I'm not at the FGS Genealogy Conference in Philly this week. Why not? It's because I don't go to conventions unless someone pays me to speak at them. I feel they're a waste of time.
I also couldn't justify spending approximately $150 to go when I could have spent it finishing a deceased relative's tombstone.
I looked over the brochure a few months ago. I think a lot of classes could be eliminated if the people who took them spent a few minutes on the internet.
A Few Examples:
F-137: Using the NJ Room at the Alexander Library- Rutgers University
An overview of the genealogical resources held within Special Collections and University Archives.
I see Michelle all the time at the NJ State Archives and I know she is a fine genealogist. But this class, really? I've been to the Alexander Library. The card catalog is on computer or a card file for names in the corner. You find this out within 2 seconds of telling the people at the desk that you're new to the place. Their holdings are also online on Rutgers's website. The hardest part about going to the library is finding metered parking since it is across from the student center.
F-109: Wills & Probate Will Be the Death of Me
Learn how to find indexes of courthouse records, microfilmed records and how to read a will.
I find a will is pretty straightforward if you have command of the English language. What words you don't know, you can look up. You can find indexes of the courthouse records at the courthouse or you can google them to see what other repository they are at. Then you can go there. I just saved you 1 hr of your life.
F-135: Photography Workshop. ($15 supply fee) Limited enrollment. Advanced Registration required!
Maureen A. Taylor
Got a question about a family photograph? This workshop covers both identification and preservation of family pictures.
Save your $15 and buy something from Archival Methods that it will fit into. As for identification, if you don't know who the person is and have compared it to everyone else's photo collection in your family (and I mean all the distant cousins), you could probably find out when it was taken based on dress and photography studio with a little use of good ole google.
and I will close with my personal favorite.....
F-132: Overlooked Census Data: Reading Those Orphan Columns
Carolyn Earle Billingsley
Genealogists tend to read census returns for names, relationships, etc. There are many columns of information that are overlooked, and which can be useful.
Look at all the columns in the census. Now go use that hour of your life to do further research on your distant relative.