The TxSGS 2016 Family History Conference that was held in October in Dallas was an unqualified success by many measures. In only the second year of producing a full, three day conference, we saw a record number of attendees, a record number of sessions, and the broadest, most diverse collection of speakers and topics.
The annual conference is a cornerstone of TxSGS’ mission by providing quality genealogical education to our members and the public. The expansion to three days of sessions and workshops has allowed TxSGS to attract a wider, larger audience and to receive recognition as a major, regional genealogical learning opportunity, something that was lacking in Texas and the region.
Three major announcements were also made during the conference, all related to TxSGS’ mission. We revealed the new TxSGS Preservation Capture System, a process and hardware for digitizing records that will be made available to Partner Societies as a hardware grant. This system enables TxSGS to more actively promote the preservation and access of local records across Texas. The program will begin with a single kit but may expand to as many as ten units depending upon need and funding.
The other major initiative announcement was the inaugural instance of the Texas Institute for Genealogical Research (TIGR) to be held in Austin 22-25 May, 2017. This intensive, four day learning opportunity will focus on Texas-specific research topics and record sets.
The final bit of news from the 2016 conference was that the 2017 conference will feature two phenomenal genealogical researchers and speakers. Long-time TxSGS favorite, J. Mark Lowe will be returning and will be Michael Lacopo, author of the popular genealogy blog “Hoosier Daddy”. Both will present multiple general session topics and workshops. A full schedule will be available in late spring after the call for presentations has been completed.
While 2016 was a busy one for TxSGS, 2017 is shaping up to be even busier and more successful. We hope to see you next year, as members, volunteers, and attendees!
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