16 March 2011

2011 New England Regional Genealogical Confernce April 6-10 Update

Are you heading to Springfield in April? No? It is not too late to register. This Scrappy Genealogist will be there from the very beginning to the very end. Stop by registration from 3:00 - 7:00 on Wednesday and say hello. I would love to meet you! 

Below is the most recent email with updated conference details.

Springfield 2011 E-zine #11

Permission to email, copy, and print this E-zine in part or whole is granted.

Welcome to the eleventh New England Regional Genealogical Conference 2011 E-zine! Between now and April, we’ll continue to provide updates on the Eleventh New England Regional Genealogical Conference through periodic E-zines like this one. Please share them with your friends and associates—and anyone else you feel may be interested in attending the Conference.

This edition of the E-zine features the availability of sign-up for the Ancestors Road Show, a new topic for table discussions at the Saturday luncheon, a speaker change, updates on hotel room availability and parking, information on other food options near the conference, notes for exhibitors and a spotlight on a speaker for Librarians’ and Teachers’ Day and a special price for hockey games in our host city

ANCESTORS ROAD SHOW: Sign-up now open
Appointments are now being taken for the Ancestors Road Show!  Go to the NERGC website (http://www.nergc.org/NERGC2011/index.html) and click on the Ancestors Road Show link at the left.  Decide the time and/or consultant that fits your needs, click on the picture and fill out the form.  Remember to include the What, Where, When and Who of your question. You will hear back with a confirmation of a specific time for your consultation.  Don’t be disappointed by waiting—some consultants are already fully booked. If you have trouble registering, try another consultant or contact shellee@shelleemorehead.com .

Start thinking about what you’d like to talk about over lunch. Members of the Association of Professional Genealogists, New England Chapter, will be at each table at Saturday’s luncheon to guide a focused discussion. You must be registered for the luncheon in order to attend, but there is no registration for specific tables. Seating at each table is first-come, first-served.  A number will be assigned to each table, and the numbers will be available on the NERGC website and Blog prior to the conference. They will also be posted on-site at the conference. 

New since last E-zine:
- Italian and Italian/American research       Pat Cirone

Reported in the last E-zine:
-  People of Color research     Marian Pierre-Louis and Cheryll Toney Holley
-  Scots-Irish Research          Andrew Pierce
-  German Research              Leslie Albrecht Huber
-  Northern New Eng./ Eastern Canada Native American research  Sherry Gould
-  Lineage societies (Mayflower, DAR, etc.)     Polly FitzGerald Kimmitt, CG
-  Maine research                  Carol P. McCoy
-  Military research                Linda Abrams
-  British research                 Kathryn Black
-  DNA projects and Surname Projects         Pam Stone Eagleson, CG
-  Self-publishing your family history          Maureen Taylor
-  Strategies for Jewish Genealogy              Meredith Hoffman
-  Irish research                                        Michael Brophy
-  DNA testing and genealogy                     Shellee Morehead, Ph. D.
-  Polish Research                                     Tim Firkowski
-  New England Gravestones Research        Midge Frazel
-  Colonial New England Research              September McCarthy
-  Vermont Research                                 Cathi Desmarais
-  New Hampshire Research                       Diane Florence Gravel CG

Robert S. Cox, who was to present “Family History at UMass Amherst: What and How to Find It” has had to cancel his appearance at the Conference (F-204). He will be replaced by Laura Prescott who will present “Treasures Within the Ivory Tower: Finding Family in Academic Archives,” a presentation on resources that are available at New England academic archives. Laura’s biography can be found in the Registration Brochure and at http://www.nergc.org/NERGC2011/speakers.html.

Cemetery Workshop S-308 will be held in the Sheraton’s King George Suite, not in an actual cemetery.  (The workshop was designed to be able to be presented inside, and this is what would have been done in the event of inclement weather.)  If you’re already registered for the workshop and wish to withdraw because it is being held inside, you may do so without penalty.  If you were thinking of registering but had reservations because it was going to be held outdoors, it’s not too late to add it.  The session will include a PowerPoint presentation, many show-and-tells and perhaps even a small repair on a child's gravestone.

The block of rooms set aside for us at the conference hotels are now fully booked. Some rooms might still be available at the regular rates. There are some other options for housing during the conference.

The Hilton Garden Inn, 800 West Columbus Avenue, Springfield, Mass., (413) 886-8000, near the Basketball Hall of Fame, is in the same price range as our hotels and may have some rooms available for the nights of our conference.

The Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau provides links to a number of accommodation options at http://www.valleyvisitor.com/accommodations.html and to transportation options at http://www.valleyvisitor.com/transportation.html.


