Monday, October 17, 2016

North Star Conference & Genealogy Education~

With the busy days of Summer becoming a memory, and Autumn (at least here in Minnesota) beginning, albeit seemingly behind schedule, It's now been over 2 weeks since The Minnesota Genealogical Society put on another quality North Star Conference. Spread out over 3 full days of great speakers & information-- The 2016 Conference showcased the immense talent & knowledge of Blaine Bettinger and Dr. Michael Locapo. As well as various speakers from the genealogy field who shared their expertise on a wide range of topics!

We're very fortunate in Minnesota that we have an active Genealogical Society at the State level that coordinates conferences throughout the year and is able to get some of the most knowledgeable speakers in our field, to present.

As a genealogist who is always trying to further his understanding of DNA & how it can apply to my research, I was looking forward to the always knowledgeable Blaine Bettinger, who is at the forefront of DNA research. He released a new book, "Genetic Genealogy in Practice" earlier this Spring.

However, I was most excited to have 2 days of plenary sessions with the great & entertaining Dr. Michael Lacopo. I'm assuming any reader of 'The Dead Relative Collector' has surely read/followed/loved Hoosier Daddy, the fascinating blog written by Dr. Lacopo. If you haven't read it yet, stop reading mine right now & click the above link to his. You won't be sorry!

Among the other speakers I was able to enjoy was Dianne Plunkett Latham who gave wonderful information on joining the various lineage societies & groups out there [I must start my SAR & Mayflower quests this Winter] as well as Kelli  Bergheimer who shared online tools that I didn't even know about, to connect & collaborate with cousins! Katherine R. Willson talked about the serious subject of what to do with our genealogy once we're gone... and to make sure our wishes are fulfilled. 

There were other speakers that I also heard lecture... as well as some I couldn't fit in, but hope to next time... and whole new subjects that I know nothing about... but should.

Even though Autumn is well underway... and before we know it the hustle & bustle of the Holiday Season... and while some of us have to balance jobs, families & other distractions from our research... there will be plenty of opportunities to further your genealogical educations! 

I know I'm already thinking about to RootsTech next February... checking out the speakers & topics to see what might interest me, if I was to make the trip to Utah for the first time. 

And, like I said, luckily Minnesota has a very active genealogical society and there are plenty of opportunities over the coming weeks & months to learn something new!

Conferences like this are a great reminder how much more to genealogy there is (or can be)... it isn't just Facebook groups & "shaking leaves"... regardless how helpful & great they are. Make sure you aren't missing out on some great opportunities.

Are there any conferences on your calendar? What topics are you interested in? Have you been to any previously?


  1. Most of my paternal line is all in southern Texas. I was envious seeing posts of this years Spanish American Genealogy Association's meeting in Texas. So much so, I plan to attend next year. Would love to attend Roots Tech one year, but that always conflicts with my annual trip to Puerto Vallarta, MX. It will probably be easier to move my vacation one year.

    1. Yes. I think you should reschedule Mexico next year and come to RootsTech! :)