Monday, June 28, 2010

Fun at the Family History Expo

I just returned yesterday from the Family History Expo in Loveland, Colorado held Friday and Saturday, June 25-26 at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center. As usual, Holly Hansen and her amazing staff put on a fabulous event! I gave two presentations on Saturday, June 26th: Websites You Might Be Missing and Immigrant Cluster Communities: Past, Present, and Future. I would like to thank those who attended my sessions and I appreciated all of the favorable comments and positive feedback.

I was also able to attend several great lectures given by a few genealogy colleagues, including: Beau Sharbrough (keynote), Gena Philibert Ortega, Michael John Neill, Gordon Atkinson (of Footnote), and Maureen Taylor (who presented virtually via Skype). I have been doing genealogy for more than 20 years, but I never claim to know it all, so I was thrilled to have a chance to listen to and learn from these excellent presenters!

I also enjoyed hanging out with fellow Geneabloggers: Ruby Coleman (thanks for letting me ride in "Little Red"), Gayle Gresham, Becky Jamison, and Thomas MacEntee (thanks for the ribbons and beads!).
Back row (l-r) : Gayle, Ruby, Thomas. Front row (l-r): Lisa, Becky


My favorite part of the entire conference was the "Friday Night at the Movies" where we got to view the documentary Forgotten Ellis Island by Lorie Conway. We were even treated to some wonderful refreshments (popcorn, soft pretzels and Root Beer floats!). Watching this film was a moving experience for me since my maternal grandmother was hospitalized upon arrival at Ellis Island in 1922. She suffered from asthma--they were worried she had tuberculosis. How frightened she must have been to be separated from her niece, Mary for so many days not knowing what might happen next!


After the film ended, Holly Hansen gave me the opportunity to briefly share my grandmother's story with the audience. I had to hold back the tears as I told them how during the movie I kept thinking "what if my grandmother had been turned back...I wouldn't be here in this moment!"

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend. The Expos have some of the nicest attendees and the atmosphere is so welcoming. If you've never attended, you should. You'll hear first-class lectures, meet wonderful folks, and most of all, will have fun! The next Expo will be the Midwest Expo July 30-31 in Kansas City, MO. Hope to see you there!

1 comment:

Becky Jamison said...

I'm happy to know about your grandmother at Ellis Island, Lisa. The film was wonderful and very moving. My grandmother also came thru Ellis Island in 1904 but was evidently a healthy toddler. I'm grateful for ALL that our ancestors sacrificed and endured so we can be here today!