I attended my first Texas State Genealogical Society conference this past weekend in San Antonio. Going to conferences was on my “to-do list” for honing skills and connecting with others on this professional journey. I’m so glad I did! For too many years, I thought joining Texas and Houston-area societies would offer little value for my research in other states. However, these organizations focus on methodology and standards — and that’s exactly the information I need as I turn toward professional genealogy.
If asked which sessions were my favorite, I wouldn’t be able to single out just a few — the presentations were that high-quality! I went to 17 lectures on a variety of topics, including DNA, methodology, and specific record sets. Most sessions included interesting, and often complex, case studies that applied the topic to real-world research. Genealogy is about problem solving, and seeing how others bust their brick walls is leading me to find new approaches to mine.
Another benefit of attending TxSGS was meeting others who are serious about genealogy. I met many interesting people and had great conversations between sessions, in the vendor hall, and over meals. I went alone, knowing no one, but felt right at home around others passionate about family history.
If you’re on the fence about getting involved in the larger genealogy community, I urge you to jump. I made a leap in August and have already had rewarding, enriching experiences that have improved my research skills and knowledge. And now I can’t wait until the next conference!