For Immediate Release

The Great Canadian Genealogy Summit (CANGEN) is pleased to announce their inaugural conference, to be held October 21-23, 2016, at the Courtyard by Marriott, Brampton, Ontario.

The Summit showcases Canadian genealogists who have an expertise in the record sets relating to the early settlers of Canada.

On Friday, October 21, we have arranged a day at the Archives of Ontario. And better still, for those with Loyalist ancestors who are mind boggled with the documentation required for your UEL certificate, former UELAC Dominion Genealogist Kathryn Lake Hogan will be offering a workshop at the Archives. Kathryn will share her expertise on what documentation is required and how to access the records at the Archives.

Our Opening Plenary speaker on Friday evening is genealogist and author Jennifer DeBruin who will share with us some of the struggles of our Canadian ancestors. This energetic talk will be followed by a social time. A time to get to meet fellow Canadian genealogists, an opportunity to get to know the speakers better, or browse the vendors/exhibits in the marketplace.

Saturday’s programming offers five streams of research. Registrants are welcome to mix and match:
• Ruth Blair – who will talk on researching Irish ancestors
• Mike Quackenbush – who will talk on researching English ancestors
• Louise St Denis – who will talk on researching French Canadian ancestors
• Kathryn Lake Hogan – who will talk on researching Canadian ancestors
• Christine Woodcock – who will talk on researching Scottish ancestors

Sunday starts with Louise St Denis, Director of National Institute for Genealogical Studies, sharing her extensive knowledge on Methodology. THEN she is providing each registrant with a certificate for a FREE course at the Institute.

We wrap up the weekend with Lynn Palermo, The Armchair Genealogist, who will help us to get a better handle on writing our family stories so that our work can be preserved for future generations.

REGISTRATION for the full weekend is just $159cdn ($125 usd). Registration for the Saturday only is just $119cdn ($93 usd)

All registrations include breakfast and lunch on Saturday, free access during the weekend to Findmypast, and admission to the exhibition hall/marketplace.


Conferences like NGS 2014 are a big deal. There’s the registration cost plus travel, hotel, and food expenses. Not to mention any purchases in the exhibit hall! There’s time away from work and family to consider as well.

Attending NGS2011 in Charleston was a fun experience and having learned so much there, I really wanted to go again. When it was announced that this year’s NGS Conference would be held in Richmond, Virginia, just 6 hours away, I decided to take the opportunity to go.

The cost and the time away from home was a lot to ask of my large family but my husband is supportive of my genealogy passion and agreed that it was something I should do

My Conference experience started with a Blogger Dinner sponsored by FamilySearch for those who were Official Bloggers for NGS2014. We were able to meet one another, eat a wonderful meal and then listen to representatives speak about what is coming from FamilySearch. Friendships with many in the blogging world were formed as we met those who we had only seen in pictures on their social media pages.

FamilySearch Blogger Dinner ©Cheri Hudson Passey

The next four days were a whirlwind of lectures, luncheons, dinners, social functions and strolling through the exhibit hall.

I learned about probate records, land records, storytelling , standards for genealogical proof, what social structures can be found in cemeteries, strategies to help when the trail goes cold, clues in records, how to deal with family lore, identifying photographs, what it takes to become a Certified Genealogist and so much more. These were all taught by wonderful and in some cases, well known instructors. How fun to be taught in person by Elizabeth Shown Mills, Judy Russell, Tom Jones, Maureen Taylor, Barbara Vines Little to name just a few.

I have to admit that I felt a bit star struck as I sat and learned from the best of the best.

Waiting to hear from Elizabeth Shown Mills ©Cheri Hudson Passey

Sitting with other genealogists and family historians at luncheons and dinners was a real treat. Most were complete strangers, yet our love for what we do enabled us to share experiences and give advice and support to each other. We traded business cards and had a wonderful time!

The same sense of unity and friendship was also felt while waiting for lectures to begin. There always seemed to be someone sitting by me who was willing to talk about their experiences in research, tell me a family story, give me advice or hold my seat so I could run to the bathroom!

The exhibit hall was a mass of genealogists meeting with friends, shopping for books, t-shirts, and new genealogy products. They were trying out websites, searching live on line for their ancestors, and they were learning about genealogy software. Booths were set up for BCG, NGS, APG and many Genealogy Societies. FGS was raising money for the War of 1812 Pension Digitalization Project and RPAC had the New Genealogist Bill of Rights for us all to sign. Maureen Taylor was offering consultations on family pictures. She was able to help me with four of my unknowns! This was one of my highlights of the week!

My Blogger Beads, Ribbons and Buttons ©Cheri Hudson Passey

Most of the booths had ribbons to attach to our nametags. Was it a contest to see who got the most? I’m not sure but I do know of someone whose ribbons reached the floor!

Saturday night when NGS2014 was over and I had returned home after a long, rainy drive, exhaustion had taken over. It was hard to think and all I wanted to do was sleep.

My family asked how it went and if it was worth all the time and effort to get to Richmond.

I thought about the friends old and new that had supported me through the week, the advice and feedback given, the lessons learned from fantastic lectures, the new goals set and the sheer joy of being around and socializing with so many wonderful people.

My week in Richmond strengthened me and gave me courage to move forward in areas that I was afraid to before. I came away determined to become a better Genealogist, Family Historian, Writer and Gene Friend.

Was it worth it? Absolutely!


©Cheri Hudson Passey

 Cheri Hudson Passey has been researching her family and helping others get started with their own research since the early 1980’s. Born in Camden, SC, the majority of her lines come from many counties in SC, including, Aiken, Berkeley, Clarendon, Darlington, Edgefield, Florence, Georgetown, Kershaw, Lee, Richland, Sumter, and Williamsburg. A line also comes from Iredell County, NC. Truly a “Carolina Girl” for many generations! A love of History and Genealogy has grown into collecting not only names, dates, and places, but family pictures, stories, and ephemera as well. Her mother calls her “The Keeper of All Things”. Cheri is a member of the National Genealogical Society, Association of Professional Genealogists, The NextGen Genealogy Network, South Carolina Historical Society, South Carolina Genealogical Society, several SC County Genealogy Societies as well as her local Grand Strand Genealogy Club. She is also active in the Genealogy Community via several social media platforms including Facebook, Google +, Genealogists in Second Life, and Twitter. Her Blog “Carolina Girl Genealogy” has been instrumental in connecting with and sharing information about her family and the research process.


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