Friday, January 28, 2011

FGS Luncheon at RootsTech - Saturday, February 12, 2011

For those FGS members attending the RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City February 10-12, 2011, don't forget to purchase your ticket for the FGS Luncheon on Saturday, February 12, 2011.

The speaker is FGS Curt Witcher, MLS, FUGA, IGSF who will present "High Touch and High Tech: Being a Successful 21st Century Genealogical Society." Curt is Manager for The Genealogy Center of the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, IN where he has worked for more than thirty years. He is former president of both FGS and NGS, and is the founding president of the Indiana Genealogical Society as well as the current FGS Vice President for Development.

The menu for the luncheon is BBQ beef with lemon bar; the vegan option is eggplant parmesan. Tickets are $21 and can be purchased here.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Funding - Does Your Society's Train Stop at GrantStation?

We just received notice from TechSoup that they are running a special sale on a program called GrantStation. What is GrantStation and how can it help your organization? Well if you've ever scrambled to locate grant programs, then you know how difficult it is to not just find the listings, but to respond properly with a proposal.

As described on its website, "a GrantStation membership provides access via the Internet to a comprehensive set of grant research tools that link nonprofits to current sources of grant money and teach organizations how to secure available funding. You do not need to download or install special software to use these tools."

TechSoup's sale ends today, January 26, 2011 and with it you get a $599 retail value for just $99. Click here for more information.

And, if you aren't familiar with TechSoup, read this previous FGS Voice post about how you can join and reap big savings on technology and office product purchases for your genealogical society.

Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Student Genealogy Grant

[Editor's note: a grant program has been established by Denise Levenick aimed towards young genealogists. Please circulate this information among your society members and include in any upcoming publications, if possible. The application deadline is 15 February 2011.]

The Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Student Genealogy Fund was established to honor Suzanne’s Freeman’s lifetime of service to young people and to assist young genealogists seeking to advance their genealogical education.

Suzanne Freeman was a life-long volunteer who worked with many youth organizations in the capacity of leader, organizer, and administrator. She also developed a strong interest in family history, and was delighted by the growing number of young student genealogists. She enjoyed attending the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree and at the time of her death in Tucson, Arizona August 28, 2010, was still searching for elusive Winsor cousins.

To honor her support of the SCGS Jamboree, the first Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Student Genealogy Grant will be awarded to a young genealogist attending the 2011 Jamboree. The grant includes a check for $500 toward conference expenses.

The grant application and more information is included here.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Paula Stuart-Warren Presented With UGA Fellow Award

FGS Director Paula Stuart-Warren was named a Fellow of the Utah Genealogical Association on Friday, January 14, 2011 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The award took place at the end of a week of genealogy education at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. The Fellow award is given "in recognition of living individuals whose distinguished contributions and on-going commitment to the field of genealogy are of national or international scope. This may be evidenced by any combination of publications, teaching and speaking, or leadership of major genealogical organizations over a significant period of time."

Congratulations to Paula on this well-deserved recognition from the genealogical community for her tireless efforts and work on behalf of genealogical education and the advancement of the field of genealogy.

Photo Source: UGA Names 2010 Fellow (FUGA) via Utah Genealogical Association blog

Monday, January 17, 2011

Free Virtual Presentations Roundtable Webinar

Do you want to learn more about virtual presentations – the ability to deliver your genealogy lectures over the Internet – and be able to master this new technology? Are you unable to attend RootsTech “A New Family History and Technology Conference” this coming February? Well now you can not only participate in a free webinar about virtual presentations, but also attend RootsTech virtually!

How? Well through the generous sponsorship of Legacy Family Tree Webinars, the RootsTech session Virtual Presentations Roundtable will be broadcast as a free webinar on Saturday, February 12, 2011 at 1:45 pm MST (3:45PM EST, 2:45PM CST, 12:45PM PST, 8:45PM GMT). Click here ( to register today!

Learn Virtual Presentation Concepts

What better way to learn about virtual presentations than using the actual technology behind this new way of delivering your genealogy lectures? This session will be a panel overview and discussion of virtual presentation platforms, methodologies and how genealogy speakers and genealogical societies can leverage this method of delivering content to expand their offerings to the genealogical community.

