Friday, December 16, 2016

Winter 2016 Issue of FORUM is out: Spit, Please: Tips for Approaching Cousins for DNA Testing; Genealogical Institutes: In-Depth Study Options for the Genealogist; & more!

The Winter 2016 issue of FORUM is available. Take a break from the holiday preparations and relax with this latest issue. 


Angie Bush discusses best practices for asking relatives that sometimes difficult question in "Spit, Please: Tips for Approaching Cousins for DNA Testing." 

Learn about a variety of educational opportunities in "Genealogical Institutes: In-depth Study Options for the Genealogist" by Rick Fogarty

In "Take Your SIGs Virtual with WordPress," Denise Barrett Olson covers WordPress tools available to build and manage a platform for your special interest groups. 


Cari A. Taplin, CG, shares ideas for finding, attracting, and maintaining volunteers in "The Life of Your Society: Finding & Keeping Volunteers."

FGS is pleased to welcome a new columnist to the FORUM team with this issue. Helen Haldeman Daglas is now writing the Forensic Genealogy column. 


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

Table of Contents


3 ...... From the Editor

6 ...... President's Message: Passing the Baton by D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS

7 ...... Spit, Please: Tips for Approaching Cousins for DNA testing by Angie Bush

10 ...... Genealogical Institutes: In-depth Study Options for the Genealogist by Rick Fogarty

14 ...... The Life of Your Society: Finding & Keeping Volunteers by Cari Taplin, CG

18 ...... Take Your SIGs Virtual with WordPress by Denise Barrett Olson

23 ...... NSDCGS: Helping Students Bring Family History to Life by Nina Anderson

25 ...... Spotlight on Member Projects: Indexing Projects, Volunteer Opportunities & More by Caroline Pointer

29 ...... Ethics & Standards: The Real Thing by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL

33 ...... Next Generation: Why You Should Attend a Conference...Any Conference by Shannon Combs-Bennett

35 ...... Forensic Genealogy: Native American Tribal Research & Forensic Genealogy by Helen Haldeman Daglas

38 ...... Beyond Boxes & Binders: Let's Think About Our "Stuf" by Linda Coffin

40 ...... Records Preservation & Access: Preservation Grants, Vital Records News & More by Linda McCleary, MLS

44 ...... Reviews

How to access FORUM:

Current FGS Member Society Leadership: 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 28 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.

Genealogical Society Leaders: If your society is not a member 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.

Friday, November 4, 2016

FGS Seeks Business Office Administrator

FGS is currently conducting a national search for a part-time Business Office Administrator.

Duties include:

  • Providing daily member and customer service
  • Managing annual conference registration
  • Processing new and renewing memberships
  • Processing subscriptions to our quarterly e-magazine, FORUM
  • Processing calendar events submitted by members
  • Maintaining promotional materials and shipping supplies

View the full job description for duties and responsibilities.

Interested parties should submit a résumé, cover letter, and references to office@fgs.org. Any questions should also be directed to that email address.

Friday, October 28, 2016

2016 FGS Election Results


The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announces the results of its recent election for FGS officers and board members. The election was conducted online September 1-30, with all FGS delegates eligible to vote. Office terms for those elected will begin on January 1, 2017.

Concerning the recent election results, outgoing FGS President D. Joshua Taylor states, "It has been an honor to lead the Federation for the past four years. I cannot wait to watch the Federation continue to grow under the leadership and direction of Rorey and the Board of Directors in the coming years."

President-elect Rorey Cathcart adds, “Thank you for this wonderful privilege and opportunity to serve the Federation as President. I look forward to working with our talented, dedicated Board of Directors on behalf of our member societies and the genealogical community at large.”


Executive Committee – Two-year term ending December 31, 2018

President: Rorey Cathcart (South Carolina)
VP Administration: Teri Flack (Texas)
Secretary: Linda McCauley (Kentucky)


Board of Directors – Three-year term ending December 31, 2019

Director: Jennifer Baldwin (Colorado)
Director: Tonia Kendrick (Georgia)
Director: Barry Kline (Virginia)
Director: Juliana Szucs (Indiana)

The complete list of current FGS officers and board members can be found on the FGS website at http://www.fgs.org/about.php.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Fall Issue of FORUM is out: Female Ancestors: Discovering Their Stories, Form Strong Membership Bonds Using SIGs and Small Study Groups, & more!

The Fall 2016 issue of FORUM is out today. Download your copy and kick off family history month with ideas for your research and your society.

"Female Ancestors: Discovering Their Stories" by Melissa Barker challenges you to see your female ancestors in a different light and contemplate the records that can help you tell their stories and advance your research.

In "Form Strong Membership Bonds Using SIGs and Small Study Groups" Cari A. Taplin, CG, discusses the difference between special interest and study groups and how these kinds of groups can supplement your society's education programming and build membership.

Learn how easy it is to bring your genealogical society to your members  in "Up Periscope: Mobile Live Streaming for Your Society" by Elizabeth Swanay-O'Neal.


