I was lucky enough to attend the Ontario Genealogy Conference that was recently held in Ottawa. A few of the reasons I LOVE attending:
- Deals. The vendors are there in spades and they offer great deals, DNA kits at unheard of prices, renewing your subscription to sites again at reduced rates, books, scanners, and more.
- Networking. Talk to societies, archives or other organizations face-to-face. They are there to help and answer your questions.
- Learning. The speakers, oh the speakers, their informative talks help to give you focus and direction in your research.
- Volunteering. You can put your own knowledge to work by volunteering at these events or by helping out. I was a part of the Social Media Team and they were a truly fun group to work with.
- Access. Did I mention the research room? FREE access to many great genealogy sites. The access given allowed me to research and locate many records that I didn’t even know were out there. Genealogy Quebec is the site where I found many new discoveries. The room also had free access to Find My Past, My Heritage, Ancestry, and others. This is a great way to ‘try them out’ and see if they would be a worthwhile purchase for you.
- Excursions. I had never been to Library and Archives Canada and felt a little intimidated about visiting. I shouldn’t have been, the tour was quite informative and I was able to ask questions when I wasn’t sure about something. It was a day well spent.
One thing I did this year was showcase my own surnames. I had a T-shirt printed and I was a walking billboard. My t-shirt received a lot of comments and because it was tweeted so many times I was contacted by people who matched my Gedmatch number! Goal achieved.
I think we may see more of these shirts at future conferences.
You may wonder why I would travel so far (Alberta) to attend and there is really one over-riding reason, the people. The new-found friendships, renewed and strengthened are really the reason I keep coming back.