Wednesday, July 12, 2017

FGS Announces Webinar Series on Society Management

Monthly webinars will be free to the general public.

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announces the launch of our Society Management webinar series, scheduled to begin July 20, 2017. This series of free events will bring a much-needed aspect to the array of learning opportunities currently provided in the genealogical community; focusing solely on the leadership and management of non-profit societies.

The series will begin July 20, 2017 at 7:00pm central with a presentation by Fred Moss discussing The Open Death Records Initiative. The August session will feature David Rencher, CG, presenting on the best practices – and challenges – surrounding The Nominating Committee.

Each month thereafter will feature a new and interesting topic, ranging from recruitment and volunteer management to technology, publications, and working with your local tourism board. 

Registration will be necessary, and regular updates will be shared via the FGS Voice blog, FGS Voice Newsletter, and social media. Webinars will occur every 3rd Thursday of the month.

Registration for the July program can be found here.

Speakers interested in presenting topics should contact Jen Baldwin, Education Chair, at

Are you looking for a rewarding and beneficial way to volunteer? The Education Committee at FGS could use your expertise. Please contact Jen Baldwin at

Friday, June 23, 2017

Pittsburgh’s Military Museums and Memorial Sites

Pittsburgh has a long military history and its residents continue to understand the importance of keeping history alive for future generations.

Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum

Photo Credit: Colleen O’Laughlin, WPGS Publications Chairperson

During the Civil War, Pittsburgh’s industries and residents were vital to the Union Army.  In the 1890s the Grand Army of the Republic, a service organization of Union Civil War Veterans, wanted a permanent place to commemorate the military service and sacrifice by local veterans of Allegheny County and the idea of for Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum began to take shape.

The massive building based on the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus in Asia Minor was completed in 1910.  It is located in the Oakland neighborhood of the city and sits adjacent to the University of Pittsburgh. Soldiers and Sailors is the United States’ only memorial that is dedicated to honoring those who served in all branches and capacities of military service.

For more than one hundred years, Soldiers and Sailors has collected personal mementos and artifacts from veterans and their families to help illustrate the experiences of the veterans from the Civil War all the way to today’s conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. As you walk through the four halls of the museum, visitors will see uniforms, military equipment, artillery, and personal items. The museum halls feature large bronze plaques that contain the names, regiments, companies, and muster dates of 25,000 men from Allegheny County who served in the Union Army during the Civil War.

Photo Credit: Colleen O’Laughlin, WPGS Publications Chairperson

The front lawn and the walkway of Soldiers and Sailors features cannons, cannonballs, and a torpedo. Two large bronze statues of a soldier and a sailor stand guard at either side of the main entrance to the building. 

Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum 

4141 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Hours of Operation: Monday – Saturday, 10am – 4pm 

USS Requin Submarine

Photo Credit: Colleen O’Laughlin, WPGS Publications Chairperson

There is another Pittsburgh museum dedicated to military service. The USS Requin submarine has been moored along the north shore of the Ohio River as part of the Carnegie Science Center since 1990.  Visitors have permission to go below to tour sections of the Cold War-era submarine and see how 80 sailors lived and worked under the high seas.

USS Requin Submarine

Carnegie Science Center

One Allegheny Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Open daily (weather and river conditions permitting) 

10 am – 4:30 pm

These remarkable museums allow visitors to gain a new perspective on history. Being able to see just a glimpse into the experiences of our veterans will bring a new understanding of their sacrifice and patriotism.

 - guest post by Colleen O’Laughlin, WPGS Publications Chairperson

Monday, June 19, 2017

Learn How to Build Your Family Tree with DNA

FGS2017 has 9 sessions + 2 workshops to help with that!

Genealogists around the world are using DNA to break down long-standing family history research brick walls.

At the FGS National Conference in Pittsburgh, our genetic genealogy experts will help you learn what you need to know — whether you are just a beginner or want to learn more advanced methods of using DNA test results.

On Thursday and Saturday 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.

If you want a more in-depth experience, then we have two 4-hour workshops that will help you dive deeper into using DNA for your genealogy research. Click here to learn more

Blaine Bettinger, PhD, JD

Advanced Third-Party Tools

Together we will examine some of the advanced tools from GEDmatch, DNAGedcom, and others. We will also examine some of the new third-party tools that have launched in the past year or so.

