Thursday, October 12, 2017

Does your society need a Social Media Manager?



The October 2017 FGS webinar will feature FGS Education Chair Jen Baldwin, who will present "The Social Media Manager Role in Today’s Society."
What - exactly - is a social media manager and does your society need one? Learn some tricks of this growing professional area and how to convert that to assist your non-profit genealogy society.

Jen writes, lectures, and consults on a variety of genealogy topics. She is the Data Acquisition Manager, North America for Findmypast; and serves as a volunteer for the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) as a Board Member and the Education Committee Chair. She served for several years as the Social Media Chair for the War of 1812 Preserve the Pensions fundraising campaign, led by FGS. Jen is also an active volunteer for the Larimer County Genealogical Society (CO), and has been the host of #genchat, a popular genealogy crowd-sourcing community chat on Twitter, for nearly four years. 


The webinar will be held on October 19, 2017, at 7:00 p.m. Central Time, and will be recorded for viewing on the FGS website shortly after its conclusion. Please register in advance.

NEXT TIME: The topic for the November 16, 2017 webinar is “Building Bridges Between Societies” presented by Kim Ashford.
About the Webinar Series
Each month, the FGS Webinar Series will feature a new and interesting topic, ranging from recruitment and volunteer management to technology, publications, and working with your local tourism board.
Webinars are held on the 3rd Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m. Central Time. Advance registration is required. Regular updates will be shared via the FGS Voice blog, FGS Voice Newsletter, and social media.
Speakers interested in presenting topics should contact Jen Baldwin, Education Chair, at education@fgs.org.
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 education@fgs.org

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Fall 2017 Issue of FORUM is Out


In "Blueprint for Success: Building a Genealogy Education Plan" Julie Cahill Tarr outlines steps for expanding your knowledge to further your genealogy research.

Does your society have editable digital copies of your journals, quarterlies, newsletters, and other publications? Denise Barrett Olson explains how to create those files in "Future-Proof Your Society Publications."

Don't miss "Fort Wayne, Indiana: Your Destination for FGS 2018" by Allison DePrey Singleton & Visit Fort Wayne Staff. 


What do archivists and librarians do with items that don't belong to any particular record collection? Melissa Barker tells us how to "Discover Genealogical Treasures Among Scrap Paper & Orphan Documents." 

And that's not all. 

Table of Contents

3 ...... Editor's Message

6 ...... President's Message: A Moment of Reflection by Rorey Cathcart

8 ...... Blueprint for Success: Building a Genealogy Education Plan by Julie Cahill Tarr

13 ...... FGS 2017 In Pictures 

17 ...... Discover Genealogical Treasures Among Scrap Paper & Orphan Documents by Melissa Barker

22 ...... Fort Wayne, Indiana: Your Destination for FGS 2018 by Allison DePrey Singleton & Visit Fort Wayne Staff

28 ...... Future-Proof Your Society Publications by Denise Barrett Olson

30 ...... FGS 2017 Awards

32 ...... Ethics & Standards: For Every Soul a Story, a Family, a Name by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL

35 ...... Next Generation: Millennials—Ready & Willing by Shannon Combs-Bennett

37 ...... Beyond Boxes & Binders: Interviewing Grandma: Collecting the Stories – Part 1 by Linda Coffin

40 ...... Records Preservation & Access: US Budget Concerns, Fire Insurance Maps & More by Linda McCleary, MLS

43 ...... Reviews

50 ...... 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. 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. 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

What can your society learn from the corporate world?


The September 2017 FGS webinar will feature Laurie Hermance-Moore, who will present "Borrowing Corporate Strategy Techniques for Your Society."
The webinar will address a variety of paths for a society to utilize the techniques of the corporate world. 
Many societies are at a crossroads: new competition from online genealogy sites and webinars, dwindling membership, and challenges in figuring out how to evolve activities. It’s time to stop and make a plan!
So why not borrow from the business world?
Marketing strategist and genealogist Laurie Hermance-Moore will show you techniques that are used by large companies to refine how they “go to market.” Learn how to align your society leadership to your vision for the future, your current mission, how you are positioning yourself against the competition, and identifying and prioritizing your target audiences.

