Final day of New York State Family History Conference in Tarrytown

There were two morning conference sessions and I attended a second presentation by Blaine Bettinger on the topic of “Shared Matches and Genetic Networks.” Blaine discussed how you can use shared DNA matches and shared DNA segment matches to help you locate more family members. He pointed out that Ancestry DNA will only show you shared matches that are fourth cousin or closer in their results list. Other testing companies do not have this type of cut-off. You will received many more matches when you look at your shared matches as opposed to those with shared DNA segments. He mentioned two third-party tools to help analyze your results. One program called NodeXL works with Excel and can only use Ancestry DNA shared matches data. The second program, Rootsfinder, can only be used with DNA data from GEDmatch and only works with shared segment DNA data.

A very interesting presentation was given on “Underutilized New York Records: Towns, Taxes and Much More” by Eric G. Grundset, former Library Director of the DAR Library in Washington, D.C. Eric discussed the importance of locating and using town records and tax records in New York State even if they may be hard to find for some locations. He also talked about the New York Daughters of the American Revolution Genealogical Records Committee Reports. These documents are not limited to the American Revolution time period. The actual books can be found in Washington, D.C., Albany and Manhattan. Some of the information you can find are family bible records, cemetery and church records. There is a free online index for these reports on the DAR national website.

There were also two conference sessions in the afternoon. The final program I attended was “Writing Your Family History” presented by Kyle Hurst with the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Kyle went over the different parts of the writing process from planning, adding narrative, writing and revising and putting it together. Examples were given from published family histories to show the different ways you can incorporate family trees with narrative text. The NEHGS offers free templates and a sample stylesheet to help with family history writing and as well as a free subject guide on writing a family history.

I learned something new from all of the lectures I attended. I look forward to the next conference that is scheduled for Sept. 10-12, 2020 in Albany.

Day 2 of the New York State Family History Conference in Tarrytown

Day 2 of the New York State Family History Conference in Tarrytown

The second day of the conference featured five conference sessions with a wide variety of topics.
In the morning there were two sessions before the lunch break. A presentation by a representative of Living DNA, a DNA testing group based in England, discussed how invasions and battles over the course of history led to many ethnic groups in what is now considered the British Isles. Living DNA can match a person to 21 different areas of England with their DNA test. They are also working on an Irish One Family project that will be able to identify about 14 genetic areas in Ireland.

The second morning program I attended was “Using Geo-Tech Tools to Answer New York Research Questions” presented by Frederick Wertz of the New York G & B. Frederick mentioned Google Earth as a great free tool to use when researching locations. It is easy to use and data layers can easily be used with Google Earth and you can import third-party sources as well. Other websites to look at when doing location research include: the Geographic Names Information System, The National Map, Newberry Atlas of Historical County Boundaries and the New York Public Library Map Warper. There is a good handout included in the syllabus.

There were three programs after the lunch break. The programs I attended covered identifying DNA matches, New York State Archives collections on Ancestry.com and tips for searching on Ancestry.com.

Blaine T. Bettinger, author of “The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy,” discussed several strategies that can be used to identify people who are identified as DNA matches. Some of his tips were: determine if the person has a family tree online, use your known DNA matches to help identify unknown matches, use the match’s member profile to look for clues and use the match’s username to search for their identity. He used many examples to illustrate his tips.

Two employees from the New York State Archives went over the different collections from the Archives that are available for free through Ancestry.com New York. They also discussed which collections were scheduled to be digitized by Ancestry.com in the future. The handout in the syllabus has a list of all the collections discussed in the presentation.

D. Joshua Taylor, president of the New York G & B, gave many advanced searching tips that can be used on Ancestry.com databases. Some of his search strategies included: keep a research log for your online searches, select specific collections to search using the card catalog instead of always defaulting to the opening search screen, remember that first names are not always spelled out in collections, location names in collections may be current names, not the name used at the time of the event, and read the source information of collections so you understand the origin of the original data. The handout in the syllabus is very useful.

Registration deadline for NYS Family History Conference is August 31

Registration will close on August 31 for the New York State Family History Conference scheduled for Sept. 13-15, 2018 in Tarrytown, NY at the DoubleTree Hotel.

There will be 2 1/2 days of lectures, workshops, field trips and an exhibit hall.

The registration rate is $195 for members of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society and Central New York Genealogical Society and $215 for non-members. Your paid registration automatically gives you $10 worth of Conference Notes, redeemable within the exhibit hall.

If you can only attend on Saturday, the cost is $99 for members of the New York G & B and $129 for non-members.

New this year will be a Family History Jumpstart Day aimed at participants who are beginning genealogy and without conference experience. It will take place on Sept. 15.

To register for the conference, http://nysfhc.newyorkfamilyhistory.org/

Volunteers needed for New York Family History Conference in September

Volunteers needed for New York Family History Conference in September

The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society is looking for volunteers to help at the New York State Family History Conference taking place on Sept. 13-15 in Tarrytown, New York.

