Why have a New York State family history conference?
The idea for creating a non-profit, regional conference originated at the Central New York Genealogical Society’s 50th Anniversary Conference in Syracuse in 2011. That conference sold out and was a great success. It was obvious to everyone attending that there was demand for an expanded regional conference. This led to the current collaboration between the Central New York Genealogical Society and the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society.
The most important inspiration for the conference, however, continues to be the special – and sometimes daunting – challenges of researching New York families experienced by a very large number of family historians, including those with advanced research skills.
New York’s long and complicated colonial and state history; the patterns of immigration and migration; the diversity of its population; the challenge of uncovering and accessing an extraordinary range of records frequently created and archived inconsistently; seeking substitutes for major records lost to fire and flood, none more devastating than the New York State Archives fire of 1911; and the idiosyncrasies of records dispersal among sixty-two counties are among the many reasons why New York genealogical research has this reputation.
The long-term goal of the New York State Family History Conference is to break down as many research barriers as possible and to provide a forum that brings people together to share their research knowledge and problem-solving experiences and to collaborate on key research issues.
The 2013 New York State Family History Conference is not a one-time event, but rather the first in a series of regularly scheduled conferences focused on researching New York families. The plan is to improve it incrementally each time it is held. The goal is not to be biggest but to be the best regional genealogical conference in the nation. We hope that you will find this year’s conference to be of a very high standard of quality and that it will help you address your most challenging research questions.
We also seek to have a conference that everyone can attend. We thank our conference sponsors – the New York Public Library, findmypast.com, the National Genealogical Society, Mocavo, the New York State Archives Partnership Trust, and especially the William G. Pomeroy Foundation – for making it possible to offer an affordable registration fee and conference venue.
Click here to download the 2013 New York State Family History Conference Program.