The day rate for parking in the Sheraton’s garage is $4.00 per day (with tickets validated at the Sheraton coat check or front desk) or $9.95 per night for guests at the hotel.  Guests can come and go as often as they would like. The Sheraton no longer offers valet parking. The garage clearance is 7’ 2” so standard trucks and vans should have no problem getting in.

The Tower Square garage connected to the Marriott Springfield (and across the street from the Sheraton) offers 1,200 well-lighted, covered, and secured parking spaces. The parking is $5.00 per day for daily commuters attending Marriott events. The Marriott’s discounted overnight rate at Tower Square for Marriott guests is $15.00. Ticket validation will be available from banquet bartenders or at the NERGC Hospitality Table on the Sheraton’s Second Level Foyer, one level down from our Exhibit Hall in the Sheraton Grand Ballroom.

In addition, there are parking garages (I-91 North garage and I-91 South garage), behind the Marriott and the Sheraton. Both hotels use these garages for their overflow and both hotels will validate the parking ticket for a discount.

There are a number of food options in and near our conference hotels. The food court located on the Upper Level of the adjacent Tower Square Mall, is open 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and offers a variety of options (Combo Wok, Fantastico, LeGreque, Mex Table, Tower Grill, and Villa Pizza) at reasonable prices. Tower Square’s Lower Level includes Dunkin’ Donuts and Hot Table Grilled Panini as well as the sit down restaurants Champions Sports Bar & Grill and Currents Fine Dining. Peter’s Grille, in the Sheraton, will be open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m.

Registrants with special meal requirements and/or special needs as outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act must detail those requirements in writing to NERGC by 25 March 2011.  Each registrant who has registered for a meal and indicated a special need will receive an e-mail with the chef’s recommendations.

Exploring New Paths to Your Roots is being held in two hotels across the street from one another.  Here are locations of some of the events.

Conference Registration/Check-in takes place on the Sheraton’s Second Level Foyer on Wednesday from 3:00 – 7:00 p.m.; Thursday from 7:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.; Friday from 7:15 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.; and Saturday from 7:15 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Hospitality, Queries, Volunteers, and Evaluation tables will be near the Registration Booths on the Sheraton’s Second Level Foyer.

Thursday’s Opening Session runs from 10:00 – 11:15 in the Marriott Grand Ballroom.

Thursday’s Society Fair and Social Hour will run from 5:15 – 7:00 p.m. on the Sheraton’s Third Level Foyer, just outside the Exhibit Hall.

Thursday’s Exhibit Hall Grand Opening takes place from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. in the Sheraton’s Grand Ballroom (third level of the hotel).

On-site registration for the Ancestors Road Show runs from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. at the New England Chapter of the Association for Professional Genealogists booth (Booth 7) in the Exhibit Hall.  Road Show hours are 8:45 – 11:45 a.m. and 1:45 – 4:45 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the Sheraton’s Kilkenny and Waterford Rooms (third level of the hotel, not far from the Grand Ballroom).

For locations of many other conference activities and lecture sessions, see the daily schedule sheets via links at the Conference home page.

Past recipients of NERGC’s Donna Holt Siemiatkoski Volunteer Award have included Thomas F. Howard, Cherry Fletcher Bamberg, Cheryl Willis Patten, Marcia Iannizzi Melnyk, Rev. Dr. Robert L. Rafford, and Cecilia Marianne Rose. Who will this year’s recipient be? The winner will be announced in this year’s syllabus and the award presented at the banquet on Saturday, April 9.

The eleventh New England Regional Genealogical Conference – Exploring New Paths to Your Roots—is now three weeks away. Nearly 700 genealogists and family historians from a variety of backgrounds have already registered for the conference, its meals, and its workshops, and librarians and teachers are signing up for the special Librarians’ and Teachers’ Day. We are only 3 weeks away from the Conference opening, and the Early Bird registration has passed.

There are two ways to register for Exploring New Paths to Your Roots:

1. Online at
(Link also available on the conference home page www.NERGC.org .) This method requires payment by credit card.


2. If you prefer, you can still mail in your registration. Print the registration from the brochure at http://www.nergc.org/NERGC2011/program.html or use a paper copy of the brochure. Fill out the registration form on page 16 and mail it with your check to the address at the bottom of the form.

