The two most important things a parent can give a child are roots and wings, according to the National Genealogical Society.
"To aid genealogists in discovering their roots, the 1988 National Genealogical Society annual conference will offer more than 100 hours of lectures by the nation's leading genealogists, as well as a variety of family activities," said Elizabeth Shown Mills, conference planner.
For the past seven years, the society has presented professionally designed conferences in various regions of the United States. This year the conference will be April 27-30 on the sugar-white beaches of Biloxi, Miss.
This conference is designed to provide instruction in genealogical research for the beginner and for the advanced family historian. Special sessions of interest to librarians, historians, professional genealogists, computer buffs and genealogical writers are on the agenda. Attendees may also select classes on many subjects dealing with specific records and many geographic regions of research.
The society's annual conference brings together genealogical experts from the United States and other countries. Part of the fun of these sessions is meeting authors whose books you've read in addition to the records custodians and researchers with whom you have corresponded. You may also discover unknown cousins.
The 1988 conference will focus on methodology, desk-top publishing of family histories and professional topics, such as a visual aids workshop for genealogy teachers.
Grady McWhiney, a renowned history professor from Texas Christian University, will be the banquet speaker.
"This will be a national program in scope, covering many regions and records, with special focus on the methodology applicable to all research," Mills said.
Lectures will be offered on such subjects as American divorce records, ethnic cross-overs--records of white ancestors available in WPA Slave Narratives or finding your Protestant ancestors in Catholic records--genetics, searching collateral lines, Civil War ancestors, and the new field of telecommunications.
One day of the conference will be geared to the beginning genealogist, and for the computer enthusiast there will be a hands-on session for experimentation with various genealogy software programs.
A wide array of exhibitors, including many publishers, will be displaying their genealogy-related products and services.
Several luncheons and/or breakfasts are planned for special-interest groups, such as the International Society of British Genealogy and Family History, Assn. of Professional Genealogists, Council of Genealogist Columnists, Computer Interest Group, and Board of Certification of Genealogists.
The Royal d'Iberville is the hotel headquarters. However, most of the sessions will be held at the nearby Coliseum.
The conference is open to all interested in learning how to trace their family tree. Information: NGS Conference Committee, 4527 17th St., Arlington, Va. 22207-2362.