Friday, October 31, 2014

5 Reads Friday: Photo Editors, Newspaper Research, FGS New Hangout On Air, & More

5 Reads Friday from
5 Reads Friday from

Here is a quick round up of genealogy news that has been trending this week on social media — a little bit of this, a little bit of that, some FGS, some family history, some technology, etc. Get in the know for the weekend with these 5 Reads from FGS:

Conducting Genealogical Research Using Newspapers from the New York Public Library — They did a thorough job with this topic and also give a great outline for research that can be used not just at NYPL, but anywhere with offline and online newspaper collections and indexes — public libraries, university libraries, private libraries, archives, historical societies, and (of course) genealogical societies (cough, cough).

National Archives Piece Together the Records of 140,000 First World War Officers by — This is an incredible digitization and cataloging project the National Archives in the UK has done. Not only that but they have an online guide to help you search the collection, and take a look at their lovely online platform, First World War.

10 Free Photo Editor Tools To Make the Most of Your Shots from — Nowadays, what genealogist, family historian, or genealogical society (or anyone for that matter) is not having to deal with editing images? 

23 Free Non-profit Webinars for November 2014 from Wild Apricot — Societies, this is a great opportunity coming in November to take a look at some solutions to help you out with your society and its mission, projects, volunteers, and more.

FGS Google+ Hangout on Air, Connect with FGS — The new monthly hangout on air starts November 6th at 9PM ET hosted by Linda McCauley and myself. Special guests this episode include Cyndi Ingle (Cyndi's List), J. Mark Lowe, and Paula Stewart-Warren. Linda and I are pretty excited about it, but I think we underestimated just how excited YOU would be about it. (Who knew this news would trend?) We will see you live next week on our YouTube channel. Or since it will be recorded you can watch it later on the FGS YouTube channel.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

FGS 2015: October FGS Ambassadors Summary

FGS 2015 Ambassador logo
Three weeks ago FGS Ambassadors were asked to tell us and their readers what they think of when they hear the FGS 2015 conference theme "Connect.Explore.Refresh." We've compiled a list of their responses along with their other posts about the conference below and also added three more Ambassadors to the team.

Each month we'll select one post to feature here on the FGS Voice. This month's feature is from Linda Stufflebean at Empty Branches on the Family Tree

Republished with permission of the author:
FGS 2015 – February 11–14 in Salt Lake City
I am looking forward to attending the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference February 11-14 in Salt Lake City. It so happens that several of my recent blog posts focused on often overlooked resources and one of them was the treasure trove to be found through genealogical societies. Through the years, these societies have nurtured those newly interested in family history and enabled them to grow into seasoned researchers. Societies have also amassed huge amounts of localized genealogical information through the volunteer efforts of their members. Today, they continue to  promote education and camaraderie among family researchers and to help communities preserve their histories.
The memberships I held in genealogy societies during my first years of research were invaluable. I learned so much and always left meetings chomping at the bit, wanting  to follow up on new ideas. Fast forward 35 years – They have continued to teach and motivate me as my areas of interest grew and expanded. FGS 2015 is an opportunity to connect with new genealogy friends affiliated with societies from around the country and even worldwide. There is literally a society out there for just about any genealogical focus you might have.
There is a brand new aspect to the 2015 FGS conference, which I think is fabulous. FGS is partnering with RootsTech to share space, speakers and activities at the Salt Palace Convention Center. However, each organization will also host independent sessions and activities.  For only $39, I upgraded my registration to full access to sessions with both organizations. I couldn’t pass up the chance to explore double the number of sessions  without having to attend two separate events in two different locations at twice the price. What a cost savings and great value for keeping my genealogical skills current with the times.
Last, but certainly not least, every genealogist who visits Salt Lake City always wishes for time in the FamilySearch Library. After taking in all the new information gleaned in the conference sessions, I plan to refresh my family research focus with a visit to the library, which is just a short walk from the Salt Palace. (My “please, let me find them” list is already growing.)
Connect.Explore.Refresh - I can’t wait for February to get here! If you can attend just one genealogical event this year, this conference is a great choice.
New Ambassadors:
Three more folks have joined the FGS Ambassadors since the original list was published October 9. Welcome Laurie, Tiffiny, and Richard.

Tiffiny Neal: RootStories@rootsgenie, Google+Facebook

October FGS Ambassador Blog Posts:
Carolina Girl Genealogy: Come Connect.Explore.Refresh~FGS 2015
Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter: FGS 2015 and RootsTech 2015 Together: How Will That Work?
Empty Branches on the Family Tree: FGS 2015 – February 11-14 in Salt Lake City
In Search of ...?: FGS 2015 Conference
Julie's Genealogy & History Hub: Connect.Explore.Refresh #FGS2015
Paula's Genealogical Eclectica: FGS Conference 2015: Connect. Explore. Refresh,
Rings of My Family Tree: Utah Calling

It's not too late to add your name to the list. Visit the FGS Ambassadors Guidelines page on the conference website to register.