Gale French

Why oh Y-DNA for Genealogy— Basics of Y-DNA Testing

Sponsored by Family Tree DNA
This class will introduce you to Y-DNA and how it is used in genealogy. Y-DNA testing is the process of getting your Y-chromosome results for comparing with other testers. The Y-DNA test offers males a clear path from you to a known or likely direct paternal ancestor(s). It is great for genealogists wanting to confirm a paternal line. The course will also show how women can use the test by recruiting a father, brother, cousin, or uncle to do the test. Good genealogy is verified by an accurate paper trail; great genealogy is supported by DNA results.

Janice Lovelace, PhD

Getting Started with DNA

Sponsored by MyHeritage
Autosomal, mitochondrial, Y-DNA— what do these terms mean and where do you start? This session focuses on the basics of genetic genealogy as it takes a beginning look at DNA testing for the genealogist.

Diahan Southard

The Combined Power of Y-DNA and Autosomal DNA: A Case Study

Using a case study, learn how Y-DNA and autosomal DNA testing helped one family to better understand their own past and gave them incentive to reach out and connect with others. We will cover methodology and the sociology of this kind of situation and best practices for you and your family as you strive to forge bonds with others in a non-traditional way.

Three Powerful Ways to Find Your Best DNA Matches

Sponsored by MyHeritage
Anyone with an autosomal DNA test likely has a long list of potential relatives. But how do you make the most of those matches? Which matches are worth your time and effort? Learn to use genetic and genealogical clues to filter and sort your matches to make the most progress with your test results.

Anna Swayne

Making Family Discoveries Using AncestryDNA

Sponsored by Ancestry
Learn about how DNA works, what’s new at AncestryDNA, and how to get the most out of your DNA matches. We’ll provide an overview of AncestryDNA and how it can help validate your research and find new leads. 

Working with your DNA Matches

Sponsored by Ancestry
Do you want to learn more about what you can do with your DNA matches? Get tips and tricks on how DNA matching works and how you can leverage the tools at AncestryDNA to answer your genealogy questions.

Panel Session: Ask the DNA Experts

by Blaine Bettinger PhD, JD, Judy G. Russell JD, CG, CGL, Diahan Southard

Ask DNA experts your questions about DNA testing for genealogy. Angie Bush, MS, will serve as moderator for this panel featuring Blaine Bettinger, PhD, JD, Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL, and Diahan Southard. What does the future hold? What ethical and legal issues should be considered when DNA testing? What tests, tools, and tricks do these experts use that may help in your research?

Register Now!

Join us for the FGS 2017 National Conference, “Building Bridges to the Past,” in Pittsburgh, PA, August 30-September 2, 2016. Register now to get the early-bird price which ends July 1, 2017.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Summer 2017 Issue of FORUM is Out

If you need more from your genealogy software, Elizabeth O'Neal has advice for shopping around in "Desperately Seeking Software: How To Find Your Perfect Match." 

For those of you heading to Pittsburgh for the FGS 2017 conference in August, Marilyn Cocchiola Holt, MLS, gives you "A Guide to Research Facilities in Pittsburgh and Nearby Areas."

Rachel M. Popma has tips for newsletter and journal editors in "Society Publications: How to Find Valuable Content for Your Readers." 

In "Google for Nonprofits," Denise Barrett Olson explains how to use these simple yet powerful tools to streamline society management. 

And that's not all. 

Table of Contents

3 ...... Editor's Message

6 ...... President's Message: Full Circle by Rorey Cathcart

8 ...... Desperately Seeking Software: How to Find Your Perfect Match by Elizabeth O'Neal

13 ...... FGS 2017 Conference: A Guide to Research Facilities in Pittsburgh and Nearby Areas by Marilyn Cocchiola Holt, MLS

18 ...... Society Publications: How to Find Valuable Content for Your Readers by Rachel M. Popma

23 ...... Google for Nonprofits by Denise Barrett Olson

28 ...... Next Generation: Consider Sponsoring a Scholarship by Shannon Combs-Bennett

30 ...... Forensic Genealogy: The Case for Turning Down Contingency Fees by Helen Haldeman Daglas

32 ...... Records Preservation & Access: RPAC News, Dawes Rolls, Digitized Records & More by Linda McCleary, MLS

36 ...... Reviews

47 ...... Before You Go . . .

