The opening keynote session was packed. It looked as if everyone that had registered (6,700+) showed up. There were 3 featured speakers. The first was Dennis Brimhall who is the President of FamilySearch. He has only been working at FamilySearch for over a year but pointed out that he has learned a lot from the experience. Dennis pointed out that now that we have the technology, we should also maintain photos and stories of our family. That coincides with plans of additions that will be added to FamilySearch Family Tree in the next couple of months. Dennis added an intersting story of his father’s airplane being shot down during WWII and how there is a photo of that plane crashing.
The second speaker was Syd Lieberman. He is a former teacher that is a master story teller. I wish I could speak as well as Syd. He told many stories of his family that everyone in the session were effected by. He noted that by telling family stories we are with the family again.
The third speaker at the keynote was Josh Taylor. He is a Business Development Manager for Brightsolid, owner of FindMyPast.com. He told a story about his childhood experience researching at his local Courthouse. He thinks that in order to get younger people interested in genealogy that we have to make it more fun and interesting.
This is a link to a video of the opening keynote session. The keynote runs approx. 1½ hr.
After the keynote, I attended “The Five Most Important Online Resources for Your U.S. Research” by Kory Meyerink. He had code names for the big five websites that he revealed after describing them.
- Code name “Felicity” is actually the FamilySearch Library Catalog. It has references to both family records and research sources for over 100 countries.
- Code name “Wilma” is actually WorldCat; a worldwide online library catalog that tells where books are located closest to you.
- Code name “Percival” is actually PERSI. That is an index of genealogical publications that is done by the Allen County Public. This is a for fee index that is available online through both Ancestry.com and Heritage Quest.
- Code name “George” is actually Google. Mr. Meyerink points out that besides searching the internet that you can also search books on Google Book Search.
- Code name”Lincoln” is actually Linkpendium. He says it is a significant website for genealogists researching US and Canada sites and surnames.
At the same time as the above session was “The Future of Genealogy,” a panel discussion that was hosted by Thomas MacEntee. He asked questions of his panelists; Lisa Louise Cooke, Daniel Horowitz, Dick Eastman, Alan Philips, Dear Myrtle and Josh Taylor. Tom asked each of the panelists to reply to each of these questions:
- What is the best thing to happen in genealogy in 2012?
- What is a typical genealogist?
- What are current causes for concern in genealogy?
- Describe 3 words of a future genealogy product.
- Five years from now how will we get new genealogists?
- What’s next for each panelist in the next year?
To hear the replies, use this link to the video of this session.