Volunteers are needed before the conference to help stuff conference tote bags in late August and also needed to copy electronic syllabus files to conference attendees’ UBS flash drives in early September. Both activities will take place at the New York G & B offices at 36 W. 44th Street in Manhattan.

Volunteers are also needed to help at the conference venue, the DoubleTree Hotel in Tarrytown. Help is needed at the registration desk Thursday morning and afternoon and Friday morning. Room monitors are also needed to check that everyone attending has a conference badge, to monitor the room during presentations and assist the speaker if they need anything during their talk.

If you are interested in participating in any of these activities, contact Anna King at aking@nygbs.org

Early registration open for NYS Family History Conference

The New York State Family History Conference will take place on Sept. 13-15, 2019 at the Doubletree Hotel in Tarrytown, NY.

Speakers will include: Blaine T. Bettinger, Henry B. Hoff, Karen Mauer Jones, Thomas W. Jones, Terry Koch-Bostic, Judy D. Russell, D. Joshua Taylor, Jane E. Wilcox and many others.

Early registration is through May 31 and costs $165 for members of the New York G&B and $195 for non-members. After May 31, the cost for members is $195 and non-members $215.

For more information or to register, go to: http://nysfhc.org

Thursday, September 13
9:30am: Workshops (additional registration is required)
Noon – 6 pm: Exhibit hall open
1:15 – 4:30 pm: Sessions

Friday, September 14

8 am: Opening Session
9 am – 6:30 pm: Exhibit hall open
9:15 am – 6 pm: Sessions
12:30 pm: Luncheon and talk (additional registration is required)
6:30 pm: Dinner and talk (additional registration is required)

Saturday, September 15
8:30 am – 3:15 pm: Exhibit hall open
9:15 am – 4:00 pm: Sessions
12:15 pm: Luncheon and talk (additional registration is required)
4:15 pm: Wrap-Up Reception

Early registration is open for NYS Family History Conference

The New York State Family History Conference will take place on Sept. 13-15, 2019 at the Doubletree Hotel in Tarrytown, NY.

Speakers will include: Blaine T. Bettinger, Henry B. Hoff, Karen Mauer Jones, Thomas W. Jones, Terry Koch-Bostic, Judy D. Russell, D. Joshua Taylor, Jane E. Wilcox and many others.

Early registration is through May 31 and costs $165 for members of the New York G&B and $195 for non-members. After May 31, the cost for members is $195 and non-members $215.

For more information or to register, go to: http://nysfhc.org

Thursday, September 13
9:30am: Workshops (additional registration is required)
Noon – 6 pm: Exhibit hall open
1:15 – 4:30 pm: Sessions

Friday, September 14

8 am: Opening Session
9 am – 6:30 pm: Exhibit hall open
9:15 am – 6 pm: Sessions
12:30 pm: Luncheon and talk (additional registration is required)
6:30 pm: Dinner and talk (additional registration is required)

Saturday, September 15
8:30 am – 3:15 pm: Exhibit hall open
9:15 am – 4:00 pm: Sessions
12:15 pm: Luncheon and talk (additional registration is required)
4:15 pm: Wrap-Up Reception

NYS Family History Conference set for September

The New York State Family History Conference will take place on Sept. 13-15, 2018 in Tarrytown, NY at the DoubleTree Hotel.

There will be 2 1/2 days of lectures, workshops, field trips and an exhibit hall.

The early bird rate is $165 for members of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society and Central New York Genealogical Society and $215 for non-members. Your paid registration automatically gives you $10 worth of Conference Notes, redeemable within the exhibit hall.

New this year will be a Family History Jumpstart Day aimed at participants who are beginning genealogy and without conference experience. It will take place on Sept. 15.

To register for the conference, http://nysfhc.newyorkfamilyhistory.org/

NYS Family History Conference still accepting registration

There is still time to register for The New York State Family History Conference scheduled for Syracuse on Sept. 15-17 at the Holiday Inn and Conference Center Syracuse/Liverpool.

This year registrants of the Family History Conference will also be able to attend lectures and field trips of the Association for Public Historians of New York State since the two groups will be sharing the same venue.

Topics will include: land records, British Colonial records, church and religious records, census records, and DNA and genetic genealogy.

Conference registration is $125 for members of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society and the Central New York Genealogical Society. Registration for non-members is $150.

To download a copy of the schedule, go to: http://www.nysfhc.org/2016-NYSFHC_Program.pdf

To register for the conference, go to: http://www.nysfhc.org/registration.html

There will be a pre-conference workshop on Sept. 15 from 9:30-noon entitled “Civil War Research at the National Archives: Union and Confederate,” presented by Bruce Frail, President of American Civil War Ancestor.

Two field trips will be offered by the Association for Public Historians: a tour of the Skannonh Lodge Great Law of Peace Center and a tour of the Erie Canal Heritage Park at Port Byron.