Monday, July 27, 2015

2015 Webinar Series: Your Society Can’t Afford to Do A Seminar? Here’s How!

2015 Webinar Series: Your Society Can’t Afford to Do A Seminar? Here’s How! via
Join us Aug. 12th for this free webinar!

FGS is pleased to announce the August edition of its 2015 Webinar Series scheduled for August 12th at 8pm EDT. Local and regional seminars help bridge the educational gulf between the monthly society meeting and national conferences. Join Paula Stuart-Warren to be inspired and learn how to execute a successful seminar for your community.

Your Society Can’t Afford to Do A Seminar? Here’s How! 

Education is the core of our societies. A seminar could bring new members, volunteers, and funding for projects. Paula Stuart-Warren, CG℠, FMGS, FUGA, addresses ways to be successful financially without much effort, once guidelines are established and followed. It could bring recognition from the community if done correctly. Most groups can truly afford to bring in a well-known and knowledgeable speaker and plan a great seminar. We’ll cover these and other angles in this presentation. Do the job carefully, make notes, learn from issues, and be ready for a profitable sell-out event. It's ok to make a profit to support the society's education efforts and to pay your speakers.

Paula Stuart-Warren, CG℠, FMGS, FUGA

Paula is a professional genealogist specializing in genealogical and historical research, lecturing, consulting, and writing. Her lectures, research, and consultations for individuals, societies, law firms, and Indian tribes seeking records and advice has taken her to many states, courthouses, archives, historical societies, and libraries. Her Illinois research covers many counties.

She is the intermediate Course Coordinator for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh and teaches in other courses at both institutes. She has lectured at National Genealogical Society and Federation of Genealogical Societies conferences since 1993, and in many states and Canada on a variety of topics.

A former officer of the Association of Professional Genealogists, Past President of the Northland Chapter of APG, and former board member of the Minnesota Genealogical Society, she currently serves on the Board of Directors of FGS. She co-chaired the FGS 2001, 2011, and 2013 conferences. Among the publications she has written for are the former Ancestry Magazine, FGS FORUM, NGS Magazine, NGSQ, FamilyTree Magazine, and was co-author of Your Guide to the Family History Library. She currently has her own blog at

Please register for Your Society Can’t Afford to Do A Seminar? Here’s How! on Aug 12, 2015 8:00 PM EDT at:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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Webinars Made Easy®

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Society Outreach: Helping Your Community Trace the History of Their Homes

Creative Commons-licensed photo from Wikimedia Commons.

In my day job as the Marketing Librarian at a university, I frequently troll the internet for good marketing examples from other libraries. This short YouTube video by the Hennepin County (Minnesota) Library (HCPL) caught my eye this week. HCPL found a creative way to market the research services and materials available in their special collections department--through the eyes of a young couple interested in finding out the history of their old house.


The Learning Experience

What did these homeowners learn through this example project?
  • That genealogy records, search techniques, and subject experts can be useful outside of the context of "genealogy."
  • How to locate and evaluate property records, city directories, and census records.
  • How to use the research services available from their local library.
  • They also learned biographical details about the people who previously lived at that address.

How Might Your Society Help? 

Consider hosting a public workshop, or series of workshops on how to conduct research on homes. But don't just go it alone. This type of event cries out for collaboration! Approach your local historical society, preservation society, public library, city or county historical commission, or chamber of commerce about partnering together on a program.

What can your society specifically bring to the table? Genealogists focus on the human element of research. We do not tell the story of a building. We tell stories about the people and generations who called that building home. Helping homeowners learn about the people who previously called their address home could very well generate interest in researching their own family histories.

While not hosted by genealogical societies, here are a few examples of organizations who have conducted these types of workshops.

Colleen Greene, MLIS
Co-Chair, FGS Outreach Committee

Monday, July 20, 2015

FGS and #GenChat: Focus on Societies

Do you #genchat? FGS does and we are proud to join host Jen Baldwin for her “Focus on Societies” series of chats beginning this month. As our member societies continue to expand their social media efforts to reach an increasingly tech savvy audience, collaborative events like #genchat offer high visibility opportunities for community engagement. Baldwin herself says it best:

“#genchat really is an ideal concept for societies to gain attention and followers on Twitter. The conversational tone of the chats allows for free-flowing input and gives organizations a chance to showcase their collections and member benefits.”

Reach a dedicated group of highly engaged genealogists as they discuss what their home societies do well or where they need to improve. Topics are specifically designed to give societies a chance to share their success, inspire others and learn from the community:

July 31st: Society Focus: Creative Programming
Is your society offering unique programming with great response? Want to learn from societies that are?

