by Kirk Patton

I spent time recently recording on my personal calendar the many genealogical events that interest me for the new year. There are so many opportunities it can be tough choosing those offerings which best match my interests and support my journey as a genealogist.

Week long institutes and multi-day conferences across the nation particularly attract my attention. There is also no shortage of one day seminars here in Colorado, in addition to other parts of the country, which promise to teach me new things about family history research. While I still have to prioritize and choose among the options, there are many which capture my interest.

I am very excited to have attended for the first time the Association of Professional Genealogists’ Professional Management Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah on January 10-11.  The conference was held just prior to this week’s popular Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, scheduled for January 13-17, where several other CRCGS members are also in attendance.

The Roots Tech Conference will be held from February 5-8 in Salt Lake City with its focus on the intersection of genealogy and technology.

The Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England (W.I.S.E.) Family History Society will conduct its annual seminar on March 8 at Denver Public Library. The planned lectures, particularly those on Scots-Irish Research and the Ulster Plantation, appeal to me because of my ancestry.  The Colorado Genealogical Society (CGS) will host Judy Russell, known as The Legal Genealogist, at its annual seminar at the Denver Public Library on April 26. The Computer Interest Group of CGS will bring Pam and Rick Sayre, well-known national lecturers who often speak about land research, to the library on May 17.

The National Genealogical Society will hold its annual Family History Conference on May 7-10 in Richmond, Virginia. I look forward to attending this outstanding event for the third straight year.

The highly acclaimed Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research will be held June 8-13 in Birmingham, Alabama. I am very excited to be attending this outstanding institute for the second year, planning to take the week-long course about Virginia genealogical research.  The Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh will convene the week of July 20-25 in the Steel City.

I head “home” for the Kentucky Genealogical Society’s Annual Seminar on August 2 and then there is the annual conference of the Federation of Genealogical Societies in San Antonio, Texas on August 27-30.

The Denver Public Library will host Barbara Vines Little, nationally known lecturer who often speaks about Virginia genealogical research, on September 27.

The Castle Rock Colorado Genealogical Society will hold its second annual Rocky Mountain Genealogical Seminar featuring J. Mark Lowe on October 4 at the Heritage Eagle Bend clubhouse off E-470 near Parker and Aurora. I hope for the first time to attend the British Institute, hosted by the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History in Salt Lake City from October 20-24.

Throughout the year, I am excited to have opportunities to attend CRCGS’ outstanding monthly programs, featuring top local lecturers, as well as regularly recurring events such as SHARE, the Midwest Ancestry Research Group and offerings related to technology and computer interest. Many of our sister genealogical societies in the region also offer wonderful programs and I plan to attend as many of those as fit into my schedule.

There are so many opportunities, and more that I have not even listed, that it will be hard to choose and determine my calendar for the year. The genealogical community in Colorado is vibrant and offers tremendous resources such as libraries, archives, seminars, study groups and society programs, all offering tremendous value. The region similarly provides excellent opportunities for travel to national events.

It all begins with the development of a goal for the year. What genealogical education plans will you make toward that goal in 2014? Membership in the Castle Rock Colorado Genealogical Society is a great start!