Having attended conferences of various kinds for the last 35+ years, I always tell myself that if I can come away from the conference with one or two good tips, I will be satisfied with the opportunity. The first thing I did when I arrived Friday was to head to the Exhibitor's area, to check it out, while I waited for my first session. One of my first encounters came when I approached the New England Historical and Genealogical Society's booth.
I wasn't prepared for the conversation I had with John "What's His Name", from "Who Do You Think You Are," who assisted Sarah Jessica Parker to find out about some of her ancestors. We didn't discuss that, but got into a conversation about my family legend. John took a breath and told me exactly where I might garner the information I needed to break that proverbial "brick wall." I was amazed and thrilled as he told me the name of a publication I had never heard of, the year, and name of the article that would prove my theory and the family legend. Just a chance happening at Jamboree and I eliminated a brick wall I have been working on for years. I can't wait to share it with my extended family.
Jamboree installs a huge tent in the parking lot of the Marriott which they call the "Pavillion," to accommodate a large group. FamilySearch had a session held in the Pavillion on what's new on their site, and I was amazed at the progress they have made on the web site. I believe, generally, I visit the site at least once a week, but had not had the opportunity in the last months. They reviewed time-tested, traditional research methods along with the excitement of what's new on the site. If you haven't visited the site in a few weeks, you, too, will be surprised at all the changes.
Listening to Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak was the highlight of the Jamboree for me. She is a delightful speaker and her stories of research are rich and rewarding. Her preference for researching is focused on little known individuals like the ship "Monitor's" retrieval after years of underwater searching. I won't even try to explain the research as she did, embellished with her style of relating the story. Each of her stories was fascinating, and I reviewed her presentation on the trip back to Fresno.
Next year, I'm heading for the speakers in the Pavillion. There's a reason they require such a large venue for certain speakers and presentations. They are teriffic.
I was energized,excited and eager to get working to apply the skills and tips that I learned throughout the weekend. The aura has been described as "Jamboree Buzz," and if you haven't experienced it for yourself you be sure to set aside the dates for the "2011 Jamboree." The frosting on the cake was being able to enjoy some of the sessions with two of my genealogy buddies. Thanks, ladies. Let's do it again next year!