Tuesday, April 19, 2016

NERGC Looking Back and Forward

Portland, Maine Headlight from 2015
Providence Rhode Island last year, Manchester New Hampshire 2 years before that, and Springfield Massachusetts next year. At regular intervals, my thoughts have turned to New England vacations in the spring. Yes, New England is a beautiful place to visit in the springtime. I have many ancestors that lived there. But why is there a theme about the time of year developing?

The reason is that every two years I can combine a trip to New England to research and tour an area with some education and meeting up with other great genealogists. A year ago this morning we were heading home from the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence from that year’s The New England Regional Genealogical Consortium, Inc. (NERGC). It consisted of two and a half days of over 95 lectures in total. Many of them were geared towards research in Rhode Island itself, but they covered subjects all over New England and general topics as well.
Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts
It wasn’t just about the lectures either. In just about every class, I sat next to somebody I had met before. Walking between classrooms and in the vendor hall I ran into people that I know. Genealogists from all over New England, New York and beyond were gathering there to learn and discuss genealogy. There is huge serge in energy at such a place. If you’ve never been to a conference, you really must go to at least one to see what it is like. I always come home from such a conference exhausted, but with renewed eagerness to dive into more genealogy.
Next year we will be headed to Springfield a little later in April. The theme for the conference is: Using the Tools of Today & Tomorrow to Understand the Past and will be held April 26-29 at the MassMutual Convention Center in Springfield, Massachusetts. Although I don’t personally have any direct ancestors that lived in the area, I am sure there will be many lectures that I will look forward to hearing. 
Old town hall or schoolhouse Exeter, Rhode Island

The call for papers has closed, and they are still working on deciding which lectures will be presented. Some of the categories included repositories across New England, and many areas of technology. Other topics on the call for papers included: genealogy research focused within social, cultural, racial, or ethnic groups; and family history writing and publishing in print and on the web. So, there will be quite a variety of topics presented no matter which people are selected to present.
The website at http://www.nergc.org/ is still mainly giving information about last year’s conference, but it should be updated before long. Many volunteers are working behind the scenes to get everything ready for Springfield in 2017. Until then, we will just sit back and dream of New England and next year’s conference. I hope I will see many friends old and new there!


Anne P Slatin said...

I am inspired to attend next year's conference! I have ancestors in Belchertown to track down, as well.
Anne Slatin

Amanda E. Perrine said...

I'm still sad to have missed last year's conference, but I'm looking forward to next year! NERGC is one of my favorites.