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Leave the blood feuds at home

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On May 19 I attended an all-day seminar held by the Seattle Genealogical Society. The speaker for the day was George G. Morgan--a genealogy guy. He gave 4 lectures that day.

I first heard about the lecture on their podcast. I told mr. larmos about hearing it, and he suggested that I go to the seminar as my mothers' day present. I thought it was a great idea, but our days are very busy as we're trying to get our house ready for a big move in about 6 weeks. Time is precious. But, Mr. Larmos argued, "seeing George G. Morgan" is kind of like going to see Paul McCartney last summer."

"Yeah," I had to agree. It was for me.

So, I got up early on that Saturday, fed the kid breakfast and gathered my stuff for the day. I packed a lunch, because I was registering late, and didn't get to sign up for a catered lunch. (Turns out I enjoyed my lunch as well as I would a catered one). The cost of the day was $50, because I registered on-site and I was a non-member (I did not join, because we were moving a couple of months later).

I drove to the McEachern Auditorium at the Museum of History and Industry . The Museum was closing in June, so it was one of the last events they were going to be hosting there. The SGS has space nearby.

I arrived about 15 minutes early and paid my registration, got a name tag (was told they would collect them at the end of the day to reuse next year--how very Seattle) and slipped into a large auditorium. I found a seat in the middle of the left hand side about half way toward the back. I was about 3 seats away from a woman on my right. When I looked around the room I judged most of the audience (say 3/4) to be 50 or older. The other portion of the audience was younger, and particularly skewed gender-wise (there were way more women).

In an aisle of the auditorium they had set up two tables full of books which they were selling for 1 or 2 dollars a piece. They also had SGS tshirts for sale for $10. I got one for Mr. Larmos who collects tshirts. (He loved it). The books were mostly old editions of stuff, or things that their library already had.  I passed on the books, although I thought about picking up an old edition of The Red Book.

George G. Morgan began speaking promptly at the appointed time. He used powerpoint slides for all of his presentations, and sometimes a browser to demonstrate something on the web. His 4 presentations included Bring‘Em Back to Life: Developing an Ancestor Profile, Advanced Genealogical Research Methodologies for the Internet, New Ways to Research our Roots, and Sidestep Genealogy. I got printouts for all of the lectures that included Mr. Morgan's slides. That was great for taking notes. I hope in a later diary to talk in more depth about some of the hints and ideas Mr. Morgan provided that day.

During one of the breaks I got to speak to Mr. Morgan, ask him a question and tell him what a big fan of his I have been since I discovered his podcast. If you haven't listened to them yet, do yourself a favor and download at least one. They just published a new one in the last couple of days, actually. I learn so much from their show.

One of the nice surprises of the day, was speaking with a woman who was sitting next to me. She was from the midwest originally, and had family from about a hour away from my hometown. I exchanged email addresses with her and promised if I made my way to the archives at Illinois State University I'd drop her a line.

I was intimidated about going to the seminar, but in retrospect it was so worth my time. Mr. Morgan is a great speaker, and well-worth seeing if you get a chance. It also was great to see such a vibrant genealogical society, given that many in these times have been forced due to lack of membership to close-up shop. (the one in my home county did four years ago). So, my advice to us all is get out there and check out the resources and programs available at our local genealogical societies. They have a lot to offer researchers of all levels and interests. Are you a member of any locals?

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