Thursday, April 14, 2011

Highlights from NERGC

Last week I spent four fun-filled days at the New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC) in Springfield, Massachusetts. The whole event was exciting but here are some of the top highlights of the event for me.

  • Channel 22 - While I wouldn't call waking up at 4:30am enjoyable, it was fun to chauffeur Co-Conference Chair Pauline Cusson to the local Springfield NBC affiliate to be interviewed by Channel 22 morning news anchor Rich Tettemer. Rich transformed my view of news anchors for the better. He was approachable, polite and thoughtful. He followed-up with me later by sending a link to the interview online. That level of attention to detail was unexpected from a tv news person. And Pauline was a real trooper for agreeing to do the interview!

  •  Seeing Friends - One of the best things about a conference is having the time to hang with friends, old and new. I got to see many of my friends from around New England and actually had the time to stop and talk.  And meeting many of my Facebook friends for the first time was a real treat too, some came from as far away as Florida and Wyoming.

  • The Keynote Banquet Talks - I always debate whether to go to the banquets or not.  This year I am very happy that I did.  Paul Milner and John Philip Colletta both gave interesting and entertaining talks.  It was also a lot of fun meeting new people at the table.  At the Saturday night banquet I actually ended up sitting at a table with the father of one of my highschool classmates.  What a coincidence!

  • The Ancestors Roadshow - I volunteered as a consultant at the Ancestors Roadshow which provides the opportunity for conference attendees to get some professional help with their research challenges.  My consultation appointments were particularly fun because two of the groups were my Facebook friends and the last one was a graduate from the Boston University Certificate Program.  It is wonderful talking through research problems and trying to guide researchers in the right direction.  I hope that I was able to help those folks get farther in their research.

  • An Unexpected Surprise - For the very last talk of the conference I had planned on going to a particular talk.  But then I realized it was in the other building and I didn't want to walk all the way over there. So I re-assessed my options and decided to go to a talk on First Generation Immigrants by Margaret Sullivan.  I'm so glad I did.  Margaret's talk was absolutely terrific.  It was full of creative genealogy, research challenges in Irish immigration all the while tied together with funny or poignant stories.  It was a real delight.
I'm sorry that my time at NERGC is over. It was all together too short.  But I am eagerly looking forward to attending in 2013 in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Photo Captions:

Top photo: Rich Tettemer, Channel 22 news anchor and NERGC Co-Chair, Pauline Cusson

Bottom Photo: Keynote speaker, Paul Milner and APG New England Chapter President, Tim Firkowski


    1. I can't wait to meet up with you again at NERGC 2013! Actually, I hope it's *not* another two years before we get a chance to break bread and talk genealogy again!

    2. Great re-cap, Marian! Thanks for sharing your take with those of us who couldn't be there in person.