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 29 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 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. 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Improve Your Results with 5 Sessions by Ancestry Experts

FGS 2017 Ancestry Track

Today’s spotlight is on #FGS2017 Platinum Sponsor, Part of their sponsorship is Saturday’s Ancestry Track, when Ancestry's experts will be on hand to help you improve your family history research results! 

Crista Cowan

Crista Cowan has worked at since 2004 and is known there as The Barefoot Genealogist. She frequently speaks at genealogy events around the country.

The Difference Between Searchers and Researchers

There is a difference between searching and researching. We need both skills to climb our family tree. Using the Ancestry search engine as an example learn how these powerful tools can help us be good searchers AND good researchers.

  • Time: 3:30-4:30 PM
  • Skill level: Beginner, intermediate

Anna Swayne

Anna Swayne has 11 years of experience in DNA genealogy, with 5 of those at AncestryDNA. Her focus is educating on the power of DNA and the story it can unlock.

Working with your DNA Matches

Do you want to learn more about what you can do with your DNA matches? Get tips and tricks on how DNA matching works and how you can leverage the tools at AncestryDNA to answer your genealogy questions.

  • Time: 8:00-9:00 AM
  • Skill level: Beginner, intermediate, advanced

Making Family Discoveries Using AncestryDNA

Learn about how DNA works, what’s new at AncestryDNA, and how to get the most out of your DNA matches. We’ll provide an overview of AncestryDNA and how it can help validate your research and find new leads. 

  • Time: 9:30-10:30 AM
  • Skill level: Beginner, intermediate, advanced

Juliana Szucs

Juliana Szucs has worked at for 18+ years. She is a regular blogger on the Ancestry blog and is a social community manager and staff genealogist on the research team.

Getting the Most from Ancestry

Juliana will guide you through the resources and tools available on Ancestry, sharing strategies that will help you find the best route to your ancestors. 

  • Time: 2:00-3:00 PM
  • Skill level: Beginner, intermediate

Street Savvy Discovering Your Urban Roots

Feeling overwhelmed with research in the big city? Juliana will share tips that will help you pin down your ancestors in cities—large and small.

  • Time: 5:00-6:00 PM
  • Skill level: Beginner, intermediate

Register Now!

Join us for the FGS 2017 National Conference, “Building Bridges to the Past,” in Pittsburgh, PA, August 30-September 2, 2016. Register now to get the early-bird price which ends July 1, 2017.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Do You Need To Break Through Brick Walls?

Check out the Analysis track at #FGS2017

Analyzing records and information is a key skill for genealogists and family historians.  The Analysis track on Friday, September 1 at the FGS 2017 National Conference offers sessions for researchers of all experience levels.

Tony Burroughs, FUGA

Tony Burroughs, FUGA, is founder and CEO of The Center for Black Genealogy. He is an internationally known genealogist who taught genealogy at Chicago State University for 15 years.

Why You Don’t Find Your Ancestors

Genealogy databases have billions of names. But after searching online you often can’t find your ancestors in the databases. However, they still may be there. Why is that? There are many reasons but many of the answers may surprise you.
  • Time: 8:00-9:00 AM
  • Skill level: Beginner, intermediate, advanced

Teri E. Flack MBA, MA, FTxSGS

Teri E. Flack, MA (Public History), MBA, FTxSGS, is a genealogy and historical researcher, consultant, and lecturer. Chair, Texas State Genealogical Society RPAC; VP of administration, FGS; and volunteer archivist, Texas State Archives.

Seeing the Patterns: Organizing and Visualizing the Evidence

We gather lots of information, data, and evidence in our research. Organize and visualize data using timelines, chronologies, charts, and tables to compare, correlate, and analyze evidence; discover gaps and missing information; and uncover new trails for research.
  • Time: 2:00-3:00 PM
  • Skill level: Intermediate

Cyndi Ingle

Cyndi Ingle is the creator of Cyndi’s List, an award-winning website that is a categorized index to 335,000+ online resources. A genealogist for 36+ years, she is a past NGS board member.

