Call for Exhibit Hall Presentations

As part of the educational and outreach missions of both the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and the Texas State Genealogical Society (TSGS), the exhibit hall at the FGS 2014 Conference, 28-30 August 2014, in San Antonio, Texas, will be free and open to the public.

During that time, approximately twenty half-hour presentations will be offered on the exhibit hall education stage. These 30-minute presentations will be geared towards educating and motivating all attendees, but with a special focus on beginners or the casually curious. There will also be a separate vendor stage in this year’s exhibit hall.

In partnership with the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and, the Texas State Genealogical Society (TSGS) announces a Call for Exhibit Hall Presentations.

The challenge for presenters will be to excite and convert participants in a short period of time. The deadline for submission of exhibit hall proposals is Sunday, 18 May 2014.

The categories of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Basic and introductory genealogical instruction
  • Storytelling and interviewing
  • Preserving for future generations
  • DNA and family medical history
  • Technology, software and social media
  • Benefits of joining a local genealogy society
  • Online pitfalls

As there will also be a separate vendor presentation stage, vendor specific topics or sponsors are outside the scope of this call for presentations.

Send proposals, as an email attachment, with “FGS 2014 Call for Exhibit Hall Presentations” in the subject line, to no later than Sunday, 18 May 2014.  Invitations to speak will be extended by 1 July 2014. The deadline for acceptance and submission of signed speaker contracts is 15 July 2014.

For complete details, view the complete Submission Requirements

Partners for this event are:

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An Evening at the Institute of Texan Cultures

Join FGS on Wednesday evening, August 27, 2014, 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm for some barbecue and a visit to the Institute of Texas Cultures.

Institute of Texan CulturesRarely has there been an evening event more suited to genealogists! Co-hosts, the San Antonio Genealogical & Historical Society and the Texas State Genealogical Society will welcome FGS attendees to this amazing museum which showcases the ethnic and cultural history of Texas.  Exhibits in the Texans One and All collections tell the stories of the people who settled in Texas, including Hispanic, English, Irish, Scottish, Jewish, French, Lebanese, Belgian, Dutch, Greek, Italian, Swiss, Japanese, Chinese, Polish, Czech, German, Wendish, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, African American, Native American, and Hungarian.  The museum offers both permanent and rotating exhibits that display artifacts of Texans past and present.

The museum opened as the Texas State Exhibits Pavilion, which was built for the 1968 HemisFair celebration. In early 2010, it formalized an agreement with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. which grants the institute access to Smithsonian artifacts, education and much more. It is located in downtown San Antonio

Begin your evening with appetizers, and then enjoy a true Texas barbecue dinner, including slow-smoked beef brisket and chicken, potato salad, beans, rolls, dessert, and iced tea.

Explore the Institute at your leisure. An air-conditioned motor coach will be available to transport you from your hotel to the Institute or feel free to walk the short distance.

This event is sponsored in part by FamilySearch.

Tickets are $35 and may be purchased online when you register.

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FGS 2014 Workshops – Maps, Photos, Handwriting and more!

In addition to the sessions at the FGS 2014 Conference in San Antonio, there are several optional two-hour workshops designed to give you hands-on experience in key areas.  You can learn more about reading German Gothic handwriting, finding maps and interpreting their symbols, how to self-publish your family story, researching your Scots-Irish ancestors, Texas land and other records, DNA and so much more!  Seating is limited so register early.

Here’s a summary of the workshops. For more information about these and all of the sessions, visit

A $15 workshop fee is required for most of these. Details are specified for each workshop.


1:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
T-215 German Gothic Handwriting–Anyone Can Read It!
F. Warren Bittner, MS, CG
Learn to read German Gothic handwriting used in records of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Scandinavia. See handwriting examples from many areas and learn to decipher it. (B) ($15 fee; registration required)
Sponsored by FamilySearch

1:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
T-216 Maps! Wonderful Maps!
Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL and Rick Sayre, CG, CGL
In this participatory workshop, learn about resources for finding maps, interpreting their symbols and notations, and correlating other information with map data to place ancestors in time and place. (B/I/A) $15 fee; registration required)


9:45 am – 11:45 am
F-307 Scots-Irish Workshop
David E. Rencher, AA, CG, FUGA, FIGRS and Dean J. Hunter, AG
Participants will learn research techniques for tracing Scots-Irish ancestry and how to dissect the research problem in North America and Ireland. (B/I/A) ($15 fee, registration required)
Sponsored by FamilySearch

1:00 p./m – 3:00 pm
F-323 Self-Publishing for Genealogists
Lisa A. Alzo, MFA
You’ve done the research, written the content – now what? Learn the tips, tricks, and tools you need to self-publish your work successfully. (B/I/A) $!5 fee; registration required)

