Genealogy Conferences

3 Genealogy Conferences You Must Attend

3 Genealogy Conferences You Must Attend

Do you want to take your genealogical research skills to the next level? Consider attending one of these three top national genealogical conferences. 

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There are some wonderful national genealogical conferences held around the country each year. Some are put on by genealogical societies, and some are put on by colleges. There are even some conferences you can get college credit for attending. If you are serious about becoming a better researcher and taking your family history work to the next level, breaking through those brick walls, you really need to attend a genealogical conference once in a while. You’ll sit in on seminars, meet vendors, connect with other genealogists, and much more. Whether you decide to go each year or only once, you should seriously consider attending one or more of these top three genealogical conferences in the country.

1. The National Genealogical Society Annual Family History Conference

Held in a different host city somewhere in the United States each year, this is one of the premium genealogy conferences in the United States. The National Genealogical Society is a respected and reputable organization that furthers the academic legitimacy of genealogy research, and just reading its materials and perusing its website if you are a member can increase your genealogy research skills. Going to its annual conference adds to that learning so much.

Like most annual conferences put on by this organization, there will be a strong element of local history and genealogy involved. Most annual conferences include trips to local genealogical libraries and records repositories, and this one is no different. It’s a good one to attend next year if you have Florida ancestors. In addition to the field trips, the conference will be full of nationally known speakers on a variety of genealogy research topics, and vendors from across the country with wares that can help you get further in your own research and produce better research of academic quality.

2. RootsTech

RootsTech is the largest genealogical conference in the world, and is held every year in Salt Lake City, UT. In fact, tens of thousands of people from all over the world attend it every year. Hotels in the area fill up quickly for this conference, so if you’re going, it’s best to make your reservations as early as you’re able. Not only are there renowned genealogy experts there to speak on all sorts of research topics, but the latest genealogy technology is also brought out and demonstrated. The vendors who sell it can be located after the demonstrations, and you can bring home the top technology in the discipline before anyone else. Another popular part of the conference is the gathering of attendees, where they all get a chance to share their family history stories, research adventures, and ancestor search tips with each other.

3. The Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research

This is a serious academic conference for genealogists who want to become experts, whether for taking on clients or for making their own research as good as it can possibly be. Attendees have the option of staying in local hotels, or saving some money by staying in the school’s dorms. You have to get your registration in early to get into a dorm, though, as they are popular places to lodge among attendees (in spite of the fact that you’ll be paired with one or more roommates you may not know, unless you bring other attendees you do know with you). The conference is a week-long intensive course in genealogical research on the highest levels, and you will be kept busy learning new things from the experts the entire time you’re there. You’ll come away a whole new genealogist, with renewed enthusiasm for your research and likely a list of research topics in your tree you want to tackle. Even if you only attend this conference once, it will make a big difference in your research, and improve it in ways you can’t even imagine. It’s almost like getting a mini-degree in Genealogy.


Will Moneymaker

Will established Ancestral Findings in 1995 and has been involved in helping genealogy researchers for over 25 years through Ancestral Findings.