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

Table of Contents


3 ...... From the Editor

6 ...... President's Message: Looking Ahead by D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS

7 ...... Female Ancestors: Discovering Their Stories by Melissa Barker

11 ...... Form Strong Membership Bonds Using SIGs and Small Study Groups by Cari A. Taplin, CG

15 ...... A Look Back at FGS 2016 by Linda McCauley

19 ...... Up Periscope: Mobile Live Streaming for Your Society by Elizabeth Swanay-O'Neal

25 ...... Preserve the Pensions Project Fully Funded

27 ...... Ethics & Standards: Author: Unknown by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL

30 ...... Next Generation: Always Look for the Newest Sources by Shannon Combs-Bennett

32 ...... Forensic Genealogy: Educational Opportunities for the Forensic Genealogist by Michael S. Ramage, JD, CG

34 ...... Beyond Boxes & Binders: How Do I Make My Stories Interesting? by Linda Coffin

36 ...... Records Preservation & Access: RPAC News, New Online Indexes & More by Linda McCleary, MLS

39 ...... Reviews

Check out the FGS 2017 conference flyer at the end of this issue!

How to access FORUM:

Current FGS Member Society Leadership: 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 28 No. 3 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.

Genealogical Society Leaders: If your society is not a member 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.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Reserve Your FGS 2017 Hotel Room Now

FGS is pleased to announce that hotel reservations are now open for the 2017 Conference to be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
 
Plans are in full-swing for the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ 2017 National Conference – “Building Bridges to the Past.” The conference will be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, August 30-September 2, 2017.




Hotel reservations open

Two Pittsburgh hotels are now taking reservations for the FGS 2017 conference. The Westin Convention Center and the Omni William Penn Hotel are offering reduced rates to FGS 2017 Conference attendees from Wednesday, August 23 to Friday, September 8 (subject to availability). Both hotels are conveniently located near the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

Westin Convention Center (Main Conference Hotel)

1000 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Phone: Hotel 412-281-3700; For reservations 866-716-8108
Conference Rates: $139 single & double / $149 triple / $159 quad
Reserve your room online: WestinFGS Reservation Page

The Westin is located across the street from the convention center.


Omni William Penn Hotel

530 William Penn Place, Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Phone: Hotel 412-281-3700; For reservations 866-716—8108
Conference Rates: $139 single & double / $149 triple / $159 quad
Reserve your room online: OmniFGS Reservation page


The Omni is located .6 miles from the convention center.


Full details can be found on the FGS website.

Reserve your hotel room today

Conference hotels fill up quickly, so it is not too early to make reservations.  We look forward to seeing you in Pittsburgh!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Voting Is Now Open for the FGS 2016 Election

It's time to vote, FGS Delegates!


All FGS delegate and FGS member society representatives are eligible and encouraged to vote for the 2016 slate of FGS officers.

The Federation of Genealogical Societies has compiled another outstanding list of candidates for election to the FGS Board and Executive Committee: http://www.fgs.org/cpage.php?pt=118.

After clicking on "Cast Your Vote" at the bottom of the list of nominees, you will be asked to log in with your society's username and password.

If you need any assistance in locating that information, please contact the FGS Office at office@fgs.org.

Voting will remain open until 30 September 2016 at 11:59 PM ET.

Awards Presented to Deserving Individuals & Organizations at FGS 2016 Conference

Awards Presented to Deserving Individuals & Organizations at FGS 2016 Conference via FGS.org


We presented awards this morning at the FGS 2016 National Conference, “Time Travel: Centuries of Memories,” in Springfield, Illinois, to fellow genealogists and organizations who provide excellent work, assist other genealogists, and aid in the preservation of records.

Loretto (“Lou”) Szucs from Illinois was presented with the Rabbi Malcolm H. Stern Humanitarian Award for being a constant supporter and visionary for the genealogical community.

Judy Russell from New Jersey, also known as “The Legal Genealogist,” was presented with the Directors Award for her role as a leader within the genealogical community in helping to raise awareness and funds for the Preserve the Pensions project.

Mike Hall from Utah was presented with a Presidential Citation for his constant dedication and support of FGS’ Preserve the Pensions project.

Julie Cahill Tarr from Wisconsin was also presented with a Presidential Citation for enriching FORUM's readers with dynamic new content and resources as FGS FORUM editor.

John Fisher from Vermont was presented with the FGS Award of Merit in recognition of exemplary and outstanding service to FGS Member Society, the Vermont French-Canadian Genealogical Society.

Phyllis Snider from Illinois was presented an FGS Certificate of Appreciation for her tireless work in promoting genealogy for and with the Iliana Genealogical and Historical Society.
The FGS Technology Advances Award was presented to the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG) Wiki in recognition for their impact on the genealogy community with their promotion and education of genetic genealogy and their advocacy for education of genetics as a tool for genealogical research.

An FGS Technology Advances Award was also presented to JSTOR (Journal Storage) for their impact on the family history community by providing access to more than 2,300 digitized academic journals.

Eight individuals received the FGS Award of Merit in recognition of meritorious service or distinguished work on the 2016 FGS Conference and are as follows:

  • Paul Milner
  • Teri Flack
  • Caroline Pointer
  • Ed Donakey
  • Julie Cahill Tarr
  • Jane Haldeman
  • Cindy Foreman
  • Laura Kovarik

Additionally, sixteen individuals received a Certificate of Appreciation to express FGS’ thanks for work performed for the 2016 FGS conference in an outstanding manner and are as follows:
  • Diane Gagel
  • David McDonald
  • Jane Van Tour
  • Joan Kitchen Murray
  • Sara Taylor
  • Jackie Lyell
  • Dawn Carey Henry
  • Linda McCauley
  • Rollie Littlewood
  • Stephanie Carbonetti
  • Pat Rand
  • Shellee Morehead
  • Lynda Keenan
  • Howard Manthei
  • Angela McGee
  • Donna Hartwig


“Congratulations to all FGS Award winners,” said FGS President D. Joshua Taylor. “Thank you for your service and creativity. Each worthy recipient is representative of the tremendous accomplishments made in the genealogical industry.”

