FGS 2019 Call for Presentation Proposals Open

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) is pleased to announce its Call for Proposals for the 2019 FGS Family History Conference, A Conference for the Nation’s Genealogists. Proposals will be accepted from 2 October 2018 through 1 November 2018.

The 2019 FGS Family History Conference will be held August 21-24 in Washington, DC. With attendees from every corner of the country and the nation’s records just a short ride away, the 2019 conference will bring together presentations that represent and celebrate the diversity of our nation. The event draws attendees of all experience levels, backgrounds, and interests, and we encourage submission of topics that explore under-recognized areas of genealogical research. Let’s all “Come home to our Washington, DC.”

Submissions of Presentations

Speakers interested in presenting lectures or workshops for 2019 must submit their proposals online. FGS welcomes submission of all topics; new presentations are encouraged. Speakers are highly encouraged to submit the maximum number of proposals, eight per individual. Panel sessions or co-presenters may submit up to two additional proposals per primary point of contact. Presentations may cover any relevant genealogy or family history topic. All sessions should have some element of methodology and skill-building. Candidates are encouraged to include more than one of the below themes:

Society Management: Topics specifically designed for society leaders and volunteers; workshop programs, panels, discussion groups, and/or focus groups will be given special consideration.

Non-Traditional Record Categories: Not all genealogically related information can be found in vital records and censuses. Presentations about academic sources, databases, and reference materials not specifically designed for genealogy; special interest manuscript collections; sources found in museums, occupational archives, university libraries, and so forth, are encouraged.

The Tapestry of America: Case studies and methodology topics that specifically focus on our shared American story will be given special consideration.

Colonial History and Settlement: A focus on the Mid-Atlantic and the Carolinas are of particular interest.

DNA: Beginner, intermediate, and advanced lectures on DNA, genetic genealogy, and the application and integration with traditional family history are desirable.

Social and Cultural Communities: Washington, DC, is home to a diverse and interesting population; an exploration of this diversity throughout the region is highly encouraged. Areas of specific interest include:

  1. Native American, British, African, African American, Caribbean, Dutch, Swedish, Irish and Ulster Scots, Hispanic, Latin American, Middle Eastern and Asian.
  2. All religious practices descriptive of any settlement to this area from the colonial era to the present, including but not limited to Native peoples, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, all Christian denominations including Quaker, Mennonite, Amish and those historically considered Non-conformist, etc.

400 Years of African American Contributions to America: Presentations that recognize the many contributions of both enslaved and free people of color to the American tapestry are encouraged.

In America’s Service: Serving the country in conflict and in times of peace takes many roles. Topics focusing on military and civil service throughout America’s history will be considered.

Lineage Societies: Presentations that explore and showcase the valuable resources of the many lineage organizations to which Washington, DC, is home.

The Nation’s Capital: Washington, DC, and surrounding area; research best practices, repositories and unique collections; exploring the wealth of available sources. “Spotlight Sessions,” shorter in length and designed to highlight the best of a particular collection or repository, are welcome.

All proposals must be submitted through the online link provided above and must include the following information:

  • Speaker’s name, address, telephone, and email address
  • Lecture title, not to exceed 12 words, and a brief, but comprehensive, outline
  • Lecture summary, not to exceed 50 words, to be used in the conference guide
  • Identification of the audience level; beginning, intermediate, advanced or all
  • Speaker biography, not to exceed 40 words, to be used in the conference guide
  • Resume of prior speaking experience


Societies and businesses are encouraged to submit proposals for sponsored presentations for the 2019 FGS Family History Conference. The sponsoring organization will cover its speaker’s costs to present the lecture, which includes travel, accommodations, meals, and other associated costs. Sponsored speakers must abide by all speaker deadlines and syllabus requirements and will receive complimentary registration to the 2019 FGS Family History Conference and electronic syllabus materials. The deadline to submit sponsored lectures is also 1 November 2018. The program committee reserves the right to discuss with any interested sponsoring organization alternate options to participate in the program.

Session Length

  1. Presentations should be either 50 minutes long, followed by a 10-minute Q&A or 20 minutes long, followed by a 5-minute Q&A.
  2. Workshops, on-site programs at local repositories, and other formats are encouraged in two-hour increments. All-day workshops will also be considered.


  1. Invited speakers receive an honorarium, travel compensation, and conference registration as well as per diem and hotel nights based on the number of presentations given. Invited speakers receive compensation according to the FGS Conference Speaker Compensation Policy.
  2. Sponsored speakers only receive conference registration and syllabus materials. See more about sponsorships above.

Additional Information

  1. Invitations to participate will be issued no later than 2 January 2019. Syllabus format guidelines will be sent to speakers at that time. The deadline for acceptance and submission of signed speaker contracts is 11 January 2019.
  2. Camera-ready syllabus material, due 30 April 2019, is required for each general presentation and will be included in the syllabus distributed to all conference registrants.

Presentation Sample

If you have not presented sessions at an FGS Family History Conference before, we invite you to submit a short (15-minute) sample audio or video in electronic form of a recent presentation via email to program2019@fgs.org.


Any questions or inquiries can be directed to program2019@fgs.org.

We look forward to receiving your proposals and considering your expertise for inclusion in our 2019 programming.

~ 2019 FGS Program Committee

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