For those of you with research questions today that needed the answers YESTERDAY, you want to investigate GenChat. You will find it in the Twitter world as #genchat
It is a dedicated group of genealogists, family historians, researchers and friends world-wide that come together every fortnight (two weeks) and talk genealogy.
The friendships are very strong, almost resembling that of a close-knit family that is separated by timezones and continents. GenChat is not yet a year old, but it is steadily gaining popularity. It lasts about an hour with anywhere from 30 to 50 persons involved!
Many tweets from first-time participants about GenChat is “The hour flew by faster than the posts!” Another common one is: “The posts came in so fast, I couldn’t keep up!” And although these words may seem disheartening, the end result is all too familiar: when the next gathering begins, those first-timers are right back at it, in the thick of it all, with the seasoned regulars!
In order to catch a little more time, eager ones arrive early to get the best seats at the bar; while the die-hards linger long after the bar announces “Last Call!”
“Treeverne Upon the Gene” is the meeting place for the camaraderie that is GenChat. It is an Olde English-style pub, catering by Appointment to The Pirate Queen, her band of Pirate Women and their many friends. (When work permits, the bar opens 30 minutes before GenChat and remains open 30 minutes after, if and only if there is a demand for more time to chat genealogy. Unfortunately, of late, scheduling conflicts are still being experienced by the bartender and his other job.).
“Treeverne” is meant to be more of a fun diversion during GenChat, much like the secondary discussions experienced during major conferences like RootsTech and NGS. Not all questions, topics or discussions are applicable to every participant, so Treeverne is there to serve the need for a secondary discussion (for example: “Who left their red stilettos in the dishwasher, last meeting?” Or “How many beverages can you make from the contents in your refrigerator?”).
During a typical — not sure “typical” is the best word to use here — GenChat session, many years of research experience is pooled. Questions are asked and answers then shared, many times providing alternate options for others to try in their research work.
On very special occasions, guests are brought in to answer the more specific questions. We have been graced with the presence of “Dear Myrtle,” Gena Philibert-Ortega, D. Joshua Taylor and Susan A. Kitchens — to name but a few. Many have enjoyed their visits so much that they are now part of this growing, dedicated group that shares and helps each other!
Each gathering is unique. Some participants never miss a week, and a few others show up when they can; but all are welcome! ALWAYS!
The popularity of this ground-breaking power-session has launched another eventful year of much anticipated topics, which will focus on specific geographic areas and the best resources to help you.
The first GenChat in this geographic series will begin 13NOV2013: Researching at the County Level. These sessions are scheduled for the second Wednesday of each month.
The regular GenChat season is still going strong. Details regarding the next upcoming session can always be found in the upper right corner of this blog. The remainder of the 2013 season is located here.
A full listing of the 2014 season and the geo-genchat sessions can be found here.