The annual Austin Convention for 2012 was held in Williamsburg, VA, October 12 – 14, with 41 attending. Many arrived early to explore historic Jamestown, Yorktown and Colonial Williamsburg and to take advantage of research opportunities in the area. It was great to be with our "Austin family" again — and to greet new members, who quickly became part of the family!
Convention activities, held at the Williamsburg Hospitality House, officially began with a reception on Friday afternoon, and continued on Saturday and Sunday with interesting speakers and workshop time and a Saturday evening dinner.
On Saturday the morning program included: "Early Virginia Society — Who Were Those Early Settlers?" by Dave DeSimone, program instructor for Learning Odysseys at the College of William and Mary, and "Did They Choose Free Passage to the New World? Researching Indentured Servants in Colonial Virginia" by Mary Beth Dalton, of Jigsaw Genealogy and also an instructor for Learning Odysseys.
After lunch Art Sikes gave "An update on the Austin-Austen DNA Project — where do we go from here?". John Clinard told of "DNA Proof, Conjecture and Surprises in the Austin Families of Southside Virginia".
Following dinner we enjoyed a Living History Experience with Rebecca Suerdieck, as we met "Marye Bucke, the Minister's Wife" and heard stories about her voyage to the New World and her life in Jamestown in 1623.
On Sunday morning Helen Cook Austin shared her research on four Austin men who were "Galvanized Yankees — Heroes Who "Swallowed the Dog". Then Jane Austin Bruckner told about "The Life and Times of John Austin (1692-1759), Constable of Cornwall Parish, Lunenburg Co. VA". In the afternoon Jim Carlin gave the "AFAOA Database and Library Holdings Report", and the convention concluded with the AFAOA Business Meeting. Some then ventured back into Colonial Williamsburg, attending the evening service at the historic Bruton Parish Church and dining at one of the historic taverns.