The Dusty Genealogist
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A Little Change Now and Again is A Good Thing!

By: Marjory Regan

Genealogy is supposed to be a fun hobby. It is entirely too hot in August to become too stressed about your ancestors. After all, they are already dead. So, unless you have an inheritance or a windfall connected to the ancestor you have a block with, set them aside and either work on a different ancestor or think about something else related to your hobby.

I am certain that I do not want you buzzing around a cemetery in August giving yourself heatstroke. Also, wandering around a cemetery at dusk or darker with a flashlight is not a good plan. If you are determined to do either, bring a friend with you. One of my readers shared that she and a friend arrived late to their destination once and thought they could get in visiting one of the cemeteries on their itinerary before settling into their hotel. When the local sheriff showed up with the patrol car’s light bar on, she seemed more authentic when her friend told the sheriff the same story about seeking their ancestor’s burial plot. He suggested they come back in the morning. Most cemeteries close at dusk.

What else can you be doing in the heat? Start by finding somewhere with air conditioning. Think about some of the conventions offered during the remainder of the year. According to many travel advertisements, thinking about a trip is almost as satisfying as going on a trip.

“Echoes of Our Ancestors” is a National Genealogical Society Family History conference held from May 20-23, 2020, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Reservations for the hotels participating in the conference open mid-August 2019. I have met several people who have been to the Salt Lake research area and have found there are plenty of genealogical people researching and enjoying the sites. There are many accommodations nearby that fit all budgets.

The National Genealogical Society is located in Falls Church, VA. If you are interested in attending conferences (to maybe include a visit to Salt Lake) or planning a visit to Washington, DC (Falls Church is a suburb that is inside of the beltway), use the numbers 1-703-525-0050 or 1-800-473-0600 to contact them. Again, they are very sensitive to the budgetary constraints of genealogists. They can be very helpful. Going to DC in the fall to do research offers you the National Genealogical Society and all of their resources, the National Archives, the Library of the Daughter of the American Revolution, and the Library of Congress.

Then there is the RootsTech experience! This experience combines lots of genealogy with celebrities and other well-known speakers, thrilling keynote speakers, the glitz and glitter of stadium sized television monitors, individual breakout classes, plenty of seats with places to plug in your computers, and best of all, you will be surrounded by friendly convention goers. The convention hall offers over 100 vendors in their gigantic expo hall. A thank you to Tyler Stahle for his website <>. There is even a RootsTech App at Electric scooters and wheelchair rentals are available at the event. If you need use of these amenities, please let them know when you first sign up. There is parking and transportation available, as well as entertainment and one-on-one assistance from the experts with your most difficult ancestors.

There is a RootsTech experience in London, England on October 26, 2019 at the ExCel London Convention Center. They are offering Donny Osmond as a speaker. The next RootsTech Salt Lake City is February 26-29, 2020 at the Sat Place Convention Center. Registration opens September, 2019 <>. That convention describes the four-day event as celebrating family and describing family histories with 300 breakout sessions and an exciting line-up of celebrity speakers and a giant expo hall. There will be lots to see and experience with more than 200 vendors.

Now, don't think that I am pushing these conventions. The reality is that I have to thank Thomas MacEntee of Abundant Genealogy (<>) for making me aware of how cool these expos are. The truth is that I like going to expos. Most expos. Although the rattle shake roundup in Georgia was a little odd. You should enjoy them too.

Expos are designed to be happy events. You are never too old to go to them. Do something different for yourself. Take an opportunity to just explore and do something for you. Pick something you like and find out about conventions. In the Buffalo area there are train conventions, knitting and crocheting conventions, plant conventions, and many more.

There is also the Lily Dale Experience, a short ways away from Buffalo. In August, there are weeklong sessions such as Trance Week, Native American and Shamanism Week, and Art and Mediumship Week (

What about Beatlemagic On the Beach at the Woodlawn Beach Tiki Bar in Blasdell, NY, on Saturday August 31 (<>) or the Fleetwood Mac Experience on August 17, 2019?

Sometimes I have to drag a grandchild with me to attend. Creation Entertainment holds the CW’s hit television show Supernatural Conventions, where the stars of the program usually attend. The nearest of these conventions to Buffalo are New Jersey on September 27-29, 2019 or Toronto on October 11-13, 2019. Visit <> for more information. They also cover Vampire Diaries, Stranger Things, Once Upon a Time, Stargate, and others. If you do not recognize these television show titles, you will have to bring a grandchild to explain it to you.

There are StarTrek conventions (<>). One is happening at the New York Comic Con October 3-6, 2019. There is a Sherlock Holmes Group (<>, <>) and so many more. There are smaller groups who may meet locally. I have been to three Star Trek conventions over the years and met most of the actors who have starred on the variety of Star Trek shows. I am not one to dress up in a part, but I respect those who want to participate in costume.

I want to encourage you to try something new. I want to keep you involved in genealogy, but it is good for you to try something different. Try something you may have done in the past and want to revisit. Maybe you want to teach a small group about your hobby or maybe just spend that time with your friends.

I will leave you with this. One of the ladies who I meet with at least twice per month has written a children’s book. She was telling me over lunch that she hosted a foreign exchange student last year. One of the things that the young lady wanted to try was skydiving. I think I nearly choked on what I was eating. She explained that she would not be able to take her skydiving because her mother would kill her if anything happened to her in a foreign country, but she would see what similar arrangements could be made.

They ended up at one of those centers for skydiving that have the giant fans that push up on a person as they fall forward into the wind, simulating the free fall in skydiving. My friend is every bit a senior citizen. When the young man who worked at the facility asked her about suiting up, she said no. But then her high school foreign exchange student persuaded her. After the experience, which she would recommend to everyone, she said that the change in experience got her juices flowing again. If you are physically not up to something that different, do what you can for a change. The more you challenge yourself, the better able you are to think around the genealogical blocks.

Bio: I am a Certified Genealogist and a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. I believe that the hobby of genealogy is fun, exciting, and very satisfying. Through researching genealogy, you may add skills, meet new friends, and gain new respect for those who have gone before you. You may reach me via email at ‘’ with questions or comments. I thoroughly enjoy the hobby and hope that you will too. Print your photographs of family, don’t just leave them in cyberspace. If you insist on leaving your family pictures in cyberspace, label them and mail them to your email or other locations. Label your photos with a first and last name, an approximate date, and a possible location if known. Please look for a new book from this author to be released in 2019.


By Marjory Regan

A brief bio of Marjory Regan: I am a member of the Williams Mills Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) and a “Certified Genealogist’ Thank you for your questions, comments, problems and successes. Email me at I think genealogy is a fascinating hobby; I hope you will, too. Get Started. Do something small every day, it all add up. Label the photos! First & Last names and approximate date of the photo. Do it for an hour while watching TV.