The Federation of Genealogical Societies conference in Philadelphia got started last night with exhibit hall preview hours. The hall was busy with genealogists; a live events area features product demos and presentations. This morning is the opening session, followed by three days of conferencing—genealogy classes, meetings and exhibit hall shopping.
We’ll keep you updated on conference news. Meanwhile, some show-and-tell. I got into Philadelphia early and tooled around to some of the historic sites, including:
… Christ Church Burial Ground, whose walls guard Benjamin Franklin’s gravesite (not in this photo) and those of other founding fathers and Christ Church congregation members. Few of the headstones are still readable, but a church record book has told caretakers the inscriptions many stones used to bear.
… Independence Hall, where the Constitutional Congress debated the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. (The chair at the head of the room is the one from which John Hancock presided over Congress; other chairs aren’t original.)
… The Liberty Bell (this is the side opposite the famous crack), which used to be in the Pennsylvania State House. I learned it didn’t crack when the Declaration of Independence was signed—no one knows exactly when the large gap formed, but it was some time between 1817 and 1846.