Category Archives: Exhibits

Thank you Volunteers and Sponsors

Event such as the FGS 2014 Conference would not be possible without the many volunteers and sponsors who work tirelessly behind the scenes to bring everything together. To the volunteers from local co-hosts the San Antonio Genealogical and Historical Society and the Texas State Genealogical Society to other volunteers from around the country – Thank you.

You can help us say thank you to our sponsors by visiting them in the Exhibit Hall. They have supported FGS in a number of ways and we are very grateful.

Visit FGS 2014 sponsors in the Exhibit Hall.

Visit FGS 2014 sponsors in the Exhibit Hall.

Share Button

Visit FGS’ New Booth in the Exhibit Hall


Stop by the FGS booth and learn more about FGS programs and events in 2015. Subscribe to the Forum, support the Preserve the Pension project and so much more.


Share Button

FGS 2014 Off to a Great Start – Wednesday


Focus on Societies lunch on Wednesday at FGS 2014.

So much going on today:  Focus on Society sessions started in the morning with David Rencher and Ed Donakey, then continued following lunch with choice of 18 sessions geared toward society management for society members and leaders.

Exhibitors are busy getting read for the FGS 2014 Exhibit Hall to open on Thursday, August 28, at 9:30 a.m.

Exhibitors are busy getting ready for the FGS 2014 Exhibit Hall to open on Thursday, August 28, at 9:30 a.m.

At the same time, registration was open in the lobby and the Exhibit Hall was buzzing with organizations getting everything ready for the grand opening of exhibits on Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m.

Before the exhibits open, attendees will hear the keynote address, Riders on the Orphan Train, by Phillip Lancaster and Alison Moore at 8:00 a.m. in Ballroom B.

So excited for another great day!

Share Button

Stay up-to-date with the FGS App

fgsapplogoYou’re in San Antonio and you want to stay up-to-date on the latest conference info. There an app for that!

The FGS App for mobile devices will keep you updated on all things FGS, including the 2014 Conference.

If you have not downloaded it already, now is the time to go to the iOS App store or the Android Marketplace and download the FGS App.

FGS mobile app gives you access to the latest FGS 2014 Conference information. Just select the Gone To Texas icon!

FGS mobile app gives you access to the latest FGS 2014 Conference information. Just select the Gone To Texas icon!

You’ll find information about FGS society members, publications and preservation plus select the Gone To Texas icon for the latest FGS 2014 Conference information.

  • Login and check your schedule
  • See a list of sessions or speakers
  • View maps of the convention center to find your meeting room
  • Check out the exhibit hall and a directory of exhibitors
  • Visit the conference blog

Everything you could access on the FGS Conference website and more is at your fingertips.








Share Button

FGS 2014 Conference Getting Set to Start

Volunteers are getting things ready for the FGS 2014 Conference. Onsite registration begins Tuedday afternoon at 3:00!

Volunteers are getting things ready for the FGS 2014 Conference. Onsite registration begins Tuedday afternoon at 3:00!

Conference week has finally arrived! The committee and volunteers are busy with final preparations at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center as attendees are arriving at one of the most anticipated genealogical events of the year.

Today, ProQuest sponsors Librarians’ Day, a pre-conference event, that includes sessions on Preserve the Pensions, Building a Core Genealogical Collection for Your Library, San Antonio Public LIbrary Texana and Genealogy Collection, and Genealogy Research Sources Available at the Texas General Land Office.

Wednesday is Focus on Societies day. A half-day workshop with David Rencher and Ed Donakey will show societies how to develop a plan for managing and building their organization. In the afternoon, society members and leaders can select from a range of topics on strategic planning, society technology, outreach, education and more.

Thursday morning, the conference kicks off with keynote address, Orphan Trains to Texas, followed by the opening of the Exhibit Hall and more than 130 sessions and workshops for genealogists.

It’s not too late to join in. Onsite registration begins Tuesday afternoon at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center and continues each day. There is a special day-rate for Saturday of $49. The exhibit hall is open Thurday through Saturday and offers free admittance to the public.

See you there!




Share Button

FGS 2014 Conference Syllabus Available Online

How can it be well into August already? We are now just days away from the 2014 Federation of Genealogical Societies conference in San Antonio. Conference committee members from across the U.S. and representatives from the Texas State Genealogical Society and San Antonio Genealogical and Historical Society are working to make sure this year’s conference meets every expectation.

FGS 2014 Conference Syllabus is online!

FGS 2014 Conference Syllabus is online!