Cancellations postmarked before Friday 25 March 2011 are subject to a $15.00 processing fee. No refunds are available after 25 March 2011. Those registering through our online registration service, RegOnline, have an option to purchase cancellation insurance. Please note that this cancellation insurance covers things like unforeseen medical emergencies or a death in the family and does not cover NERGC’s $15 cancellation fee. Sorry, the cancellation insurance option is not available for mail registrations paid by check. Your payment must be paid online with a credit card to take advantage of the cancellation protection. Details are available at the RegOnline site. Please read the fine print before selecting this option.

Spotlight on LTD Speakers: Kathleen M. Reilly, Supervisor of the Local History & Genealogy Department of The Berkshire Athenaeum

Kathleen’s presentation will address the unique dilemma librarians and archivists face: to protect and preserve the materials in their collections for future generations while making the fascinating and useful information they contain available to researchers of the present.
The Berkshire Athenaeum serves as both a public library as well as an archival repository through its Local History Department. In this session Kathleen will present strategies used at the Athenaeum to make its vast collection of primary reference materials such as maps, photographs, diaries and scrapbooks more accessible to genealogists, teachers, students and other researchers. Additionally she will discuss how the use of new digital technologies and targeted collection arrangement at the Athenaeum has streamlined the research process.
Kathleen has been a member of the Athenaeum’s Local History Department staff since 1979 and brings the unique perspective of providing reference assistance in her extensive collection while overseeing its maintenance and development.

The registration brochure is available in PDF format at http://www.nergc.org/NERGC2011/program.html. It contains the full conference program, plus information on available luncheons and banquets, research trips, and special events. Print out or bookmark the brochure and plan your conference experience. Printed brochures have been distributed to Participating Societies and to many local libraries, museums and senior centers.

If you don’t have time for the entire Conference, single day registrations are available at $90 per day. See our online brochure (www.NERGC.org ) or our online registration site https://www.regonline.com/nergc_2011_exploring_new_paths_to_your_roots .

Two Special Activities are already fully booked: the research trip to the Berkshire Athenaeum and the orientation program at the Springfield History Library and Archives is full, but there is still room in two other activities on Wednesday.

You can still visit National Archives and Records Administration, Pittsfield, with us on Wednesday, 6 April ($30 fee for transportation). Or take a tour of Springfield Cemetery (Wednesday, 11 a.m. or 2 p.m., free). Registration is required for all of these activities, even the free ones. Please see below (adding meals and workshops) for instructions on signing up if you’ve already registered for the Conference.

There is limited space left at meals. You must register for them by April 1 to be guaranteed a meal option. You can add meals for people who are not registered for the conference, too. To update meal or workshop registrations in registrations previously completed online:
1) Go to http://www.nergc.org/NERGC2011/index.html , click on “HERE.” Click on “Already Registered?” next to the email address space. Log into your account (your email address and the password you chose).
2)  On the next screen click on the blue button that says “FINALIZE.”
3)  The meal options will pop up. Make your selections and follow directions to complete your additional choices.
If you run into difficulty, contact Mary Choppa, registration chair, at mchoppa@myfairpoint.net .

If you registered by mail, you can send a copy of that registration, mark on it “PREVIOUSLY REGISTERED,” and indicate what you're adding.

A new exciting Special Interest Group has been added to the schedule. This new SIG, Jewish Genealogy, will be led by Meredith Hoffman and Joanne Saltman. They say:

"Come join us to talk about strategies and hints for researching  your Jewish ancestors. Depending on your interests, we might look at how to find the records of your immigrant ancestors, both here and in the "old country"; how to find people if they've changed their names; how to find the villages that your ancestors came from; how to locate families lost or scattered by the Holocaust. Bring your questions and research problems and we'll look at both online and local resources that could help you in your search."

Special Interest Groups are informal discussion groups that will take place on Thursday, April 7 at 7:30 p.m. For a complete list of Special Interest Group topics, check out the NERGC website at: http://www.nergc.org/NERGC2011/specialinterestgroups.html.

Our exhibitors are offering products and services to help in your research, document your findings, and help preserve your treasures. We also have many genealogical and historical societies exhibiting, so no matter where your family is from in New England, there will be representatives of societies who can help you in your research.

The Exhibit Hall will be open from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday evening, 7 April, and there will be "unopposed" exhibitor times throughout the conference between lectures and meals for everyone to browse.

Don’t miss visiting Legacy Family Tree’s booths (52 - 53). Legacy will be raffling a Netbook computer in the Exhibit Hall on Saturday. There will be a special Door Prize ticket for you in your registration packet. Details/rules will also be in your registration packet.

Exhibitor set-up in the Exhibit Hall (Sheraton Ballroom) is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 7.

Exhibitor breakdown runs from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 9.  Please don’t begin breaking down your exhibit prior to 4:00.

