NGS 2012: Recap

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MyHeritage Team with Dennis Brimhall CEO of FamilySearch

MyHeritage Team with Dennis Brimhall CEO of FamilySearch

Last week, the MyHeritage team was kept very busy in a whirlwind of work, learning and fun at very well attended National Genealogical Society’s 2012 conference in Cincinnati, Ohio.

On Wednesday, the team was busy at the booth answering questions and providing more information to attendees who had heard about MyHeritage from speakers who spoke about our very social family trees, WorldVitalRecords.com data, facial recognition technology and much more.

A Man hides behind a post in his quest for freedom - National Underground Railroad Museum Cincinnati Ohio

Portrayal of a man hiding behind a tree in his quest for freedom - National Underground Railroad Museum Cincinnati, Ohio

In the evening, Daniel Horowitz and Mark Olsen joined hundreds of conference-goers at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center for a moving experience as they learned about the lives of thousands of freedom seekers and “conductors” (those of all races and backgrounds who assisted the enslaved to reach the Ohio River and beyond – freedom – at their own and their families’ risk). Although not an actual railroad, nor underground, it was the secret route used to transfer the slaves from one location to another – from one farm or home to the next – until he or she reached freedom.

Many moving scenes are portrayed. If you visit Cincinnati, the museum should be on your must-see list.

Thursday was another fabulous day full of hundreds of great interactions with customers at the booth and conference goers looking to soak in as much information as they could through classes and interactions with other genealogists and vendors.

On Friday NGS organizers announced that the official NGS attendance was 2,155, resulting in packed session rooms. Many sessions reached capacity, and fire codes are very strict. There were reports of some attendees who could not get a seat in the session they wanted to attend. Technology and census sessions seem to be drawing the largest crowds.

The Ancestry Insider along with others at the blogger dinner hosted by FamilySearch who wish to remain unnamed

The Ancestry Insider along with others at the blogger dinner hosted by FamilySearch who wish to remain unnamed

Friday continued to be a great day at NGS.  Mark was able to attend several very informative sessions.  The most informative being a great discussion on properly using the US Census for research by Jill Crandell of the Brigham Young University Center for Family History and Genealogy.  The center sends interns around the globe to gather immigrant records

and other data to document the path from old world to new and help provide clues allowing many to ‘bridge the gap’. Jill discussed the many hidden pieces of information that can be found in the census when using the appropriate search strategies.

Genealogist and Blogger Lisa Alzo visits with Schelly Talaly Dardashti and MyHeritage Chief Content Officer Russ Wilding

Genealogist and Blogger Lisa Alzo visits with Schelly Talalay Dardashti and MyHeritage Chief Content Officer Russ Wilding

Friday was consistently very busy in the exhibit hall.  There were many times that people were lined up to ask questions and learn more about MyHeritage and its products and services.

Saturday was another great day at the conference with classrooms continuing to be nearly full or beyond.  The conference wrapped up as it started with over 2,100 in attendance in full classroom and between classes wandering the rows of exhibits looking for a great deal, answers to genealogy or technical issues and a continued excitement about the ever growing world of genealogy and all its possibilities.

Overall NGS was an excellent conference.  We have much more information and photos to share including a one of a kind visit with a well-known genealogy blogger.  Over the next few weeks we will dive in and post more about NGS and all that occurred during the fabulous week in Cincinnati, Ohio – Gateway to the Western Frontier.

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