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

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
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