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Pleasanton Family History Expo Review

Once again, Holly Hansen, President of Family History Expos and her wonderful team pulled off another successful conference! I first want to give a big thanks to Holly and everyone who helped put together such a great event for us to get together and learn more about how to trace our roots.

I find the expos a great place to also socialize and network with other genealogists. One of the funnest things is to talk with other avid genealogists and discuss the new events, websites, technology, and other great resources available to us.

It was great to finally meet Elizabeth O'Neal from the Little Bytes of Life blog. She is one of the many bloggers who I know and follow via the internet, but have never met until this conference.

It was also great to see everyone who I have previously met at other conferences over the past year.

There was such a great diversity in the classes taught here at the expo. Classes range from African American research, Hispanic research, multiple classes on social networking, genealogical organization, software, and  much more!

Butch and Jean Hibben from Circle Mending played their great folk music both days during lunch. It is really fun to watch Butch play his saw - yes, I did say saw! Below are some pictures of them playing their fun music

One of the great highlights of the expo was the live recording of the Genealogy Gems Podcast done on Friday night! Lisa Louise Cooke, producer and host of the podcast did such a great job once again doing a live recording. On the episode she had a couple of the writers for Shades of the Departed online genealogy magazine talk about what the magazine is, articles they write about, and how you can access the magazine. Craig Manson was her first guest on the show and he discussed what the magazine is and he also talked about the creator and amazing graphical designer of the magazine, footnoteMaven. FootnoteMaven has done such a great job at putting together a wonderful and fun magazine for all of us to enjoy. To learn more about footnoteMaven, visit her website at Lisa's second guest was Sheri Fenly who is another great author of the magazine. Sheri Fenly also has a really fun and education blog. It is so educational, it is called The Educated Genealogist! Also attending the podcast was author Denise Levenick, also known in the magazine by Penelope Dreadful.

Now, for those of you who remember reading my article after the last Family History Expo in Salt Lake City about the Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner, I have some updates for you. I talked with the guys at Flip-Pal at the conference and they say that they are still going to be shipping the scanners by the end of this month! You can go online and order them now, and by early November, if not sooner, you will be able to enjoy your new little toy! I have talked to many who said one of these would make a great Christmas gift! You might want to keep that in mind for your friends and family! It's also a great idea to add that to YOUR Christmas wish list. You never know what your kids and grandkids might get you! To read my previous post on the Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner, check out the following article: Scan Your Genealogy Documents Anywhere. To pre-order your scanner go to

Thanks again Family History Expos for another great conference! I am looking forward to the next conference I can attend. While I won't be able to make it to their next conference in Atlanta, Georgia, I know there are going to many great exhibits and classes there! For more information on that conference, and to register, visit the Family History Expos website.


In the Right Place at the Right Time

Isn't it funny how sometimes we are in the right place at the right time?

The other day during lunch I decided to head over to the local bookstore. I go there quite frequently on my lunch hour to see if they ever get any new genealogy books that would be good to read. Unfortunately this bookstore does not have a great selection of genealogy books. I am also ways asking them why they don't get a better selection. They don't even have Who Do You Think You Are?: The Essential Guide to Tracing Your Family History by Megan Smolenyak. I think that book needs to be in every library and bookstore for those who are just beginning their family history. To prove my point, they could have easily sold a copy of it to a genealogy newbie that day.

When I was there looking to see if they had any new books in their collection, which they didn't, I decided I would look just a few feet away on another shelf where some of the writing books are located. Along with many other bloggers, I would like to improve my writing skills and learn new techniques to improve my writing and make it more interesting. As I was standing just a few feet away from the genealogy section, a man walked up to one of the customer support desks and asked where the genealogy section was. The employee pointed this gentleman over to where the books were located. As the gentleman approached the books he started to look through the small collection and browsed through a couple of them. Still standing there just a few feet away from him I couldn't help but ask him if he was looking for something specific. I also wanted to become acquainted with another fellow genealogist.

We started talking and he said he was just starting his family research and that he was looking for resources on where to find his Italian ancestry. I hardly have any knowledge of Italian history or resources where to find Italian documents. I asked him if he has looked into any genealogy blogs about Italy. He looked a little surprised when I mentioned this. I told him there were hundreds of genealogy blogs out there and each one had its special niche. I recommended him going to the GeneaBloggers website to find some blogs that might help him find resources as well as others researching their Italian roots.

As we were talking about GeneaBloggers he mentioned he had just barely subscribed to and looked around on there. He also mentioned how expensive was I immediately remembered how the latest issue of Family Tree Magazine had an article 101 Best Free Websites for Tracing Your Roots. I took him over to the magazine section of the store, pulled it off the shelf and showed him the article. I told him about some of the more well-known websites like Cyndi's List, WorldGenWeb, and FamilySearch that could help with his Italian research.

It was really cool being able to meet this gentleman and the coincidence it was to be there in the genealogy section at the right time to be albe to meet him and help him get a head start on his genealogy research.


Ancestry Magazine Discontinues Publication

It is sad to hear that Ancestry Magazine will no longer be publishing their great magazine.

The following is posted on Ancestry Magazine website:
For 25 years, Ancestry magazine has been a valuable, timely resource for family history professionals, hobbyists, and novices alike. For a variety of reasons, the time has come for us to discontinue publication. Over the last few years, we have found that with the expanded accessibility of terrific family history content published online at we can reach a larger and broader audience than the limited distribution of a print publication.
The March/April 2010 issue will be the final issue of Ancestry magazine. Subscribers to Ancestry magazine with current subscriptions that will not be completed by the mailing of the March/April 2010 magazine will receive prorated refunds. Subscribers will find a letter enclosed with their final issue informing them of these details. We are also no longer selling new magazine subscriptions nor renewing those that have expired. Single copies of past issues, including the upcoming March/April issue, will be available for purchase in our online store.
With Ancestry magazine we have loved the opportunity we’ve had to write about the best of what we found in the world of family history. We thank our readers and contributors for sharing our enthusiasm for all things genealogy.
The Ancestry Magazine Staff
We will all miss the wonderful job Ancestry Magazine has done to produce such a great product. Let us hope that they will continue to do an online publication of some sort.