"Lou D. Szucs Service Award" Announced at FGS 2016

"Lou D. Szucs Service Award" Announced at FGS 2016 via FGS 2016During this morning’s Keynote Session at the FGS 2016 National Conference, “Time Travel: Centuries of Memories in Springfield, Illinois, we announced a new FGS award category, The “Lou D. Szucs Service Award.” 

A founding leader of FGS, Lou D. Szucs has represented FGS for nearly every year of the organization’s 40-year history. Her work for Ancestry.com worked to foster collaboration and growth amongst the genealogical community. Her humanitarian efforts towards genealogy and family history have forever impacted the field and will continue to be seen for generations to come.

In response to the new award category, FGS President D. Joshua Taylor said, “Lou was one of the first leaders I met as a young genealogist. Her commitment to FGS and the genealogical community is truly awe-inspiring. The creation of this award is a true testament to her lasting legacy in the field of genealogy.”

The “Lou D. Szucs Service Award” will be presented to recognize the contributions of an individual whose positive personal influence and extraordinary service to FGS and the genealogy industry have gone above and beyond the norm, impacting the overall benefit to the genealogical community at-large and spreading the awareness of family history to the general public.

With Historic Gift and Community Support, the Fundraising for the Preserve the Pensions Is Officially Completed!

With Historic Gift and Community Support, the Fundraising for the Preserve the Pensions Is Officially Completed! via FGS.org

Today at our annual conference, we announced the receipt of a historic $500,000 anonymous contribution to the War of 1812 Preserve the Pensions fundraising project. The unprecedented donation, which came from outside of the genealogical community, will be matched by Ancestry.com, and in total will provide $1 million to the project. Those funds, along with crowdsourced funds from the genealogical community have provided more than $3 million dollars to the project. With these donations, we are able to officially announce the completion of fundraising for “Preserve the Pensions,” the landmark community fundraising project.
The largest fundraising effort ever initiated for a single genealogical record set, Preserve the Pensions involved donations from more than 4,000 individuals and 115 genealogical and lineage societies. Each donation was generously matched by Ancestry.com.
“We are humbled and grateful for the generosity of the genealogical community and those outside of our community who are dedicated to the preservation of records, thank you!” noted D. Joshua Taylor, FGS President. “This historic gift, in-tandem with the thousands of contributions from individual genealogists and societies, illustrates the incredible power of the genealogical community - together we can make a difference.”
The War of 1812 pensions, among the most frequently requested set of materials within the holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), had never been microfilmed or digitized. Now, with fundraising complete for the project, and with ongoing cooperation from the project’s partners and major supporters, NARA, Ancestry, Fold3, and FamilySearch, these important documents will be made available free, forever to the general public. The project, set out to raise more than $3 million in 2010, an unprecedented amount for the genealogical community.
“It’s gratifying to see the fundraising portion of this project completed after five years, and now we look forward to ensuring these important records are preserved,” said Ancestry President and CEO Tim Sullivan. “This is a fantastic moment for FGS, the genealogical community, and future generations who will benefit from the perseveration of these rich pension records. We want to thank the more than 4,000 individuals who have contributed and are thrilled to play a matching role in this campaign.”

We were the driving force behind the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors project alongside the National Parks Service. Since 2010, we have been actively involved in Preserve the Pensions, an effort to raise more than $3 million to digitize and make freely available the pension files from the War of 1812.

With Historic Gift and Community Support, the Fundraising for the Preserve the Pensions Is Officially Completed!

With Historic Gift and Community Support, the Fundraising for the Preserve the Pensions Is Officially Completed! via FGS.org

Today at our annual conference, we announced the receipt of a historic $500,000 anonymous contribution to the War of 1812 Preserve the Pensions fundraising project. The unprecedented donation, which came from outside of the genealogical community, will be matched by Ancestry.com, and in total will provide $1 million to the project. Those funds, along with crowdsourced funds from the genealogical community have provided more than $3 million dollars to the project. With these donations, we are able to officially announce the completion of fundraising for “Preserve the Pensions,” the landmark community fundraising project.
The largest fundraising effort ever initiated for a single genealogical record set, Preserve the Pensions involved donations from more than 4,000 individuals and 115 genealogical and lineage societies. Each donation was generously matched by Ancestry.com.
“We are humbled and grateful for the generosity of the genealogical community and those outside of our community who are dedicated to the preservation of records, thank you!” noted D. Joshua Taylor, FGS President. “This historic gift, in-tandem with the thousands of contributions from individual genealogists and societies, illustrates the incredible power of the genealogical community - together we can make a difference.”
The War of 1812 pensions, among the most frequently requested set of materials within the holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), had never been microfilmed or digitized. Now, with fundraising complete for the project, and with ongoing cooperation from the project’s partners and major supporters, NARA, Ancestry, Fold3, and FamilySearch, these important documents will be made available free, forever to the general public. The project, set out to raise more than $3 million in 2010, an unprecedented amount for the genealogical community.
“It’s gratifying to see the fundraising portion of this project completed after five years, and now we look forward to ensuring these important records are preserved,” said Ancestry President and CEO Tim Sullivan. “This is a fantastic moment for FGS, the genealogical community, and future generations who will benefit from the perseveration of these rich pension records. We want to thank the more than 4,000 individuals who have contributed and are thrilled to play a matching role in this campaign.”