Don't forget to register for FGS 2015

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

FGS 2015: A. J. Jacobs Friday Keynote Speaker

A. J. Jacobs
The host of the world’s largest family reunion is coming to FGS and RootsTech 2015. A. J. Jacobs is out to show how we are all related to each other as part of one large family.

Jacobs is an author, lecturer, and the force behind the Global Family Reunion, an event scheduled for June 6, 2015 to show how we are all part of one big family and raise funds for Alzhemier's research.

FGS has joined the Global Family Reunion to facilitate the organization of branch parties at genealogical societies across the United States and around the world to bring the live-streamed event to the branch parties. Learn more about how FGS is involved with this event in FGS Marshals Its Hundreds of Member Societies to Help Global Family Reunion Fight Alzheimer's.

Regarding his appearance at the conference, Jacobs said, "I look forward to talking about how the Global Family Reunion and the Federation of Genealogical Societies can entice more of our 7 billion cousins to jump into the wonderful world of genealogy." Jacobs added, “I’m a relative newcomer to genealogy, but I am thoroughly addicted to it. It’s my favorite way to learn about history – and it’s the ultimate social network.” 

“We’re not alone,” Jacobs has learned. “We’re connected to people all over the world.” 

Jacobs will be one of the keynote speakers Friday, February 13. Register today for FGS 2015.  

Genealogical Societies: Interested in organizing a Global Family Reunion branch party to live-stream that event June 6, 2015 and take part in connecting the world to fight Alzheimer's? Contact Randy Whited at

FGS and Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Announce FGS 2017 National Conference

FGS 2017 To Be Held Aug 30—Sep 2 in Pittsburgh, PA with Local Co-host Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society
FGS 2017 National Conference To Be Held in Pittsburgh, PA.
FGS 2017 To Be Held Aug 30—Sep 2 in Pittsburgh, PA with Local Co-host Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and local co-host Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society (WPGS) have announced the FGS 2017 National Conference will be held August 30—September 2 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

“We couldn’t be happier to be visiting Pittsburgh for the 2017 FGS Conference,” says FGS President D. Joshua Taylor. “The city’s unique history and rich genealogical resources promise to deliver a memorable and enjoyable experience to the FGS Community.”

Pittsburgh will provide a wonderful historical backdrop for this four day genealogy event which includes three days of family history sessions for all skill levels, one full day dedicated to genealogy society management, the popular Society Showcase, and a full exhibit hall.

The Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society is excited to be the local co-host for the 2017 FGS Conference to be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,” says WPGS President Debbie Kapp. “Our region is rich with genealogical information and this conference will be a remarkable opportunity for genealogical societies. Leaders and volunteers will find plenty of practical knowledge and inspiration for reaching out to their members. Individual researchers can connect with fellow genealogists while learning from top-notch teachers. We can't wait to showcase our city and extend hospitality to genealogists from across the U.S. and beyond.”

This announcement rounds out the upcoming FGS conferences through 2018 which include:

·       FGS 2015 National Conference in Salt Lake City, UT
·       FGS 2015 Alaska Cruise
·       FGS 2015 Regional Conference in conjunction with the New York Family History Conference in Syracuse, NY
·       FGS 2016 National Conference 40th Anniversary in Springfield, IL
·       FGS 2018 National Conference in Ft. Wayne, IN

Currently, registration is open for the FGS 2015 National Conference “Connect.Explore.Refresh,” to be held concurrently with Rootstech February 11-14, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Register at FGS is also booking cabins at for its upcoming Alaska Cruise scheduled to set sail August 28, 2015

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The FamilySearch Research Wiki and Your Genealogy Society

The FamilySearch Research Wiki and Your Genealogy Society via #genealogy #familytree
FamilySearch Research Wiki

This is the last week of Family History Month, so we thought we'd tell you about a valuable tool that not only can be used for your personal research, but also for your society to use. Lise Embley of FamilySearch covers how the FamilySearch Research Wiki works and how it can be used to benefit your genealogy society and its members.

Learn the finer points of what a wiki is, how it works, and how everyone can get involved and help to make the FamilySearch Research Wiki an even more powerful research tool than it already is!

In case you're wondering, here's the FGS wiki page.

Listen to the archived broadcast of "The FamilySearch Research Wiki and Your GenealogySociety" on the blogtalkradio My Society channel by FGS, or you can listen below:

Check Out History Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with mysociety on BlogTalkRadio

Monday, October 27, 2014

FGS Launching Monthly Hangout on Air

Connect with FGS debuts November 6 at 9:00 p.m. EST.

FGS is starting a monthly Google+ Hangout on Air! Connect with FGS will be a 30 minute show broadcast on the first Thursday of the month. The HOAs between now and February will focus on the FGS 2015 conference scheduled for February 11–14 in Salt Lake City, but other FGS news and events will also be discussed.

