Posted by Linda Barnickel on April 29, 2016 in Events

The National Genealogical Society (NGS) annual conference  is just around the corner (May 4-7) in Fort Lauderdale, and if you aren’t able to attend in person, there are still ways you can learn from this outstanding gathering of genealogical speakers.

Sign Up for Streaming Sessions

Hurry! The deadline is May 3. NGS is live streaming two tracks: one about land records and the other about methods for success. Each track consists of five sessions by nationally-renowned speakers. Live streams will take place on Thursday, May 5 (land records) and Friday, May 6 (methods), but continuing access is provided through August 7. Although the deadline for signing up for live-stream is May 3, there is also an option to purchase the video recordings anytime between May 4 and July 31 for post-conference online viewing. NGS members receive a discount, and all persons who purchase video access receive a pdf version of the conference syllabus – a real value as it contains notes and handouts from many of the 150+ presentations at the conference as a whole.

Purchase Audio Recordings

NGS often makes audio recordings of sessions available for later purchase. This year, conference audio recordings will be made available by PlayBackNow, with a $100 discount for a bundle of all recorded sessions if ordered before May 7. After the conference, individual sessions will also be available for purchase, which is a more affordable option if you don’t want the entire conference bundle. For details on individual conference sessions, view the program online.

Follow via Twitter

A great way to follow conferences long-distance is to use Twitter. Conference participants often tweet major points or insights given by the speakers, thoughts and ideas on how they can apply speakers’ tips to their own research, or give out web links for further resources. Even if you don’t have a Twitter account, you can still easily follow the conference. Twitter uses what are called “hashtags” – a word, phrase or abbreviation preceded by the number sign symbol – which serves as a sort of “keyword,” allowing you to follow a “conversation” online as it unfolds in real time. The hashtag for the conference as a whole is #NGS2016Gen . You can go to this web address: to view a stream of all tweets using this hashtag.

Social Media

Of course, Twitter won’t be the only outlet on social media where there is conference buzz. Conference attendees; genealogical societies; conference speakers and vendors; genealogical websites, bloggers, and professionals; and NGS itself will be posting and giving frequent updates. A great place to start your search for these various outlets will be through the NGS presence on social media, on both Twitter and Facebook: @NGSgenealogy . NGS has posted a social media policy online, which provides more details about the types of information and content they encourage people to promote from their conference.


NGS also has a conference blog, which you can subscribe to via email. Although much of its content thus far has been geared to attendees (such as details about the conference venue, parking, and so forth) it still will likely have useful and interesting information once the conference begins. Better yet, NGS has authorized a group of official conference bloggers. Watch their sites for more details.

Linda Barnickel

Linda Barnickel is a professional archivist and freelance writer. She is the author of the award-winning book,Milliken’s Bend: A Civil War Battle in History and Memory (LSU Press, 2013) and has written on numerous historical, genealogical, and archives-related subjects. Learn more about her work at


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  1. Mary

    My grandfather was Eugene B Stromenger,dayton ohio.. you have the wrong person listed as his wife. Thw other information is accurate as I was told by my mother,his only child. My mother is buried next to him inCalvary cemetary,dayton ohio.

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