This year, the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree is celebrating their 50th Birthday Bash at its annual conference held at the Marriott Burbank Airport hotel.
The very first Jamboree I attended was by happenstance. I was out for a walk with my then 1 year old daughter. We were at the Pasadena Town Center checking out the shops there when the Pasadena Convention Center came into view. I saw a sign that advertised the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree conference. Several years before, I had started researching my father’s family history so when I saw the SCGS Jamboree sign, I was intrigued. I walked across the street with my daughter and her stroller in hand and went inside to the ticket window. I asked the ticket lady how much it was and she said (at the time) the tickets were $10 all day but that the exhibit hall was free. So I bought a ticket but at the time I had purchased my ticket, it was mid-session so I went into the exhibit hall to look around. When the session period had ended, I selected my one and only session and attended it with my daughter. I remember the attendant at the door asking me to sit in the back since I had my baby with me, that way if I needed to attend to her, I could leave quickly. By this time, I was relatively new to genealogy and my own research and had a desire to learn more, but this conference fueled that desire and pushed me to find out more about the conference itself and possibly attend the next one. I left that one and only session I attended excited at the prospect of furthering my family history research.
With life happening, I wasn’t able to attend this conference for a few more years. But when I was able to attend, it had moved from the Pasadena Convention Center to its current location in Burbank, CA. That first year that I attended in Burbank, CA, it was mind boggling to me. I learned so much and met so many great people. I found that I was with the few people who didn’t wince when I would talk about my family history. I know I had found a place where I can learn more about genealogy, meet new people who have the same interest as me, and to feel welcomed into this group of wonderful researchers. I have been attending almost every year, for the past 10 years.
Fast forward to present time, and this year’s SCGS Jamboree is on my calendar. I will be attending this Jamboree with my soon to be 21-year old daughter (yes, the same one who was 1 year old when I first attended), who loves to researching her dad’s side of the family. We both enjoy the conference, the vendors, our old friends, and the new friends that we will meet.
I highly recommend that you attend a local genealogical conference. You will find people who understands the brick walls you struggle with, the tears you shed when you find your family’s gold with new family pictures or ephemera that you find, and the frustration you feel when you have a hard time trying to convince family members who won’t help you further your research. You will find at your local genealogical conference kindred spirits.
So comment below and let me know if you will be celebrating Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree’s 50th Birthday bash along with us! Maybe we can set up a meet-up over coffee/tea?