Also a reminder that NERGC’s Exhibitors that are selling items must obtain and pay for all required licenses, permits, and sales taxes. This includes both for-profit and non-profit corporations. Please be sure that you have registered with the Massachusetts Department of Revenue to be in compliance with sales tax guidelines.

Exhibitors who are having a book signing in your booth, please contact Marian Pierre-Louis at marianpl@fieldstonehistoricresearch.com . Marian with be coordinating all the book signings for NERGC 2011 and will take care of arrangements for signage, publicity, etc.  Please contact her as soon as possible to make arrangements.
The Signage Committee has been studying the layout of the conference and will be providing tons of signage to guide attendees to venues in the two separate hotels. The signs will need to be put in place at the beginning of each day and between lectures and will take only a few moments of your time during the conference hours. Help us to keep the conference on track. If you are able to help in changing signs, please send your name to Volunteer Chair Christine Bard at: bardc@comcast.net. This volunteer opportunity is guaranteed to be one of the most rewarding.

Thank you in advance! Jay Sage, Daphnah Sage, and Rob Locke, Signage Chairs.

volunteers NEEDED
We still need volunteers to have full coverage during the conference.  Please e-mail me if you can fill one or more of these volunteer openings:  You can also find my updates on the Facebook group. 
Door monitor/Evaluation Collection (must be registered for conference) 
  Introduce Speaker (must be registered for conference)
     ...And More
For each hour volunteered you will receive a raffle ticket for daily raffles.  If you are bringing a spouse or friend along for the ride, please ask if they will help out as well. They don't have to be registered for the conference to volunteer for non-session volunteer opportunities.  
Please e-mail Volunteer Chair Christine Bard at bardc@comcast.net to sign up to volunteer.
Not planning to attend a banquet on Friday or Saturday? Is someone traveling with you a hockey fan? The Springfield Falcons are offering a special rate of $10 (regular price $17) for NERGC attendees. There are two great games to choose from:

FRI., APRIL 8             7:30 PM
Springfield Falcons vs. Albany Devils

SAT., APRIL 9          7:00 PM
Springfield Falcons vs. Providence Bruins

Games are played at the MASSMUTUAL CENTER
(walking distance from the conference hotels)

Tickets are just $10 PER PERSON for either game.


Call Bill Bullock today
413-739-3344, ext. 120
mention NERGC to get the discount

For information on “what to do, and where” during your non-conference hours, visit the web site of the Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau, http://www.valleyvisitor.com/. ; Their web site has a myriad of things to consider, including opportunities for exploration by those who are in Greater Springfield with you but not attending the conference.


In addition to the NERGC website (www.nergc.org) you can now follow NERGC on the NERGC 2011 blog, Facebook and Twitter.

Any Facebook member can join the NERGC Facebook group. It is located at http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=183089100494. In fact, people have already started posting to let other people know they will be attending NERGC. Join and see which of your friends are attending and get to know other genealogists.

NERGC 2011 Blog
The NERGC 2011 Blog is up and running with new content every day. Check out information on the speakers, exhibitors, sponsoring societies and much, much more. It’s a fun way to prepare for the conference and you can ask questions and leave comments too. Find the blog at http://nergc2011.blogspot.com.

Is Twitter your preferred form of communication? NERGC 2011 is there too! Chat with NERGC and other attendees too. It’s a great way to keep up with the latest while on the go. If you have Twitter on your smart phone you’ll never miss any updates. Find NERGC at http://twitter.com/NERGC.

See you on the Web!


As a subscriber, you know that NERGC E-zines are a great way to keep up with information about the Conference. Missing back issues? Go to http://www.nergc.org/NERGC2011/ezine.html. Have friends who aren’t yet on the E-zine mailing list? Encourage them to send an email rootsearcher@email.com and write "subscribe" in the body of the email.

This E-zine is sent to you at your request or because of your involvement in past NERGC conferences. We welcome your thoughts and suggestions for items to appear in future issues. Please send them to Nora Galvin at auntlizzie@snet.net and put the word e-zine in the subject line.

Please feel free to share this newsletter with others. Permission to email, copy, and print it in part or whole is granted.

If you received this newsletter from a friend and you'd like to receive future issues directly:
a) Send a message to: rootsearcher@email.com
b) Put "subscribe" in the body of the message

Your address will NOT be shared, and there will be no advertising as a part of the E-zine.

© 2011 New England Regional Genealogical Consortium, Inc.


  1. I'll be there! I'm looking forward to meeting you!

  2. I am so looking forward to meeting all of my new blogging friends! Marian, See you soon!


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