Remedies for Copy & Paste Genealogy

Family trees and the information they contain are easily copied and republished by others online. This means errors are duplicated many times over. We will discuss solutions for dealing with these issues.
  • Time: 9:30-10:30 AM
  • Skill level: Beginner, intermediate

Thomas W. Jones PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS

Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS, is an award-winning author, educator, and researcher focusing on methods for difficult genealogical problems. He wrote Mastering Genealogical Proof and is co-editor of NGS Quarterly.

When Does Newfound Evidence Overturn a Proved Conclusion?

Even thorough research misses relevant sources. What are the options when useful information or DNA test results appear after a researcher establishes a conclusion?
  • Time: 5:00-6:00
  • Skill level: Intermediate, advanced

Jill Morelli, CG

Jill Morelli, CG, is a professional genealogist who lectures nationally on methodology, record sets, Nordic research (specialty, Sweden), and her Midwestern heritage.

Making Timelines Work for You

Timelines clarify research problems, provide an outline for family history narratives, or compare similar data across years. Learn how to make them work for you.
  • Time: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Skill level: Beginner, intermediate

Chris Staats

Chris Staats is a Cleveland, Ohio-based professional genealogical researcher, presenter, and writer. He has written articles for Family Tree Magazine, APG Quarterly, and other publications.

How Do You Know What You Know? Moving Beyond Your Genealogy Database

Genealogical databases are a great tool to store and maintain our family tree. However, they don’t accurately reflect the most important thing we do as researchers—think, analyze, and explain. Databases are simply a list of sources and conclusions. Learn to document the reasoning that connects those sources and conclusions.
  • Time: 3:30-4:30 PM
  • Skill level: Beginner, intermediate

Register Now!

Join us for the FGS 2017 National Conference, “Building Bridges to the Past,” in Pittsburgh, PA, August 30-September 2, 2016. Register now to get the early-bird price which ends July 1, 2017.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Researching African American Genealogy?

Our African American Research Track Can Help!

We are pleased to offer a conference track focused on African American research at the FGS 2017 National Conference. 

On Friday, September 1, speakers will present on a variety of specialized topics designed to help family history researchers trace elusive African American ancestors and break through brick walls.

Deborah Abbott, PhD

Deborah Abbott, PhD, is a genealogist specializing in African American research, genealogy methodology, and manuscript collections. She is an instructor at IGHR and SLIG and a trustee for the Ohio Genealogical Society.

A Methodical Approach to Slave Research: A Case Study

Identifying slave families and their slaveholders can be challenging, but not impossible. Bridging the gap between the slavery era and freedom requires patience and perseverance. This case study begins with the 1940 census and shows how information from all preceding censuses led to documents that revealed the identity of the slaveholder.
  • Time: 9:30-10:30 AM
  • Skill level: Beginner, intermediate, advanced

Wevonneda Minis

Wevonneda Minis lectures on research methodology, finding African American ancestors, South Carolina, and Georgia. She is ISFHWE president and a Gen Proof Study Group mentor.

Enslaved African Americans in White Church Records: An Overlooked Source

Slaves often attended their owners’ churches. Learn to use records of those churches for details about a slave’s parents, owners, attendance, dismissal, sale, and more.
  • Time: 8:00-9:00 AM
  • Skill level: Intermediate

James Dent Walker Memorial Lecture: Freedmen’s Bureau Labor Contracts: A Closer Look

Researching Freedmen’s Bureau labor contracts can provide more than lists of ancestors’ names. Analyzing them can yield information with evidence to solve genealogical problems.
  • Time: 3:30-4:30 PM
  • Skill level: Intermediate

Judy G. Russell JD, CG, CGL

Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL, is The Legal Genealogist and provides expert guidance through the murky territory where law, history, and genealogy come together.

“Deemed a Runaway”: Black Laws of the North

Slavery’s force was felt far north of the Mason-Dixon Line, and the Black Laws of northern states created valuable records for tracing African American families.
  • Time: 2:00-3:00
  • Skill level: Beginner, intermediate, advanced

Ari Wilkins

Ari Wilkins is a genealogist and a member of Dallas Public Library’s genealogy staff. She formerly served on the Texas State Genealogical Society’s executive committee.

