This blog brings you breaking news about the 14th New England Regional Genealogical Conference and the city of Springfield, Massachusetts.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Last eZine before the Conference Starts!


WELCOME TO THE SPRINGFIELD 2011 E-ZINE
Welcome to the twelfth New England Regional Genealogical Conference 2011 E-zine, the final issue prior to the Conference! Please share it with your friends and associates-and anyone else you feel may be interested in attending the Conference. Missing back issues? Go to http://www.nergc.org/NERGC2011/ezine.html.

With less than a week to go, over 770 are now registered for the Conference!

This edition of the E-zine features last-minute updates and reminders.

REGISTRATION REMINDERS
·         As previously publicized, no refunds are available after 25 March 2011.
·         You may still sign up for meals, but the hotel cannot guarantee that particular food options are still available this close to the conference.  
·         If you don't have time for the entire Conference, single day registrations are available at $90 per day.
·         To register for the conference, see our brochure (NERGC2011 Home ) and our online registration site https://www.regonline.com/nergc .

Questions?  Contact Mary Choppa, Registration Chair, at mchoppa@myfairpoint.net.

PROGRAM UPDATES
·         Two Special Activities are fully booked: the research trip to the Berkshire Athenaeum (w-101) and the orientation program at the Springfield History Library (T-101).
·         The Griffiths Valuation Workshop (T-104) is fully booked.
·         You can still visit National Archives and Records Administration, Pittsfield, with us on Wednesday, 6 April ($30 fee for transportation). Or, take a tour of Springfield Cemetery (Wednesday, 11 a.m. or 2 p.m., free). Registration is required for these activities, even the free ones.
·         Cemetery Workshop S-308 will be held in the Sheraton's King George Suite, not in an actual cemetery. (The workshop was designed to be able to be presented inside, and this is what would have been done in the event of inclement weather.) If you're already registered for the workshop and wish to withdraw because it is being held inside, you may do so without penalty. If you were thinking of registering but had reservations because it was going to be held outdoors, it's not too late to add it. The session will include a PowerPoint presentation, many show-and-tells and perhaps even a small repair on a child's gravestone.
·         Laura Prescott will present "Treasures Within the Ivory Tower: Finding Family in Academic Archives," Session F-204, on resources that are available at New England academic archives. Laura's biography can be found in the Registration Brochure and at NERGC2011/speakers. She replaces Robert S. Cox, who has had to cancel his appearance at the Conference.

WHAT'S HAPPENING: WHERE AND WHEN
Exploring New Paths to Your Roots is being held in two hotels across the street from one another. Here's an update on some of the events.

Conference Registration/Check-in takes place on the Sheraton's Second Level Foyer on Wednesday 3:00 - 7:00 p.m.; Thursday 7:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.; Friday 7:15 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.; and Saturday 7:15 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Hospitality, Queries, Volunteers, and Evaluation tables will be near the Registration Booths on the Sheraton's Second Level Foyer.

W-101 Berkshire Athenaeum Research Trip
W-102 Silvio O. Conte National Records Center Research Trip
The two groups will ride in one bus. Meet in the Sheraton lobby (first floor) in the vicinity of the front desk. The bus will be parked right outside. The bus departs for Pittsfield at 9:00 a.m. and returns to the Sheraton at 6:00 p.m. Lunch is on your own. If you'll be visiting the Berkshire Athenaeum, you'll be right in the heart of downtown Pittsfield, where there are many options to buy a lunch. If you're visiting the National Archives, you can bring your own lunch or, after your arrival, there will be an opportunity for you to order something to be delivered.

W-103 11:00 a.m. Springfield Cemetery Tour #1
W-104 2:00 p.m. Springfield Cemetery Tour #2
Please plan on providing your own transportation to the cemetery.  A map handout with directions to the cemetery and the path of the tour within the cemetery will be available at the Sheraton's front desk (First Level).  

Librarians' and Teachers' Day (LTD) - Meet Thursday, April 7, at the Marriott's Springfield West room. Check-in runs from 8:45 to 9:30 a.m., with the first session starting at 9:30 a.m.  

T-101 Springfield History Library & Archives Orientation, Thursday 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Meet in the Sheraton lobby (first floor) in the vicinity of the hotel's front desk at 9:00 a.m. to walk with a group or you can walk, drive or carpool on your own. Please note that the History Library is 2-3 blocks from the hotels but is up a hill.  If you drive, free parking is available in the lots on Edwards Street, next to the history museum.

Those registered for these special events will receive additional information soon via e-mail.

For locations of many other conference activities and lecture sessions, see the daily schedule sheets via links at the Conference home page.

