The value of other peoples’ genealogy knowledge…

I attended the Story@Home Conference last week and it has changed some of my thinking about professional genealogy.  So I thought you might be interested in what I learned.

If you have been a long-time reader of this Genealogy Evidence Blog, you know that I rank genealogy conferences right up there with genealogy and family history periodicals for learning.  These two media cannot be beat!  They impart: 

  1. What’s new. 
  2. What works. 
  3. Which ancestors have now been found. 
  4. What’s next. 
  5. Why should you care.

And this new and annual conference held in Salt Lake City, co-sponsored by Cherish Bound, FamilySearch, Family History Expos, and a whole roster of others, answered all of these points.  Let me share just one with you today–

Tim Cross of FamilySearch described the partnership between FamilySearch and Billion Graves.  He always wanted to be able to walk cemetery rows digitally.  Identify the specific grave of the ancestor he was seeking and note the graves of persons related to and buried near that ancestor. Digitally.  His dream is now a reality with this partnership–and it is all free  to access.  Billion Graves supplies the tombstone images within the context of the whole cemetery.  And a transcript of the stones.  FamilySearch links supply the relationships and the other surnames of relatives who may be buried nearby.  You do the research online using links between the two websites (and perhaps other sites that will also contribute to your knowledge about those persons).

If you are coming to the Family History Expo in Houston TX on 6-7 April 2012, you can hear Tim Cross describe his dream and how it is coming true NOW.  You are registered aren’t you?  You already had planned to attend my presentations–I described them in my last blog.  If not, go to  and click on the Houston TX Expo.  There is still space for you and your best friend.   Once you are registered, you can preview and download handouts for those conference sessions you would like to attend. 

At the EXPO, you can talk one-on-one with Tim Cross–you can ask him directly about this mind-blowing new technology and get all the answers you want.  Be warned:  you may not sleep well after such eye-popping possibilities begin to explode in your mind and in your heart.  After all, these are your ancestors and mine I am talking about here.  (See PS below).

You can also talk one-on-one with me.  And get personal, customized answers to your most pressing genealogy questions.  When I am not speaking, I am in the Exhibit Hall at my booth–next to the Family History Expos booth and the Ask-the-Pros booth.  

The Exhibit Hall is free to everyone.  And my time during the EXPO is free to you. 

Speakers and exhibitors are coming from  Africa, Israel, and many parts of the United States.   Come to Houston–drive, fly, run!  This is an event you won’t want to miss. 

Stay tuned–I will share with you other learnings from the the Story At Home Conference, your favorite genealogist, Arlene Eakle

PS  I brought my genealogy  research projects with me to the conference–you see, I planned to attend the keynote, visit the marketplace exhibits, pick up my goodie bag, and then go to the Family History Library to do my research.  I couldn’t leave.  I stayed for two days and attended sessions every hour.  What an incredible two days it was. What  I learned so electrified me that I could not sleep–either night.

PPS  And yesterday, I discovered that the Veterans Administration is applying a similar approach to military graves for US armed forces burials around the world!  Searching cemeteries digitally is just that–not just locating the grave with GPS–you can visit virtually.  WOW!


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