Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Show Your Volunteers Gratitude, Nominate Them for an FGS Award

The winter holidays are over and genealogical societies are returning to regular activities. To accomplish all that each society must do requires many dedicated volunteers. Does your group recognize those volunteers? Who are the tireless volunteers that give of their time year after year? Did one volunteer complete a spectacular project in the last year? Are you aware of an organization that does great things for its members?
Each year at the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) Conference, awards are presented to genealogical societies and individuals for outstanding or notable service to the genealogical community. This year many awards will be presented during the August 31-September 3, 2016 FGS Conference in Springfield, Illinois. These awards and others presented during the year are announced in FGS publications. It’s a great way to let a wide audience know about your organization, activities, and volunteers.

You are encouraged to nominate individuals or societies to receive these awards of recognition. You know the societies and the people who make up those organizations. You know the activities and projects that an individual or society has successfully undertaken.

A full list of award categories is on the FGS website. We encourage everyone to make a nomination. You do not need to belong to a FGS member organization in order to make a nomination. More information about the awards and a link to a submission form can be found at the FGS website. Nominations may be made at any time, but to be considered for the conference in August 2016, the nominations must be received by 15 July 2016.

These are the people, the societies, and the activities FGS desires to recognize and thank with these awards.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Registration Opens for OGS' Genealogy on the Cutting Edge Conference in Toronto

If you have roots in Canada that you've been "meaning to explore" more, then this conference is going to be on your "must-do" list. This year, FGS Member Society Ontario Genealogical Society is holding their annual conference in Toronto, June 3-5, 2016, called "Genealogy on the Cutting Edge."
The conference will offer a content-rich program packed with plenary and concurrent sessions; exciting pre-Conference tours, research trips and workshops; a 10,000 square foot Expo Hall; and, of course, plenty of opportunities to mingle with other family historians.

Some of the highlights of "Genealogy on the Cutting Edge" include:
  • Popular genealogy speakers including Judy Russell (a.k.a. The Legal Genealogist), CeCe Moore, (a.k.a., Your Genetic Genealogist), Lisa Louise Cooke (Genealogy Gems); and Dr. Maurice Gleeson (UK-based genetic genealogist). However, if you have Canadian roots, you'll want to check out their complete list of speakers to see the breadth of the expertise on their program. And speaking of the program, check it out as well to see the depth of knowledge being shared.
  • Exciting field trips: Hands-on Excursion to the Archives of Ontario; "Downton Excursion" for escorted visits to local libraries and archives for research; behind-the-laboratory doors for an exclusive guided tour of a DNA lab at The Center for Applied Genomics; and a chance to spend the day at Spadina's Museum, a.k.a., Toronto's "Downton Abbey." 

The early-bird discount deadline is March 15, but registering as soon as possible to ensure a spot in limited enrolment activities is strongly recommended. For full details about the program, speakers and schedule, as well as online registration, please visit the Conference website.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Latest FORUM Issue Out: 11 Tips to Get Organized in 2016, Delicious Deals for Your Genealogical Society, & more!

2016 marks the 40th anniversary of the Federation of Genealogical Societies and FGS is celebrating everywhere including in FORUM. Did you know that FGS held it's first annual conference in 1981, coordinated indexing the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, and spearheaded efforts to stop NARA destruction of Railroad Retirement Board pensions files? You'll find these and other accomplishments and highlights in "FGS Celebrates 40 Years."

Get organized

Start the new year with "11 Tips to Get Organized in 2016" by Janine Adams.

Add research to your conference trip
In "FGS 2016 Conference: Research Opportunities In and Around Springfield, Illinois" Thomas MacEntee highlights area archives and repositories to work into your 2016 conference travel plans.

Save money for your society
Elizabeth Swanay-O'Neal discusses "Delicious Deals for Your Genealogical Society" from techsoup.

And that's not all. Take a peek inside.

Table of Contents

3 ..... From the Editors

6 ..... President's Message: Saying Thanks by D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS

8 ..... 11 Tips to Get Organized in 2016 by Janine Adams

12 ..... FGS Celebrates 40 Years compiled by Linda McCauley

17 ..... Delicious Deals for Your Genealogical Society by Elizabeth Swanay-O'Neal

21 ..... Flickr for Societies by Denise Barrett Olson

25 ..... FGS 2016 Conference: Research Opportunities In and Around Springfield, Illinois by Thomas MacEntee

31 ..... Board Members Across the Years compiled by Linda McCauley and Loretto "Lou" Szucs

40 ..... Spotlight on Member Projects: Writing Opportunities, Transcription Projects & More by Caroline Pointer

44 ..... Ethics & Standards: The Ethics of Kindness by Judy G. Russell, JD, CGSM, CGLSM

47 ..... Next Generation Developing Your Leadership Qualities by Shannon Combs-Bennett

49 ..... Records Preservation & Access: Digitization Initiatives & More by Linda McCleary, MLS

52 ..... Reviews

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 – Latest Issue in the sidebar.) Don't forget to renew your membership in order for your society's leadership to continue to access FORUM and its archives.

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, click on Volume 27 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 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 let your society's leadership begin accessing FORUM and its 25+ year archives which is just one of the many benefits of FGS membership. Read more about how else FGS empowers Member Society Leaders to manage successful societies.

2 Million Dollar Mark Surpassed for Preserve the Pensions Project Thanks to Donors

$2 Million Dollar Mark Surpassed for Preserve the Pensions Project Thanks to Donors via

Significant Milestone Reached in Landmark Project Thanks to Donors!

The $2 million dollar mark has been surpassed in 2015 with the support of donors in the fundraising efforts to digitize the 7.2 million pension images for the 180,000 pensioners of the War of 1812 in FGS' Preserve the Pensions project.

$2 Million Dollar Mark Surpassed for Preserve the Pensions Project Thanks to Donors via

This is a landmark project. It marks the first time the genealogical community has come together to raise such a significant amount of money to preserve priceless documents. When completed, this project will save tax payers $3.45 million dollars. FGS’ previous successful efforts to index the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System with the help of volunteers produced a $6.3 million dollar tax savings. Hence, these two projects will result in nearly a $10 million dollar savings to tax payers.

"We are deeply appreciative of so many within the family history community who continue to support the Preserve the Pensions project,” says D. Joshua Taylor, FGS President. “This important milestone is the start of the 'homestretch' and is evidence of the passion and commitment amongst genealogists to preserve records for the future.”

$2 Million Dollar Mark Surpassed for Preserve the Pensions Project Thanks to Donors via

For every dollar raised, .98 cents goes directly to digitizing the documents. There are no salaries paid for this project—the project costs are primarily to print materials to publicize the project.

Additionally, in 2015 the project raised $208,401 in total cash donations. This amount, coupled with the generous match from, doubled the funds raised to $416,802 bringing the total amount raised for the project thus far to $2,032,198!

With generous donations and continued help in sharing information about the project, significant progress can be made in 2016—possibly completing the fundraising for the project. The images for pensioners with surnames beginning with the letters “A” through “M” have already been posted on the Fold3 website and will remain free forever thanks to donors!

Furthermore, due to record preparation and image capture issues at the archives, there is a delay in the publication of images on the site. It is anticipated that these issues will be resolved quickly and that image publication will resume within the next 60-90 days. There is always a publication preparation delay between record capture and publishing the images online. 

In the meantime, because of the support of donors, great fundraising progress has been made to complete the project, and further donations can be made on the War of 1812 Preserve the Pensions website.
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