Call For Proposals

Call For Proposals From Individuals

NGS 2020 Family History Conference
Echoes of Our Ancestors
Salt Lake City, Utah

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS–11:59 p.m. EDT on 1 April 2019

The National Genealogical Society 2020 Family History Conference, Echoes of Our Ancestors, will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, 20‒23 May 2020. The call for proposals opens on 2 January 2019 and closes on 1 April 2019 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

The echoes of our ancestors resonate within us. Their voices, beliefs, cultures, choices, experiences, and traditions still influence the people we are today. We carry their physical traits in our DNA, and display some of their talents and occupational inclinations. The choices our ancestors made—including their decisions to migrate and where to settle—continue to influence new generations and are often reflected in their religion, associations, sense of cultural heritage, and ties to communities.

The study of family history gives greater meaning and dimension to our lives. As the prior generations fade from view, the results of our research illuminate the pale echoes of the past and brings our ancestors back to life to resonate for future generations.

Lecture Proposals

NGS invites proposals that explore our connections to our ancestors and the vestiges of their lives that we can discover through the records which still exist. Conference tracks under consideration include the following:

  • Impact of wars, poverty, famine, persecution, and the industrial revolution on movement from ancestral homes in the Americas and abroad
  • Immigration, naturalization, and passenger records
  • Historical migrations, trails, and events that affected patterns of settlement
  • Hard-to-find ancestors who seem to disappear from records
  • Approaches to rural and urban research
  • Military records
  • Occupations and trades
  • Modes of transportation
  • Religions and related record collections
  • Ethnic resources and research techniques
  • Postcards, letters, diaries, and manuscripts
  • Immigrant, benevolent, and religious associations
  • Specialized collections of the Family History Library and other repositories

NGS also requests proposals that include the integration of DNA and technology in family history research as well as methodology and problem solving. NGS Encourages proposals that demonstrate methods to help genealogists accurately identify ancestors through reasonably exhaustive research, proper source citations, analysis and correlation, resolution of conflicts, and sound reasoning and coherent writing.[1]

Speakers who wish to submit lecture proposals may submit up to eight proposals electronically. The speaker compensation is described in detail here on the website. Each submitted proposal requires the following information:

  • Speaker’s full name, mailing address, telephone, and email address
  • Presentation title, not to exceed fourteen words
  • Lecture summary for program brochure, not to exceed twenty-five words
  • Brief but comprehensive lecture outline, not to exceed one page
  • Speaker’s biography, not to exceed twenty-five words
  • Speaker’s recent lecture experience, including a listing of national or regional conferences where the speaker has presented in the last two years
  • Identification of the appropriate audience level: beginner, beginner-intermediate, intermediate, intermediate-advanced, advanced, or all

Do not submit a proposed lecture that has been presented nationally or regionally in the last two years, is scheduled to be presented before May 2020, or is available for free online.

This year NGS has included a free webinar—Becoming a Better Conference Speaker: Proposals and Preparations—which can be found at the National Genealogical Society YouTube channel. Speakers are encouraged to view the video before beginning the proposal process. Topics covered include: Lecture Proposals, Presentation, Syllabus, Communicate, and Deliver.

NGS members will receive first consideration as speakers. Notifications for acceptance will be issued in September 2019. Syllabus material, due 28 January 2020, is required for each lecture or workshop presentation and will be included in the syllabus distributed to all conference registrants. Electronic presentation programs are expected from the speakers. Presenters must provide their own digital projector, laptop, and connector to projector cable. NGS will provide projector support, which consists of a VGA or HDMI cable, cart, and power strip. Internet connections will not be provided in lecture rooms.

Submit a Proposal Today! >

Sponsored Lecture Proposals

If your genealogical organization would like to sponsor a lecture, submit proposals to NGS. If your organization would like to sponsor a luncheon, please contact Do not use the sponsored lecture form.

[1] Board for Certification of Genealogists, The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual (Nashville: Ancestry, 2014).