In 1999, FGS and the National Park Service were the driving forces behind the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors database

We were the driving force behind the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors project alongside the National Parks Service. Since 2010, we have been actively involved in Preserve the Pensions, an effort to raise more than $3 million to digitize and make freely available the pension files from the War of 1812.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Keep Up with #FGS2016 from Home!

Keep Up with #FGS2016 from Home via FGS.org

If you are unable to make it to the FGS 2016 National Conference in Springfield, Illinois, there are still a few ways to keep up with what's happening here.

First, we have a Facebook Event Page where not only we are posting pictures and videos, but our attendees, exhibitors, and speakers are too.

Second, we have a dedicated conference hashtag #FGS2016. This allows you to follow the conference hashtag on hashtag-centric social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram. 

Third and speaking of social media platforms, here is a list of our social media platforms. Have you connected with us on them?


Fourth, for Twitter you only need to venture as far as this blog post. We have embedded our Twitter feed of our conference hashtag #FGS2016 below. Or you can follow our #FGS2016 Twub where we've registered our hashtag.

Fifth, make sure you follow our speakers and exhibitors on your social media platform of choice as they will certainly be posting images and videos of their experiences from #FGS2016 here in Springfield.

Sixth, follow our Conference Platinum Sponsors — Ancestry.com, MyHeritage, and FamilySearch on the social media platform of your choice.

Can't follow along live? Come back here to the FGS Voice Blog to experience daily recaps from #FGS2016.

Twitter Feed:

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Download the FGS 2016 App to Have Conference Information at Your Fingertips!

Download the FGS 2016 App to Have Conference Information at Your Fingertips


To have the FGS 2016 Conference schedule, maps, list of
speakers, and up-to-date information plus a way to connect
with fellow attendees at your fingertips, download the
Guidebook App on your iOS or Android mobile device or you can even access it on your desktop or laptop!

Follow these detailed steps to download the app:


1. Download Guidebook.
  • Navigate to guidebook.com/getit on your device's web browser.
  • Go to the app store that corresponds with your device and search for "Guidebook"
  • For desktop users or users with Windows Phones or non-Blackberry 10+ devices, navigate to guidebook.com/browse in your web browser (at this time, we only offer a native Guidebook app for iOS, Android, Blackberry 10+, and Amazon Kindle).
Follow the prompts on your screen, and the app will download.

2. Now that you've got the Guidebook app, it's time to download the guide for FGS 2016! Open up the Guidebook app on your device to get started. Note: Internet access is required for this step.
  • Download and open the Guidebook app on your phone via the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
  • Use the Search box to type in "FGS 2016" (without the quotes) in the guide bar at the top.
  • Tap "Get this Guide" to download the guide.
If you accidentally download the wrong guide, no worries! From the "My Guides" screen, tap the guide you wish to delete until you get a message that says "Unsync [name of guide]?" and press OK.

Note: After you delete the guide, it will appear at the end of the "Guides For You" lineup in case you accidentally deleted it or would like to access it again soon.


Desktop, Windows, non-Blackberry 10 users

On your phone's web browser (Chrome, Internet Explorer, etc.), type in guidebook.com/browse/

Click on the search bar below "Select a Category". Type in "FGS 2016" (without the quotes), and tap on "Search" or "Return" in the bottom right of your keyboard. View the results, and click on your event to download!

Note: If you are able to download a native app for your phone, a small "Get the Guidebook app" banner will appear at the top of your screen. Click this to download the native app.

3. Explore the FGS 2016 Device Guide!

Download the FGS 2016 App to Have Conference Information at Your Fingertips


For more detailed instructions for downloading and navigating the FGS 2016 Guidebook App, visit: https://support.guidebook.com/hc/en-us/articles/202891364-Using-the-Guidebook-App-for-end-users-.



 


NEW! FGS 2016 Exhibit Hall Vendor Bucks



One of the most exciting areas at an FGS conference
is the large Exhibit Hall, featuring the latest software,
books, maps, databases, and gadgets on the market for
genealogists and family historians, as well as information
about genealogical organizations. The Exhibit Hall opens Thursday morning after the keynote session.

New this year are Vendor Bucks! Each attendee will
receive $10 in Vendor Bucks to spend at the vendor
booth of their choice. After a purchase is made, the
vendor will indicate that on the Bucks. For immediate
reimbursement, the attendee will present the Bucks at
the Vendor Bucks Reimbursement booth located at the
rear of the Exhibit Hall.

Exhibit Hall Hours:

Thursday: 9:30am - 5pm

Friday: 9am - 5pm

Saturday: 9am - 3pm

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Celebrating 40 Years of FGS!

At this year's conference in Springfield, Illinois, FGS will be celebrating 40 years of community and growth!

