Friday, April 28, 2017

Reporting from NERGC

I've been here at NERGC 2917 Springfield, Massachusetts for 48 hours and I owe my readers a report.  I've been busy taking two workshops, attending some great sessions, schmoozing with my fellow genealogists and genealogy bloggers. I haven't even had time until this afternoon to visit all the booths in this year's record breaking vendor hall (open free to the public if you want to drop by tomorrow 8am to 3 pm).  However, this is my own fault because I want to squeeze everything in to my NERGC experience.  Right now I'm skipping a session to put my feet up and write these lines.

I arrived on Wednesday afternoon for the social hour at MOSH (Museum of Springfield History).  I had fun seeing the collection of Indian motorcycles on display here.  My grandfather Stanley Allen rode an Indian bike from Hamilton, Massachusetts to Florida in his youth (circa early 1920s) before Route 1 existed, or many paved roads.  There were many other items manufactured in Springfield on display.  The archives for the city are located here, open late each night during the conference.

Thursday morning, during a break mid day, ten descendants of one of Springfield's founding fathers, Deacon Samuel Chapin met at his statue a few blocks from the NERGC conference center.  This was arranged by conference co-chair Dave Robison, who was one of the descendants.  You might recognize some of these descendants!

"The Puritan" by Augustus St. Gaudens

On Thursday there was an opening session with a speech by the Springfield mayor, and the greatly anticipated keynote address by Mary Tedesco.  We attended the Massachusetts Genealogical Council luncheon with a humorous talk by Thomas MacEntee on our ancestors and privacy.  This was followed by a workshop on colonial and antique handwriting by Ed Strickland.  This was a great hands-on workshop I would recommend to any family historian.  We ended the long day with a blogger special interest group Wednesday night.

Keynote speaker Mary Tedesco

Some of your favorite New England Genealogy bloggers!

Today we started bright and early.  Vincent attended sessions on Brick Walls with Marian Pierre-Lewis, New Hampshire archives with Diane Gravel. I went to Mary Tedesco's Italian Workshop.  It's great to have the option to register for these intensive workshops. Mary's could have been an all day workshop in my opinion- I really would have liked to learn more.

We took a break for lunch outside of the conference center, and returned in time to peruse the vendor hall and pick up some special deals on books, and a family tree chart from Janet Hvorka's Famiky Chartmasters company.  She just took her first trip to New Hampshire before NERGC.  Next was a session by Carol McCoy on Maine Records.  Don't miss Carol if you ever have the chance- she made this topic very entertaining.

Tonight we have the pleasure of hearing Kenyatta Berry, from PBSs Genealogy Roadshow, speak at the dinner.  I have sore feet but a happy heart to be here at this fascinating conference.  I have heard nothing but praise from attendees.  We are all having a great time.  More tomorrow....

The lovely, smart Kenyatta Berry posed with us


Via iPad from the blogger area in the media center at NERGC 2017
Credit and permission for photo 1 and 4 to Richard Roberts, official NERGC photographer, via the NERGC Facebook page

Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Reporting from NERGC", Nutfield Genealogy, posted April 28, 2017, ( accessed [access date]).


  1. It's been a fabulous conference! Mary Tedesco was inspiring. Every session since has been just terrific. And it was great meeting you in person! Actually, see you tomorrow :0

  2. Great update, Heather. It reads like a fantastic conference.

    Curious - have those descendants of Deacon Samuel Chapin all tested DNA and identified cousin matches between them? I'm curious if the genetic link has carried down through the generations.

    1. We all belong to a Deacon Samuel Chapin Facebook group, and I know we have discussed comparing our DNA

  3. Hi! Sat with you Friday night at dinner. We were discussing stars on houses. I found this today:
    Donna Kirby Milley