The syllabus is online

The syllabus is now online and available for downloading. Of course, if you’ve been following the FGS 2014 Conference blog, you already know that! Visit and sign in with your Username and Password. Click on “Download your syllabus” in the rectangle at the top of the screen.

What are the benefits of an online syllabus?

  • You can look at it before coming to the conference and use it to help you choose which sessions to attend. Viewing the syllabus materials beforehand can help you decide if a session is just what you need.
  • Use it to help you decide between classes when you are having trouble making a choice.
  • Save the syllabus to your laptop, smartphone, or tablet and take the digital copy with you to your conference sessions.
  • Or print the syllabus pages for sessions you plan to attend. You can take notes right on these pages. If you like having the syllabus with you, this will make for a much lighter load than carrying the whole printed syllabus around the convention center.
  • If you need to print syllabus pages while you’re at the conference, be sure to visit the Cyber Café in the Exhibit Hall, sponsored by Findmypast, Dell, and Lexmark, on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Dell and Lexmark have generously provided computers and printers for your convenience.

Last call to add to your registration

While you are logged into your account, check to be sure that you have registered for any luncheons, workshops, or special events that you want to attend. If you need help logging into your account, visit our Registration FAQs page. The last day to add luncheons and special events to your registration online is Tuesday, August 19. There might be a few tickets left for these events when you arrive at Registration, but this is not guaranteed!

Onsite registration

Every registrant needs to stop at the Registration area in the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center to pick up his or her Conference tote bag, filled with all of the materials and information needed for the week: Onsite Conference Guide, name badge, special offers, event tickets and wristbands, syllabus on CD, and other items. If you ordered a printed syllabus, this is where you pick it up. FGS welcomes onsite conference registrations for those unable to plan ahead.

Onsite registration hours

Tuesday: 3 pm-7 pm
Wednesday: 7 am-11:30 am; 1 pm-6 pm
Thursday: 7 am-2 pm
Friday: 7:30 am -10 am
Saturday: 7:30 am-10 am

Conference Onsite Guide

Each registrant receives this handy guide that will answer just about every question you might have about the conference and related events. It includes important FGS conferences policies, as well as general information. A program grid tells in what room each lecture, workshop, or luncheon will be held plus a description of each session to help you decide what to attend. Also included are layout maps of the convention center and exhibit hall to help orient you to the conference space; maps showing convenient parking; and maps for those walking to the evening events.

Exhibit Hall

The large Exhibit Hall is open to both registrants and non-registrants.

Thursday: 9:30 am-5:30 pm
Friday: 9 am-5 pm
Saturday: 9 am-3:00 pm

Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center Parking

A city parking garage is located next to the Marriott Riverwalk hotel and across Market Street from the Convention Center. There is also a lot between the Convention Center and the Institute for Texan Cultures. Several surface parking lots are within two blocks of the convention center.

Name Badges

Please wear your conference name badge for entry into session rooms and for admittance to the Exhibit Hall. If you are registered for a specific day, you may only attend sessions on that day.

Special Events

The evening events – the Institute of Texan Cultures and A Night in Old San Antonio – both require pre-registration. A wristband is required for admittance to each event and will be in your registration packet. The tour to Panna Maria also requires pre-registration. A wristband is required to board the bus.

What to wear?

This is Texas in the summertime, so wear what makes you the most comfortable. But, Texans know how to do air conditioning, so be prepared for cooler temperatures in the session rooms. The evening events are casual. In particular, since A Night in Old San Antonio on Friday is outdoors, wear something cool. Everything is close, but still don’t forget to pack comfortable shoes.

See you in San Antonio!

Share Button

Maximize Your Conference Experience

Get the most out of your FGS 2014 conference experience by planning ahead.

With so much to see and do at the FGS 2014 Conference in San Antonio, plan ahead to make sure you make the most of your conference experience.

The FGS 2014 Conference in San Antonio is just a few weeks away. Whether this is your first conference or your 10th conference, there are things you can do now to insure that you make the most of your trip. Here are just a few tips.


