The Genealogy Event Recap

Author's collection

Author’s collection

Today was DNA Day at The Genealogy Event, which I opted not to go to, since I’m not just ready to leap into that in my research yet.  I still covered it the best I can via my  RebelMouse page, so be sure to check that out.

Meanwhile, I thought I’d reacap my experience and impressions of the third Genealogy Event.

What I liked:
  • Where it was located: 1 Bowling Green is in lower Manhattan, practically at the tip of the island.  All I had to do was take the train down to Grand Central, then the 4 or 5 line straight to Bowling Green.  No searching for the subway station, no transfers;easy-peasy!  Best of all?  Starbucks was right across a not-too-busy street!
  • The venue itself:  The Alexander Hamilton US Customs House is an absolutely gorgeous late 19th/early 20th century building.  The architecture inside and out was stunning, as well as beautiful artwork painted on the ceilings of the most public areas.  I could have spent all day looking at it, but that is not why I was there!  So I’ll just have to satisfy myself with this link  that our NARA tour guide recommended.  By the way, this is a new office for NARA in New York City and it still  doesn’t house their entire collection!  To learn more about NARA in New York City, click here.
  • Enclosed rooms:  In the past, the Genealogy Event sessions were merely curtained off in a large, kind of echoing room.  This year sessions were in separate rooms with doors that closed.  It was so much easier to hear the speakers!
  • Advanced Sessions:  After last year’s little advanced break-out sessions, it was discovered that there was a big demand for more advanced offerings.  I went to three of them:  Reading Old Documents, Understanding Our Families, and Passenger Manifests.  I learned even more than I expected to at each.
  •  New Topics for the General Sessions:  Some of the topics that I especially enjoyed were Lineage Societies, Old Fulton NY Postcards, and Caring for Keepsakes. It was nice to have new offerings and new speakers this year.
  •  Lunch for VIP’s:  One of the biggest reasons I signed up as a VIP this year was to have lunch on-site, which was in the Learning Center at NARA.  It was a great place to eat, socialize or just to hang out if there was a long time between the sessions I was interested in.
  • Social Event:  This was at the Fraunces Tavern, where George Washington gave his farewell address to his soldiers at the end of the Revolutionary War.  There is a museum here that I did not get to see, but now I know about it!  Anyhow, it was nice to unwind and talk genealogy with others that share that passion!
  • Meeting the Speakers and Other Attendees:  Yes, I got to be a bit of a fan girl with some of the big names in the business!  It’s a small enough venue where you can actually have a real conversation with the likes of Michael J. LeClerc, Maureen Taylor, Ron Arons and the ladies from Family Tree Magazine (and others, of course).  I even had a family connection:  Denise Levenick (aka The Family Curator) is very distantly related to me through our ancestor, Roger Williams.  I made some new friends and finally met up with a fellow #genchat tweep:  Molly Charboneau of  Molly”s Canopy.
What Could Use Improvement:
  • Exhibit Hall:  The exhibit hall was kind of scant this year, though I do understand it’s probably due to limited space in the hallway.  I wonder if there may have been another meeting room to stick this in?  I especially missed Maia’s Books from last year, although my wallet is probably grateful!
  • Temperature in the Auditorium:  The general sessions were held in the auditorium felt, quite honestly, sub-arctic.  Even though I attended several general sessions in a row, I had to step out between sessions just to warm up a little.
  • Handouts Available On-Line Ahead of Time:  Several times, speakers would say “in your handout”, though there was none (yet).  Perhaps having a special place so sign in and download (maybe with a code that comes on your paid ticket?) would be good.
  • Wifi was Spotty:  We were in the basement, so I don’t think a lot could be done about it.  It just kept me from updating RebelMouse as quickly as I would have liked, but it was not impossible.

As you can see, I did enjoy myself overall.  I want to thank everyone for following along on RebelMouse; there have been over 700 views!  I am humbled and flattered.  I think one of the biggest things that I learned this weekend was that genealogists come in all sorts of shapes and flavors.  Such a variety of skillsets and workstyle preferences!  Even outside the classroom, I have been given a lot to think about.

