Monday, January 26, 2015

FGS 2015 Conference Syllabus is Available!

The FGS 2015 conference starts February 11, but registrants can download the syllabus today. 

If you've registered for the conference through the FGS website, log in to your account on and click on the Download Syllabus button to access the syllabus.

If you added FGS through RootsTech and already created an FGS account, you can log in now to access the syllabus.

If you added FGS through RootsTech and have not yet created an FGS account, follow the instructions you will receive in the next few days to create your account. Those instructions will include a special link you must use.

The syllabus contains material for each lecture and an index to speakers, topics, and daily sessions.

Having the syllabus in advance gives you the opportunity to:
  • use it to help you decide which sessions to attend,
  • load it to your device(s) of choice to carry with you at the conference, and
  • print any copies you'll want in hand during sessions.
If you need to print syllabus pages during the conference, visit the Cyber Cafe in the Expo Hall during their open hours Thursday through Saturday.

A printed version of the syllabus is also available for purchase in advance of the conference through your FGS account. The deadline for orders is today, January 26. CD copies of the syllabus are no longer provided at registration.

The conference early registration discount price of $159 ends at midnight MST, January 26. Register now. 

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Latest Issue of FORUM Is Now Available!

Read the latest issue of FGS FORUM via
Read the latest issue of FGS FORUM.

Explore creative alternative sources for uncovering more about your World War I ancestor.

Millions of military personnel records were lost in the 1973 fire at the National Personnel Record Center in St. Louis making researching your World War I ancestors challenging, but not impossible. In "Private Nicholas J. Martin," FORUM contributor Joseph F. Martin illustrates creative alternatives you can consider when trying to uncover more information about your World War I ancestor.

Take a look at this clever tool that will help you lay out your research notes and get organized.

How do you keep all the twists and turns of your research in order? FGS Columnist Drew Smith, MLS, introduces an online tool to help you get everything in order and "mapped" out so you can view all your research notes and get organized in "Going Out of Your Mind (and Onto a Map)."

Fund your society projects with this innovative solution.

Many societies do not suffer from a lack of preservation project ideas, but from a lack of funding for those projects. In this latest issue, FORUM contributor Liz Fisher explores a possible solution for funding society projects — "Crowdfunding."

FORUM Table of Contents

3 From the Editor by Sue Zacharias

6 President's Message by D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS, FGS President

8 Crowdfunding by Liz Fisher

13 Preserving Your Online Content by Susan Zacharias

16 World War I Veteran: Private Nicholas J. Martin by Joseph F. Martin

25 Going Our of Your Mind (and On to a Map) by Drew Smith, MLS

29 Family Associations by Christine Rose, CG, CGL, FASG

31 The Guild of One-Name Studies by Marian Pierre-Louis

34 Make Your Genealogy Blog a Family Affair by Amy Coffin

38 Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC) by Linda McCleary

41 Book Reviews by Paul Milner

How to access FORUM:

Current FGS Member Societies: Sign-in now to start reading immediately or download it to read on your desktop or mobile device. (After signing in, click on FGS FORUM Archives in the sidebar, scroll down, and click on Vol.26, No.4, to read.) Don't forget to renew your membership in order to keep receiving your 2 complimentary issues of FORUM.

Current FGS FORUM subscribers (individuals): sign-in now to start reading immediately or download it to read on your desktop or mobile device. (After signing in, scroll down and click on Vol.26, No.4, to read.)

Who can subscribe to FORUM? Anyone. You don't have to be a member of a genealogical society in order to subscribe.

Not already a subscriber? You can subscribe today to the FGS FORUM and start reading immediately or download it to read on your desktop or mobile device.

Genealogical Societies: If you are not a member society of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, become one today and receive 2 complimentary subscriptions to the FORUM as just one of the many benefits to membership. Read more about what else FGS offers its member societies.

Urgent! Indiana State Library Could Lose Its Genealogy Department

The following was received from the Indiana Genealogical Society:

Have you heard the news? The Indiana State Library in Indianapolis is in danger of having its entire genealogy department eliminated. Governor Pence's proposed budget (House Bill 1001) - which is currently being considered by the Indiana legislature - calls for a 24% cut in funding for the Indiana State Library, including the elimination of the library's entire genealogy department (please read Indiana State Librarian Jacob Speer'sfull report on the proposed budget cuts).

The cut would only save $400,000, but if enacted, it would be a devastating loss, not just to Indiana residents, but to all those across the country who utilize the library in their research. Did you know that the library's statistics show that almost half of all their interactions with the public concern genealogy? And those interactions are only going to increase as 2016 - the state's bicentennial celebration - gets closer.

WHAT TO DO: The proposed budget is just that - a proposal. Legislators can change the budget and adjust funding levels before it comes to a final vote. Members of the House Ways and Means Committee - chaired by Rep. Tim Brown - are the ones to contact first. E-mail or phone are recommended, as they will make the quickest impact:
Rep. Tim Brown, Committee Chair - fill out this contact form that's already designated to go to Rep. Brown. Or you can manually e-mail him at
House Ways and Means Committee - go to their committee pageand scroll down the left side to see the list of the Majority Members. Click on one of the photos to see their contact information.
Call the switchboard - 1-800-382-9841

If you're an Indiana resident, you can also contact your specific legislators before it comes to the full General Assembly for a vote - use the handy Find Your Legislator tool.

FGS 2015: What Did You Do When You Were A Kid? or Strategies for Gathering Family Stories

Have you ever realized the stories told about all the trouble you caused as a kid may become a foundation or strategy for gathering family stories. When stories are shared there is more productive storytelling, so building the story to share is an important part of getting a story back from listeners.

This FGS conference luncheon on Friday, February 13, sponsored by the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) will be presented by J.Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA. Come prepared to hear some stories, and listen for keys to open future doors to your families stories.

"I’m not sure how I got the Hook into genealogy – cemeteries, Courthouse research or the great story," Lowe said, "but I know that all genealogists love finding great stories about their family."

J. Mark Lowe is a full-time professional researcher and educator, teaching at SLIG, IGHR, or at your local society. Mark also researches for clients including Who Do You Think You Are?, African American Lives, or the Biography Channel’s UneXplained.

Purchase a luncheon ticket by logging in to your FGS account on the conference website and selecting Add More Items. 

The BCG is an independent organization not affiliated with, or part of, any group. It is a certifying body not a membership society and a nationally and internationally recognized organization.

The BCG booth provides materials that are helpful for success in the certification process and actual portfolios for public viewing. The website contains skill-building articles, exercises, and a free download of The BCG Application Guide. BCG is the author of the book Genealogy Standards which is meant for all practitioners and not just those seeking certification.

The Board's mission is to foster public confidence in genealogy as a respected branch of history by promoting an attainable, uniform standard of competence and ethics among genealogical practitioners; and by publicly recognizing persons who meet that standard.

If you haven't registered for the conference yet, don't forget the early registration deadline has been extended to Monday, January 26.
FGS 2015 Logo
Summaries submitted by J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA, and the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG).

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