We have a long history focused on connecting the world of genealogy, learning new techniques and skills together, and providing the tools to succeed. We cannot wait to share this history with you at the 40th Anniversary Gala on Friday evening.




This year's event will play host to the first ever FGS Family History Quest, and we hope you are ready for an evening of fun and long lasting memories. With J. Mark Lowe as our emcee, you can basically guarantee that we are all in for a very exciting evening. Stroll down memory lane with us as we present the opportunity to test your knowledge - and your creativity! We are thrilled to be giving away over $25,000 in prizes to Gala participants.

Gala prizes have been contributed from:

  • Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com
  • Midwest Genealogy Center
  • YourDNAGuide.com
  • RootsTech
  • Family ChartMasters
  • and more! 

The Gala is not your only chance to celebrate with us, however. Each day of the conference, we will offer a question to both on-site attendees and those watching on social media, and we're inviting everyone to share their favorite memory, favorite moment, favorite element of FGS history with us. Watch our social media channels on Facebook and Twitter, and the hashtag #FGS40th, each day of the conference for our prompts. If you will be in Springfield with us, visit the expo hall to add your memories to our story.

We're on a quest to celebrate forty years - we hope you will celebrate with us!



Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Upcoming FGS Genealogy Conferences To Be Held in Washington, DC and Kansas City, MO!

Upcoming FGS Genealogy Conferences To Be Held in Washington, DC and Kansas City, MO via FGS.org



Save the dates! 


We are thrilled to announce the FGS 2019 National Conference will be held August 21-24 in Washington, D.C., and the FGS 2020 National Conference will be held September 2-5 in Kansas City, Missouri.

“We are extremely excited for all our upcoming conferences and look forward to visiting Washington, D.C., and Kansas City in future years,” says FGS President D. Joshua Taylor. “From 2016 to 2020, our conference venues are steeped in both history and research resources and make perfect settings for genealogists and family historians.”

This announcement extends the upcoming FGS conferences schedule to the year 2020 and includes:
  • FGS 2016 National Conference and 40th Anniversary in Springfield, Illinois
  • FGS 2017 National Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • FGS 2018 National Conference in Ft. Wayne, Indiana
  • FGS 2019 National Conference in Washington, D.C.
  • FGS 2020 National Conference in Kansas City, Missouri

Each conference will be joined and hosted by a local genealogical organization. The Illinois State Genealogical Society will welcome FGS this year in Springfield and the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society in 2017. Local hosts for future conferences will be announced at a later date.

Currently, registration is still open for the FGS 2016 National Conference “Time Travel: Centuries of Memories” to be held August 31-September 3, 2016, in Springfield, Illinois. Register at https://www.fgsconference.org/ and help celebrate our 40th Anniversary in the Land of Lincoln!

Upcoming FGS Genealogy Conferences To Be Held in Washington, DC and Kansas City, MO!

Upcoming FGS Genealogy Conferences To Be Held in Washington, DC and Kansas City, MO via FGS.org



Save the dates! 


We are thrilled to announce the FGS 2019 National Conference will be held August 21-24 in Washington, D.C., and the FGS 2020 National Conference will be held September 2-5 in Kansas City, Missouri.

“We are extremely excited for all our upcoming conferences and look forward to visiting Washington, D.C., and Kansas City in future years,” says FGS President D. Joshua Taylor. “From 2016 to 2020, our conference venues are steeped in both history and research resources and make perfect settings for genealogists and family historians.”

This announcement extends the upcoming FGS conferences schedule to the year 2020 and includes:
  • FGS 2016 National Conference and 40th Anniversary in Springfield, Illinois
  • FGS 2017 National Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • FGS 2018 National Conference in Ft. Wayne, Indiana
  • FGS 2019 National Conference in Washington, D.C.
  • FGS 2020 National Conference in Kansas City, Missouri

Each conference will be joined and hosted by a local genealogical organization. The Illinois State Genealogical Society will welcome FGS this year in Springfield and the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society in 2017. Local hosts for future conferences will be announced at a later date.

Currently, registration is still open for the FGS 2016 National Conference “Time Travel: Centuries of Memories” to be held August 31-September 3, 2016, in Springfield, Illinois. Register at https://www.fgsconference.org/ and help celebrate our 40th Anniversary in the Land of Lincoln!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Journey Through the FGS 2016 Exhibit Hall with Your Passport!



FGS 2016 Exhibit Hall Passport

Have each exhibitor “stamp” your passport. Return your stamped passport to the FGS booth by 1:30pm on Saturday, September 3rd to be entered into a drawing. You do not need to be present to win.

Drawings will begin at 1:45pm on Saturday, September 3rd at the FGS booth in the Exhibit Hall.

GRAND PRIZE PACKAGE 
(must fully “stamp” both sides of this passport):

• 2017 FGS Conference Package*
• 2018 FGS Conference Registration
• AncestryDNA kit

INDIVIDUAL PRIZES
(return a passport with at least 15 “stamps”):

• FGS 2017 Conference Registration
• FGS 2018 Conference Registration
• Family Tree Maker (for Mac or PC)


*includes registration, syllabus, four hotel nights, daily luncheons, and special events

Monday, August 8, 2016

FGS Marshals Volunteers to Help National Historic Park Tell the Stories of Over 130,000 U.S.-Mexican War Soldiers

Federation of Genealogical Societies and National Park Service Partner for New Preservation Project


The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and the National Park Service’s Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park announce a partnership to develop a searchable database of more than 130,000 soldiers of the U.S.-Mexican War.