August 14th: Need research details? Get local!
Let the genealogy community know how your society can support their research goals. And maybe discover a need for services you could be offering.

September 11th: Society Focus: Technology
Share with the community how your society is successfully using tech to improve society management and support your members.

New to #genchat? Everything you need to know to join in can be found at

Are you an FGS member society doing great thing but not on Twitter? Let us know at and we’ll make sure to give your society a shout out while we are there.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Latest FORUM Issue Is Out: Planning a Washington, D.C. research trip, meet the Next Generation, & more!

Read the latest issue of FORUM via
Dive in to FGS FORUM!

Rain or shine, it's time to kick back with this latest issue of FORUM which is bursting with helpful research hints, volunteer opportunities, society project ideas, and technology help for both today's researcher and today's genealogical society. Dive in!

Go Prepared

With so many repositories and libraries located in Washington, D.C., having some kind of research plan and knowing what to expect and what will be expected of you before you go is imperative. Easily get prepared with these insider tips from expert Darcie Hind Posz, CG, in "Planning a Research Trip to Washington, D.C.

Does a genealogical society hold the key to solving your research challenges? 

Or are you looking to find a project you can volunteer for to help give back to the genealogy community? Don't miss new FORUM column, "Spotlight on Member Projects" by FGS Vice-President of Membership Caroline Pointer. The column reveals what activities FGS Member Societies are involved in throughout the genealogy community and features great cemetery, indexing, digitization, and fundraising projects in the works as well as other types of activities. Plus, society leaders will enjoy being inspired to try a new type of project or activity for their own society!

Meet the Next Generation

What do they like? What do they not like? What do they expect? What makes them tick? How do they research? How do they volunteer? In her new column, Shannon Combs-Bennett begins this all-important dialogue that will unveil incredible insight into this huge demographic with takeaways for societies and their leadership which will help them understand how to reach — and even meet — the next generation where they are. Plus, she'll be sharing advice with the next generation of genealogists on how to get involved and to help them along with their research.

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

Table of Contents

3......From the Editors

6......President's Message

8......Planning a Research Trip to Washington, D.C. by Darcie Hind Posz, CG

15.....10 Reasons to Use Wordpress for Your Society Website by Taneya Koonce

23.....Global Family Reunion, A Success by Randy Whited

26.....A Look Back at the FGS 2015 Conference by Linda McCauley

30.....FGS Regional Conference: New York State Family History Conference

33.....Spotlight on Member Projects: Indexing Projects, New Databases, and More by Caroline Pointer

37.....Next Generation: Who Are the NextGen of Genealogy? by Shannon Combs-Bennett

40.....Records Preservation and Access: Genealogists' Declaration of Rights, Preservation Projects, and More by Linda McCleary, MLS


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, scroll down and click on Vol. 27, No. 1, 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 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.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

2015 Webinar Series: WordPress for Societies: No Blogging Required

FGS is pleased to announce the July edition of our webinar series. FGS is committed to continuing education for societies and the individual genealogist alike. 

WordPress is an amazingly powerful and flexible tool for bringing your society website into the 21st century. Rorey Cathcart takes you through the basics and shares how other societies are using WordPress to engage their members and the community at large. Rorey is the owner of The Who Hunter LLC, Education Chair for FGS and a WordPress Evangelist. Come see if this platform is right for your society.

Please register for WordPress for Societies: No Blogging Required on Jul 22, 2015 8:00 PM EDT at:  

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Brought to you by GoToWebinar®
Webinars Made Easy®

This webinar will remain publicly available for 30 days. After 30 days it can be found in our Members Only Area. Not a member society? Join FGS today to access content and benefits that can help you manage your society.

Monday, July 6, 2015

It's time to recognize those amazing volunteers and organizations!

It's time to recognize those amazing volunteers and organizations! via
Submit your nominations today!
This year FGS has scheduled two conferences, which means two times the opportunity for all of you to nominate a well-deserving society or volunteer. Even though the FGS annual conference was already held in February this year, FGS will also be a part of the New York State Family History Conference, September 17-19, 2015 in Syracuse, New York.

In February many deserving individuals were presented with FGS awards. More will be given in September. It’s time to nominate your favorite deserving society or volunteer for a FGS award. We have many unsung folks in the areas of genealogy and history. Let's recognize them for all they do.

Check out the awards categories and use our easy nominations form to let your volunteers know how much you appreciate their hard work for your society. To be considered for the awards presentation in September, the nominations must be received by August 20th.
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