If you can be in New York City next Sunday afternoon, you can join hundreds of other genealogists at the annual Family History Fair. This event promises to pack sixteen workshops into five short hours.
This annual event is sponsored by the Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York, Inc., and Continuing Education & Public Programs, The Graduate Center, CUNY. It is held at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York at 365 Fifth Avenue at 34th Street, Manhattan. This location is easy to find via subway, train, or bus.
Now, here is the best part: admission is free.
This year's scheduled workshops and presenters include:
• Genealogy Research Today -- What's Hot and What's Not - John Konvalinka, CGRS CGL, Professional Genealogist
• Jewish Genealogy: Getting Started -Jordan Auslander, Professional Genealogist
• Hispanic Genealogy: Getting Started - Jorge Camuñas, Hispanic Genealogy Society of New York
• Afro-American Genealogy: Getting Started - Afro-American Historical & Genealogical Society, Jean Sampson Scott Greater New York Chapter
• Real World DNA Testing - Megan Smolenyak, Author of Trace Your Roots with DNA
• New York City Genealogical Resources - Jordan Auslander, Professional Genealogist
• Military Records as a Genealogical Resource - John F. Walter, Institute for Civil War Research
• Preserve Your Family History Through Scrapbooking - Carol Zack, Calligrapher and Teacher of Scrapbooking
• Next-Generation Genealogy: Making Family History Exciting to Pre-teens and Teens - Ira Wolfman, Author of Climbing Your Family Tree: Online and Off-line Genealogy for Kids
• Document Doctor: Preservation Basics for the Family Historian - Brenda Parnes, New York State Archives
• Irish Research: Where to Begin - Donna M. Moughty, Professional Genealogist
• Oral History: How to Gather Family Stories - Patricia Laurence, Oral Historian
• Genealogy Resources Online at the Godfrey Library - Thomas Jay Kemp, Director, Godfrey Memorial Library
• Tracing Your Immigrant Ancestors - Thomas A. Peters, CGRS, Professional Genealogist
• Sleuthing in the Stacks: Using Non-Traditional Sources to Uncover Genealogical Clues - Meldon J. Wolfgang, Jonathan Sheppard Books
• Harlem History and Hearsay: The Significant Elders Intergenerational Project - Malika Lee Whitney, Pickney Productions
Note that the list is subject to change, and a final schedule will be distributed at the Fair.
A new feature at this year's Family History Fair is "Ancestors Road Show." Similar to the idea of the "Antiques Road Show" on public television, the NYC Metro Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) is sponsoring a free one-to-one "professional advice" event between professional genealogists and any family history researcher who attends this year's Family History Fair. This forum is designed to help both the novice and the advanced family history researcher. The NYC APG hopes to have experts available in many areas of genealogy that may be of interest to attendees.
To obtain this advice, choose one genealogical problem that you would like to discuss with a professional. Each consultation session will be limited to about 15 minutes. Prepare and bring with you any material you would like to use (family group sheet, a particular document, etc.) to illustrate your problem or question. Sign up at the APG booth upon your arrival at the Family History Fair. You will be assigned an appointment time for your session. Return to the APG booth at your appointment time, and ask away!
A large number of genealogy vendors will be on hand as well. A long list of the vendors and exhibitors can be found at http://www.nycarchivists.org/exh.html.
I am planning to attend Sunday's event, my first time at the Family History Fair. I will be working in the exhibits hall at the New England Historic Genealogical Society's booth. Stop by and say "hello" if you have a chance. Of course, with all the workshops and other activities next Sunday, you may not have time!
To learn more about the free Family History Fair, go to http://www.nycarchivists.org/fhf.html