Co-hosted by FGS Marketing Chair Caroline Pointer and FGS 2015 Conference Marketing Chair Linda McCauley, the format will be a casual interview with different guests each month. Guests will include members of the conference committee, folks planning to attend, and some of your favorite speakers.
Connect with FGS 11/6/2014

Special guests on November 6 will be Cyndi Ingle, J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA, and Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA. All three are speaking at FGS 2015 plus they are long-time supporters of FGS. Join us to hear what they're presenting, their insight on why you should attend, and much more.

How to watch:
You can watch Connect with FGS live from the FGS YouTube Channel or from the FGS Google+ Event.

Can't watch live? That's no problem. Each episode will be recorded and available anytime you want to watch on the FGS YouTube Channel. You'll also find it embedded here on the FGS Voice Blog the day after the broadcast.

Mark these dates on your calendar and join us each month between now and FGS 2015 for Connect with FGS.
  • Thursday, November 6
  • Thursday, December 4
  • Friday, January 2 (moved to Friday because of holiday)
  • Thursday, February 5
And don't forget to register for FGS 2015
FGS 2015 Logo

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Societies: Preserving Your Genealogy Society

Family History Month has really uncovered just how many great things are happening in the genealogical community. Which means there’s lots for FGS Member Societies, and even those that aren’t members yet (cough, cough), of which to be proud.

As Family History Month is winding down, I’d like to take a moment to talk about preservation: the preservation and long-term health of your society. One of the more challenging aspects of running a genealogical society is acknowledging it takes a village. There are quite a few groups that are run by tightly-knit nuclear groups of individuals who want to run things in ways that make them comfortable. The challenge with that is that a society cannot be run, long-term, by just one person or even several people. It takes a changing and growing team of individuals, with diverse skills, to form an effective and resilient society.

As an archivist, I’ve seen a number of collections of now-defunct historical societies. There’s nothing sadder than knowing that a group of people came together to collect and preserve their history, only to have it all come apart because they didn’t plan for the long-term operation of their group. And I’ve seen, and heard, lots of stories of genealogy societies that fall in this rut. Even some larger Societies still have the same people at the helm as they did 10, 15, or even 20 years ago. But what’s going to happen when those people are no longer around?

Remnants of Elburn Historical Society before archival processing
(c) 2010 Laura Cosgrove Lorenzana
If your Society has enough members and is a vital part of your larger community, congratulations. But, if you are seeing dwindling membership and are finding it difficult to get people to your events, as challenging as it may be, it may well be an issue of not being willing to take a little short-term pain for the longer-term gain. Please know that FGS is here to help you preserve the thing that you’ve worked so hard to build. There are tools and resources available to help you create a long-term plan for your society, while working in the present to engage new members. Let’s use Family History Month 2014 as a springboard for a great new year of genealogy, family history, the history of our communities, and for the human family we’re all a part of. I hope to see you all here again next year for Family History Month, 2015.

Oh, and if you want to get a giant leap ahead to start 2015 off right, don’t forget to register for FGS2015 in Salt Lake City!­ Take a look at all the helpful Societies Day presentations designed specifically to help societies strengthen and grow for the long term.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Family History Month: Isn't It Every Month?

Family History Month is not over just yet; there’s still a week to go and some great things going on. If you’ve been hesitant to get involved with a local genealogical society, now’s your chance to dip your toe in the water!

I thought I’d take a moment to let you know what it’s been like being a member of a local genealogical society. I’ve been a member of a number of regional and state genealogical societies in the locations where my roots are: Ohio, NEHGS, Southern California, and St. Louis. There are others too, but my budget is tight so I have to be selective and choose those that provide the most resources to those of us researching from afar.

I hesitated for a long time, however, to be a part of a local Genealogical Society mainly because I don’t have local roots and didn’t believe I had the time to invest in participating as a member. But, as I heard more and more stories about societies folding and their resources and materials being scattered among other groups or, in an extreme case, lost forever, I decided I had to take a position of leading by example.

I live in an area (the western suburbs of Chicago) where we have lots of genealogical societies. I was fortunate to find the group that I believed I could gain the most from and to whom I could give the most in return: the Fox Valley Genealogical Society. At the first meeting I attended, in which Paul Milner was speaking about Irish roots, they asked for volunteers for their free monthly research days at a local library. What possessed me to raise my hand is beyond me, but nearly two years later, I still look forward to the second Tuesday in the month. I’ve met some wonderful family historians working on genealogy problems small and large, local and international. 

Courtesy Laura Cosgrove Lorenzana
I’ve gained so much from helping others work through their genealogical challenges, and find that I look at my own research differently. Had I not gone to that meeting, I wouldn’t have the benefit of looking at genealogical problems from a different perspective. Plus, I’ve met some really great people.