Laurie has more than 15 years of experience in marketing, marketing research, strategic planning, and brand development. She provides coaching to professional genealogists and genealogy societies in marketing strategy, so they can craft their unique story, target their offerings to the right clients, and build their confidence in marketing.
The webinar will be held on September 21, 2017, at 7:00 p.m. Central Time, and will be recorded for viewing on the FGS website shortly after its conclusion. Please register in advance.

NEXT TIME: The topic for the October webinar will be “The Social Media Manager Role in Today's Society” presented by FGS Education Chair Jen Baldwin.

About the Webinar Series
Each month, the FGS Webinar Series will feature a new and interesting topic, ranging from recruitment and volunteer management to technology, publications, and working with your local tourism board.
Webinars are held on the 3rd Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m. Central Time. Advance registration is required. Regular updates will be shared via the FGS Voice blog, FGS Voice Newsletter, and social media.
Speakers interested in presenting topics should contact Jen Baldwin, Education Chair, at education@fgs.org.
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 education@fgs.org.

Monday, August 21, 2017

#FGS2017 Conference App Released

The mobile app for the FGS 2017 Genealogy Conference in Pittsburgh is now available!



With the app, you can keep your schedule, maps, list of speakers, and up-to-date information at your fingertips.  Plus, you can easily connect with fellow attendees.

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

  • Search for "Guidebook" in the Apple, Google, or Amazon app stores, OR
  • Navigate to guidebook.com/getit on your device's web browser, OR
  • 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. Download the FGS 2017 Guide

Now that you have the Guidebook app, it's time to download the guide for FGS 2017! Open up the Guidebook app on your device to get started. Note: Internet access is required for this step.
  • Use the Search box to type in "FGS 2017" (without the quotes) in the guide bar at the top.
  • Tap the download button.
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 2017" (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. Open and explore the FGS 2017 Conference Guide!




For more detailed instructions for downloading and navigating the FGS 2017 Guidebook App, visit: https://support.guidebook.com/hc/en-us/articles/202891364-Using-the-Guidebook-App-for-end-users-.

Online Registration Deadline

Online registration for FGS 2017 ends at midnight EDT on August 21, so don't delay!



Tuesday, August 15, 2017

August webinar to discuss the Nominating Committee




In the August, 2017 FGS webinar, we will invite David Rencher, CG, CGL, to present on "The Nominating Committee."

In order to maintain a healthy organization, we must all put great value in this piece of the society puzzle. David Rencher will provide an in-depth look at the role of this important committee in your genealogy society, and its impact on the organization’s longevity.

All of the issues and challenges facing your society may be solved with a successful nominating committee. This program will help you to learn to assess your own needs and find qualified candidates to grow your society – you need more than warm bodies!

The webinar will be conducted on August 17, 2017 at 7:00pm Central time. Please register in advance. The webinar will be recorded and will be available for viewing on the FGS website shortly after its conclusion. September's topic will be Borrowing Corporate Strategy Techniques for Your Society - this is a must-see presentation! 


Each month, the FGS Webinar Series 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 blogFGS Voice Newsletter, and social media. Webinars will occur every 3rd Thursday of the month.


Speakers interested in presenting topics should contact Jen Baldwin, Education Chair, at education@fgs.org.

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 education@fgs.org

Update: Did you miss the live webinar?  You can watch the recording here.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Document Conservation Resumes for War of 1812 Pension Files





Message from the President


Today, the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announced the resumption of conservation of the War of 1812 Pension Files.

