One of the emails that I received asking that the FHL transmit or record the classes from the recent Hispanic genealogy conference was from a passionate family historian from Mexico. The emailer couldn't understand why the conference was going to take place in Salt Lake City. It amused me when the emailer compared it having the Muslim pilgrimage to Mexico City instead to Mecca. It amused me, because Salt Lake City is often referred to the Mecca for family history / genealogy research. To me it makes sense having a conference at the largest genealogical library in the World, the same library that draws thousands from around the globe to research their ancestors.
Again, I would like to thank all those that emailed me (and Ruth) asking that something be done so that those that couldn't make it to 'Mecca' could participate. The same emailer suggested that we hold the conference in different countries each year, which is a wonderful idea, however, it's probably not the most cost effective way to do it, and it would take us more than 15 years to cover every country. So, what's the best way to reach out to the potentially thousands of people desiring to drink from the genealogical well? THE INTERNET!!
About a week or so ago I had a phone conversation with Jonathan Walker, who works with http://www.familyhistoryliveonline.com offering one class per week on Hispanic genealogy. We decided that we would like to do an online family history fair/conference in January. We are hoping for Saturday, January 12th, however that may change by a week or so...stay tuned.
Jonathan and I feel that there is a need to reach out to those around the world so that we can learn from one another and try to get more people interested in discovering their Hispanic roots. We think that starting small and proving to others that there is a need is the best way to start. We have decided to hold 4 classes (2 classes be presented simultaneously).
First things first...what are you interested in? What topics would you like to hear us discuss in our first online fair/conference? This is a chance for you to recommend a class on a topic that you have always needed or wanted. We will take the 4 highest recommended topics and prepare the classes. Did I mention that the classes can be in Spanish or English?
So, how do you make your recommendations? Leave a comment at the end of this blog post, or participate in the poll that will be made available in the near future. I will propose a few topics to get the ball rolling, but it will be up to you guys to determine which topics are presented. You can also email Jonathan (I'll post his email once I have his permission). If people would like to contact me to make their recommendations I would prefer it be done via the blog (comments section and or via the poll)
Mark 12 Jan 2008 on your calendar (keep in mind that this date is subject to change). You will see several announcements in a handful of mailing lists and online newsletters over the next couple of months. Please let others know...some may not have believed me that the more noise you make the more attention you'll get, but in this case it is true. If the first online fair/conference is successful, then it will only result in more frequent and larger ones in the future.