Black and White Southern Families in Plantation Records

Learn about the abundance of genealogical information that can be found in plantation records and how to research the collection.
  • Time: 11:00 AM-12:00 PM
  • Skill level: Intermediate, advanced

Apprentice Records in African American Research

Learn how to research and analyze apprentice records for children of color. 
  • Time: 5:00-6:00 PM
  • Skill level: Intermediate

Register Now!

Join us for the FGS 2017 National Conference, “Building Bridges to the Past,” in Pittsburgh, PA, August 30-September 2, 2016. Register now to get the early-bird price which ends July 1, 2017.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Research in Pittsburgh: The Detre Library & Archives

The Thomas & Katherine Detre Library & Archives, founded in 1879, is located in the Senator John Heinz History Center. It offers a non-circulating collection of materials documenting life in Western Pennsylvania. The Library & Archives preserves the rich history of Western Pennsylvania and makes its collections accessible to researchers, students, and the general public.

Photo courtesy of the Senator John Heinz History Center

The Library & Archives collection includes:
·         700,000 photographs, prints, and negatives
·         40,000 books, pamphlets, and monographs
·         3,500 individual archival collections of families, organizations, businesses, and industries
·         600 periodical titles
·         500 maps and atlases

The Digital Collection at the Library & Archives includes photographs from the H. J. Heinz Company, Allegheny Conference on Community Development, General Postcard Collection, Pittsburgh Floods, Buhl Foundation’s Chatham Village Photographs, and correspondence, photographs, reports, scrapbooks, minutes, curriculum materials, and business records documenting 90 schools in the Pittsburgh Public Schools District.

Photo courtesy of the Senator John Heinz History Center

Also available at the Library & Archives is the Rauh Jewish History Program & Archives, which was founded in 1989 to collect, preserve, and make accessible the documentary history of Jews and Jewish communities of Western Pennsylvania.  These collections document the lives of individuals and families and the histories of congregations, organizations, institutions, and businesses. Correspondence, memoirs, diaries, ledgers, minutes, scrapbooks, ephemera, photographs, audio tapes, and moving images are housed in archival containers and stored in a monitored, secure, and climate-controlled environment.

Programs sponsored by the Library & Archives include Finding Your Family History, Preserving Your Family Treasures, Italian Genealogy, Irish Genealogy, Personal Digital Archiving, and programs to celebrate Family History Month in October. 

Learn more about Western Pennsylvania, a region of cultural and ethnic diversity and unsurpassed significance in the history of industrialization and economic development. Search their online catalog for books, archival collections, periodicals, and more at 

The Heinz History Center is a short walk from the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Access to the Detre Library & Archives is free for all visitors; however, if you wish to see the museum exhibits, then paid admission is required.

Hours of the Library & Archives are Wed.-Sat., 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Other times available by appointment.  Contact by phone at 412-454-6364 or e-mail  You can complete an Online Form to have materials ready for you to review when you come to visit.

 - guest post by Rebecca Kichta Miller, President Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society

This is the first in a series of posts about research opportunities in the Pittsburgh area.

Friday, May 19, 2017

7 Ways to Make the Most of the FGS 2017 Exhibit Hall

A highlight of every FGS conference is the Exhibit Hall - a place to explore the latest software, books, and gadgets for genealogists, a place to interact with the latest technology, and a place to learn about genealogical organizations.

Finding enough time to fully explore the exhibit hall during FGS conferences is often difficult, but we are making that easier at FGS 2017. Here are 7 ways to make the most of the FGS 2017 Exhibit Hall.

1. Exhibit Hall Grand Opening

As always, we'll have the Exhibit Hall Grand Opening on Thursday from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. (immediately following the Keynote Address). Get your first look at the latest software, books, maps, databases, and gadgets on the market for genealogists and family historians, as well as information about genealogical organizations.

