What is GeneaSpy?

GeneaSpy is an avid genealogist who attends national, regional, and local genealogical conferences, to learn about genealogy.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

NGS 2022 Sacramento: Pre-Conference

Tuesday, 24 May 2022


   I’m back! Back in the saddle again after two years of lockdowns and restrictions due to national health concerns. This is the first in-person conference since 2019 for the National Genealogical Society and they chose the great city of Sacramento, California to have it. Yeah for me, no jet lag! Sacramento is a great city with many historical attractions and museums. For me, all I wanted to visit was the inside of the Capitol (which the tours are still suspended) and Evangeline’s Costume Mansion in Old Town (which I didn’t), only because I’ve been to Sacramento so many times while growing up. So, I stuck to my hotel, The Hyatt Regency, and the SAFE Credit Union Conference Center. Boring me, I know.


   NGS used an app by Whova to act as a communication system between the organizers and attendees. It also has the full agenda with built-in maps to each event and class and provides a personalized agenda, too. It proved to be very popular with conference-goers because it contained a “Win a Prize” category in which both virtual and in-person attendees could win a prize for the most points. Points were awarded for many things like, “Share an article”, “Suggest meet-ups, “Give session feedback”, etc. My friend Ron Arons was no. 1 for most of the week, coming in at no. 3 at the conclusion. I came in at no. 10.


Whova video call
Whova video call with Ron Arons

   I decided (again) to attend the pre-conference event “BCG Education Fund Workshop – Putting Skills to Work” with two workshops - 

  •  “Tackling the Family Narrative” - Karen Mauer Jones, CG, FGBS, FUGA
  • “Walk A Mile in Their Shoes: Writing the Ancestors’ Stories with Social History and Historical Context” - Rebecca Whitman Koford, CG, CGL. 
With a pre-reading requirement and a 54-page syllabus, I knew I was in for an intense learning experience… and it was. These workshops, put on by the Board for Certification of Genealogists, are geared for the serious student and/or professional genealogist, of which I may consider myself a serious student, but I always struggle in these advanced classes.


Got Photos? I do…

What a view from my 8th. floor room!

Green = Handshakes & Hi-Fives

SAFE Convention Center Completely Renovated in 2021

The inside lobby had plenty of space for distancing

The all-day workshop from BCG

Karen's class was very detailed

Masks were required at all times

My friend from FamilySearch, Jeff Svare

My friend and jokester, Ron Arons

My Southern friend, Lori Thornton

A quick note on masks: Conference policy was to wear masks at all times, except when eating or drinking within the conference facility. We even had color-coded stickers on our badges as to our comfort level of interaction with one another...

Red = Physical Distancing - Greet from Six Feet
Yellow= Elbows Only
Green = Handshakes and Hi-fives

... Some of us opted to take photos together without masks upon agreement with each other and only for a very brief moment. I usually held my breath by the way. Each conference attendee was vaccinated and had to show proof each day before entering. I felt very safe. I also tested myself before leaving, during the conference, and after... ALL CLEAR.


  1. What a fun and different post! I didn't go, but your post help me feel I got to. ;)

    1. Thanks Diane! Yes, it was very fun to see eveyone in person again. NGS always have the best speakers in the Genealogy World.