Monday, August 6, 2012

The Family History Expo At Work

Woodruff Hotel in Nauvoo, IL
Temple at Nauvoo, IL
On Tuesday afternoon of last week I left for Illinois to speak at the Family History Expo.  My Utah friends picked me up here in North Platte.  On Wednesday evening we were in Nauvoo, Illinois.  What an interesting place!  We stayed at the Woodruff Hotel which is restored.  From my second floor room I could look out at the Temple.  That evening we attended the pageant.  If any of you are going to Nauvoo, make certain that you attend this inspiring event.  The next day we visited the jail at Carthage, Illinois, then found our way to Springfield, Illinois.

Holly Hansen - first day of the Illinois Family History Expo
Getting set up and prepared for a Family History Expo takes time, but it is worth the endeavor.  Once we see the smiles on people's faces and hear their comments, we know the job was worth every minute.  Holly Hansen does a fantastic job of putting on the Expos.  Not only did I present four classes, but also worked the Ask A Pro table.  One thing I noticed was that people think that a one time check of databases  such as Ancestry.com and FamilySearch is enough.  These large databases and others change almost daily.  Check them often.

While visiting with vendors and attendees I met a lady who has relatives who connect with my Wilson family in the northeastern Tennessee counties of Carter and Johnson.  Over the lunch break she went home and came back with a book about these folk.  I was surprised to see the author was a man I had corresponded with in the 1960-1980 time period.  Of course, I wanted the book.

Once I was home yesterday, I started searching Internet for anything pertaining to the author or book.  Eventually I found an e-mail address for the author.  He answered my e-mail within a very short period of time.  This morning I put a check in the mail for his book.  The Expos take work, but they also work for us.  Invariably you will find somebody who will network with you in your research, or you will learn something significant from a class you are taking.

The next Family History Expo will be in Kearney, Nebraska Sept 7th-8th.  The Midwest Family History Expo 2012 will be held at the Holiday Inn Convention Center.  Be sure to check out the details and take advantage of the early bird registration special.  I will be the keynote speaker and will present four classes.  FamilySearch will be there as well as many other vendors.  Bring your money, bring your genealogical problems and bring yourself ... fun times are ahead in September!

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