2. Exhibit Hall Lunch: Eat, Explore, Shop

On Friday, the two-hour lunch break will be devoted to the exhibit hall with a catered boxed lunch served. A ticket for this special lunch is included with each full conference registration. Tickets will also be available as an add-on purchase for Friday-only attendees.

Sponsored by

(Please note that other luncheons will not be held on Friday.)

3. Exhibit Hall Passports

All attendees (including one-day registrants) will receive an Exhibit Hall Passport with their registration materials. Get your Passport stamped at the booths you visit during the conference and turn it in at the FGS booth for an opportunity to win prizes. Passports with a minimum of 20 stamps will be eligible to win a variety of prizes. Passports that are 100% covered will also be eligible for the Grand Prize Package. Details about prizes will be announced closer to the conference.

4. Vendor Bucks are back!

Introduced at the FGS 2016 conference in Springfield, Illinois, Vendor Bucks were highly popular with conference attendees and exhibitors alike. We are delighted to announce that Vendor Bucks are back for FGS 2017! Each full conference registrant will receive $10 in Vendor Bucks in their registration material to spend at the vendor booth of their choice.

5. Exhibit Hall Live

Join FGS and our exhibitors from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Saturday for a 90-minute exhibit hall gala featuring door prizes, special activities, shopping, and networking with vendors and societies. This will be a great time to spend your Vendor Bucks and finish up your Exhibit Hall Passport, if you haven’t done so by Saturday morning.

6. Society Showcase

If you've attended an FGS conference in the past, you've seen Society Showcase - a section of the Exhibit Hall dedicated to FGS member societies. It's been a focal point of FGS conference exhibit halls for many years. FGS 2017 attendees can look forward to learning about the rich variety of genealogical, historical, and family societies that *may* unlock the clues to their own family history mysteries!

7. Exhibit Hall Learning Center

Free, 30-minute presentations will be given on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday during the conference in the Exhibit Hall Learning Center. These sessions will be presented by exhibitors and society representatives and are open to conference attendees and the public. Details about these sessions will be available by mid-June, so stay tuned!

If you are an exhibitor and would like to sign up for a time slot, please use the Submit Exhibit Hall Learning Center Presentation form.

Exhibit Hall Hours
  • Thursday, August 31: 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 
  • Friday, September 1: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 
  • Saturday, September 2: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Exposure to new ideas, technologies, and organizations can recharge your family history pursuits. Don’t miss this year’s exciting FGS Exhibit Hall full of fun activities!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

2018 FGS National Conference Call for Presentation Proposals

Deadline for submissions is 14 July 2017.

We are very excited to announce that presentation proposals are now being received for the FGS 2018 Conference, “On the Three Rivers—Past, Present & Future” to be held 22-25 August, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The conference will be held in conjunction with the Allen County Public Library as local host. Outstanding nearby research facilities and attractions will enhance the conference experience. The deadline for submission of lecture proposals is Friday, 14 July 2017.

FGS 2018 Conference Call for Presentations Now Open

The program committee specifically seeks new and dynamic proposals that will provide exceptional and unique educational experiences for conference attendees. Proposals for workshops and sponsored talks are also encouraged. Categories for submissions include:

·         Society Management                     
·         Methodologies and Strategies
·         Transportation
·         Midwestern Records
·         Military Records
·         Repositories
·         Record Types
·         Technology
·         Religious Groups
·         Ethnic Groups
·         Genetics and DNA
·         Migration/Immigration

Please note that there are approximately 130 slots to fill and we are looking for presenters that can give talks on multiple topics. Speakers are encouraged to submit 6 or more presentations for the committee to consider. The committee reserves the right to contact presenters for more details and/or clarification of submission.

Submission Requirements

Each proposal should include:

·         Speaker(s) name.
·         Speaker(s) contact information, including mailing address, phone, email, and website, if applicable.
·         Prior speaking experience.
·         Speaker(s) biography.
·         Speaker(s) brief brochure biography (40 word maximum).
·         Lecture title (not to exceed 12 words).
·         Lecture brochure description (50 word maximum).
·         Lecture outline/summary.
·         Lecture audio-visual requirements. FGS does NOT provide projectors, computers, or internet access for speakers.

Proposals should be submitted online at:

Submissions are due no later than 14 July 2017.