9:45 AM – 11:45 AM
F-308 BCG Certification Workshop
If you are curious about the Board for Certification of Genealogists, how it can help you, and the application process and requirements, then this is the interactive session for you! (B/I/A) (No fee; seating limited; registration required)
Sponsored by the Board for Certification of Genealogists

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
F-324 Photo Detecting 101
Maureen A. Taylor
Learn ten easy steps to help identify family photographs such as researching photographers, dating costume clues and comparing facial characteristics. (B/I/A) ($15 fee; registration required)


9:45 AM – 11:45 AM
S-408 Genealogical Resources at the Texas General Land Office
James Harkins, MPA, CA
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. (B/I/A) ($15 fee; registration required)
Sponsored by Texas State Genealogical Society

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
S-423 Genealogical Resources at the Texas State Archives
Jelain Chubb, Laura Saegert, and John Anderson
This workshop covers the historical and archival resources of the Texas State Archives. Learn how to access the Archives’ variety of records, including those from various eras of Texas history and the less-used, but no less useful, collections of court records and prints and photographs. (B/I/A) ($15 fee; registration required)
Sponsored by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

9:45 AM – 11:45 AM
S-409 Taller de genealogía hispana
Lynn Turner, AG, and Debbie Gurtler, AG
Ven a descubrir recursos útiles, metodología, y técnicas eficaces de búsqueda para genealogía hispana. Estas técnicas funcionan para toda América Latina y España. (Workshop will be conducted entirely in Spanish.) ($15 fee; registration required)
Sponsored by FamilySearch

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
S-424 DNA Workshop
Ugo Perego, PhD, MSc
A step-by-step explanation on including genetics in your genealogical experience, from test selection to using your DNA results to expand your family tree. (B/I/A) ($15 fee; registration required)
Sponsored by FamilySearch

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FGS 2014 Conference Checklist

The Federation of Genealogical Societies 2014 conference is less than five months away. Here are a few things you can do now to get a jump start on your conference plans:

  • Don’t forget to add the FGS 2014 conference to your calendar for August 27-30, 2014. You may want to schedule a few extra days before or after the conference for bonus research days at research repositories in San Antonio or other parts of Texas.
  • Have you made your hotel reservation? The Mariott Riverwalk hotel is currently accepting reservations. You’ll want to make your reservation early to guarantee your spot in the middle of the conference action. Visit for the details about making your reservations.
  • Consider what brick wall you would like to break down during FGS 2014. What steps do you need to take before the conference in order to have a research plan ready?
  • Do your genealogy friends know about the great conference coming to San Antonio in August? Encourage them to like the  FGS Facebook page or follow @FGS on Twitter.
  • And lastly, take a look at the online FGS 2014 conference brochure
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FGS 2014 Conference Brochure Online

FGS provides a unique setting to interact, connect, and learn from many of the world’s genealogists. This year’s event in historic San Antonio promises to deliver an educational and enlightening experience unlike any other.

The conference program provides more than 150 conference programs and workshops on a wide array of topics, including those of local, regional, national and international importance.  The exhibit hall gives you a chance to explore the latest genealogical gadgets, books, and websites.

FGS2014_BookletCover_wbg1Take a look at the conference brochure for a complete list all of the sessions, speakers, workshops, and special events taking place in San Antonio.

Come to San Antonio and get involved!  Register


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Call for Volunteers for FGS 2014 Conference

If you are planning to attend the FGS/SAGHS/TSGS 2014 Genealogy Conference in San Antonio, Texas, 27-30 August, and want to get more involved in the genealogical community, consider volunteering.  Volunteers help to make the conference a real success.

Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, network with others, and give something back to the genealogical community. To show their appreciation, FGS will reimburse volunteers a portion of their registration fee after the conference (if registered at the early rate).

There are many ways to get involved and time slots are flexible and convenient. You may volunteer before or between educational sessions. Assignments are in one or more 4 hour shifts.

Registration: Volunteers will assist at the registration desk and with other associated responsibilities (Wednesday – Saturday during registration hours).

Hospitality/Information Desk: Volunteers will assist with welcoming attendees, providing directions and general information for the conference and convention center, as well as seeing to their general comfort. (Tuesday – Saturday hours beginning 30 minutes prior to registration hours).

Room Monitors: Monitors will report and assist with the needs of speakers and attendees in their room, check attendees for name badges, and survey needs in the room, etc. Volunteers will work in the assigned room for a minimum shift of the morning or afternoon sessions for that room (Wednesday – Saturday hours correspond to registration hours).

Exhibit Hall: Volunteers are needed to monitor access to the exhibit hall during non-public hours only – all day Wednesday (set-up day) and an hour or so Thursday – Saturday mornings. Exhibitors will have unique badges that allow them access before public hours. Volunteers will not be required during public hours.

Technology Troubleshooting: Volunteers will respond to room monitors and conference staff that have reports of technology needs in sessions, as well as other technology needs that arise (Wednesday – Saturday during session hours).

