stop myself, and I didn’t want said genealogist to say later that she could’ve looked for that record has she known. So I laid it all out, well not all but a lot! (I actually did hold back some questions). I also was very clear that she could just point me in a direction and I would be very happy to do it myself. It is very satisfying to be able to ask specific questions to someone who knows how to access the records!
Back to the idea of going to a conference, I would say GO, hurry and GO. Who knows what you will gain from it? What I know is it may lead me to getting answers to questions I have had for about ten years!
Maybe there is a trip to Quebec in my future and with some guidence may finally make some progress on this family!
P.S. I don’t want to name names in case she gets bombarded with questions but a huge shout out to Gail and Sharon, you know why!