HIGH SPEED INTERNET AT THE HOTELS
Springfield Marriott:
High Speed Internet is included in the room rate for the NERGC block. Be sure to mention your need for Internet access in your room through the NERGC package when you check in. The desk agents should then inform you that Internet is free and how to log on. However, due to the nature of the Marriott's software, you may be asked when signing on if you accept the fee of $12.95 per night, and you will need to say yes in order to log in. The Marriott management has assured us that the fee will be removed from your bill during the night.

Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place:
Internet access in hotel rooms in the NERGC guest block will be complimentary for the duration of your stay. Be sure to mention your need for Internet access in your room through the NERGC package when you check in.

There is also no charge to vendors for High Speed Internet in the Exhibit Hall. Exhibitors will receive the login information as part of their check-in process.

SIGN UP NOW FOR THE ANCESTORS ROAD SHOW
Don't miss taking advantage of the Ancestors Road Show where experienced genealogists can help you with new ideas for advancing your research or solving that difficult problem. The Road Show will be held Friday and Saturday April 8 & 9 from 8:45-11:45 A.M. and 1:45-4:30 P.M. in the Kilkenny & Waterford Rooms, Level 3, of the Sheraton Hotel (across the foyer from the Exhibit Hall).

Appointments can be made online now. Go to the NERGC Web site (NERGC2011) and click on the "Ancestors Road Show" link at the left. Decide the time and/or consultant that fits your needs, click on the picture and fill out the form. You will receive a confirmation of your appointment.

During the conference appointments can be made Thursday night at the New England Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists (NEAPG) booth #7 in the Exhibit Hall from 6-7:30 p.m. or during the day Friday and Saturday at the Road Show venue. Currently 60 of the 143 slots are still available. However, at NERGC 2009 the Road Show was fully booked by Saturday.  Don't be disappointed-sign up now!

Some consultants are already fully booked. If you have trouble registering, try another consultant or contact shellee@shelleemorehead.com .

TOPICS FOR TABLE DISCUSSIONS AT SATURDAY LUNCHEON
Attendees: think about what you'd like to talk about over lunch on Saturday. Members of the Association of Professional Genealogists, New England Chapter, will be at each table at Saturday's luncheon to guide a focused discussion. 

You must be registered for the luncheon in order to attend, but there is no registration for or guaranteed seating at specific tables. Seating at each table is first-come, first-served as those signed up for the luncheon enter the Ballroom. As you enter, locate a table with a topic that appeals to you. If that table is already full, please pick a different table.

To assist you in considering your first choice and have alternate table options in mind, the topics and moderators are listed below.

  • People of Color research                Marian Pierre-Louis & Cheryll Toney Holley
  • Scots-Irish Research                                                Andrew Pierce
  • German Research                                         Leslie Albrecht Huber
  • Northern New Eng./
Eastern Canada Native American research          Sherry Gould
  • Lineage societies (Mayflower, DAR, etc.)           Polly FitzGerald Kimmitt, CG
  • Maine research                                             Carol P. McCoy
  • Military research                                          Linda Abrams
  • British research                                            Kathryn Black
  • DNA projects and Surname Projects         Pam Stone Eagleson, CG
  • Self-publishing your family history          Maureen Taylor
  • Strategies for Jewish Genealogy                Meredith Hoffman
  • Irish research                                                            Michael Brophy
  • DNA testing and genealogy                        Shellee Morehead, Ph. D.
  • Polish Research                                            Tim Firkowski
  • New England Gravestones Research        Midge Frazel
  • Colonial New England Research               September McCarthy
  • Vermont Research                                       Cathi Desmarais
  • New Hampshire Research                           Diane Florence Gravel CG
  • Italian and Italian/American research       Pat Cirone

HOTEL UPDATE
The block of rooms set aside for us at the conference hotels are now fully booked. Some rooms might still be available at the regular rates. There are some other options for housing during the conference.

The Hilton Garden Inn, 800 West Columbus Avenue, Springfield, Mass., (413) 886-8000, near the Basketball Hall of Fame, is in the same price range as our hotels and may have some rooms available for the nights of our conference.

The Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau provides links to a number of accommodation options at http://www.valleyvisitor.com/accommodations.html and to transportation options at http://www.valleyvisitor.com/transportation.html.

DAY AND OVERNIGHT PARKING
The day rate for parking in the Sheraton's garage is $4.00 per day (with tickets validated at the Sheraton coat check or front desk) or $9.95 per night for guests at the hotel.  Guests can come and go as often as they would like. The Sheraton no longer offers valet parking. The garage clearance is 7' 2" so standard trucks and vans should have no problem getting in.