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) is pleased to announce National Archives staff have recently resumed document conservation of the War of 1812 Pension files covering surnames M(Moore)-Q. Document conservation is the essential first step in digitizing these files. Our digitization partner, Ancestry.com, has scheduled image capture of these newly conserved documents to begin the second week of September 2017. As capture resumes, new images will be added to Fold3.com on a rolling basis. The Federation and the dedicated volunteers of the Preserve the Pensions project have worked tirelessly for well over a year to negotiate a resolution to the work stoppage. This portion of the project plan is expected to be completed by third quarter 2018.
Many in our community have expressed frustration with the lack of new information on the status of the Preserve the Pensions project, ongoing negotiations and the safety of donated funds. As incoming President, I had an obligation to hold any response to those concerns until I could evaluate the history, speak candidly with the Preserve the Pensions team and meet with our partners. From the outside, and with perfect hindsight, it is easy to see a few opportunities missed to share more with you, our supporters. I stand behind the Preserve the Pensions team even so. They have worked incredibly hard to bring this unprecedented fundraising and preservation effort this far.

As frustrating as it may be to hear, FGS is limited in how much it can share with the community at large regarding ongoing negotiations with partners. As an organization, we most certainly may not reveal the internal discussions between our partners. That simple fact of business leaves you, our funding supporters, at times without satisfactory answers to your questions. While I will do everything in my power as FGS President to keep you apprised going forward, I will likely never satisfy your questions completely. With that in mind, and with the current project plan in place, I am able to share with you a very brief outline of events.

A security incident at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) facility in St. Louis led to a work stoppage of digitization projects for security review. This incident was unrelated to the Preserve the Pensions project in Washington D.C., however, our project was impacted.  The Federal bureaucracy is a slow-moving beast, as many of us have experienced outside of genealogy.   The completed review led to new security and project protocols. These protocols imposed new cost, space, and completion date constraints on the project. Neither conservation nor digitization could resume without a renegotiated project plan. These negotiations were difficult and time-consuming as each partner fought for their organization’s priorities. Ultimately, each partner compromised where they could to bring this important preservation project back online. The negotiations, however, are not over. The project plan above is a test of both the new project protocols and the compromises each of us made. It is a proof of concept. As this new project plan is put into practice, NARA, Ancestry.com, and FGS will continue to work together to evaluate the process with an eye towards negotiating the project plan for the final phase of conservation and digitization of surnames R-Z.

I can assure you, the funds you have so generously contributed to this effort are secure. In accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), funds donated for a specific purpose must be separate from general operating funds. Your donations were deposited into a restricted fund. Any monies FGS provided for matching campaigns were moved from our operating capital into this restricted fund. Digitization and other project expenses were spent from the restricted fund.

While the total value of the project was originally projected to be $3.456 million, FGS was responsible for raising only half that amount - $1.728 million - due to the very generous match by Ancestry.com. This valuation was based on a projected 7.2 million pages in the War of 1812 Pensions collection at a total cost of $0.48 per page image. The new project plan has added to the total cost of the Preserve the Pensions project.  However, the number of images for the first half of the collection was less than originally expected.  We anticipate this trend will continue in the second half of the collection. Therefore, FGS stands by its decision to close community fundraising for the project.

On behalf of the board of the Federation and the dedicated volunteers of the Preserve the Pensions team, I have heard and acknowledge your concerns. Your support of this project has been both overwhelming and inspirational. As a first of its kind effort to crowdfund preservation of a genealogically-valuable collection, there was no roadmap. The Preserve the Pensions team is dedicated to seeing this project through until the very last page of the very last pension is online. We will evaluate the successes and shortcomings of the project as implemented before proceeding to a new project. In the meantime, we will work to regain your trust by being as forthcoming as the realities of these sensitive negotiations will allow.

FGS remains grateful to the community for your contributions; this project would not have been successful without the energy of all of you behind us. I welcome your questions or concerns at president@fgs.org.

