On Saturday, 14 March, I attended the 15th Annual Family History Fair in Tyler, TX. The East Texas Genealogical Society partnered with the Tyler Stake Family History Center to sponsor the event and it was a sucess! The theme was "Piecing Together the Past" and attendees were encouraged to bring family heirlooms to display, with special emphasis on quilts.
After serving a complimentary breakfast of assorted pastries during registration, the event was opened with a prayer. The atmosphere was relaxed and happy as genealogists of all levels and stripes took notes during the sessions, and compared notes in between.
The keynote speaker was Susan Kaufman, Senior Manager of the Clayton Library in Houston, TX. I caught three of her lectures titled (in order of presentation): "Using Criminal Records in Genealogical Research," Unusual Sources...or...This is Some Cool 'Stuff'," and "Clayton Library: Gem of the Gulf Coast."1 These sessions were extremely informative and Ms. Kaufman is a delightful speaker.
During the lunch break, a question and answer session was convened featuring Ms. Kaufman, Scott Fitzgerald (Vice President of the East Texas Genealogical Society) and Debbie Parker Wayne, C.G. It was a special privelage to be able to "ask the experts," all of whom fielded the questions in a friendly manner, offering seasoned advice to the audience.
In closing, I want to encourage readers of this journal to visit any local, state or national conference they are able to. These affairs offer a wealth of research knowledge, as well as the opprotunity to meet the professionals. And while there were many other lectures by visiting experts, namely "Sound Census Strategy" by Ms. Wayne2, I was unable to attend her session(s) due to time constraints. I did, however, get the opportunity to visit with Ms. Wayne, who is a certified genealogist, during a break. It was such a pleasure speaking with her and the advice I received was indispensible. What a treat!
1 East Texas Genealogical Society/Stake Family HIstory Center. "Schedule of Events," registration packet handout. 15th Annual Family HIstory Fair, "Piecing Together the Past." 14 March 2015, Tyler Texas. (Hereafter referred to as ETGS 15th Annual History Fair, Sched. of Events)
2 ETGS 15th Annual History Fair, Sched. of Events.