The Genealogy Event: Are You Going?

This Friday starts the third Genealogy Event in New York City, and I can’t wait! There is a Starbucks nearby, the venue is stunning and historic, and I’ll be meeting people I know only virtually! Best of all, of course, I will be immersed in genealogy with like-minded people.

Venue for The Genealogy Event.  Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Venue for The Genealogy Event. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Some of the lectures I will be attending are:

  • Reading Old Documents (Michael LeClerc)
  • Understanding Our Families (Ron Arons)
  • Lineage Society (Shannon Combs-Bennett)
  • Passenger Manifests (Phyllis Kramer)
  • DNA & Pop Culture (Blaine Bettinger)
  • Caring for Keepsakes (Denise Levinick)

And a few others as I am so led.

If you cannot attend the Genealogy Event, feel free to visit the Rebel Mouse page that I’ve set up, capturing the tweets and pictures of the conference. I’ll do my best to keep it as “live” as possible. If you haven’t visited Rebel Mouse pages before, I’ve found them to be very helpful in capturing the flavor of a conference; almost like being a fly on the wall!

Of course, I’ll be writing a blog post afterwards to reflect on the whole experience. I hope to see some of you there!

Genealogy Event: VIP Status

As I pondered whether or not to purchase VIP tickets for The Genealogy Event, I felt I needed more information, so I wrote to the founder and organizer, Bridget Bray.  She answered right away AND said I could share that information right here to help any potential attendees decide whether to go with that route!

Here are some of the benefits, verbatim:

  • Priority access
  • Lunch included and in a designated area (the space (i.e. the auditorium and the meeting rooms) don’t permit food in them and there is no food outlet in the building.  This means for non-VIPs they must step out to purchase their food and then re-enter via security so just needing extra time allowance to come back into the building)
  • Each of Fri & Sat there will be private tour/talk with NARA a “behind the scenes”, if you will, for VIPs
  • Pre-booking of one-on-one consultations will occur for VIPs approximately 1 month out from the event
  • Early communications
  • PLUS working on gaining some additional value adds in the lead up

I don’t know about you, but I’m licking my genealogy chops!

I’m sure as we get closer to October 17, there will be much more news.  I will keep you all posted!

Breaking News: The Genealogy Event NYC

I was going to post about my great-grandfather again this week; however, I just got such great news that if I don’t share it, I’ll surely pop. Tickets are now on sale for this year’s Genealogy Event in New York City!  It will be held October 17 and 18.

I’ve been attending The Genealogy Event since its inception in 2012. Since so many of the “big” conferences are usually so far away from the Northeast, I really wanted to support a more local conference, especially in the New York metropolitan area. After all, millions of people live around here, and there have to be a lot of genealogists in that population, right?
The Genealogy Event started out kind of small yet strong in 2012. In 2013 I convinced a friend to go with me and we were thrilled! There were some intermediate-level sessions that I went to, and my friend made some great discoveries with the help of none other than D. Joshua Taylor! (Oh, yes, I shook his hand and made a fool of myself!)
This year’s Genealogy Event promises to be even better. Here’s why:
  • it’s going to be at the National Archives in New York City, which is housed at its new historic location of the Alexander Hamilton Customs House at 1 Bowling Green in Manhattan. (Genealogy! Archives! History!)
  • there will be special advanced-level sessions for those who want more.
  • there will be awesome well-known speakers.
  • there will be a Friday social event so you can get to know your fellow genea-geeks!
  • although it will cost more than last year, it’s still less than one of the mega-conferences, and there is plenty of flexibility in the type of package you choose.  Plus, I believe you’ll be getting your money’s worth!
  • there will be a special DNA day on Sunday, October 19, with a session for beginners and advanced. (Final details are still being worked out.)
  • there is actually a hashtag this year: #tge2014 .  This makes it more tweetable, for sure!
Want to know more?  Go to and click on the links for New York City (NYC).
DISCLAIMER:  I’m not employed by or affiliated with The Genealogy Event.  I’m merely an enthusiastic cheerleader who wants more genealogy doings in her area!