04 August 2011

ON A PERSONAL NOTE: A SAD DEPARTURE

     Today was a very sad day for me. I attended my last Irish American Family History Society (IAFHS) meeting before moving to Toronto. I know it will not be my last meeting ever with these wonderful people, but missing even one meeting will be hard for me. I have learned so much from everyone in the society--I have stolen many, many ideas from the members as material for this blog and for my talks!
     The IAFHS meetings are unique. We don't sit in rows facing forward. Rather, we sit in a modified Camelot fashion--in a rectangle or in rows facing each other as much as possible. King Arthur knew what he was doing when he instituted his round table. Face-to-face meetings promote discussion and familiarity. The group is the most convivial group I have ever joined. Not only do I leave each meeting with knowledge in my noggin, I always leave with a smile on my face. I like to think it is because we all have a wee bit of the Irish in us! Great craic!
     I would like to thank each and every member, but I am so afraid of leaving someone out. So I say THANK YOU to you all--you know who you are, and you know how much you mean to me.
     I will miss giving my genealogy talks and classes in the tri-state region. The people I have met through this wonderful world of genealogy have been a blessing to my life. They have uplifted my spirits, made me laugh, made me think, and shared personal stories that I will treasure always. The are many angels in the world disguised as family history researchers.
     In particular, I would like to thank the following groups and institutions for hosting many of my talks. As with the IAFHS meetings, I learned more from the audiences than they did from me.
 THANK YOU to
National Archives, Mid-Atlantic Branch, Philadelphia, PA
Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania
Mid-Atlantic Family History Conference
Genealogical Society of Bergen County, NJ
Gloucester County Historical Society, NJ
Central Jersey Genealogy Club
Leisure Village West Genealogy Club, Manchester, NJ
A Family History Event, Wilmington DE
Cherry Hill, NJ, Recreation Department
Cherry Hill, NJ, Library
Mount Laurel, NJ, Library (a special thanks to Stefanie and to great audiences at Mt. Laurel)
LDS Family History Center, Cherry Hill, NJ (special thank you to Paul and to the volunteers)
Old York Road Genealogical Society (PA)
Brehon Law Society, Philadelphia
LAOH Pottstown
Salem County (NJ) Genealogical Society
RCA Lunch Club
LINKS
Join a genealogy group! If you can't find a local group, start one! Don't give up, even if you have only one or two others at a meeting. The benefits to your research will be enormous; the camaraderie, invaluable.

IRISH AMERICAN FAMILY HISTORY SOCIETY
CENTRAL JERSEY GENEALOGICAL CLUB
OLD YORK ROAD GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY (Bucks, Montgomery, Philadephia Counties, PA)
GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY OF BERGEN COUNTY (NJ)
GENAEALOGICAL SOCIETY OF SALEM COUNTY (NJ)