With the wider availability of high-speed Internet as well as better and more affordable web conferencing software, many genealogy speakers as well as genealogical societies are looking to virtual presentations for delivery of lectures and workshops.


The panelists for this exciting event include well-known genealogy speakers and members of GSG:
  • Thomas MacEntee (moderator) – creator of GeneaBloggers, a community resource of over 1,500 genealogy bloggers and the founder of High-Definition Genealogy specializing in market research for the genealogy industry. Thomas lectures in-person and virtually on a variety of technology/genealogy topics.
  • Lisa Louise Cooke – creator of the Genealogy Gems Podcast, genealogist and genealogy educator. Lisa delivers content through various media including webinars, videocasts and podcasts.
  • Geoff Rasmussen – of Legacy Family Tree, Geoff has recently been providing a series of genealogy webinars on various topics to the genealogy community.
  • Pat Richley-Erickson – creator of the Dear MYRTLE website and blog, genealogist and genealogy educator. Myrt has been conducting webinars in conjunction with Legacy Family Tree on various genealogy topics.
  • Maureen Taylor – better known in genealogy circles as “The Photo Detective.” A well-known author specializing in forensic genealogy and the use of photographs, Maureen has shared her expertise via webinars and online presentations.
Who Should Attend?
  • Genealogy speakers and educators looking to include virtual presentations methods in their speaking portfolio.
  • Genealogical society decision-makers responsible for providing events and education as well as hiring genealogy speakers.

Thursday, January 13, 2011 Grant Program - up to $1,000 for Society Projects

Great news! has just announced a new Grant Program which will award up to $1,000 monthly to individual and organizations (as in genealogical societies!) for projects to preserve history.  Here is the press release from the website: Announces Grant to Fund Family and Cultural History Projects

Program to Assist Groups and Individuals with Historical Preservation

PALO ALTO, CA — January 13, 2011 –, an Inflection brand, today announces its Grant Program, a major initiative to assist individuals and communities with family, communal, and cultural research and preservation projects. The Grant will help people and organizations take on historically significant projects that positively impact their family or community.

“Since inception, has sought to create a simple and affordable family history research experience for users,” said CEO Matthew Monahan. “Now we are going one step further by establishing the Grant Program so that valuable research projects do not perish due to lack of funding. We aim to level the playing field so that anyone can embark on the preservation projects that matter to them because family history shouldn’t be a hobby solely for the rich and famous.”

Grant recipients may come from all walks of life, and may be individuals or community-based organizations. Specifically, Archives is seeking any project that contributes to the promotion and advancement of family history research and preservation. Examples include projects related to document preservation, artifact restoration, record transcription, and promotion of historical events.

Grant recipients will be chosen monthly and awarded up to $1,000 to fund their project. Archives encourages every person or organization in the U.S. to apply, whether a newbie, hobbyist, expert, or community group, like a historical society, library, or archive.

“Archives is excited to continue investing in the community, as we believe there are few things more important than the exploration and preservation of our history, culture, and heritage,” said Director of Product Joe Godfrey. “Undoubtedly, the Grant Program will prove to be an important resource for a diverse group of family historians and organizations.” provides more than 2 million monthly visitors with an array of powerful tools, expert advice, and access to a database of over 1.1 billion records. If you would like to learn more about the Grant Program, please visit the application page. All are encouraged to apply and forward this important opportunity to friends, family, or colleagues.

About is a leading family history Web site that makes discovering family history simple and affordable. The company has assembled more than 1.1 billion historical records – birth, death, marriage, divorce, census, obituary, immigration, military and more – all in a single location, and makes them available at a price that’s up to 80 percent less than the leading competitor. Archives also partners with other leading family history websites to provide integrated record collections, discounted memberships, official certificates and other special promotions – providing a comprehensive resource for researching your family history. is free to try for seven days, allowing anyone to explore the benefits of membership without risk or obligation. For more information and to start discovering your family history, please visit

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Planning - IRA Charitable Rollover Extension

As mentioned today in The Weekly Genealogist (the e-newsletter of the New England Historic Genealogical Society), recent changes to the charitable giving rules for IRAs can help benefit your genealogical society.