Genealogical and historical Societies have the goal of preserving family and cultural history. These two things go hand-in-hand, but can’t be accomplished without a wide variety of people with an even wider variety of skills. Please think about sharing your knowledge with a local society. ­

Thursday, October 23, 2014

FGS 2014 Election Results

FGS 2014 Election Results via #genealogy #gensocs
FGS 2014 Election Results
D. Joshua Taylor Re-Elected President; New Board Members and Directors Include Melissa Tennant, Linda McCauley, and David E. Rencher

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announced today the results of its recent election for FGS board members and directors. The election was conducted online September 1 – 30, 2014, with all FGS delegates eligible to vote. Office terms for those elected will begin on January 1, 2015.

With the recent election results, re-elected FGS President D. Joshua Taylor states, "I am honored to serve with such a dedicated board, and look forward to working with those elected to the Board of Directors and Executive Committee over the next two years.”

Re-Elected FGS Board Members

The following directors were re-elected to their positions:

·       Polly Fitzgerald Kimmitt, CGSM (Massachusetts) — Director
·       Randy W. Whited (Texas) — Director

New FGS Board Members

The following board members and directors were newly elected to their positions:

·       Melissa Tennant (Indiana) — Vice President of Administration
·       Linda McCauley* (Kentucky) — Secretary
·       David E. Rencher, AG, CGSM, FIGRS, FUGA (Utah) — Director
·       Cherie Bush (Utah) — Director

*McCauley was first appointed to the FGS board as a Director in early 2014 to fill a vacant position and elected Secretary in this recent election.

Certified Genealogist and CG are proprietary service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists® used by the Board to identify its program of genealogical competency evaluation and used under license by the Board’s associates.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Donny Osmond Joins FGS and RootsTech 2015

Donny Osmond - FGS/RootsTech 2015 General Session SpeakerSaturday, February 14, 2015
General Session

One of the biggest names from one of the most famous families will be part of one of the largest family history conference in the world. Donny Osmond will be joining FGS and RootsTech 2015 to inspire and entertain the thousands of conference attendees.

Donny has been singing and entertaining audiences for 50 years. He has starred on Broadway and in Las Vegas. He has sold millions of records. He has hosted a variety of TV shows. Now, he says, he’s anxious to share stories (and maybe a song) in a completely different venue. “I’m already looking forward to this exciting event,” Donny said. “Family and family stories are obviously very important to me. This is a chance to connect to something that is part of who I am.”

Donny will be releasing his 60th album just days before the conference. The album, “The Soundtrack of My Life” tells the story of his remarkable life. 

Most people associate Donny with a large family, but they might not realize the Osmonds are avid family historians. They have tracked down and visited cousins and relatives overseas. They support family research on ancestors in multiple countries. The Osmond Family Organization even maintains and updates its own genealogical database and website.

Donny will kick off the final day of FGS and RootsTech 2015. To reserve your ticket to see Donny Osmond register today for FGS 2015.

FGS 2015 is scheduled for February 11–14 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. 
FGS2015 Logo

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Records Preservation and Access Committee and Your Genealogy Society

October is National Family History Month and National Archives Month. In the spirit of giving both equal attention, let's talk about the Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC).

RPAC's mission is to advise the genealogical community on ways to support "strong records preservation policies and practices" [archives] and ensure "proper access to historical records of genealogical value" [family history].

Teri Flack, Chair of FGS member society Texas State Genealogical Society's RPAC and the state liaison to the national RPAC, discusses the work that RPAC does, and how you and your society can help RPAC's mission on local, regional, and national levels.

If you're interested in getting involved individually or as a society, check out the downloadable publications for more information on ways to help. There are still many states that do not have liaisons, and it's a safe bet that existing state liaisons could use an extra hand or two.

Listen to the archived broadcast of "Records Preservation and Access Committee" on the blogtalkradio My Society channel by FGS, or you can listen below:

Check Out History Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with mysociety on BlogTalkRadio

Monday, October 20, 2014

Calling for FGS 2015 Conference Volunteers

Are you planning to attend the 2015 Conference February 11–14 in Salt Lake City, Utah? Have you thought about volunteering to help

Volunteer at FGS 2015A conference can't run without volunteers. All those things we take for granted — from registration, to help finding a seat in a crowded session, to answers for all our logistical questions — happen because of volunteers.

For the 2015 conference, FGS needs volunteers for registration, hospitality/information desk, and monitors for session rooms, luncheons, and a social event.

Volunteering can save you money. FGS will refund volunteers a portion of their registration fee after the conference. To be eligible for a refund you must register for the full conference prior to January 23, 2015. The percentage of refund depends on the number of hours worked: 8 hours = 20%, 12 hours = 40%, and 16 hours = 65%.

For more information see the Call for FGS 2015 Conference Volunteers  and complete the Volunteer Form.

Need more incentive? Read what a couple of former volunteers have to say about their experience. 

Roberta Martin, a volunteer at past FGS conferences: "Volunteering at an FGS conference is a great way to get to meet people! My first two conferences I did not know anyone. Working as a volunteer gave me three things: an easy way to meet and interact with a lot of like-minded people, a sense of purpose, and a great way to give back. Try it, you'll like it!"

