FGS 2014 Conference Online Registration Ends August 19th


Online registration for the FGS 2014 Conference in San Antonio, August 27-30, closes on Tuesday, August 19.

Below you will find the press release that is being sent out today. Feel free to share the press release on your blog, website, society periodical, email list, or just share it with your friends. The more people that hear about the conference, the better the conference will be.

PDF of Press Releasefgs2014-logo2 copy



 “Gone to Texas” – A Conference for the Nation’s Genealogists

August 15, 2014 – Austin, TX. Online registration for the 2014 Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) Conference, scheduled 27-30 August 2014 in San Antonio, Texas, ends Tuesday, August 19. Register at http://www.fgsconference.org/registration. This year’s conference theme is “Gone to Texas,” and the local hosts are the San Antonio Genealogical and Historical Society (SAGHS) and the Texas State Genealogical Society (TSGS).

Pre-registering for the conference gives you access to some great benefits. Those who have already registered for the conference still have time to purchase tickets to the conference “extras.”

Only attendees who pre-register for the conference can:

  • Access the conference syllabus online prior to the conference.
  • Guarantee a spot in the “extra” conference events (on-site tickets may be available to events if they have not sold out):
  • 13 luncheons over the 4 conference days.
  • 10 workshops over 3 days.   Workshops are filling up quickly but there are still a few spaces remaining.
  • Wednesday Night at the Institute of Texan Cultures on August 27, hosted by the the San Antonio Genealogical and Historical Society and the Texas State Genealogical Society.
  • Friday evening’s “Night in Old San Antonio” at La Villita is sold out.

You can also purchase extra tickets (except for workshops) for your non-genealogy spouses or friends who traveled with you to the conference. Visit https://www.fgsconference.org/registration/ to register or add “extras” today. We hope to see you in San Antonio, August 27-30.

Learn More and Stay Connected

Like FGS at: https://www.facebook.com/FGSgenealogy
Follow FGS on Twitter at https://twitter.com/fgsgenealogy and hashtag #FGS2014
Visit San Antonio at http://visitsanantonio.com/

About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)
The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was founded in 1976 and represents the members of hundreds of genealogical societies. FGS links the genealogical community by helping genealogical societies strengthen and grow through resources available online, FGS FORUM magazine (filled with articles for the family history community), and Society Strategy Series papers, covering topics about effectively operating a genealogical society. FGS also links the genealogical community through its annual conference — four days of excellent lectures, including one full day devoted to society management topics. To learn more visit http://www.fgs.org.


Federation of Genealogical Societies
PO Box 200940
Austin, TX 78720-0940
phone: +1 (888) 347-1500
fax: +1 (866) 347-1350




Share Button

Calling FGS 2014 attendees: Ancestry needs you in San Antonio!

Ancestry calls FGS 2014 attendees to share thei impressions in San Antonio!

Ancestry calls FGS 2014 attendees to share their impressions in San Antonio! Sign up today.

Join us for a range of opportunities being planned at FGS in San Antonio for family history enthusiasts to share their impressions of some new and existing Ancestry features.

In other words, while you have to be present in San Antonio, you do NOT have to be an existing Ancestry customer to be of great help!   To be considered, please fill out the following online questionnaire and scheduling preferences (at the end). Incentives will include the latest version of FTM for Mac or PC, an AncestryDNA kit, OR a 6 month World Explorer subscription (for brand new members or an extension for new customers).

All testing will take place in the Convention Center Room 203B at the following times, which you will be able to select later.

  • Thursday 8/28:  1-4 PM and 7-9 PM
  • Friday 8/29:        9-12 and 2-5 PM
  • Saturday 8/30:   10 – 1 PM

If you are interested in participating, please take a second to fill out this online form:  http://ancestry.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_cY16OcO5LBzfS8l

Share Button

Speaker: Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL

A genealogist with a law degree. "The Legal Genealogist" Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL, is a lecturer, educator and writer. See her at the FGS 2014 Conference in San Antonio.

A genealogist with a law degree. “The Legal Genealogist” Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL, is a lecturer, educator and writer. See her at the FGS 2014 Conference in San Antonio.

Judy G. Russell is a lecturer, educator, and writer who enjoys helping others understand a wide variety of genealogical issues, including the interplay between genealogy and the law. Her blog, The Legal Genealogist, is an excellent source to find answers to the questions we have about many of the legal situations genealogists encounter.

