NGS 2018 Family History Conference
Paths to Your Past
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Happy New Year

Even though it is a brand new 2017, we here at the Western Michigan Genealogical Society look ahead with anticipation to the NGS 2018 Family History conference coming to Grand Rapids! NGS has opened the the call for proposals.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS–11:59 p.m. EDT on 1 April 2017

From the NGS website

In the nineteenth century, the Great Lakes were major, strategic waterways that aided Americans moving West and immigrants coming from overseas through Canada to settle and develop the Midwest. Cheap land, mining, and the timber industry made the area attractive. The combination of water power from the rivers and rapids, together with access to grain and lumber, encouraged manufacturing and industry, including breweries, furniture, and cereal. Entrepreneurs flourished as Michigan became the center for the automobile industry, encouraging migration from the south and attracting an influx of new immigrants in search of jobs and the American dream.

Among the topics being considered by NGS are presentations on migration paths to the Midwest including waterways, trails, and railroads; records and repositories for Michigan, the surrounding states, and Canada; records generated by France, Great Britain, and later by the newly established United States as they fought for control of the Old Northwest Territory; land grants, deeds, and maps; and laws and court records. Conference tracks under consideration include:

  • ethnic groups: Dutch, German, Polish, French Canadian, Scandinavian, Cornish, African Americans, and Native Americans;
  • immigration from: Europe, Eastern Europe, Canada, and Latin American countries;
  • migration into and out of the area: from New England, New York, the Mid-Atlantic States, and the South, and later migration south and west;
  • religious groups: Catholic, Lutheran, Congregational and United Church of Christ, Dutch and Christian Reformed, Quaker, and Amish;
  • military records: forts, French and Indian War, American Revolution, Loyalists, War of 1812, Toledo War, Civil War, World War I and II, and the use of factories during wartime;
  • occupations and trades: furriers, farming, fishing, mining, lumbering, brewing, shipping, and manufacturing;
  • other organizations: masons, abolitionists, prohibitionists, and unions.

Proposals may also include presentations about DNA, and how to use DNA to solve genealogical roadblocks, as well as Internet websites, apps, and other technology tools.

NGS encourages proposals that demonstrate methods to help genealogists accurately identify ancestors through exhaustive research, proper source citations, analysis and correlation, resolution of conflicts, and sound reasoning and coherent writing.

Speakers who wish to submit lecture proposals may submit up to eight proposals electronically. The following information is required for each submitted proposal:

  • speaker’s full name, address, telephone, and e-mail address;
  • presentation title, not to exceed fourteen words;
  • program brochure lecture summary, not to exceed twenty-five words;
  • brief, but comprehensive outline;
  • speaker biography, not to exceed twenty-five words;
  • speaker’s recent lecture experience;
  • list the national or regional conferences where you have presented this lecture in the last three years and where you are scheduled to present this lecture during the next year;
  • and identification of the appropriate audience level: beginner, beginner-intermediate, intermediate, intermediate-advanced, advanced, or all.

NGS members will receive first consideration as speakers. All proposals must be submitted electronically through the NGS website listed above between 1 January and 11:59 p.m. EDT on 1 April 2017. Syllabus material, due 15 February 2018, is required for each lecture or workshop presentation and will be included in the syllabus distributed to all conference registrants. Electronic presentation programs are expected from the speakers and they must provide their own digital projector and laptop. NGS will provide projector support, which consists of a VGA cable, cart, and power strip. Internet connections will not be provided.