And did you know that a donor can make an IRA Rollover gift during the month of January 2011 and still qualify for the 2010 year deadline? In addition these gifts count towards the minimum IRA distribution requirements for IRA account holders.

Any genealogical society with planned giving programs should be getting to word out to its members and potential donors about these rules changes. You can read more about the exact rules and procedures here at

Monday, January 10, 2011

Who Do You Think You Are? Season 2 - Is Your Society Ready?

[Editor's note: the following information about Season 2 of Who Do You Think You Are? was received from  There are many ways in which genealogical societies can use this event to increase membership as well as to expand services to current members.]

Beginning in February, NBC will air the second season of the hit show “Who Do You Think You Are?” During the first season, millions of viewers tuned in each week to watch celebrities uncover their family history, and the United States saw a renewed interest in genealogy not seen since the days of Roots. It’s likely that growing interest in tracing heritage will continue to increase.

“Who Do You Think You Are?” creates excitement around genealogy by showing the types of stories and discoveries people can make about their ancestors — ultimately leading viewers to begin thinking about their own family history. Since the show does not delve into the how-tos of research, newcomers are looking for guidance.

The genealogy community is uniquely positioned to be on the front lines of this growth. The new season of “Who Do You Think You Are?” offers libraries, societies and more a unique opportunity to reach out to their local community – the more people in the area who watch the show, the more potential clients a genealogist may have.

Here are several ideas to spread the word about “Who Do You Think You Are? and to leverage the show’s popularity to grow society memberships, client lists and the interest in family history in your community:

  1. Host a workshop for beginners. The show will interest people in genealogy; now experts can teach them how to find their own family stories. Last season, several genealogy societies across the country reported standing-room-only attendance at beginners’ workshops – and some classes were popular enough to merit repeat performances.
  1. Contact your local media. The show’s popularity offers you a chance to talk to local newspapers and TV stations about how people can get started and especially how professional genealogists can help. You might consider offering to research the family history of a local news anchor and offer him/her their own “Who Do You Think You Are?” mini-experience. Or if you belong to a society, you could invite media to a society event as the San Antonio Genealogical and Historical Society did last season: “Our local NBC affiliate, WOAI-TV, not only publicized our event, they filmed our Library and gave us a live interview on the 5:00 & 6:00 pm news.”
  1. Encourage clients or society members to spread the word and invite their friends. Who better to promote the TV show, your event, and your services than your clients and society members, who are already passionate about family history and already have a network of friends and family? Urge your clients or members to post links to your event and the “Who Do You Think You Are?” season 1 videos on their Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, websites or blogs.
  1. Prepare getting started materials for beginners. Create a 1-page “Getting Started in Family History” guide that you can pass out to potential clients or that beginners can pick up at your event. Also consider posting the same getting-started info on your website, blog or Facebook page.
  1. Brainstorm more ideas with your fellow genealogist friends and society members. You know your community best. So why not brainstorm with your genealogist friends on how you can increase your local community’s interest in “Who Do You Think You Are?” and best benefit from that increased interest.
All in all, “Who Do You Think You Are?” continues to present the genealogy community with a golden opportunity to revolutionize, reshape, and redefine family history as a whole. It’s an opportunity to grow and strengthen societies, to infuse our industry with younger audiences who can become the next generation of family historians, and to educate the public about what family history is and how to successfully research their heritage.

So promote your local genealogy community, bring in new members – and don’t forget to spread the word about “Who Do You Think You Are?” Fridays on NBC beginning February 4. 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Winter Issue of FGS FORUM is Available!

The Winter 2010 issue of the FGS FORUM is now available!

This issue contains great articles of interest to the whole genealogy community, including a tribute to Sandra Hargreaves Luebking who retires as the editor of FORUM after a nearly incredible 25 years and 100 issues of the magazine! Sandra is one of the most beloved leaders in our genealogical community. She is a highly respected author, editor, instructor, lecturer and researcher. She also is a warm and wonderful friend to thousands of us.