Marilyn Talbot, a volunteer at FGS 2014: "I enjoyed my first experience volunteering at FGS in San Antonio. I was a bit worried at first, but it was great fun. I helped with registration and hospitality, and would not hesitate to do it again. You meet so many interesting people."

Register and volunteer for FGS 2015 today.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Societies: Here's a Great Program Idea

Briscoe Center for American History (Credit: Caroline M. Pointer)
While compiling information on what's happening this month, I was struck by two things: 1) American Archives Month was set up to teach the public about the importance of maintaining historical records and 2) Many of the announcements regarding Family History Month events are posted online only a day before or, in many cases, the same day as the event.

The reason I mention the purpose of American Archives Month, is that it clearly shows the communication disconnect between the resource repositories we use as researchers and us. You don't have to go very far to find a campaign that shows just how generous family historians and genealogists are when they are called to preserve history: The Preserve the Pensions campaign exploded during what was to be a simple event at FGS2014 and turned into an enormous, and dare I say incredibly entertaining, success. Just read what Judy G. Russell, The Legal Genealogist, said about her experience; you can't help but smile about the effort and the outcome. While money is very important, there are so very many aspects that play into the success of a repository.

The professional archives world is working to educate us and there's plenty of education to have. There are lots of Archives that run programs for the public to help us understand what it takes to be the stewards of the materials we use. The communication disconnect happens when we don't take advantage of those programs and the repositories, or those who oversee the repositories, believe that there's no interest in the educational process or the materials.

The irony in this situation is that many genealogy societies struggle to get people to attend their meetings and/or educational sessions. It's a battle between getting people to join the Society, getting them to invest their time in being active members and finding ways to keep the members you have engaged, right?

Why not kill two birds with one stone? Contact a local repository and ask about bringing your group to see the collection that they have. This provides the opportunity for the local repository to do something they want to do (educate the public), allows your Society to do something you want to do (engage your members) and does something that many researchers would like to do (see an archives and understand what value it has for them and their research). Additionally, you could ask the archivist at the repository if they would be willing to come to your meeting to present to your group. Both of these options help to open the communication between those who care for the primary materials we need and us.

Family History Month continues with lots of programs going on across the United States. But, those programs may not have the attendance you'd like if the notices aren't posted with enough advance notice for people to get there. Why not try posting your event, with appropriate permissions of course, to local Facebook and Google+ groups? If you are a FGS Member Society, enter your event on our Upcoming Event Calendar. Announce them on Twitter with the hashtag for your location, or out on listservs for other groups, like history, historic preservation, etc. Don't forget the home schooling groups; they're a great way to get the next generation interested in joining your society!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Home is Where Family Begins

Where did your ancestors live? Not just geographically, but literally? Do you know?

While looking for interesting events happening during Family History Month, I came across the website of The National Register of Historic Places.  They're celebrating Family History Month by sharing resources that can help you uncover where your ancestors may have lived; highlighting buildings on the Register and sharing resources for putting a location on the Register.

(c) 2011 Laura C. Lorenzana
Wouldn't this be a great way to honor your ancestors? As your research for who your ancestors are progresses, often times locating land and tax records becomes a focus to ensure you've done your reasonably exhaustive search. This site has lots of great resources to help you move your research to the next level. You might even find that home your great grandparents lived in!

(c) 2011 Laura C. Lorenzana

Remember, also, genealogical societies have many of the same type of resources that can help you ramp up your research. The value in joining a society comes in the information that they have; the collective knowledge acquired from years of research. Tap into that knowledge base by exploring a local society today to see what they have to offer.

Friday, October 17, 2014

FGS Marshals Its Hundreds of Member Societies to Help Global Family Reunion Fight Alzheimer's

The Federation of Genealogical Societies and the Global Family Reunion Join Forces for the Largest Family Reunion in History

FGS and the Global Family Reunion Join Forces for the Largest Family Reunion in History via
As genealogists and family historians, visiting and interviewing family members is one of the first steps we do when we begin to discover our family history. In fact, capturing our families' stories is an integral part of the research process. For many, it can even be the paramount reason for beginning the search in the first place.

Many times, family historians are left to lament the fact they didn't start sooner...didn't capture those stories...didn't ask...didn't try to find answers and stories...until it was too late.

Moreover, it can be absolutely devastating when the reason we cannot learn the family stories from those who came before us is because of a disease like Alzheimer's, which robs people of their minds...their stories...their self-identity...their lives.

And best-selling author and three-time TED talk speaker A.J. Jacobs along with, well, the world is planning the Global Family Reunion to show how everyone is connected and to show how finding how everyone is connected can be a powerful thing. Powerful enough to fight Alzheimer's.