Judy has a varied background with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and a law degree from Rutgers School of Law-Newark. She holds Certified GenealogistSM and Certified Genealogical LecturerSM credentialsfrom the Board for Certification of Genealogists® where she currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees. She is member of the National Genealogical Society, the Association of Professional Genealogists, and, among others, the state genealogical societies of New JerseyNorth Carolina, VirginiaTexas and Illinois

She has worked as a newspaper reporter, trade association writer, legal investigator, defense attorney, federal prosecutor, law editor and, for more than 20 years, she has been an adjunct member of the faculty at Rutgers Law School. She is on faculty of the Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research (IGHR) at Samford University, the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), and Boston University’s Center for Professional Education. Judy has written several articles for both the National Genealogical Society Quarterly  and the National Genealogical Society Magazine.

Topics to be presented by Judy at FGS 2014 include the following:

T-238, Thursday, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
A Family for Isabella: Indirect Evidence from Texas back to Mississippi
With no birth, marriage or death record, only indirect evidence and the Genealogical Proof Standard can link Isabella of Texas to her Mississippi parents.

F-308, 9:45-11:45 a.m.
Certification: Measuring Yourself Against Standards
(Sponsored by Board for the Certification of Genealogists)
Come hear about the process and preparation needed to become Board-certified, including useful tips and recommendations. The interactive format encourages the audience to ask questions.

F-329, Friday, 1:15-2:15 p.m.
That Scoundrel George: Tracking a Black Sheep Texas Ancestor
A romp through records of the Republic and State of Texas on the trail of a scoundrel from his marriage and bigamy charge in Colorado County to his death in Iowa Park.

S-437, Saturday, 3:00-4:00 p.m.
Beyond X & Y: Using Autosomal DNA for Genealogy
A plain-English non-scientific introduction to the promise, and the pitfalls, of this newst addition to the genetic genealogy toolbox.

FGS 2014 Speakers

Register Online

Judy Russell, The Legal Genealogist

Share Button

Join #GENCHAT Live Session in San Antonio


Genealogy meets social collaboration on #genchat, which will be “Live” at the FGS 2014 Conference in San Antonio, on August 29.

Do you like to get together with friends and talk about genealogy? #genchat lets you do just that on alternating Friday nights. That’s when an informal group of genealogists from around the globe gather together to discuss a pre-chosen topic that has something to do with genealogy. It all takes place on Twitter; it’s like a virtual coffee shop where genealogists meet to connect, engage, and learn from each other.

On Friday, August 29, participate in a live #genchat session at 4:00 p.m. at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Room 008A at the FGS 2014 Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

The various social media sites have become dynamic tools for genealogists, and Twitter is no exception. See how this form of social media can be used by genealogists who have varying backgrounds, skill levels, and research focuses. You’ll find the conversation interesting and incredibly educational!  Particpants follow each other using the hashtag, #genchat.

Whether you’ve participated before or want to see what #genchat is all about, here’s a chance to get in on the conversation in San Antonio.

Conference Keeper/GenChat-2014


Share Button

FUN WALK For the Preserve the Pensions (War of 1812)

Join FGS on Saturday, August 30, at 6:30 a.m. for a Fun Walk to the Alamo and help Preserve War of 1812 Pensions.

Join FGS on Saturday, August 30, at 6:30 a.m. for a Fun Walk to the Alamo and help Preserve War of 1812 Pension records.

After several days of stimulating classes, are you ready to stretch your legs and take in the early morning cool fresh air? Why not join us for a little “walk about”, Saturday (30 August) morning at 6:30 a.m. for a one mile jaunt to “The Alamo” and back.

We will assemble at the “Tower of the Americas” located on the west end of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. From there we will walk (and for those of you who wish – run) to “The Alamo” and return. This will take about thirty minutes. Not only will you stretch your legs; but you will contribute to the “Preserve The Pensions,” which is raising funds to digitize the War of 1812 pensions. But wait, you will also get to wear a unique T-shirt especially designed for this first time event!

Each dollar raised is doubled by FGS, which in turn is doubled by Ancestry.com! So please join us in this great endeavor to preserve the records of our gallant servicemen and women who fought in the war many consider America’s Second Revolution. This is the war that truly made us free!

But wait, you say that you are unable to walk that far and you wish to have a shirt! No problem, just sponsor someone else to walk in your place (and that person could already be walking).

COST:    $25.00

Registration:  Preserve the Pension Vendor booth in the Exhibit Hall (booth #506, 508)

Time:    6:30 a.m., 30 August 2014

Place:    Tower of the Americas just west of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center

Cause:  Preserve The Pensions for the War of 1812 (All funds go directly to the Cause).


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

Speaker: Kris W. Rzepczynski, MLS, MA

Kris W. Rzepczynski speaks at FGS 2014 Conference in San Antonio, August 27-30.

Hear Kris W. Rzepczynski at FGS 2014 Conference in San Antonio, August 27-30.