  1. Plan your schedule. If you have not already done so, select the sessions and workshops that you plan to attend and plan your schedule. If there are several sessions at the same time that you want to attend, the second one can be your backup in case the first session room is full. If you want to attend a workshop, make sure you’ve registered early to reserve your seat for the session. Workshops often have limited seating and you may not be able to register on-site.
  2. Check out the Exhibit Hall information online. You will be able to pick up a Site Guide once you arrive at the conference, however, reviewing the list of exhibitors ahead of time gives you a chance to plan your strategy for visiting the Exhibit Hall once it opens. You can also access the Exhibit Hall map and directory from the FGS mobile app on your tablet or smartphone.
  3. Take your Tree. Make sure you have your family tree data accessible on your mobile device or laptop.
  4. Buy tickets for luncheons and special events. Plan which luncheons and special events you want to attend and purchase your tickets in advance.  Visit the Institute of Texan Cultures or spend A NIght in Old San Antonio. These activities are a great place to meet other genealogists, but they also allow you to relax a little during the hustle and bustle of the conference.


  1. Comfortable clothes and shoes. Dressing in layers will help you deal with the often fluctuating room temperatures found at large hotels or convention centers. You’ll be walking a lot, so comfy shoes are a must!
  2. Business cards and/or address labels. Business cards with your name and contact information make it easy to stay connected with your new friends. Many genealogists also include the surnames they are researching on the back of the business card. Some attendees print out a list of address labels. Often vendors will have drawings and ask you to fill out a ticket; instead of having to fill out a ticket, just use one of your address labels!
  3. Tools to take notes. Pens, pencils, highlighters, paper, clipboard, folder, smartphone, tablet – take whatever you will need to allow you to take notes during the conference. Use a pen and paper to takes notes? Then bring extra pens. If you use your smartphone or tablet, make sure that it is fully charged each morning. Plus you can use your smartphone or tablet to take photos of friends as well. Remember, taking photos and videos during presentations is not permitted. Check out the FGS Photography Policy for details.
  4. Curiosity and a smile! Conferences are great places to catch up with old friends. They also present a wonderful opportunity to make new friends. Talk to the person sitting next to you at lunch or in a session. You just might run into someone who can help you break down that brick wall. You could also meet a cousin or two. If you’re a society member or officer, use this as an opportunity connect with other society leaders to share information and swap ideas.


  1. Check-in as soon as you can. Check-in at the registration table as soon as you can and pick up your conference bag. The bag contains your onsite guide, tickets for luncheons or workshops, and other materials. The guide includes the schedule of lectures including room assignments. It also has maps of the Convention Center to help you find your way around. Checking in early gives you time to review this information and plan your strategy to help you make the most out of your conference experience. Registration opens Tuesday, August 26, at 3:00 p.m. and is open each day.
  2. Get to sessions early. Some session rooms will fill quickly, so be sure to arrive early to insure you have a seat. Just a few extra minutes presents a little more time to network!
  3. Visit the Exhibit Hall. Check the On Site Guide for a schedule of demonstrations and presentations that will be given on the two stages inside the Exhibit Hall. Product demonstrations and more will be presented by vendors and selected presenters during regular Exhibit Hall hours. Visit the vendors booths to learn about the latest solutions for genealogists; visit the Society Showcase to learn more about the benefits of belonging to a genealogical society. The schedule for these presentations will be posted on the blog closer to the conference.
  4. Visit San Antonio. Don’t forgot to check out the sites in San Antonio. The River Walk by the convention center and conference hotels will let you take a quick break from the conference and enjoy a little taste of San Antonio at the same time.

The FGS 2014 Conference is just a few weeks ago. There is so much to see and do in just a few days. Planning ahead will help you maximize your experience!

Watch for more tips about things to do in San Antonio in the coming days.

Share Button

Society Showcase: Texas Wendish Heritage Society

The Texas Wendish Heritage Society highlights their history, museum and library in the Society Showcase in the FGS 2014 Exhibit Hall.

Society Showcase: Booth S

“In December of 1854, an English sailing vessel, the Ben Nevis, docked in Galveston harbor loaded with some 500 immigrants from Lusatia, an area in Germany comprising parts of Saxony and Prussia. These immigrants were not the typical lot of Germans, Swedes, Czechs, and Poles who flocked to Texas in the 1850’s seeking cheap land and economic opportunity. This group was different.”

So begins the brief history of the Texas Wendish Heritage Society. It is a fascinating story of Slavic pioneers who settled in Lee County in search of religious liberty and the right to speak their Wendish tongue. In the latter part of the 1800s, many of these settlers headed to other parts of Texas. Through the years, the Wendish language died out.

The Texas Wendish Heritage Museum preserves the history of the Texas Wends, Salvic immigrants from Lusatia, an area in eastern Germany. The Texas Heritage Museum is located in Serbin, Texas, near the St. Paul Lutheran Church, school and cemetery. Exhibits include two log buildings and farming equipment. The Lillie Moerbe Caldwell Memorial Library specializes in the history and genealogy of the Wendish people.