Because of the amazing advances in technology, the Internet, genealogy, and DNA research, we can find out how we are all connected to each other. According to Jacobs in his most recent TED talk, finding how we are related gives us, " unprecedented history of the human race..." and a sense of "interconnectedness." Watch his less than 10 minutes inspiring TED talk below:

The plans for the Global Family Reunion on June 6, 2015 in New York are well under way to include presentations by celebrities, genealogists, and famous scientists, music, comedy, games, interactive exhibits, and food. (You can't really have a family reunion without the food, right?)

Plus, FGS is joining forces with Global Family Reunion to facilitate the organization of branch parties at genealogical societies across the United States and around the world to bring the live-streamed event to the branch parties. It will be a global event of epic proportions.

But there's just one essential element missing. And that's you. Using the tools available on the Global Family Reunion website, find out today how you are connected to the rest of the world, and then share it with everyone...your whole family! How are you connected? How are you a cousin?

Because, after all, we are cousins in this one big Human Family coming together for our family reunion in order to fight Alzheimer's. Together, we can save our family members...and our family stories.

Genealogical Societies: Interested in organizing a Global Family Reunion branch party to live-stream this epic event and take part in connecting the world to fight Alzheimer's? Contact Randy Whited at

Media: For a full press release with more information, please visit our Media Center. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

FGS 2015 Program Spotlight: Origins and Migration

Friday, February 13, 2015

Many of our ancestors arrived on the shores of this country from other places. Some of those ancestors or their descendants eventually headed west. These FGS 2015 tracks cover several countries of origin and that westward migration.

Wagon Trains, Railroads, Migration & Modern Transportation
  • NARA, BLM, and the Library of Congress have federal records that present a picture of development, traffic, and travel on rivers and canals leading to Western settlement. Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL, will discuss them in Federal Records Relating to Rivers and Canals.
  • Whether it was a river or canal, families used waterways for their livelihood and transportation. Join Patricia Walls Stamm, CG, CGL, for Our River Ancestors and the Records They Left Behind
  • Learn methods to determine which railroad employed Great-Grandpa, where it was located, what the various records contain, and where records might be found. Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA, covers all that in Railroads Beyond the Mississippi: History and Records
  • Not only did the 1920s-30s contain the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, but the records of this time show the massive migration from the south and the East to the new Paradise. J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA, will explain Finding the Migration Record and Stories of the Dust Bowl Disaster and Western Movement
  • How can we further our German research from the comfort of our American homes? Michael Lacopo will discuss the many English and German-language websites available that may have the answers you seek in German Genealogy on the Internet: Beyond the Basics
  • Before you flyaway to your ancestor's country of origin, you need to do your homework. Donna Moughty explains how effective search begins at home in Jumping the Pond: Finding the Origins of Your Immigrant Ancestor.
  • Learn about common record types that can be used to trace the origins of a Hispanic ancestor who immigrated to the United States from Deborah Grutler, AG, in Crossing Fronteras: Immigration Sources for Hispanic Ancestors. 
  • Civil registration and church registers aren't the only records providing birth, marriage and death information. Audrey Collins covers alternative sources in Lesser-Known Sources for Births, Marriages & Deaths in the British Isles
Check out the full program for FGS 2015 scheduled for February 11–14, 2015, in Salt Lake City, Utah and register today

FGS 2015 Logo

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Promoting Genealogy to a Larger Audience

Promoting Genealogy to a Larger Audience via #genealogy #FamilyHistoryMonth #familyhistory #gensocs
Promoting Genealogy to a Larger Audience
October is Family History Month in the United States.  Are you looking for ways to celebrate this month?

FGS Radio - My Society guest Angie Rodesky talks about her appearance on How the States Got Their Shapes and discusses some of the ways she has been promoting genealogical research to others.

From educational opportunities for children and adults to television shows and church programs, learn how you can effectively get others involved in researching their own family history.  You never know when you might find a long-lost cousin!

You can find even more resources in our Reach Out Series, created to help member societies to engage with the community at large.

Listen to the archived broadcast of "Promoting Genealogy to a Larger Audience" on the blogtalkradio My Society channel by FGS, or you can listen below:

Check Out History Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with mysociety on BlogTalkRadio

Monday, October 13, 2014

FGS 2015 Librarians' Day: Doing More Than Bricks and Mortar

FGS and ProQuest invite librarians, archivists, other information professionals, and board members serving the genealogical community to attend Librarians' Day.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015, 9:00am – 4:30pm
The Joseph Smith Memorial Building
Empire Room (lobby level)
15 E South Temple Salt Lake City, Utah

Sponsored by ProQuest, the 2015 Librarians' Day theme is Doing More Than Bricks & Mortar. Four speakers will present their unique perspectives on offering genealogical collections, services, and experiences:

Curt Witcher, MLS, FUGA, IGSF
Senior Manager for Special Collections at the Allen County Public Library (IN)
Buildings, Books, Bodies, and Bytes – The Best of Times for Genealogy Librarians

Audrey Collins
Family History Specialist at The National Archives (UK)
The National Archives (UK) – From Online Records to Onsite Visits

