Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fort Wayne Ancestry Day - Recap

Ancestry.com was in Fort Wayne on Saturday to hold one of their Ancestry Day events. There were 4 classes plus a question and answer sessions with folks from Ancestry and from the Allen County Public Library. I was one of the many volunteers and helped register walk-ins at the event. I hung out at registration for the morning and helped with anyone who arrived late and also helped the ACPL staff organize all of the questions that were submitted for the Ask the Experts session. Here's a tip: If you want your question to be answered, make it concise and general. If you ask who the parents of your ancestor are, your question will never be asked. Also if you ask something without wide appeal, it will be skipped. There is just not enough time for all the questions. But ACPL will be answering more of the questions on their blog in the coming weeks.

I also got up on stage to help raise money for the War of 1812 Preserve the Pensions fund. Since I'm Vice President of the Indiana Genealogical Society, I collected donations from the attendees to add to our $10,000 match campaign. We raised over $1,000 from attendees! Special thanks to the Ancestry ladies for boosting that total over the top. IGS is matching that donation and then Ancestry is matching that amount. So we quadrupled the donation and raised $4000 which will help to digitize over 8000 images from the War of 1812 pension files. IGS has raised over $8000 and we have until the end of August to meet our goal of $10,000. Please consider making your donation through IGS to maximize your contribution.

I had a great time hanging out with the other volunteers and the ACPL staff. Thanks to Ancestry for providing a wonderful lunch for the volunteers. It was great to meet Lisa Ellam from The Faces of My Family blog, who thinks I'm a celebrity.

My favorite part of the event was the look on Lou Szucs face when someone asked about the quality of the trees on Ancestry. Even the employees know that most of them are horrendous. 

Disclosure: I received free admission and lunch for volunteering at the event.

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