Thursday, October 11, 2012

What to Expect at Family History Day

Only hours away now, Family History Day (FHD) at the California State Archives is about to begin.  Some of you may be conference veterans and already have a 'strategy'.  For others, FHD may be your first all-day genealogy event.  Everyone can use some additional information about what to expect throughout the day.  This information is in addition to the FAQs already listed
  • 8:00 a.m. - State Archives doors open to the public.  Syllabus distribution begins. Current version of Class Schedule handed out.
  • 8:30 a.m. - Doors open to the Auditorium for the Opening Session in the Secretary of State building, access through State Archives lobby.  Also, elevators open to the Archives 4th floor Exhibitor area.
  • Strategy Tip: Tours fill up fast; limit of 20 people per tour.  Sign up early in the day for your preferred time.  Sign up list at Archives 4th floor Reception Desk. 
  • 8:00 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. - Syllabus Distribution:  Go to the "Reserved" or "Non-Reserved" tables as appropriate.  If you reserved a syllabus, get in the line according to the first letter of your surname. Please have $5 exact cash available for the syllabus.
  • 9:00 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. Opening session, welcome and keynote. 
  • 9:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. -  Syllabus distribution continues at Archives 4th floor Reference Desk. 
  • 10:00 a.m.- 4:15 p.m. - Genealogy classes, tours, Root Cellar Genealogy Library open, The California Museum open. 
  • Strategy Tip:  select a 1st and 2nd choice class.  If 1st choice is full, go to 2nd choice.  When all chairs in a classroom are full, the Room Monitor will close the doors.  Remember the exhibitor area, Genealogy Library and Museum are open also.
  • 1:30 p.m. - drawing for 3 free door prizes, Archives 4th floor exhibit area.  Must be present to win.  Form will be in your syllabus packet.  Place completed form in container at Archives 4th floor Reference Desk before 1:30. 
  • 12:15 p.m.- 2:00 p.m. - lunch period.  Please visit La Boa Cafe at 11th and O Streets.  Seating available.  Plan ahead, it will be busy.
  • Strategy Tip:  many Exhibitors will have laptop computers to perform look-ups or demos for you.  Bring a Pedigree Chart or Family Group Sheet!
  • Evaluation form:  the green form will be in your syllabus packet.  Please complete it thoughtfully.  We want your feedback!  Many new features are available this year so your 'review' will matter a lot.  Place completed forms in the container at the Archives 4th floor Reference Desk or the table in the Archives Lobby (starting in the afternoon).
  • Strategy Tip:  Plan ahead for getting to classes timely.  Elevators in the Archives will be busy as attendees shuttle between the State Archives 4th floor classrooms and the Auditorium and the Multipurpose Room in the Secretary of State building through the 1st floor Courtyard. 
  • Bonus Strategy Tip:  talk to each other!  Network!  Genealogists are a friendly people.  You'd be amazed at how many others are researching the same surnames or locales you are.
  • Need help during the day?  Volunteers wearing "Ask Me" buttons are available to help.
  • State Archivist Nancy Lenoil will be roaming around to visit with everyone.  Take this opportunity to meet her personally and ask her about the Archives. 
See you on October 13th and contact me at if you have any questions.

posted by Denise H. Richmond

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