The National Genealogical Society Conference is less than a month away, so I have been looking at the online Program Guide and trying to decide which sessions I wish to attend. There are often 8 or 9 different presentations going on simultaneously, so it can be a difficult decision. Creating an itinerary helps me to get excited about the conference, as there are so many presentations that sound like they will be helpful to my research.
Subject to change, this is what I've narrowed it down to so far (with links to their online descriptions, and a handful of notes):
Wednesday May 13
Opening Session:The Tales of Pioneer Paths - J. Mark Lowe
There seems to be two hours without a session.
Perhaps built-in time for socializing, and wandering the Exhibit Hall
Principles of Good Writing and Good Storytelling - John Philip Colletta
Tracking Pennsylvania Ancestors: Keys to Successful Research - Kay Haviland Freilich
But I’ve Looked Everywhere - Barbara Vines Little
I'm not sure the first one above is what I want or not. The description reads: "Demonstrates how to present an ancestor’s life in writing as an engaging true story; addresses essential elements of setting, action, characters, and theme." I've taken collegiate fiction writing courses, so I suspect much of this won't be new information. However, I would like to hear someone discuss how to use fictional elements, without turning the work into fiction. I refuse to make up dialogue, or actions. When the extent of my knowledge is what is contained in documents I find it difficult to 'flesh the story out' while adhering to the known facts.
The Rest of the Story luncheon - Judy G. Russell
Maps! Wonderful Maps! - Rick Sayre and Pamela Boyle Sayre
Confronting conflicting evidence - Pam Stone Eagleson
Analyzing Deeds and Wills: I See What it Says, but What Does it Mean? - Elizabeth Shown Mills
Finding Your Ancestors in Congressional Documents - Patricia Walls Stamm
Thursday May 14
Transcription, Abstraction and the Records - Rev. David McDonald
The World’s Periodicals in Your Hands: PERSI and beyond - D. Joshua Taylor
Back to the USSR: Tracing your Russian Roots - Amy Wachs
Research Jewish Genealogical Records from your couch - Daniel Horowitz
Genealogical Research and Writing: Are you a Saint, Sinner, or Bumfuzzled Soul? - Elizabeth Shown Mills
Guidelines to Finding Polish Records - Amy Wachs
Friday May 15
Navigating the Best online resources for Irish research - Donna Moughty
Researching your ancestors and their units in the colonial military (1637-1775) - David Allen Lambert
Since there is a Scots-Irish research session later in the day, that might help me choose here.
The problem solver’s great trifecta: GPS + FAN + DNA - Elizabeth Shown Mills
Scots-Irish research - Robert McLaren
The Everyday Life of Our Ancestors - Ann Staley
Illinois: Research in the Prairie State - Diane Renner Walsh
Organizing your Genealogy Without Losing Your Mind - Julie Miller
While my wife and I have some Illinois kin, I think I really need some advice on organizing my research.
Saturday May 16
Investigate the Neighborhood to Advance your Research - Melinda Daffin Henningfield
Smiths and Jones: How to Cope With Families of Common Names - Elizabeth Shown Mills
iPad and iPhone Power User Techniques for Genealogy - Lisa Louis Cooke
While a lot of Elizabeth Shown Mills' panels sound interesting to me, this one might be the most useful for my research.
Petitions, Memorials, & Remonstrances in Early America: Good Genealogical Sources - Claire Bettag
Civil War Prisoner of War Records - Craig Roberts Scott
I, and my wife, each have one ancestor who was a Prisoner of War during the Civil War, and I am curious if there are records in addition to those I have already found. I'm also interested in researching some of our early American ancestors.
Beating the Odds: Using Indirect Evidence in Problem Solving - Vic Dunn
How to Plan your Digital Afterlife - Julie Miller
Five Proven Techniques to Finding Your Ancestor’s European Origin - Thomas W Jones
Researching the War of 1812 Soldier - Craig Roberts Scott
I don't have any ancestors who fought in the War of 1812, but several kin did. Mostly on the side of Canada.