In addition, you'll find lots of great content in this issue:
  • Margaret Cheney tells the Ohio Genealogical Society's new library and how the society made the dream a reality
  • Mothers' Pension Records are explained by genealogy librarian Pam Cooper
  • Paul Milner, MDiv, BS, shares a wealth of book reviews
  • Christine Rose, CG, CGL, FASG, provides the news from Family Associations
  • Randy Seaver's "Genealogy 2.0" column discusses "The Seduced Genealogist"
  • News about the 2011 FGS Conference to be held in Springfield, Illinois, on September 7-10
Subscribers can login to access their copy of the Winter 2011 issue, and two members of each member organization can also use their society's login ID and password to access their copies.

What? You're not a subscriber yet? FGS is offering a one-year subscription to the FGS FORUM, which is produced in electronic format (PDF), for $15 and a special two-year membership deal for $25. Learn more at and download a sample issue. You can subscribe online or print and mail your check.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

RootsTech 2011 Announces Lineup of Keynote Speakers

Note: RootsTech is hosted by FGS member FamilySearch, and among its sponsors are FGS itself and FGS members NGS and NEHGS.

SALT LAKE CITY—The RootsTech 2011 Conference announced its keynote speakers today. The national speakers reflect the conference’s focus on creating a forum where genealogy technology users can discover exciting new research tools and technology creators can learn the latest development techniques from industry leaders and pioneers. The conference will be held February 10–12, 2011, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Shane Robison, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy and Technology Officer for Hewlett-Packard Company. Mr. Robison is responsible for shaping HP’s corporate strategy and technology agenda and oversees the company’s corporate marketing function. He is instrumental in steering the company’s multibillion dollar research and development investment and leads the company’s merger and acquisition activities. He also has responsibility for worldwide corporate marketing activities, including brand strategy, internal and external communications, digital strategy and, environmental sustainability, social innovation, and customer intelligence.

Brewster Kahle, Founder, The Internet Archive. A passionate advocate for public Internet access and a successful entrepreneur, Brewster Kahle has spent his career intent on a singular focus: making information free and accessible through digital means. Mr. Kahle created the Internet’s first publishing system and has helped revolutionize the electronic publishing market. Through the Internet Archive, Mr. Kahle is working to create an online catalog of every book ever created. At the same time, Mr. Kahle cofounded Alexa Internet, a service that collects data on web browsing behavior for future analysis. The services provided by Alexa Internet are used in more than 80 percent of web browsers today.

Curt Witcher, Historical Genealogy Department Manager, Allen County Public Library. Mr. Witcher’s success in community involvement, integration of technology in library science, and collaboration with various organizations has made him a highly visible individual in the genealogical community. His dynamic presentation style has made him a highly favored presenter among a wide variety of audiences. He is a member of the Genealogy Committee of the American Library Association and past president of the National Genealogical Society and of the Federation of Genealogical Societies. He is coeditor of the 1987 through 2000 editions of the Periodical Source Index and was a research consultant for both PBS Ancestors series.

Jay L. Verkler, CEO, FamilySearch International. Mr. Verkler currently serves as president and CEO of FamilySearch, sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. FamilySearch has gathered the largest collection of genealogical records in the world. Operations include worldwide image and information collection, product and tools delivery, and patron services in over 4,600 family history centers around the world. Mr. Verkler previously served in various executive positions within innovative Silicon Valley companies such as Oracle Corporation, inCommon Inc., TIBCO Software, Vitria Technology, and Mr. Verkler studied electrical engineering, computer science, and chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as well as Japanese and Asian studies at Harvard University.

About RootsTech

RootsTech is a new conference designed to bring technologists together with genealogists so they can learn from each other and find solutions to the challenges faced in family history research today. The conference’s activities and offerings are focused on content that will help genealogists and family historians discover exciting new research tools while enabling technology creators to learn the latest development techniques from industry leaders and pioneers.

Media Contact Only
Paul Nauta
RootsTech 2011 Media Relations Chair
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