We are very fortunate in our WNY area to have local genealogical societies to become members of and attend programs. Thinking about this, Katherine Willson, the founder of the Virtual Genealogical Association (VGA), had the idea to form a virtual society and her dream came true when VGA launched on April 30th, 2018.
From an info card at their booth in the vendor hall at FGS: “VGA recognizes that many family history enthusiasts are merging technology and globalization in their genealogical pursuits. We provide a forum for genealogists worldwide to connect, network, and mentor with others through monthly meetings online, webinars, social networking, annual conferences, and meet-ups at events worldwide.”
Katherine Willson told me that she is very happy with the growth of the society. Since it’s formation last year, the VGA has 1700 members from 21 countries. They offer three online presentations a month and have formed different chapters and special interest groups (SIGs) on Facebook. The annual cost for becoming a member is $20. The VGA website is: https://virtualgenealogy.org/.
The VGA is going to host their first conference this year. It is a virtual conference (of course) and the dates are Friday, November 1 – Sunday, November 3. The conference is going to have 20 sessions (six each day with an additional two pre-recorded) across the three days. Well-known genealogy speakers such as Blaine T. Bettinger, Lisa Alzo, Jen Baldwin, and Judy G. Russell are some of the presenters.
The conference attendees do not have to watch the sessions live as they will have access to the recordings and handouts for 6 months following the conference. The conference cost is $59 for members and $79 for non-members (which is the conference price with a membership added on). Click here for more information about the VGA 2019 Conference: https://virtualgenealogy.org/2019-vga-conference/.
Contributor: Jeanette Sheliga of Lockport NY is Vice-President of the Niagara County Genealogical Society, Organizer of the North Tonawanda Library Genealogy Club and a member of APG (Assn of Professional Genealogists)