The database will allow descendants of U.S. soldiers to connect to their personal history and help Palo Alto commemorate and tell the stories of these soldiers. After the database is developed, unit histories, digitized documents, and information on U.S.-Mexican War soldiers will be added. Efforts will also be made to include names and information about Mexican soldiers in this war.

"FGS is thrilled to partner with the Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Park for this important preservation project,” said FGS President D. Joshua Taylor. “We look forward to working with our member societies and volunteers to provide new access to records for those researching the Mexican War."

Palo Alto Battlefield is also pleased with the partnership. “National Parks tell the stories of America,” said Superintendent Mark Spier. “Palo Alto Battlefield is excited to have the opportunity to work with the Federation of Genealogical Societies to tell the stories of the thousands of soldiers who served in the U.S.-Mexican War.”

To help bring these soldiers’ stories to life and to be a part of this momentous preservation project, indexing volunteers should contact Project Coordinator Patricia Rand, The Villages, FL, at projects@fgs.org.


The Federation of Genealogical Societies and the National Park Service previously partnered together in 1999 for the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System database project where FGS volunteers completed data entry for more than five million names. The efforts of the CWSS project can now be experienced on the NPS Civil War website

 Federation of Genealogical Societies

 National Park Service Palo Alto Battlefield

Monday, August 1, 2016

FGS 2016 Conference Exhibit Hall Demonstrations

Free exhibitor demonstrations will be offered periodically
in the Exhibit Hall during open hours. This is the place
to take a “test drive” of scanning equipment, view the
special features of different genealogy software packages
as they are highlighted by experts, and learn how to
search efficiently in online subscription databases. Below is the Demo Area schedule. The complete schedule will be posted outside the Exhibit Hall and on page 47 of the On-site Guide.

Thursday Demo Area Schedule for FGS 2016


Friday Demo Area Schedule for FGS 2016


Saturday Demo Area Schedule for FGS 2016

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

FGS 2016: Information Professionals and Genealogy

FGS 2016: Information Professionals and Genealogy FGSConference.org
Information Professionals — A Day Just for You in the Land of Lincoln
Are you an information professional wanting to explore perspectives on genealogy information, get some behind-the-scenes looks at collections, and also network with other genealogy information professionals?

Librarians' Day at the FGS 2016 National Genealogy Conference is a pre-conference event on Tuesday, August 30, 2016, and is designed for librarians, archivists, and other information professionals serving family history researchers and the genealogy community.

Sponsored by ProQuest, this year's theme is "Sharing Ourselves and Our Collections." Experts will reveal their unique perspectives on offering genealogical collections, oral histories, and experiences, as well as family history’s relationship with local tourism.

FGS 2016: Information Professionals and Genealogy
Wyndham Springfield City Centre, Abraham Presidential Library & Museum, and Lincoln Library, The Public Library of Springfield, IL


The morning sessions and lunch will be held at the Wyndham Springfield City Centre (700 E. Adams Street, Springfield). Afternoon sessions will be held off site at the Lincoln Library and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Attendees will have an opportunity to attend both afternoon sessions.


Take a look at the lineup:

“Family History Beyond the Family Tree”
Mark DePue, Director of Oral History, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library

“FamilySearch Family History Resources for Librarians”
Robert Raymond, Deputy Chief Genealogical Officer, FamilySearch

“A Capital Idea: A look at the Sangamon Valley Collection, the regional collection of genealogy and history for Lincoln Library”
Curtis Mann, Historian, City of Springfield, Illinois; Manager of the Sangamon Valley Collection at Lincoln Library, the Public Library of Springfield

“Tour of Sangamon Valley Collection: A first-hand look at this well respected local history collection”
Location: Lincoln Library, 326 S. Seventh Street, Springfield
Curtis Mann

“Proper Environment, Proper Storage, Proper Handling”
Location: Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, 212 N. Sixth Street, Springfield
Bonnie Parr, Historical Documents Conservator, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Then the next four days, informational professionals can immerse themselves in genealogy, family history, and even society-related sessions — all in the Land of Lincoln! Plus, take advantage of all the built-in networking opportunities at the conference.

Register for the conference now and add-on Librarians’ Day ($10 and includes lunch)! If you've already registered for the conference, sign-in again and add Librarians' Day. E-mail any questions you have about Librarians' Day at FGS 2016 to librariansday@fgs.org.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

FGS 2016: Behind the Scenes Look - 10,000+ Illinois Family Farms

FGS 2016: Behind the Scenes Look - 10,000+ Illinois Family Farms
Illinois Family Farms Table Runners (Credit: Laura Kovarik, ISGS)

10,000+ FAMILY FARMS!!

That is how many family farms are enrolled in the Illinois Department of Agriculture Centennial and Sesquicentennial Farm program (according to the website).

When planning the Farms & Families: Across the Decades reception for the FGS 2016 Conference, the original idea was to create displays on a select few participants. But which ones? That became the question. 

After wrestling with how to pick which farms to showcase, the answer arrived like the proverbial bolt from the blue – do them ALL!! 