Becky Hill, MLS
Head Librarian at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center (OH)
Genealogy Tourism – The Library is the Heart of It All

Barbara Becker Meehan, MLS
Project Manager for Tulsa City-County Library's Chief Financial Officer (OK)
An Oklahoma Hello, Tourism – Welcoming Visitors to the Genealogy Library (The Reality)

William J. Forsyth, ProQuest Director of Product Management says:
 "The FGS Librarians’ Day is a tremendous opportunity to learn from leading librarians, archivists and other professionals who serve genealogists on a daily basis," says   "It’s also an exceptional chance to network with colleagues from across the country, many of whom have the same challenges you do with genealogy collection development, patron interviews, staff and volunteer training, and more.  It will be a stimulating day of real-world instruction, with a healthy dose of humor and camaraderie!"

Registration for Librarians' Day is $10 and includes lunch. Seating is limited. Parking validation will be available.

Read what respected members of the library and genealogical communities have to say about this event. 
  • James Jeffery, Denver Public Library Genealogy Specialist: "Librarians' Day is for practitioners of the fine art of librarianship within the genealogy community. Hear leaders in your field talk the talk of building and marketing their collections to a wider audience. Gain insight into the skills necessary that will encourage your narrative to take flight."
  • J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA: "Librarians' Day gives all informational-sharing friends of genealogical researchers a chance to share experiences, while learning from a few key players in our community who give us inspirational ideas, changing technological views, and practical approaches to each day."
  • Kim Harrison, Senior Account Executive, "I have attended Librarians' Day for the past 10-plus years at NGS, FGS, and American Librarians' Day, and the best reasons I can give for attending these events are the networking and the knowledge shared by the speakers are priceless."

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Societies: Taking Action for Collaboration

Last week, I wrote about the fact that Family History Month is also American Archives Month and, how through the process of stepping out of our comfort zones, Societies can begin to collaborate with those who care for the records the members of our Societies need to fulfill their research needs.

Also, last week, the results of an important preservation survey were published with the help of the Institute of Museum and Library Services which show the critical need for support to small repositories and institutions which care for primary materials. Remember, primary materials are those one-of-a-kind, unique records that don’t exist anywhere else. Please take a few moments to look through this report, as it directly speaks to those records which all of us, at one time or another as genealogists, will need to tell our ancestors' stories. And preservation, whose main purpose is to protect the information that materials hold, is not being adequately funded at many repositories.

(c) 2012 Laura Cosgrove Lorenzana 

Why would this be important to Genealogy Societies? Because this is the other side of the collaboration equation: the ability to understand the needs of those we rely on in order to serve our own needs. By reaching out to local repositories and letting them know that our members care about the records that they maintain and that they want to stay in touch with the stewards of those materials to ensure that the materials are not at risk. And, even more importantly, for us to have the ability to take action when the records are at risk because of the communication between the groups.

Genealogy Societies have the ability to educate their members about the importance of Archives and the materials they hold. Conversely, repositories can help support local genealogy societies by providing information about what societies can do to support researchers. It’s a win-win. But, it does take stepping out of that comfort zone and calling your members to action. This is the perfect month to start down that path.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

A Call to Action for Family History Month

We’re a week into Family History/American Archives Month and I thought it would be a good idea to share the extraordinary story of how Family History Month came into existence. Or, rather, how a single event nearly prevented it from coming into existence.

Senate Resolution 160 has in its beginning, “…within our Nation's libraries and archives lie the  treasured records that detail the history of our Nation, our  States, our communities, and our citizens…”, includes, “…interest in our personal family history transcends all cultural and religious affiliations…” and ends with,  “…the involvement of National, State, and local officials in promoting genealogy and in facilitating access to family history records in archives and libraries are important factors in the successful perception of nationwide camaraderie, support, and participation…”

I don’t know about you, but I had NO idea how moving this Resolution is. But, there is something far more interesting about when this Resolution passed in the Senate. Look closely at the transcript of the day the Resolution was passed:

Senate Resolution 160

That’s right. Our Senators set aside time on one of the most important days in this Nation’s history — September 12, 2001 — to ensure that our personal histories would be saved. That’s quite a feat. And, as a Citizen, I feel even more strongly that it’s our responsibility to do whatever we can to preserve the materials in which we find the stories of our ancestors, and tell those stories. Again, get the help and support you will need by joining a local genealogical society. ­­Or two. Because we live in this great Nation and we have the freedom to do that.

Visit Society Hall today.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Announcing FGS Ambassadors

FGS 2015 Ambassador LogoFGS is pleased to welcome a wonderful group of bloggers and social media enthusiasts as FGS Ambassadors. These folks will be talking about the FGS 2015 conference scheduled for February 11–14, in Salt Lake City along with all the other content they share. Check out their blogs and other social media accounts to find out what they have to say.

Follow the FGS Ambassador Twitter List. Don't forget to follow FGS on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Pinterest.

