Can you feel the excitement?
Names like MacEntee, Cooke, Alzo, Taylor, Russell, Berry, Tedesco.
These are just a few of the current genealogy rock stars.
Would I sleep out on a sidewalk with a wrist band for tickets to see them? I plead the fifth on that. But when I come to a genealogy conference like NERGC, I’m thrilled when one of the geni-rock stars on my list will be speaking or giving a workshop. I choose my workshops usually based on topic, but its all the more better if one of my favorites is leading it.
Mary was the opening keynote to welcome everyone to NERGC. I am like everyone else in my admiration of Mary and her specialty in Italian research as well has her work on Genealogy Roadshow. And she’s damn pretty, guys. What I also like about Mary is what a real, down to earth person she is. An example of that is when I contacted her via her webpage, www.orginsitaly.com, several months ago to find out about booking her for a speaking engagement with my local DAR chapter in Windsor, CT. Mary answered back within 24 hours and was so gracious and asked what a good time to call me to discuss further would be. She called exactly when she said she would and we discussed what might work best for our chapter and state. Mary has a soft side for DAR and works with her own local chapter and was willing to donate some of her time if our state chapter would like to hold some kind of research day that she could participate in for part of her own membership goals. I was thrilled she was so willing to work with us. Unfortunately, not to throw anyone under the bus here, but my state Chapter is not as forward thinking as I had hoped and I didn’t want Mary to keep open a date for us while this all was worked out. I was disappointed and somewhat embarrassed at the lack of enthusiasm on my state end, but Mary was very nice about it and I feel she secretly knew what I was dealing with when trying to “think outside the box” when it comes to the DAR. Lovely ladies to be around, but very difficult to get something new approved.
Thomas MacEntee is a force of nature, I swear. And he’s damn pretty, guys. He exudes a light and energy I am sure he is not even completely aware of. It’s like the nerds finally have someone cool who wants to be their friend. How awesome is that? Whether its his coiffed mohawk, his sparkly bedazzled kicks, or his famous blogger beads…this guy know how to remind us all that genealogy can be some kick-ass fun. Thomas was the keynote at the luncheon I attended this weekend and he talked about privacy. He brought up examples as to how while we think our privacy is so incredibly invaded due to the Internet age, back in the day of our ancestors, newspapers were reporting on everything from when and where you were checking into a hotel, to what illness you were currently suffering from. Privacy is subjective. Having daughters in their early 20’s, I couldn’t agree more with Thomas when he said that Millennials have a different relationship with privacy and are willing to give up some of that privacy for the benefits that it can bring as far as information, services and convenience. My girls put a lot of their life out on social media, do all their banking, their travel, their research and their relationships online…and nothing an old bitty like me will change that mind set. In fact, I’ve embraced much of it myself.
I don’t plan to give a day by day analysis of my time at NERGC because there are plenty of other bloggers who do that kind of thing much better than I ever could. But I do bring up these two speakers specifically because I have been following their work for several years and want you all to know that they, along with many others I could name, are models for all of us to follow in not only their methods…but their ENERGY. Intelligent, informative, well spoken, classically lovely and personable Mary and business savvy, realistic-minded, talented, warm, funny and adorable Thomas are the new faces of genealogy.
They are the rock stars to all of us on the road to genealogy. Rock on.