David with Stephen Baylor and Ruth Caesar from the Stillaguamish Valley GS
David played to a full house
What an opportunity to ask questions — and get some answers!
David sprinkled his talks liberally with stories and quips — very entertaining!
Conference headliner David Rencher spend the day filling us with amazing resources, insights and a vision of what the future of genealogy looks like. His talks included:
- Coming Forward: Descendant Research
- FamilySearch Future and Vision
- Digital Projects and Programs of FamilySearch
- Strategy for Irish Research, 1500 – 1800
What a great speaker — professional, humorous, and quite the storyteller. I came home (in my air-conditioned car!) with my brain swirling with new research possibilities (maybe I will be able to find my Catholic Daniel Murphy with no middle name in Ireland!), appreciation for FamilySearch’s commitment to make billions of records available for free, and how their dedicated staff and thousands of volunteers digitize, index, and quality-check those records. Also learned about the partnerships FamilySearch has developed with Ancestry.com, FindMyPast, and MyHeritage — all for the benefit of genealogists around the world. And don’t get me started on how cool the FamilySearch Wiki is and the mobile apps!
Watch this blog for more posts about the conference, including the awards that were presented. A great day!
Mt. Rainier from Wild Horse Wind Facility, Ellensburg
Despite the sizzling heat (103 degrees today and hotter tomorrow!!), I had a great day filled with all kinds of adventures. After viewing a few more barn quilt blocks, I toured the Wild Horse Wind Facility, where I got up close and personal with 149 gigantic wind turbines that can generate up to 273 megawatts of electricity, enough to serve more than 80,000 homes. Great tour with killer views of Mt. Rainier (pictured), Goat Rocks, Mt. Adams & Mt. Hood. Incredible.
Roger Newman and Donna Potter Phillips taking advantage of Kittitas County GS’s research library.
Spent some time at the Central Regional Branch of the State Archives where we got a personal tour of the facility. After a quick WSGS Board Meeting, it was off to Kittitas County Genealogical Society’s open house at their wonderful library. Closed the day at the computer lab test driving genealogical software programs, including Roots Magic, Legacy, and Family Tree Maker.
Kittitas County GS President Diane Huckabay explaining the nuances of the Legacy genealogical software program to Roxanne Lowe.
A full day getting revved up for tomorrow’s main event: WSGS Conference featuring David Rencher.
Celtic Knot, Sorenson barn, Ellensburg
I’m in Ellensburg, getting ready for Saturday’s State Conference featuring David Rencher, FamilySearch’s Chief Genealogical Officer. Today’s highlight was a self-guided driving tour (actually my friend & WSGS Vice-President Donna Potter Phillips was my navigator) of the Kittitas County Barn Quilt Trail. Saw a dozen painted quilt patterns on barns, sheds & outbuildings. Beautiful.
In honor of David’s vast experience with Irish genealogy, here’s a picture of the Celtic Knot quilt block on the P&B Hay barn. More tomorrow.
Have you registered to hear David Rencher, FamilySearch’s Chief Genealogical Officer, talk about “Strategies and Visions for the Future”? It’s not too late!! Here’s the brochure and how to register.
I’m so looking forward to meeting and greeting David, but I’m also going to take advantage of some other great happenings! On Thursday, I’m going to take a self-guided driving tour of more than 100 large quilt squares painted on the side or end of local barns. The Barn Quilt Trail celebrates the area’s agricultural heritage, as well as the folk-art of the American quilt.
On Friday, I’m going to tour the Central Washington branch of the Washington State Archives sometime between 1:00 – 4:00 p.m., then I’ll drop by the Kittitas County Genealogical Society open house at their Research Library, 413 N. Main Street, from 4:00 -6:00 p.m. And THEN, I’m going to visit the Computer Lab that’s set up at the Quality Inn (conference headquarters, 1700 Canyon Road, Ellensburg) from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. to check out four of the most popular genealogical software programs: Family Tree Maker, Roots Magic, Legacy, and PAF. I’ll have my research (GEDCOM format on a flash drive) to test drive the programs. Experienced users will be there to help me.