If you aren't on this list, it's not too late to join. Register anytime.

Ancestry Insider: The Ancestry Insider@AncestryInsider, Facebook
Jen Baldwin: Ancestral Breezes@ancestryjourneyGoogle+Facebook
Claire Brisson Banks: Budding Genealogists@timelessgen 

Sandra Benward: In Search of . . . ? 
Diane Boumenot: One Rhode Island Family@onerifamily
Carolyn M. Caflisch: @carolyncaf
Rorey Cathcart: The Who Hunter: On the Hunt@RoreyCathcart
Lisa-Dawn Crawley: LDC: The Zombie Genealogist@elle_dee_seeGoogle+Facebook 

Amy Johnson Crow: No Story Too Small@amycrow
Dick Eastman: Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter@dickeastmanGoogle+Facebook
Emily Garber: (going) The Extra Yad
Linda Geiger: Musings By Linda: Anamnesis@lwgeiger
Michelle Goodrum: The Turning of Generations@MichelleGoodrumGoogle+
Julie Goucher: Anglers Rest@juliegoucherGoogle+Facebook 
Caitlin Gow: Genealogicaly Speaking@caitieamandaGoogle+Facebook
J. Paul Hawthorne: @jphawthorneGoogle+Facebook
Kathryn Lake Hogan: Looking4Ancestors@look4ancestorsGoogle+Facebook
Anita Hopkins: [no public social media accounts]
Valerie Hughes: Genealogy with Valerie@VHughesAuthorFacebook
Debbie Hutchison: AncesTrees
Cyndi Ingle: Cyndi's List Blog@CyndisListGoogle+Facebook

Joshua: Genealogy Tracker@GenealogyTrackrFacebook
Tonia Kendrick: Tonia's Roots@toniasroots, Google+
Dawn Kogutkiewicz: Dawning GenealogyGoogle+Facebook
Valerie Eichler Lair: @ValsRoots
Eowyn Langholff: WikiChicks@WikiChicksGNN
Nancy Lauer: [no public social media accounts]
Peggy Clemens Lauritzen: Always Anxiously Engaged@MissPeggy55Google+Facebook
Carolyn B. Leonard: Writing is easy . . .@writerpal 
Sir Leprechaunrabbit: Your Roots Are Showing Dearie@leprchaunrabbit
True A. Lewis: My True Roots@MyTrueRootsGoogle+
Chuck Livermore: Littleton Books Blog@LittletonBooks
Laura Cosgrove Lorenzana: The Last Leaf on this Branch@ArchivalBizGoogle+Facebook
Larry W. Luckett: Facebook
Annette Lyttle: Heritage Detective@HeritageDetectFacebook
Thomas MacEntee: GeneaBloggers@geneabloggersFacebook
Kenneth R. Marks: The Ancestor Hunt@marksology
Wendy Mathias: Jollett Etc.@WendymathFacebook
Linda McCauley: Documenting the Details@lfmccauleyGoogle+Facebook
CeCe Moore: Your Genetic Genealogist@CeCeLMooreGoogle+Facebook
Donna M. Moughty: Donna's Irish Genealogy Resources@DMoughtyFacebook
Shelley Murphy: familytreegirl@familytreegirlFacebook

Amanda Pape: ABT UNK@riofriotex 
Cheri Hudson Passey: Carolina Girl Genealogy@CarolinaGirlGenGoogle+Facebook
Kirk Woosley Patton: Fincastle Ancestry ResearchFacebook
Donna Peterson: Hanging from the Family Tree@DonnaPe45949068Google+Facebook 
Caroline Pointer: 
Jackie Reiss: Jackie's Genealogy ResearchFacebook
Nancy Rivers: Facebook
Ann Royal: Royal Genealogist@RoyalGenealogy 
Diane Scannell: [no public social media accounts]
Randy Seaver: Genea-Musing@rjseaverGoogle+Facebook
John Simmons: [no public social media accounts]
Helen Smith: From Helen V. Smith's Keyboard@HVSresearchGoogle+Facebook
Paula Stuart-Warren, CG: Paula's Genealogical Eclectica@PaulaStuartWarrFacebook
Linda Stufflebean: Empty Branches on the Family Tree
Michelle Taggart: A Southern Sleuth@SoSleuthGoogle+Facebook
Cari Taplin: GenealogyPANTS@cataplinGoogle+Facebook
Julie Cahill Tarr: Julie's Genealogy & History Hub@geneaJulieGoogle+Facebook
Amy Urman: The Genealogy SearchFacebook
Pamela Whitaker: Rings of My Family Tree
Katherine R. Wilson: @MoonSwingsGoogle+Facebook
Gayle Ficarra Wolcott: Genealogy Dragnet@GFWolcott 
Elise Ann Wormuth: Living in the Past@ortburgene
Russ Worthington: A Worthington Web Log@hrworthGoogle+Facebook

Register for FGS 2015 now.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...