The Tower Square garage connected to the Marriott Springfield (and across the street from the Sheraton) offers 1,200 well-lighted, covered and secure parking spaces. The parking is $5.00 per day for daily commuters attending Marriott events. The Marriott's discounted overnight rate at Tower Square for Marriott guests is $15.00. Ticket validation will be available from banquet bartenders or at the NERGC Hospitality Table on the Sheraton's Second Level Foyer, one level down from our Exhibit Hall in the Sheraton Grand Ballroom.

In addition, there are parking garages (I-91 North garage and I-91 South garage), behind the Marriott and the Sheraton. Both hotels use these garages for their overflow and both hotels will validate the parking ticket for a discount.

OTHER FOOD OPTIONS NEAR THE CONFERENCE VENUE
There are a number of food options in and near our conference hotels. The food court located on the Upper Level of the adjacent Tower Square Mall, is open 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and offers a variety of options (Combo Wok, Fantastico, LeGreque, Mex Table, Tower Grill, and Villa Pizza) at reasonable prices. Tower Square's Lower Level includes Dunkin' Donuts and Hot Table Grilled Panini as well as the sit down restaurants Champions Sports Bar & Grill and Currents Fine Dining. Peter's Grille, in the Sheraton, will be open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m.

Librarians' and Teachers' Day
As for all three previous Librarian's and Teachers' Days, ProQuest will host the buffet luncheon. If the delicious luncheon itself were not sufficient reason to attend, the luncheon's speaker will be William Forsyth, Director of Product Management, who will unveil "What's New from ProQuest," including a major upgrade to Ancestry Library Edition to be released on April 13. If time permits, he will also demonstrate the new capabilities using case studies.

ProQuest's massive information pool was built through partnerships with content creators, and it enables users to quickly find just the right information. The company is currently rolling out the all-new ProQuest® platform, which moves beyond navigation to empower researchers to use, create and share content, thus accelerating research productivity.

Bill Forysth's lively delivery and content-packed presentations have been a highlight in previous years and we know that 2011 will be no exception in equipping attendees with a new set of tools for serving their patrons and students.

EXHIBIT HALL
Our exhibitors are offering products and services to help in your research, document your findings and help preserve your treasures. We also have many genealogical and historical societies exhibiting, so no matter where your family is from in New England, there will be representatives of societies who can help you in your research.

The Exhibit Hall will be open 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday evening, 7 April, and there will be "unopposed" exhibitor times throughout the conference between lectures and meals for everyone to browse.

VENDOR DOOR PRIZES
Many vendors in the Exhibit Hall will be offering a variety of wonderful door prizes.  Look for your 2011 NERGC raffle tickets in your registration packet. You will also receive a list of door prize items, by vendor, and an information sheet for your NERGC raffle tickets.

One of the vendors, Legacy Family Tree, will be raffling off a brand new Acer Netbook computer at the conference.

All registered attendees will receive the entry form for the drawing in their registration packet. You will need to complete the form and return it to the Legacy Family Tree booth (#52 & #53) in the exhibitor hall for a chance to win.

The drawing is scheduled for Saturday, April 9, at 3:00pm in the Exhibit Hall.

Please note:
1.      Only one entry per person.
2.      NERGC 2011 vendors and their families are not eligible.
3.      You must complete the registration form and return it to the Legacy Family Tree booth.
4.      You must be present at the drawing to win.

Society Fair
The place to be at 5 p. m. on Thursday April 7 is NERGC'S Society Fair. Twenty-one historical, genealogical and family societies will gather in the foyer of Springfield's Sheraton Hotel Ballroom hoping to meet many NERGC attendees. They will be bringing lots of brochures, publications, family connections and words of greeting for one and all. There will be a cash bar and the Trade Exhibit Hall will open in Ballroom at 6 p. m. Don't miss this opportunity to learn about some of these societies and perhaps solve a family mystery you've been working on. Here's a list of the participants:

Massachusetts Society of Genealogists
Pilgrim Henry Sampson Kindred
Western Massachusetts Genealogical Society
Welles Family Association
Springfield Museums Library and Archives
Central Massachusetts Genealogical Society
French Canadian Genealogical Society
American Canadian Genealogical Society
Southwick, Massachusetts Historical Society
Society of Middletown First Settlers Descendants
Pioneer Valley History Network
Towne Family Association
Doolittle, Rose, Monroe Family Association
Avery Memorial Association
The Parke Society
Locke Family Association
Jewish Genealogical Society
Old Broad Bay Family History Association
Massachusetts State Archives
The Foote Family Association
DAR Mary Mattoon Chapter

