Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Share Your Favorite Illinois Farm With the FGS 2016 Conference!

Submit a photo of your favorite Illinois farm!

"Farm in Central Illinois" Credit: Photographs in the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.
"Farm in Central Illinois" Credit: Photographs in the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.
During the 2016 FGS Conference, co-host Illinois State Genealogical Society will showcase Farms and Families: Across the Decades

This event, Wednesday, 31 August 2016, 7:00 p.m. will celebrate farms in Illinois, especially Centennial and Sesquicentennial farms. 

"Old-style wooden windmill in farmyard of Martin Myre's farm near Seneca, Illinois" Credit: Library of Congress
"Old-style wooden windmill in farmyard of Martin Myre's farm near Seneca, Illinois" Credit: Library of Congress.

ISGS also wants to celebrate the farms that are important to you by displaying photos of your favorite Illinois farm. The farm could be one you drive by everyday, one your ancestors lived on when they first settled in Illinois, or one they farmed. 

Send a photo, past or present, of a farm that matters to you, and all photos received will be displayed at the Wednesday evening event!

"Toluca (vicinity), Illinois. Farm landscape along the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad between Chicago and Chillicothe, Illinois" Credit: Library of Congress.
"Toluca (vicinity), Illinois. Farm landscape along the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad between Chicago and Chillicothe, Illinois" Credit: Library of Congress.

To submit a photo, email it to conferences@fgs.org. Please only send photos you hold the copyrights to and put “farm” in the subject line. Include your name, the location of the farm (county or township is fine) and any additional information you may have. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Latest FORUM Issue Out: Researching in Libraries & Archives: The Dos & Don'ts, New Columns Forensic Genealogy and Beyond Boxes & Binders; and more!

It will officially be spring in a few days, but the Spring 2016 issue of FORUM is out today.

In "Researching in Libraries & Archives: The Dos & Don'ts," Melissa Barker, Certified Archivist, details best practices for getting the most out of your visits and contacts with repositories.

Janice Lovelace, PhD, discusses research approaches in "Breaking Through Brick Walls: 10 Strategies to Find Your African American Ancestors."

"Railroad Worker Ancestors & Their Records" by Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA, takes a look at the wealth of records available for this occupation.

We are pleased to welcome three new members to the FORUM team with this issue. Michael S. Ramage, JD, CG, and Linda Coffin begin columns Forensic Genealogy and Beyond Boxes & Binders, respectively. And Melissa Barker takes over as the Reviews Editor. 

Included in this issue: the full FGS 2016 Conference Brochure, featuring details about the program, events, and more! 

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

Table of Contents

3 ...... From the Editor

6 ...... President's Message: Bridging Tradition & Technology by D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS

8 ...... Researching in Libraries & Archives: The Dos & Don'ts by Melissa Barker

12 ...... Breaking Through Brick Walls, 10 Strategies to Find Your African American Ancestors by Janice Lovelace, PhD

16 ...... A Look Back at Past FGS Conferences by Linda McCauley

22 ...... Railroad Worker Ancestors & Their Records by Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA

27 ...... FGS Charter Members

29 ...... Spotlight on Member Projects: Research Services, Volunteer Opportunities & More by Caroline Pointer

33 ...... Ethics & Standards: Not So Very Different by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL

36 ...... Next Generation: The Importance of Self-Editing by Shannon Combs-Bennett

38 ...... Forensic Genealogy: Forensic Genealogist versus Traditional Family Historian by Michael S. Ramage, JD, CG

40 ...... Beyond Boxes & Binders: Be the Ancestor Your Descendants Will Appreciate by Linda Coffin

42 ...... Records Preservation & Access: Preservation Projects, Online Records & More by Linda McCleary, MLS

45 ...... 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. 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 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.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

How Learning from Regina's Success Can Help Your Society

Are you sharing your society's Regina-like experiences?

Recently on our Facebook Page, we shared a heartwarming story about a librarian, named Regina Rush, who had found out more about her family history by using primary source materials. (Librarian Finds Clues About Her Family's Past Hidden in Special Collections)

Seems like just another day for a genealogist or family historian, doesn't it?

So why did it have so much favorable engagement on Facebook?

Besides the fact it is a well-written piece, I believe it did so well because as genealogists and family historians, we could all relate in some way. We either have been Regina or we want to be Regina (again). We have either experienced research success like Regina's success or we want to (again).

And by the end of the piece when Regina is quoted as saying about her ancestors, "'They didn’t have a voice and I want to give it to them. I want to say, ‘You lived, you were here, and your life mattered.’ It matters to me. Your DNA runs through me and I am who I am because of you,'” we are shaking our heads in affirmation and saying to ourselves, "Yes. Exactly!"

So, society/association leaders, what does this have to do with your genealogical society, historical society, or family association? Libraries and archives too?

Well, everything.

I read a lot of society/association newsletters, journals, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, etc., in order to stay on top of our members' educational activities, fundraising efforts, preservation projects, and services. 

And in doing so, I see a lot of reporting and sharing of curated content about what other entities are doing and not a lot about what the organizations themselves are doing and the impact they are making by helping researchers just like Regina.

And it is not because these organizations are not providing opportunities ripe for Regina-like experiences. Because they are. They most certainly are. They're just forgetting to share it with their members and the world.

And that's a shame because genealogists and family historians can relate to the successes that other researchers are having in some way. It gets them excited. It gets them motivated. 

And it may even get them to the organization's next event or webinar.