On Saturday, I’ll be up bright and early (okay, maybe just early…) to grab breakfast before spending the day learning about the future of genealogy and networking. During the day, I’ll also be staffing the WSGS information table (stop by to say hi!) and presenting awards at the Annual Meeting to Outstanding Volunteers and Teams, Outstanding Project, Outstanding Communication, the President’s Award and the Innovative Grants to amazing projects sponsored by local societies.
Visit this Blog and our new Facebook page often — the Blogging and Facebook teams will be posting pictures of the festivities!
David Rencher, the headliner at the 2015 WSGS Annual Conference on June 27 in Ellensburg, is a pretty interesting guy. Besides being the Chief Genealogical Officer at FamilySearch, he has a veritable alphabet book behind his name.
◾AG — Accredited Genealogist with the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen)
◾CG — Certified Genealogist with the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG)
◾FUGA — Fellow of Utah Genealogical Association (UGA)
◾FIGRS — Fellow of the Irish Genealogical Research Society, London
And don’t overlook that he’s the past President of FGS (Federation of Genealogical Societies) and has a BA (Bachelor of Arts) in Family and Local History from BYU (Brigham Young University).
A few more interesting tidbits about David:
- While he doesn’t have any ancestors from Washington, he does have cousins here. Also, he and his family have strong ties to Yakima, where his wife Tamara was raised. Tamara is the daughter of Luella (Robinson) and J. Franklin Howell. Dr. Howell (1932 – 2012) who was a pioneering entomologist who worked with a government program in Yakima on pheromone technology to control the coddling moth. Interesting dinner table conversations…
- He’s a Seahawks fan and will be watching for another trip to the Super Bowl in February 2016.
- Washington potatoes are some of the best in the U.S. David’s favorite potato dishes are Potato Salad and Funeral Potatoes.
- While his favorite apple is the Golden Delicious, he’s a Windows user (sorry, Apple!) and is bringing his trusty Lenovo computer with Windows software for his presentations.
Want to know more about David, register for the WSGS Conference NOW!
It’s June, June, June — and we’re getting ready to bust out all over at the 2015 WSGS Conference in Ellensburg! (Sincere apologies to the toe-tapping music and lyrics from Rogers & Hammerstein’s Carousel.)
It’s not too late to register to hear David Rencher share his knowledge and expertise. Here’s the brochure and here’s how to register.
Have you registered for the State Conference yet? We’re very lucky to be able to host David Rencher, FamilySearch’s Chief Genealogical Officer, for a day full of learning about “Strategies and Visions for the Future.”
While you’re planning your day with David, plan to come early to take advantage of some amazing pre-conference opportunities on Friday, June 26:
- Kittitas County Genealogical Society is hosting an open house at their Research Library, 413 N. Main Street, from 4:00 -6:00 p.m.
- Visit the Computer Lab set up at the Quality Inn from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. to experiment with four of the most popular genealogical software programs: Family Tree Maker, Roots Magic, Legacy, and PAF. Bring your research (GEDCOM format on a flash drive) to test drive with your own data. Knowledgeable users will be there to answer questions.
- From the comfort of your car, take a self-guided driving tour of more than 100 large quilt squares painted on the side or end of local barns. The Barn Quilt Trail celebrates the area’s agricultural heritage, as well as the folk-art of the American quilt. The trail is open year-round.
- Tour the Central Washington branch of the Washington State Archives between 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
If you’re now convinced there’s so much to do that you want to spend the night, WSGS has arranged for special room rates at the Quality Inn, 1700 Canyon Road, Ellensburg. Call (800) 925-9800 to make a reservation. Make sure you identify yourself as being with the WSGS Conference to get that special rate!
Have you registered for the 2015 WSGS Conference yet? Come spend the day with David Rencher, FamilySearch’s Chief Genealogical Officer talk about “Strategies and Visions for the Future.”
Hope to see you on Saturday June 27, 2015, at the Quality Inn and Conference Center in Ellensburg.