Come greet your friends and associates and make some connections with the representatives of these wonderful organizations.  You'll enjoy the fun!
If you need more information email Ralph Wadleigh at whplar@comcast.net

Evaluations: Your chance for input!
Yes, the little slips of paper on chairs will return for NERGC 2011. In addition, participants will have the convenience of full conference online survey prompted by individual emails to each registrant. Evaluations play a big role in the review of the conference and on planning for the next one. You will have the opportunity to recommend speakers for future conferences and give feedback on the quality of the sessions and their relevance to your genealogy and family history projects. Your input helps NERGC to continue its tradition of conference excellence. Our speakers have consistently praised NERGC for summarizing and sharing feedback from session with them. Your opinion matters to NERGC. PLAN NOW TO PARTICIPATE IN THE FEEDBACK OPPORTUNITIES AT NERGC 2011.

QUERIES
Don't forget about the on-site Query Board at NERGC 2011. Please bring your Query information to the conference, and be prepared to fill out Queries Entry Forms at the Query Board site.  We hope you'll find a ton of responses!  Meanwhile, many special thanks to those who made financial contributions to cover QueryColumn entries in the conference Syllabus.  We hope your responses will come in generous supply!

VOLUNTEERS
It would be great to have the volunteer list full before the conference starts! Please contact Volunteer Chair Christine Bard at: bardc@comcast.net. Available options include
·        Door monitor/Evaluation Collection (must be registered for conference)
·        Introduce Speaker (must be registered for conference)
·        Registration
·        Hospitality
·        Signage
·        Audio-visual assistance
                   . . . and more
 
For each hour volunteered you will receive a raffle ticket for daily volunteer raffles. If you are bringing a spouse or friend along for the ride, please ask if they will help out as well. They don't have to be registered for the conference to volunteer for non-session volunteer opportunities. 
 
SIGNAGE
As you move from one session to the next during the conference, keep your eyes open for helpful signs from the Signage Committee. The committee and the staffs of the Sheraton and Marriott hotels have been hard at work creating easy-to-follow instructions for navigating around the conference.

A POST-CONFERENCE OPPORTUNITY TO HELP
Volunteers are needed to capture the data from the speaker evaluations. A group of people has already volunteered, but our registrations are coming in at higher numbers than ever, so we need a few more people to help. All that is required is that you have 8 hours available between April 11 and May 1, and that you are familiar with entering data into a Excel spreadsheet. All file sharing will be done by email. If you can help, please contact Pam Roberts, Evaluations chair, now by email (drpampt@charter.net) or stop by the Volunteer/Evaluation Table in the Registration area on Level 2 of the Sheraton during the conference. You will get easy-to-follow directions and a training appointment at your convenience during the conference!

Not planning to attend a banquet on Friday or Saturday? Is someone traveling with you a hockey fan? The Springfield Falcons are offering a special rate of $10 (regular price $17) for NERGC attendees. There are two great games to choose from:

FRI., APRIL 8, 7:30 PM
Springfield Falcons vs. Albany Devils

SAT., APRIL 9, 7:00 PM
Springfield Falcons vs. Providence Bruins

Games are played at the MASSMUTUAL CENTER (walking distance from the conference hotels). Tickets are just $10 PER PERSON for either game and must be ordered no later than 2:00 p.m. Thursday, April 7 for the Friday game or 2:00 p.m. Friday, April 8, for the Saturday game. Call Bill Bullock today at 413-739-3344, ext. 120 and mention NERGC to get the discount.

FOR LATE-BREAKING INFORMATION

Facebook
Any Facebook member can join the NERCG Facebook group Many people have posted questions and information at this site. Join and see which of your friends are attending and get to know other genealogists.

NERGC 2011 Blog
The NERGC 2011 Blog is up and running with new content every day. Check out information on the speakers, exhibitors, sponsoring societies and much, much more. It's a fun way to prepare for the conference and you can ask questions and leave comments too. Find the blog here: NERGC blog.

Twitter
Is Twitter your preferred form of communication? NERGC 2011 is there, too! Chat with NERGC committee members and other attendees. It's a great way to keep up with the latest while on the go. If you have Twitter on your smart phone you'll never miss any updates. Find NERGC at http://twitter.com/NERGC.

See you on the Web!

ABOUT THIS E-ZINE
This E-zine is sent to you at your request or because of your involvement in past NERGC conferences. We welcome your thoughts and suggestions for items to appear in future issues. Please send them to Nora Galvin at auntlizzie@snet.net and put the word e-zine in the subject line.

Please feel free to share this newsletter with others. Permission to email, copy, and print it in part or whole is granted.

© 2011 New England Regional Genealogical Consortium, Inc.

No comments:

Post a Comment