Again, the wrestling match began on HOW to do them all. So idea of writing every name was born. Where could so many names be displayed? On the tables. The final project took form. 

Part of the table decorations will include runners with every name and the date of original purchase of a Centennial and Sesquicentennial farm in Illinois. EVERY ONE. Any family that has taken the time to fill out the paperwork and seek designation deserves to be honored for their genealogical work.

The names and dates will be handwritten on paper runners. Yes, the goal is to get all 102 counties and all 10,000 plus names on the runners before Wednesday, August 31. Will it get done? Right now, we are have over 3,000 names on runners. 

Check the ISGS Facebook page for updates. And maybe you will just have to come to the special event, "Farms and Families: Across the Decades," 7pm-9pm on Wednesday evening to see if we made our goal!

Not yet registered for the FGS 2016 National Genealogy Conference in Springfield, Illinois, August 31—Sep 3rd, 2016? Register today and add-on the special event, "Farm and Families: Across the Decades" which is sponsored by FamilySearch and co-hosted by the Illinois State Genealogical Society and the Illinois State Historical Society. Already registered? Sign-in again and add this or other events, luncheons, and workshops!

Laura Kovarik
Local Host Chair
Illinois State Genealogical Society

 Register for FGS 2016 today at FGSConference.org!


Friday, June 17, 2016

FGS 2016: Trying to Build Your Family Tree with DNA?

FGS 2016: Trying to Build Your Family Tree with DNA? Register today at FGSConference.org.
Need help learning about DNA for genealogy?

Our 8 DNA Sessions Can Help With That

Using DNA for genealogy can get confusing, but once you get the hang of it, you can begin to use it to break down some long-standing family history research brick walls.

At the FGS National Conference in Springfield, Illinois, our DNA for genealogy experts will help you learn what you need to know — whether you are just a beginner or have already tested! On the Friday of our 4-day conference, we have devoted a full track to DNA for genealogy learning, and on Saturday, we have two more sessions dedicated to learning all about Ancestry DNA.

Friday — DNA Track


DIAHAN SOUTHARD

Diahan Southard, FGS 2016 National Conference DNA Speaker via FGSConference.org










►F-307 Every Surname in Your Pedigree Can Benefit from YDNA Testing

Learn basic and intermediate principles of using YDNA to verify and extend your pedigree chart, including how to make the most of your family project.

►F-323 What Now? Your Next Steps with Autosomal DNA Testing

Overwhelmed with autosomal DNA? I can teach you in 45 minutes tools you can implement and understand today so you can find your ancestors tomorrow.

RANDY WHITED

Randy Whited, FGS 2016 National Conference DNA Speaker via FGSConference.org











►F-344 Genograms: Family Medical History and Cluster Research

Learn about genograms and how to adapt them to your research. By providing a different view of relationships, they can make patterns and gaps more easily recognizable.

BLAINE BETTINGER, PhD, JD


Blaine Bettinger, FGS 2016 National Conference DNA Speaker via FGSConference.org











►F-315 Using Free Third-Party Tools to Analyze Your Autsomal DNA

Although DNA testing companies provide their own analysis of test results, there are free third-party tools that can benefit genealogists.

►F-352 DNA and the Genealogical Proof Standard

Learn how DNA test results are increasingly an important component of the genealogical proof standard!

►F-336 Genetic Self-Education: Where to Go for Help

You've received your DNA test results, but you have no idea what they mean. Where do you go for more information? How do you educate yourself about genetic genealogy?


Saturday — DNA Sessions


ANNA SWAYNE


Anna Swayne, FGS 2016 National Conference DNA Speaker via FGSConference.org











►S-412 Finding Family History Discoveries Using AncestryDNA
Sponsored by Ancestry

Come as a beginner to learn how AncestryDNA works and what it is. Come as an intermediate to learn how DNA matching, DNA Circles, and New Ancestor Discoveries technology help validate your research and find new leads.

►S-433 Cracking the Case with DNA
Sponsored by Ancestry

Want to use your DNA results to break down a brick wall in your family tree? In this class we will show you step-by-step how to use DNA to solve mysteries in your family tree and answer your own genealogical questions.

Register Now!


Join us for the FGS 2016 National Conference, "Time Travel: Centuries of Memories," in Springfield, IL, August 31 — September 3, 2016. Learn how to discover your family history with 72 speakers from across the world in over 160 sessions, luncheons, & workshops! Don't delay and register today at the early bird price which ends July 1, 2016.

 Register for FGS 2016!


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Two FGS Awards Given at Southern California Genealogical Societies' Annual Jamboree

Two FGS Awards Given at Southern California Genealogical Societies' Annual Jamboree via FGS.org
Paula Johnson Hinkel and J. Paul Hawthorne (Photo Credit: Mike Provard)

The Federation of Genealogical Societies presents awards throughout each year to volunteers and organizations. On June 3, 2016, FGS presented two awards during the Southern California Genealogical Society’s Annual Jamboree in Burbank.

Paula Johnson Hinkel 

Paula Johnson Hinkel was presented with a Distinguished Service Award. The Southern California Genealogical Society (SCGS) nominated her for this award for a multitude of reasons. She has been instrumental in increasing the visibility of the society and in easing it into the 21st century, enabling it to continue to fulfill its mission of fostering interest in family history, preserving genealogical materials and providing instruction in accepted and effective research techniques.  

