Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Conference Logo: A Special Meaning

We knew we would get questions about the conference logo. We didn’t try to trick you, but the logo designer, Chuck Provancher, and the Conference Committee did want to see if you would ask about it! A modern bridge – what does it have to do with genealogy? You have asked and we are explaining.

The Leonard Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge that spans the Charles River connecting Boston and Cambridge is
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a part of the “Big Dig” project that is transforming travel in the city of Boston. The Zakim Bridge itself is the widest cable-stayed bridge in the world - 1,457 feet long with towers reaching 270 feet high. The bridge is a terrific example of what can be done through careful planning and analysis, teamwork, and patience.

Ah, sounds like our genealogical research work and also like planning a genealogical conference. But this trivializes the man and the battle for which the bridge was named. The towers reflect the Bunker Hill Monument. The bridge cables are suggestive of a sailing ship like those that brought many of our ancestors to this country. Boston has a long history as a center of shipbuilding.

Lenny Zakim was the Anti-Defamation League's New England Director. In this and other endeavors he sought to build bridges between groups of people no matter their ethnic group or religious conviction. He was an active participant in the Civil Rights movement and a humanitarian and philanthropist who funded projects that helped to teach tolerance, awareness, and racial healing.

He died at age 46 from a brain tumor and during his short life affected many. His goodness was infectious to the down-trodden, the average citizen, politicians, religious leaders, and his efforts were infectious far beyond his own Jewish community and family. The naming of the bridge in his honor reflects the bridges Lenny Zakim built in the community.As Boston Mayor Tom Menino said at the 2002 dedication of the bridge: "The dedication of the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge will showcase the diversity and the unity of race, religion and personal background that exists in Boston today because of the work of community leaders like Lenny Zakim and because patriots fought long ago in Charlestown to make our country independent."

In genealogy we do a lot of bridging. We don’t judge our ancestors or fellow genealogists on their ethnicity, religious, political, or other beliefs. We don’t shun each other because of the deeds of an ancestor. Genealogy is a great equalizer. So was Leonard Zakim.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Lecture Subjects Preview

Do you have ancestry in these ethnic groups or areas:
Irish, English, Scottish, German, Jewish, Italian, Massachusetts, Canada, New York, United States, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, and more? If so, this conference is for you. Do you want to know about the national level archives in the U.S., Canada, England, Scotland to name just a few?
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Do you want to learn more about researching on-site or online? Do you want to learn to be a better genealogical speaker?

What about analyzing records, Colonial research, land platting, using USGenWeb, or learning more about your soldier or seaman?

Need to learn more about lineage society applications, running a genealogical society, writing family histories, Irish customs, finding ancestor's inventions, genetics and genealogy, and, and, and . . .

Whew! Intrigued? Check back over the next eleven months as we tell you more about these topics and others.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The FGS/NEHGS Conference Hotel

The host hotel is the Sheraton Boston Hotel, in the same indoor complex as the Hynes Convention Center. The hotel even has a Starbucks! The conference committee has reserved a large block of rooms exclusively for conference attendees.

Sheraton Boston
39 Dalton Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02199
1-800-325-3535
617-236-2000
www.Sheraton.com

Conference Room Rates:
$159.00 single/double
$40.00 each additional person

You must identify yourself as part of the Federation of Genealogical Societies 2006 Conference in order to take advantage of this special conference rate.

The Conference Site

The John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center is the site for the 2006 FGS/NEHGS Conference. It is located in the heart of Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. To find out more about the convention center check www.AdvantageBoston.com.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Welcome!

Hello from the 2005 FGS/UGA Conference in Salt Lake City. It has been a great week here so far. The reaction to the next conference being in Boston has been terrific, too. Lots of people have indicated that they plan to attend.

Some are saying they have always wanted to visit Boston, others want to visit relatives in New England, and others say they need to do research in the area. Some of the people at this conference who are from New England are excited about having this major conference in their own backyard.
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I am Paula Stuart-Warren, the National Publicity Chair for this Boston conference. Over the next weeks you will be hearing from other members of our energetic conference committee. I am from Minnesota. The Conference Co-chairs are from Boston and Texas, the Program Chair is from Florida, the Exhibit Chairs are from Illinois and Texas.

Everyone is hard at work on the conference and we have been passing out stickers that say "FGS Boston 2006." We have two booths here to publicize the conference and a beautiful banner showing the Boston skyline.

We have maps and brochures that show the Hynes Convention Center which is in the same indoor complex at the host hotel, the Sheraton Boston. We are also showing people how close the Boston Public Library, the New England Historic Genealogical Society, and other research repositories are to the convention center.

We know some of you readers are here in Salt Lake City with us this week, and for those who aren't, we wish you were here.

In the coming days we will tell you more about the convention center and host hotel in Boston. Check back often!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Inside Scoop: Boasting about Boston

The Inside Scoop: Boston Boastings

Next year FGS is in Boston and there are plenty of good reasons to consider attending, but since I live in the area, I'll give you the inside scoop.

  • Boston is a fun city.

Sure, the Puritans settled the area and that makes people think the residents are puritanical. Nonsense. Bostonians like to have fun. We have plenty of tourist sites and shopping malls, but the area also has several major league sports teams and some world-class museums. It's a major metropolis with choices for everyone. Don't believe me? Then check out the listings on Boston.com.
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You'll find lots of things to do while you're in town for FGS whether you decide to walk a few blocks or take public transportation.

  • Ride the "T"

(Not a cuppa) It's what Bostonians call their public transporatation system of trains. The MBTA or "T" for short connects suburbs and neighborhoods. Different colored trains take you around the town and conference attendees can save money by purchasing a visitor pass. Downloadable or printable tables are available on their website www.mbta.com.

  • Genealogy Galore

What's only a few blocks from the conference and has one of the largest genealogy collections in the country? The New England Historic Genealogical Society at 101 Newbury St. dates back to 1845. It was the first genealogical society in the United States. Visit their website www.newenglandancestors.org to plan your research trip to their library. Include on your itinerary the Boston Public Library, the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Massachusetts State Archives. All are just a short walk or ride away.

Look for more information on all these facilities in future issues.