Selected speakers receive an honorarium, travel compensation, and conference registration as well as per diem and hotel nights based on the number of lectures presented. (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 Lectures
Societies and businesses are encouraged to submit proposals for sponsored talks. The sponsoring organization will cover its speaker's costs to present the lecture. Sponsored speakers will abide by all speaker deadlines and syllabus requirements. Sponsored speakers will receive complimentary FGS conference registration.

Invitations to speak will be issued in October 2017. Syllabus format guidelines and deadline will be sent to speakers at that time. The deadline for acceptance and submission of signed speaker contracts is 1 November 2017.

Email questions to

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Food, Friends, & Genealogy

Where can you find food, friends, and genealogy all in one place?  At FGS conference luncheons, of course!

Whether you are attending the conference alone or with friends, you’ll have built-in lunch companions who share your interest in genealogy. Plus, each luncheon features a guest speaker so you can pack even more genealogy learning into your day.

The luncheons at FGS 2017 will be in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, which makes them easy and convenient lunch choices during the conference. 

This year’s conference offers one luncheon on Wednesday, four on Thursday, and four on Saturday. (The FGS 2017 conference committee has something special planned for Friday. Stay tuned for details about the Exhibit Hall Lunch in a future post.)

Each luncheon is sponsored; however, you do not need to be a member of the sponsoring organization to attend.


Federation of Genealogical Societies Luncheon

Focus on Societies, by FGS Leadership

Join FGS leadership and lend your voice to a discussion of the various ways the Federation serves its member community, along with a look at new benefits on the horizon and those your society would most like to see. 

Time will also be reserved for “Society Shout-Out,” offering you the opportunity to share successes from your society from the past year. This session also includes the FGS Annual Business Meeting and other important activities for society leaders and FGS delegates.


Association of Professional Genealogists Luncheon

Professional Ethics: Yes, No, Maybe, and Maybe Not? by Judy G. Russell JD, CG, CGL

Genealogists deal with sensitive issues all the time: how to handle family secrets, what to say about living people, crediting the work of others. 

National Genealogical Society Luncheon

Paths to Our Past, by Jan Alpert FNGS

Learn how NGS can help you discover and explore the paths to your past. 

International Society for British Genealogy and Family History Luncheon

Iklamore? What Did You Say? by David McDonald DMin, CG

We are divided only by a common language.

FamilySearch Luncheon

FamilySearch Historical Records: An Inside Look at Acquiring, Preserving & Sharing Records, by Stephen J. Valentine

An inside look at recent breakthroughs in how FamilySearch acquires, preserves, and shares records.


New England Historic Genealogical Society Luncheon

Treasures from the NEHGS Art Collection, by David Allen Lambert

NEHGS has an important collection of art that tells the story of America. From the humble—family land deeds —to the exceptional—a wingback chair from the Hancock Mansion—it’s all here. Eight floors of art bring history to life at the Society’s Newbury Street headquarters.

Board for Certification of Genealogists Luncheon

Back to the Future with a Self-Driving Car: Genealogy in 2117, by Harold Henderson CG

Nobody knows the future but anyone can take a guess. Robot genealogists? Multimedia scholarly journals? A “right to be forgotten”? Cursive writing as a conspiratorial code? One thing for sure, people will still want to know about the past, and how we ever managed.

Genealogical Speakers Guild/International Society of Family History Writers and Editors Luncheon

Passion and Profession: Ten Lessons I’ve Learned as a Genealogist, by Lisa A. Alzo MFA

Our ancestors can inspire us in surprising ways. One genealogist shares how exploring her roots resulted in an unexpected career and the ten lessons she learned along the way.

New York Genealogical & Biographical Society Luncheon

Does New York Research Require “Mull & Pondering?” A Southern Perspective, by J. Mark Lowe CG, FUGA

With records extending before 1650, what does a southern researcher think about the wonderful stories from the state of New York and colonies preceding? Does he even know where to begin?

Luncheon Registration

Tickets for Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday luncheons are $32 each and require advance purchase. You can purchase luncheons when registering for the FGS 2017 conference. If you have already registered for the conference and received a confirmation email, then you can use this form to add luncheons to your schedule.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...