Among her many accomplishments at SCGS, Paula has volunteered as President and 2nd Vice-President of the society, as a member of the Long-Range Planning Committee, as champion of the 1890 Project, and as co-chair for the Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree from 2005-2014. Together with her co-chair Leo Myers, she grew Jamboree from a small, local event into one of the most respected and well-attended genealogical conferences. From concept to marketing design and product development, Paula was instrumental in the successful evolution of Jamboree. Paula was also the first to identify and market the use of an App for genealogical conferences. She also expanded the society outreach by making Jamboree available to researchers who could not attend. Her launch of live-streaming Jamboree sessions allowed members of the genealogical community to participate from all over the world.

In 2011, Paula pioneered the launch of the Jamboree Extension Webinar Series. This was the first time a genealogical society had offered regularly scheduled live webinars. This program is one of the most celebrated programs of SCGS, and has helped extend the awareness of the society and promote genealogical education around the world. Paula has utilized her marketing skills through the redesign of the SCGS website, the development of the Jamboree website, and the design of both the SCGS and Jamboree blogs. She was also one of the early champions of social media creating a presence on Facebook and Twitter for both SCGS as Jamboree.

J. Paul Hawthorne

In a few short days at the end of March 2016 the world of genealogy exploded in many shades of color. While genealogy is a world of many shades of color, this specific explosion resulted in the colors of our ancestral migration patterns.

J. Paul Hawthorne, Historian and FGS Delegate for the San Diego Genealogical Society, posted this hashtag on Facebook and Twitter:

#MyColorfulAncestry 

Then he showed what that meant! As he stated on Facebook, “A little visual I created in Excel. 5 Generation chart of my direct ancestors birth state -- starting with me. A good way to visualize migration patterns. He used other Twitter hashtags, too: #genealogy and  #GoofingOffAtWork.”

Goofing off? This meme is still going strong on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and other media around the world! Variations of the meme arose. People from across the U.S, Canada, Australia, and other countries participated and posted their charts on social media. They asked questions of one another. They learned about research in specific places from others whose colorful charts showed ancestry in those same places. For spearheading this colorful worldwide sharing of genealogy, the Federation of Genealogical Societies presented J. Paul Hawthorne with the Technology Advances Award.


Please consider nominating a deserving person, organization, or project for an FGS award at http://fgs.org/cpage.php?pt=56.

Awards are presented at various times during each year, but if you are interested in a nomination for an award to be presented at the FGS 2016 National Conference, the deadline is 15 July 2016, which will be held August 31 — September 3, in Springfield, Illinois. Join fellow genealogists and family historians at "Time Travel: Centuries of Memories," designed to inspire you and enrich your family history! Register today at FGSConference.org.

Paula Stuart-Warren
FGS Awards Committee Chair

 Register for #FGS2016 today!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Summer Issue of FORUM is out: Education is Key! Enhancing Member Benefits Using Education, Researching in School Records, Navigating Voyages, & more!

The Summer 2016 issue of FORUM is out today. Take a break, prop up your feet, and enjoy seventy-six pages of articles and columns for genealogists and society leaders.  

In "Education is Key! Enhancing Member Benefits Using Education" Cari Taplin, CG, details various types of educational opportunities societies can offer to create a feeling of community, inclusion, and friendship.

"Researching in School Records: Even if Your Ancestor Didn't Attend School" by Melissa Barker explains the wealth of information found in these records. 

Gena Philibert-Ortega gives tips for society leaders, especially program planners, in "The Proper Care & Feeding of Genealogy Speakers." 


Learn how to use the Trans-Atantic Slave Trade Database in "Navigating Voyages" by Ted Bainbridge, PhD. 



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

Table of Contents


3 ...... From the Editor

6 ...... President's Message: Celebrating 40 Years by D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS

8 ...... Education is Key! Enhancing Member Benefits Using Education by Cari A. Taplin, CG

13 ...... Researching in School Records: Even If Your Ancestor Didn't Attend School by Melissa Barker

18 ...... FGS 2016 Conference: 4 Reasons You Should Attend by Julie Cahill Tarr

22 ...... The Proper Care & Feeding of Genealogy Speakers by Gena Philibert-Ortega

28 ...... FGS Awards: A History of Recognizing Exceptional Service by Linda McCauley

32 ...... Navigating Voyages by Ted Bainbridge, PhD

42 ...... Meet the FGS Board compiled by Linda McCauley

51 ...... Spotlight on Member Projects: Online Databases, Research Assistance & More by Caroline Pointer

55 ...... Ethics & Standards: The Downside of CTRL+C, CTRL+V by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL

57 ...... Next Generation: Certificates, Certifications & Degrees: Are They the Same? by Shannon Combs-Bennett

60 ...... Forensic Genealogy: Genetic Genealogy: A Tool for the Forensic Genealogist by Michael S. Ramage, JD, CG

63 ...... Beyond Boxes & Binders: How Do I Choose Which Stories to Tell? by Linda Coffin

65 ...... Records Preservation & Access: New Digital Collection, RPAC News & More by Linda McCleary, MLS

68 ...... Reviews

How to access FORUM:

Current FGS Member Society Leadership: 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 28 No. 2 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.

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.

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