Kris Rzepczynski is a Senior Archivist at the Archives of Michigan, an FGS board member and past-president of Mid-Michigan Genealogical Society.  He holds a Masters in Library and Information Science from Wayne State University, a Master of Arts in History from Western Michigan University, and a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Michigan.

Kris has presented at national, state, and local conferences, including the National Genealogical Society, Federation of Genealogical Societies, Ohio Genealogical Society, Public Library Association, Historical Society of Michigan, Michigan Library Association, and for dozens of local genealogical societies.  His memberships include the Association of Professional Genealogists, Polish Genealogical Society of Michigan, Historical Society of Michigan, Historical Society of Greater Lansing, and Michigan Library Association.

Whether you’re interested in records and resources, migration or ethnic origins, Kris has a session for you at this year’s conference.

T-235, Thursday, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Navigating the 1890 Gap with State Census Records
With the near-total loss of the 1890 Census, state census records can serve as an effective substitute. This program will focus on the available schedules from across the U.S.

F-305, Friday, 8:30-9:30 a.m.
Big City Blues? Researching Urban Ancestors
Using case studies from Chicago, Detroit, and other cities, this program will explore successful strategies for researching ancestors in large urban centers across the U.S.

S-445, Saturday, 4:15-5:15 p.m.
Headed North: Southern Migration to the Midwest
This session will explore the history of Southern migration to the Midwest, the people that settled there, and what records are available that help tell that story.

Register online

Learn more about speakers at FGS 2014 Conference


Share Button

Q&A Panel and One-on-One Consultations

After reading your registration confirmation, you may have been delighted to know that on Tuesday afternoon there would be a panel of expert genealogists to help break those brick walls. Sadly, this is not the case. The FGS Conference Committee is very sorry for not being able to offer this session and apologizes for any disappointment this may cause.

If you are planning to arrive on Tuesday, take some time to mingle with other genealogists and discuss your research.  Sharing your brick wall questions often allows you to look at them with fresh eyes or gain a new perspective from another genealogist. The expert is the one who has broken through a brick wall!




Share Button

FAQs about the FGS 2014 Conference

Learn more about the FGS 2014 Conference, August 27-30, in San Antonio, Texas on the conference blog, www.fgsconference.org/blog.

Stay up-to-date with the latest information about the FGS 2014 Conference, August 27-30, in San Antonio, Texas at www.fgsconference.org.

Gone to Texas, August 27-30, 2014

In just a few weeks, the nation’s genealogists will gather in San Antonio for the FGS 2014 Conference – “Gone to Texas.”  Here are some of the frequently asked questions we’ve received. If you have a question not covered here, don’t hesitate to ask it! If one person has a question, it’s likely someone else has the same or similar question.

May I still register for the Conference?
Yes, you may. Visit the Conference website at www.fgsconference.org to register via the easy online form. Watch the conference blog at www.fgsconference.org/blog for last minute information on transportation, events, speakers, workshops, and things to do in San Antonio. You may also register at the door.

Do I have to be a member of FGS to register for this conference?
No. In fact, FGS does not have individual memberships. FGS members are genealogical societies. That results in representation of thousands of members of those societies. You also do not need to be a member of one of these societies to register for the FGS conference. If you are interested in genealogical research, you are invited to join in on the conference education and fun. Anyone can register for the FGS 2014 Conference at www.fgsconference.org/registration.

I have already registered for the conference but now I want to add a luncheon or an evening event; can I do that?
Yes, it’s very easy. Revisit the FGS Conference website and login using the PIN number you received after you registered. Follow the steps on the screen and add the meals or events to your existing registration.

I am not sure which lectures I will be attending. Do I have to select them now?
The primary reason we ask you to select the sessions you will attend is to help the individuals doing the space planning. Knowing how many people to expect for an individual lectures helps insure that the room is the right size.

What do I do when I arrive at the convention center?
Be sure to stop by registration when you arrive during posted hours. Here you will pick up your tote bag, name tag, meal and special event tickets, onsite guide with exhibit hall information and maps and other goodies. Registration is open on Tuesday from 3:00-7:00 p.m. and it opens on Wednesday morning at 7:00 a.m. For the complete registration schedule, visit: www.fgsconference.org/registration 

How do I locate where a lecture, workshop or luncheon is being held after I arrive at the conference?
When you pick up your registration materials, a Conference Guide will be included that lists the rooms each specific lecture is in along with a layout map. Another part of the booklet links vendors to their booth numbers and gives a layout map of the Exhibit Hall. Much of this information will be available on the conference website as well and accessible via the FGS mobile app. Details will be posted on the conference blog at www.fgsconference.org/blog just before the conference begins.

More FAQs can be found at  www.fgsconference.org/program/questions/.

See you in San Antonio!


Share Button