--Rorey Cathcart, FGS President

PRESERVE THE PENSIONS ANNOUNCES RESUMPTION OF DOCUMENT CONSERVATION AT NATIONAL ARCHIVES

DIGITIZATION SOON TO FOLLOW



The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) is pleased to announce National Archives staff have recently resumed document conservation of the War of 1812 Pension files covering surnames M(Moore)-Q. Document conservation is the essential first step in digitizing these files. Our digitization partner, Ancestry.com, has scheduled image capture of these newly conserved documents to begin the second week of September 2017. As capture resumes, new images will be added to Fold3.com on a rolling basis. The Federation and the dedicated volunteers of the Preserve the Pensions project have worked tirelessly for well over a year to negotiate a resolution to the work stoppage. This portion of the project plan is expected to be completed by third quarter 2018.
The War of 1812 pensions are among the most frequently requested set of materials within the holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), yet had never been microfilmed or digitized. Through a fundraising effort unprecedented in the genealogical community, more than 4,000 individuals, 115 genealogical and lineage societies, and industry leaders such as FamilySearch helped FGS secure the funds, matched by Ancestry.com, to preserve and share this invaluable genealogical resource. The images already captured, as well as those soon to be, are hosted at Fold3.com for free, forever.
 “We are grateful to our partners Ancestry.com and NARA for their support and willingness to continue working with us towards this successful outcome. We appreciate their recognition of the unique nature of this project and the community who worked so hard to fund it.” – Rorey Cathcart, FGS President
The Federation is committed to seeing the entire collection conserved, digitized and freely online at the earliest possible date. We will continue work with our partners to secure a timeline for the remaining portion of the War of 1812 Pension files.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Where are the records?

From online collections to libraries to major research centers, the records you seek can be found in a variety of places.  The FGS 2017 “Finding Records” track on Saturday, September 2 will give you ideas for finding the records that can unlock the clues to your past.


Libraries: Getting the Most Bang For Your Buck



Learn how to save money and time by using libraries’ services and collections to the fullest extent.
  • Time: 8:00-9:00 AM
  • Skill level: Beginner, intermediate

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.

Why The Genealogy Center? Collections & Services of a Leading Family History Research Center

by Curt B. Witcher MLS, FUGA, IGSF


This presentation will provide an up-to-date and detailed look at an international family history collection that continues to grow and continues to be more accessible to researchers.
  • Time: 9:30-10:30 AM
  • Skill level: Beginner, intermediate

Curt B. Witcher, MLS, FUGA, IGSF, is manager of The Genealogy Center at Allen County Public Library, founding president of the Indiana Genealogical Society, and a former president of NGS and FGS.

Where Would You Go If You Had Five Days in Washington, D.C.?

by Pamela Boyer Sayre CG, CGL, FUGA


This session provides answers about where to get research results in Washington, D.C., and how to stretch available funds for the best use.
  • Time: 2:00-3:00 PM
  • Skill level: Intermediate

Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA, is a former NGS director of education and publications. She coordinates/teaches in courses at IGHR, SLIG, and GRIP.

Using All the Features of FamilySearch

by David E. Rencher AG, CG, FIGRS, FUGA
Sponsored by FamilySearch


Learn the breadth and depth of the programs and features of the FamilySearch organization and website. The genealogical landscape has changed dramatically in the last decade—learn what FamilySearch has done to adapt.
  • Time: 3:30-4:30 PM
  • Skill level: Beginner, intermediate, advanced

David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FUGA, FIGRS, is the chief genealogical officer for FamilySearch. He has been a professional genealogist since 1977 and is a past president of FGS.

Researching Manuscript and Special Collections in Historical Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs)

by Deborah Abbott PhD


These institutions hold important documents that give a true-to-life picture of the lives of African Americans before, during, and after slavery. The archives and special collections of these colleges/universities hold manuscripts, photographs, personal accounts, Bibles, genealogical information, etc.
  • Time: 5:00-6:00 PM
  • Skill level: Intermediate, advanced

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.

Register Now!

Join us for the FGS 2017 National Conference, “Building Bridges to the Past,” in Pittsburgh, PA, August 30-September 2, 2017.

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.

Update: Did you miss the live webinar?  You can watch the recording here.

Speakers interested in presenting topics should contact Jen Baldwin, Education Chair, at education@fgs.org.

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 education@fgs.org

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




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...