Posted by Kristie Wells on August 21, 2013 in Events, Speaking

Genealogists from around the world are converging on Fort Wayne (Indiana) for the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference 2013 taking place on Wednesday, August 21st, through Saturday, August 24th – and that includes several members from the, Archives, Fold3 and AncestryDNA teams.

In addition to meeting our team in our booth located in the main exhibit hall, you can find our experts leading various sessions throughout the conference:


  • 9:30-10:30am: Finding and Keeping Volunteers with Amy Johnson Crow (Room W-103). Volunteers are the lifeblood of genealogical societies. Learn how to find these valuable people and how to keep them happy and active.
  • 2:00-3:00: Breaking Out of the Box – Creative Thinking for Your Society with with Amy Johnson Crow (Room W-114). Doing the same thing over and over isn’t just boring. It could strangle your society. Look at some ways to get the creative juices flowing and find solutions outside the box you’re stuck in.


  • 3:30-4:30pm: AncestryDNA – Making the DNA Connection with Kenny Freestone. (Room T-226). DNA testing is radically changing the technology we use to connect with our ancestors and discover new family relationships. New technologies enable people to connect with their personal histories
  • 3:30-4:30pm: Buckeye Beginnings – An Introducton to Ohio Research with Amy Johnson Crow (Room T-227). Many of our ancestors went through Ohio, the original gateway to the west. Discover records, resources and repositories vital to researching in the Buckeye State.


  • 8:00-9:00am: Getting the Most Out of Historical Newspapers with Peter Drinkwater (Room F-300). Historical newspapers hold treasures of facts, stories and insights for genealogists. We’ll talk about what you can find in newspapers and how to go about finding it.
  • 9:30-10:30am: Finding Ethnic Origins and Naturalizations in the Midwest with Loretto ‘Lou’ Szucs (Room F-313). This presentation will guide you through the maze of records in personal, local, county, state and federal collections, and policies that can lead you back to your ancestral homeland.
  • 9:30-10:30am: Getting to Know Fold3 with Gordon Atkinson (Room F-311). This is an introduction and overview of the Fold3 website, with examples and tips for basic searching, viewing and using other features of the site.
  • 5:00-6:00pm: Midwestern Archives and Libraries – Keeping Up With Changes with Loretto ‘Lou’ Szucs (Room F-351). This presentation outlines some of the richest sources for family history in midwestern archives and libraries and how recent changes impact on your research success rate.


  • 9:30-10:30am: Finding Catholic Church, Cemetery, School and Religious Order Records with Loretto ‘Lou’ Szucs (Room S-414). Catholic Church records are especially valuable because they pre-date and often replace vital records. Beyond baptisms and marriages, parishes, dioceses and religious orders kept records.
  • 2:00-3:00pm: Getting the Most Out of Family Tree Maker with Duff Wilson (Room S-430). A Family Tree Maker overview with concepts such as tree building, adding and organizing media, documenting source information and creating printed charts & reports.
  • 3:30-4:30pm: Finding Answers in the Census with Crista Cowan (S-439). Crista shows how to discover more about your ancestors using the census. Learn about family as you search for often overlooked answers in the census.

If you are attending the conference, please make sure you stop by the booth and say hello. If you are not able to make it this time, you can always follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #FGS2013. We hope to see you either online, or off!

Kristie Wells

Kristie is Ancestry's former Head of Global Social Media and Online Customer Engagement.


  1. Looking for Answers

    One of the speakers mentioned in your blog entry is Gordon Atkinson. He contends that he “enjoys the opportunity to help make historical documents more readily available to all via the internet.”

    He could start by replacing the absolutely horrendous search engine on his Fold3 site. The Footnote search engine was limited, but functional. The current one that was put in place after Ancestry’s acquisition is mind-numbingly inadequate.

  2. Mindy

    To::: Looking for answers
    since you seem to HATE those search engines, can you build us one that you like and would use ? Cause I am sure that others would HATE that one too… A search engine that EVERYONE would LIKE or LOVE is NOT gonna EVER happen.

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