Sharing your organization's Regina-like experiences everywhere (website, blog, newsletter, Facebook Page, Twitter account, and Pinterest account) can make a lasting impression with your members, your potential members, your donors, and your patrons. 

And stories like these are your organization's stories. 

Tell your organization's story.

Because Regina's success is everyone's success.

And to borrow broadly just a bit from Regina...

Your organization lives. It's here. It matters to the genealogical community. And the community is what it is because of your organization.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

FGS Seeks Design and Layout Editor for FORUM

The Federation of Genealogical Societies seeks a Design and Layout Editor for our quarterly digital magazine, FORUM, to begin immediately upon finalizing a contract.

Duties include design and layout of each issue of FORUM and working with the managing editor to adhere to the production schedule.

View the full job description for duties and responsibilities.

Interested parties should submit a résumé and digital work samples to Linda McCauley, FGS Publications Committee Chair, at publications@fgs.org. Any questions should also be directed to that email address.

The deadline for submissions is March 23, 2016.

Monday, March 7, 2016

2017 FGS National Conference Call for Presentations

Deadline for submissions is 1 June 2016. 

We are very excited to announce that presentation proposals are now being received for the FGS 2017 Conference, “Building Bridges to the Past,” to be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania August 30 – September 2, 2017. The conference will be held in cooperation with the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society as local host. The deadline for submission of presentation proposals is Wednesday, 1 June 2016.

“Building Bridges to the Past” references not only the many bridges in Pittsburgh, but the bridges between old world and new, as well as our journeys to discover our past. Topics related to methodology and research skills are always welcomed, in addition to content-specific areas, such as:

  • Military: Revolutionary War, War of 1812, American Civil War, Indian Wars, World War I, World War II, colonial and frontier wars.
  • Migration: Europe to North America; naturalization records; passenger lists; ports of entry; to and through the Mid-Atlantic; migration trails and routes (Braddock Road, National Road, Great Wagon Road); refugee resettlement.
  • Immigrant OriginsGreat Britain and the former British Empire; Germany and other German-speaking countries; Eastern and Central Europe; the Mediterranean/Adriatic Basin; the Scandinavian countries; Latin American research.
  • African-American Research: Reconstructing families; free persons of color; identifying slave owners; slavery in Colonial America, including Pennsylvania; African-American newspapers and other lesser-used sources; anti-slavery movements; migration and after the Civil War.
  • Occupations & Work: Farmers, carpenters, glassworkers, iron/steelworkers, coal miners, brewers/distillers, boatmen, firefighters/police, railroaders, canal builders, laborers and factory hands; women in the workforce; unions, guilds and apprenticeships; smugglers, bootleggers and other illicit trades.
  • Religions, Adherents and Records: Quaker, Jewish, Orthodox, Catholic, Amish, Moravian, Mennonite, Presbyterian, and other Protestant traditions and records; religious colonization’s and refugee movements; Pogrom and Holocaust survivors and research; Mormon/LDS; utopian communities; peace churches, pacifists and conscientious objectors; convents, monasteries and cloistered communities.
  • Regional research: Research in Pennsylvania and nearby states—Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, West Virginia; archival collections; research repositories in the Mid-Atlantic; college and university research collections; migration destinations from Pennsylvania, such as the Midwest and the Carolinas.
  • Genetics & DNA: the basics of DNA research; autosomal studies and advanced analysis; testing procedures; ethical considerations; adoptions; forensic and expert work; case studies.
  • Skills, Abilities & General Knowledge: Beginning research techniques; evidence analysis; online resources and tools; wikis; collaboration techniques and etiquette; terminology; comparative analysis; units of measure, trade and currency; time, calendars and dates; writing a family history; publishing; creating websites, blogs and vlogs; earning genealogical credentials.
  • Society Management: Use of technology by and for societies; adaption to change; internal and external communication; meeting changing member needs and member engagement; membership growth; education projects and events; society leadership; fundraising; team building; volunteers; implementing large projects.

The program committee specifically seeks new and dynamic proposals that will provide exceptional learning experiences for conference attendees. Different formats in addition to the traditional lecture format are encouraged. (Sessions still must fit into a one-hour time slot.) Proposals for workshops and sponsored sessions are encouraged.

Multiple proposals (more than four) are welcome and encouraged, as most chosen to speak will be engaged for more than one presentation. There is no limit on the number of proposals a speaker may submit.

Submission Requirements
Speaker submissions and deadlines for the FGS 2017 Conference reflect the implementation of an online submission system. Interested parties must submit all presentation proposals using the online formsThe Call for Presentations is now open and will close on Wednesday, 1 June 2016. This deadline is for all proposal submissions, including sponsored presentations.

Selected speakers receive an honorarium, travel compensation, and conference registration as well as per diem and hotel nights based on the number of presentations given. (Sponsored speakers only receive conference registration and syllabus materials. See more about sponsorships below.) Non-sponsored speakers receive compensation according to the FGS Conference Speaker Policy.

Sponsored Presentations
Societies and businesses are encouraged to submit proposals for sponsored talks by the stated deadline for proposal submission. The sponsoring organization will cover its speaker's costs to present the presentation. Sponsored speakers are expected to abide by all speaker deadlines and syllabus requirements. Sponsored speakers will receive complimentary FGS conference registration and electronic syllabus materials.

Additional Information
Invitations will be issued in Fall 2016. Contracts and syllabus format guidelines will be sent to speakers at that time. Camera-ready handouts are required for each presentation or workshop presentation and will be compiled in a syllabus distributed to conference participants. The deadline for submissions of syllabus materials is 27 March 2017.

Email questions to program2017@fgs.org
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