The 26th Annual Wendish Fest will be held September 28, 2014, and features traditional Wendish activities on the church grounds, exhibits and crafts at the Museum and exhibitions an demonstrations preserving the Wendish heritage.

Today, thousands of Texans and other Americans can lay claim to the “courageous and fascinating heritage of the Wends.”

In October 2013, the New York Times published an article entitled The Joys of Being Wendish, Festival and All, written by Corrie Maclaggan (The Texas Tribune) featuring the society.

Visit the Texas Wendish Heritage Society in booth S in the Society Showcase in the Exhibit Hall at the FGS 2014 Conference to learn more about their activities, scholarship program, and collections.

FGS 2014 Society Showcase Exhibitors List

Share Button

Exhibitor: Texas General Land Office

Learn how to access the Texas GLO record collections at the FGS 2014 Conference in San Antonio.

Learn how to access the Texas GLO record collections at the FGS 2014 Conference in San Antonio. Visit booth 332 or attend an optional workshop on Saturday, August 30.

Booth 332

The General Land Office was established by the 1836 Constitution for the Republic of Texas. It housed its first land records in Houston, but moved the archives to Austin in 1839. Austin residents, armed with cannon, kept the Texas Rangers from moving the records back to Houston in 1843, during what came to be known as the Archives War.

Today, the main functions of the General Land Office are earning money for the state’s Permanent School Fund, overseeing state veterans benefits, maintaining historic land records and maps and acting as steward of the state’s coast.

The General Land Office conserves and protects more than 35 million historic land documents, maps and notes that are open to the public for research. Many of these records date back to 1720 and include maps, sketches and plat maps. Forming the foundation of all private land ownership in Texas, the maps and documents of the Archives are still used today by researchers, surveyors, genealogists and students of Texas history.

Highlights of the Collection:

  • Maps, sketches and plat maps contained in the GLO Archives are more than just functional – they are hand-drawn works of art. Learn More
  • Original Spanish and Mexican land grants Learn More
  • Documents dating back to 1720 establishing Mission San Jose
  • The first draft of the Texas Constitution
  • Rare copies of 1836 muster rolls and military records of Texas heroes
  • Confederate documents, including scrip certificates, letters and diaries
  • Letters and documents from Alamo and Goliad defenders, including the most well-known Alamo survivor, Susanna Dickinson
  • Original signatures of Texas patriots such as Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston, James Bowie, and William Travis

Visit the Texas GLO at booth 332 in the Exhibit Hall on the FGS Conference or attend their Saturday workhop to learn more about researching Texas land and other records in the collection.

Saturday Workshop – Genealogical Resources at the Texas General Land Office
Speaker: James Harkins, MPA, CA
S-408, Saturday, August 30, 9:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
$15 fee, registration required

This workshop covers the historical and archival resources of the Texas General Land Office. Learn how to access the GLO’s variety of records, focusing on the period immediately before the Texas Revolution, the Republic era, and early Texas statehood, and including land grants, various Special Collections and the GLO’s many online resources.

Sponsored by Texas State Genealogical Society

Register online

Learn more about research at the Texas General Land Office

Directory of FGS 2014 Exhibitors



Share Button

Society Showcase: South Plains Genealogical Society

The South Plains Genealogical Society exhibits in the Society Showcase at the FGS 2014 Conference in San Antonio.

The South Plains Genealogical Society exhibits in the Society Showcase at the FGS 2014 Conference in San Antonio.

Society Showcase: Booth P

The South Plains Genealogical Society (SPGS) began on April 8, 1961 when the Nancy Anderson Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution presented a local workshop in Lubbock, Texas, and realized the tremendous amount of interest in the community in genealogical research. Members and others lent their time, talent and books to help others to begin tracing their family trees.

The first regular meeting of SPGS was held on May 19 at the Lubbock City Library. By November of the same year there were 126 charter members. With the help of donations and dues, SPGS began a collection of data for genealogists and by December of 1961 SPGS was given a bookcase in the Lubbock City Library. In the years that have followed, the collection has grown to include thousands of books and an extensive microfilm and compact disk collection. October 1990, SPGS became a non-profit corporation..

Meetings are held at the Mahon Library in Lubbock, Texas. SPGS offers a wide range of publications for purchase and publishes a monthly newsletter.

Visit the South Plains Genealogical Society in the Society Showcase, Booth P

Society Showcase Exhibitor List

Share Button