Midwestern Roots 2008 Conference: Early Registration Deadline Looming

The July 25 early registration deadline for Midwestern Roots 2008: Family History and Genealogy Conference is fast approaching. Sponsored by the Indiana Historical Society, the conference will take place Aug. 15-16, 2008, at the Indianapolis Marriott East, located at 7202 East 21st St. in Indianapolis. Many pre-conference activities will take place at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, located at 450 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis.

Midwestern Roots will feature more than 30 presentations from some of the nation’s leading experts, covering topics ranging from DNA and genealogy to technology and methodology. The opening session of the conference will be led by James Madison, the Thomas and Kathryn Miller Professor of History at Indiana University (Bloomington), who will illuminate the importance and use of wartime letters for family history by relating stories from his new book Slinging Doughnuts for the Boys: An American Woman in World War II.

Another featured presenter will be Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak, Chief Family Historian and North American spokesperson for Ancestry.com. Other notable national speakers appearing at Midwestern Roots include Dick Eastman, Roberta Estes, Charles F. Kerchner, David Lifferth, Stephen Morse, Christine Rose, Beau Sharbrough and Curt Witcher.

In addition to the sessions, an exhibit hall will showcase vendors selling the latest products and tools for genealogists. The exhibit hall is free and open to the public on Friday and Saturday.

A pre-conference highlight on Thursday, Aug. 14, will be a panel discussion with some of the pioneers in genetic genealogy on its evolution, potential and present-day uses—panelists include Smolenyak, Estes and Kerchner. Other pre-conference activities include: tours of the William Henry Smith Memorial Library (History Center), the Indiana State Library and the Indiana State Archives; writing workshops on preparing family histories for publication; computer labs; and a workshop designed for library staff and volunteers who answer questions posed by genealogy patrons. The Genealogy Division of the Indiana State Library, the State Archives and the William Henry Smith Memorial Library also will be open late for research.

The early registration deadline for this conference is July 25 (postmark date), after which time additional fees will apply. Current cost for the basic two-day workshop (including lunches) is $150 ($125 for IHS members, $75 for students), and single-day registration (including lunch) is $90 ($75 for IHS members, $45 for students). Additional pre-conference activities and workshops are available for a fee.

For conference/session information, registration forms, exhibitor information or specific pricing, call

(800) 447-1830 or visit www.indianahistory.org/midwesternroots. Midwestern Roots 2008 is an approved Library Education Units (LEUs) opportunity, and attendees to select pre-conference and conference sessions are eligible to receive Technology LEUs.

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