Contact: For more information on volunteering or to volunteer, contact the FGS Office, 1-888-347-1500 or or fill out our online volunteer form.



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FGS App Updated for 2014 Conference

Take FGS with you wherever you go with the FGS App for iOS and Android devices. The conference portion of the FGS app is live and updated with information about the 2014 Conference in San Antonio, August 27-30. Download the app for your iOS device and/or for your Android Device.


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FGS 2014 Conference Registration is Open

If you follow FGS on Facebook and Twitter, you may already be aware that registration for the FGS 2014 Conference in San Antonio, August 27-30, is open!

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 version of Press Release.fgs2014-logo2 copy

FGS 2014 Conference Registration is Open

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

March 26, 2014Austin, TX. Online registration is now open for the 2014 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference, scheduled 27-30 August 2014 in San Antonio, Texas. Register at by 1 July 2014 for an early-bird discount. 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).

This year’s FGS conference offers an exciting opportunity for anyone interested in researching their family history. This conference will offer over 160 educational sessions on records, strategies, and tools for genealogists of all levels. Sessions will be presented by some of the leading genealogists from the United States. Ten different sponsored luncheons will provide opportunities for networking.

Platinum sponsors include leading family history companies:, FamilySearch, and findmypast. Other participating and supporting organizations include Family Chronicle Magazine, Dell, Lexmark, Association of Professional Genealogists, Board for Certification of Genealogists, National Genealogical Society, New England Historic Genealogical Society, The Polish Mission of the Orchard Lake Schools, Texas State Genealogical Society, and The National Huguenot Society.

Conference Highlights

  • Conference Sessions:  A wide variety of genealogy-related lectures and workshops for all experience levels. Attendees will be able to learn about Texas and neighboring states research, African-American and ethnic origin research, military research, genetics, technology, migration, methodology and more.
  • Exhibit Hall: The large exhibit hall will feature the latest software, books, maps, databases and gadgets on the market for genealogists and family historians, as well as information about genealogical organizations. Representatives of FGS member societies will staff their booths in the special Society Showcase area.
  • Special Events: On Wednesday evening, local hosts San Antonio Genealogical and Historical Society and Texas State Genealogical Society invite registrants to an evening at the Institute of Texan Culture, an amazing museum located directly behind the convention center. On Friday evening, The San Antonio Conservation Society hosts a festive Night in Old San Antonio in the historical art village of La Villita. The Conservation Society only hosts 10 of these events each year, and FGS is excited to offer this event. Details can be found at
  • Focus on Societies: On Wednesday, August 27, 2014, sessions are jam-packed with ideas and tools to help societies promote themselves, increase membership, and develop sources of revenue.  The day kicks off with a first ever, half-day workshop to develop a plan and tools to use to enhance and guide their society forward.
  • Librarians’ Day: On Tuesday, August 26, 2014, ProQuest will sponsor a full-pre-conference day of sessions designed for librarians, archivists, and other information professionals serving family history researchers.

There are more activities and research opportunities too numerous to list. However, you can learn all about the 2014 FGS Conference and register for this exciting four-day event at Be sure to also visit or subscribe to the FGS Conference Blog at for more information.

Learn More and Stay Connected

Like FGS at:

Follow FGS on Twitter at and hashtag #FGS2014.

Visit San Antonio at

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


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

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Society Showcase

Registration will open soon for the FGS 2014 Conference in San Antonio. With our local hosts, the San Antonio Genealogical and Historical Society and the Texas State Genealogical Society, we are truly excited about this outstanding genealogical event!

FGS invites all member societies to reserve a table in the FGS 2014 Society Showcase. Society Showcase’s strategic location adjacent to the FGS booth in the exhibit hall will draw plenty of visitors to your table.

Each society is encouraged to decorate their table with an attractive theme to be eligible to win a one-year membership in FGS for their society.

This year, Society Showcase participants can also opt to host a table at the FGS Luncheon on Wednesday. Society members and leaders can combine networking, learning, socializing, eating, marketing, and fun all in one neat event!

Contact Polly Kimmitt at for more information.

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Welcome to San Antonio!


Aerial view of San Antonio

San Antonio offers visitors the opportunity to explore the past and experience the present in one unique city.  Visit the Alamo, explore museums and art galleries, stroll the Riverwalk or experience any of the places and events that make San Antonio such a vibrant city.

FGS is excited to bring the FGS 2014 Conference, “Gone to Texas,” to San Antonio on 27-30 August 2014.  Follow your ancestors trail to or through Texas and take time to get to know this charming city.

The Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center and the Marriott Riverwalk hotel will host the event. Both facilities offer easy access to the Riverwalk, a public park open 365 days a year that includes restaurants, shops and other attractions.

For more information about what’s going on in San Antonio, maps or general information,visit

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