31 December 2014

What is your genealogy (aka family history) wish list for 2015?



Tonight as midnight strikes, it’s the start of a new year, 2015!

Ancestry.com recently posted the above “A Genealogist’s Wish List.”  

What would be on your genealogy wish list for 2015?

Though it’s completely not possible, I would just love to spend 1 day with each of my direct ancestors.  To see them as “people” and not as just names, dates, and places.  Though I have worked hard to learn about them as people, the limitations of available source material have left me wanting to know more!

At least I don’t have to worry that my pursuit of knowledge about my roots will ever “end!”  There is too much that I don’t yet know!



Editor’s Note: Check this FB link and see what other’s have on their wish list!



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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
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Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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30 December 2014

PBS’ "Genealogy Roadshow" Season Two Premieres 13 January 2015


Last week we talked about the upcoming season of WDYTYA and this week we do the same for Genealogy Roadshow. Genealogy Roadshow fans will be happy to hear that the next season will start on 13 January 2015, 8ET on PBS.

From descendants of the infamous pirate Blackbeard to heroes of the Holocaust, PBS’ Genealogy Roadshow uncovers family secrets in the series’ second season, which premieres Tuesday, January 13, 2015, at 8:00 p.m. ETand airs every Tuesdaythrough February 24 (check local listings). Part detective story, part emotional journey, Genealogy Roadshow combines history and science to uncover fascinating stories of diverse Americans in and around St. Louis, Philadelphia and New Orleans.  Each individual’s story links to a larger community (and in some cases, national) history, to become part of America’s rich cultural tapestry.

You can read the full press release here.

Interested in catching up on the genealogy-themed tv shows?  Read our recent post Archives of Popular Genealogy Programs -- Too busy before? Now you can catch up!

What has been your favorite episode of Genealogy Roadshow so far?

What has been the most valuable “lesson” you have learned from the show?



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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
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29 December 2014

NGS at home study courses get 5 out of 5 stars!


Selma Blackmon, who writes for the Examiner (metro Atlanta area), recently wrote an article, Genealogy: Review of the NGS educational opportunities and gave NGS at home studies education opportunities a rating of 5 (out of 5 stars)!

She gives a first-hand overview of several of the NGS at home study courses.  Some are free to members and others are available for a reduced fee to members.  For the best pricing, she suggests that you join NGS.

Selma also mentions that she also learned that the NGS staff is happy to assist with any questions or concerns course participants may have.

She ends by saying ...

This author is looking forward to taking more NGS classes at home.

Do read her article for additional details.  It includes links to every NGS course she discussed.





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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
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Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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24 December 2014

Happy Holidays from NGS


Editor’s Note: The “Donate to NGS” link is not active in the above graphic. If you need a last minute gift or want to honor an ancestor or dedicated genealogist, you can make a donation to NGS at any time via this link.   




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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Deadline Approaching for NGS Awards and Competitions



Arlington, VA, 24 DECEMBER 2014: Each year, the National Genealogical Society recognizes excellence in genealogical scholarship through its various competitions and awards. The deadline for six of the competition entries and award nominations—December 31—is quickly approaching. NGS encourages its members, member societies, and other organizations to review the requirements and make entries and submissions. Winners will be recognized at the NGS Family History Conference, to be held May 13-16, 2015 in St. Charles, Missouri.

The following NGS awards and competitions have a deadline of December 31:

·        Family History Writing Contest: NGS recognizes the best genealogy covering 3 to 4 generations.

·        Award for Excellence—Genealogy and Family History: NGS presents this award to an individual or nonprofit organization for an outstanding genealogy or family history book published during the past three years.

·        Award for Excellence—Genealogical Methods and Sources: NGS presents this award to an individual or nonprofit organization for a book, article, or series of articles published during the past three years on genealogical methods and sources.

·        Newsletter Competition: NGS recognizes the best genealogical society, historical society, and/or family association newsletters. The competition has two categories: one for major societies (with distribution of 500 or more copies of each issue) and one for local societies (with distribution of less than 500 copies of each issue).

·        John T. Humphrey Scholarship: John T. Humphrey served NGS in a number of positions over the years, including education manager. The Society has renamed the Home Study Course Scholarship in his honor. The award is given annually to an individual who has demonstrated a serious interest in genealogy, and covers the entire cost of the NGS Home Study Course.

·        Rubincam Youth Award: NGS encourages young genealogists to explore their family histories with the Rubincam Youth Award. The senior category is open to students in grades 10 to 12 or between the ages of 16 and 18, and the junior category is open to students in grades 7 to 9 or between the ages of 13 and 15.

More specific details about each competition can be found at www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/competitions. Individuals and societies making nominations will receive an acknowledgement that their entry has been received. An additional seven competitions and award entries have a deadline of 31 January 2015. See the submissions calendar at www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/awards_competitions_calendar for more details. Questions about all awards and competitions may be directed to awards@ngsgenealogy.org.

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogy education, high research standards, and the preservation of genealogical records. The Arlington, Virginia-based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, research guidance, and opportunities to interact with other genealogists.





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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
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23 December 2014

WDYTYA Returns! Are you set to watch or record?



WDYTYA fans will be happy to hear that the next season will start on 24 February 2015, 10/9c on TLC.

Check out the preview video here ... You can also check out most watched videos, clips and more on the same page.

Interested in catching up on the genealogy-themed tv shows?  Read our recent post Archives of Popular Genealogy Programs -- Too busy before? Now you can catch up!

What has been your favorite episode of WDYTYA so far?

What has been the most valuable “lesson” you have learned from the show?






~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
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Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
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Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
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22 December 2014

150,000 Gravestones Photographed in One Day



MyHeritage recently reported

I wanted to let you know about a project we undertook this week as part of our global initiative to preserve and digitize cemeteries worldwide, with the help of some friends.

We embarked on a very ambitious goal to digitize Israel's largest cemetery, Holon, collaborating with genealogy companies, genealogy organizations, societies and other volunteers who love genealogy. It was our biggest challenge yet, and one of the largest events of its kind ever organized - in the world!

The day was a huge success! Over 150,000 gravestones were photographed. It is a great model for how similar activities can be organized around the world. 


This event was part of the global initiative that MyHeritage and BillionGraves launched earlier this year.  Read more here.




Collaborations between entities with reach into the individuals who make up our genealogical community and a crowdsourcing-based software such as BillionGraves or a web platform such as Find-a-grave or other up and coming projects, like Cemetery Census, are dramatically increasing the amount of cemetery information available to us.

There is something so very basic and human about wanting to know where our ancestors are buried and ensuring that they “will not be forgotten.”

All of these projects welcome volunteers.

Are you helping or have you helped to digitize the residents of a local cemetery?  Would you like to give a shout-out to local efforts to digitize a cemetery?



Editor’s Note: Recent cemetery posts on Upfront with NGS




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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
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Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
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19 December 2014

If Miss Manners, Emily Post, or other experts on etiquette did genealogy!

Created by Ann Douglas, https://www.flickr.com/photos/anndouglas/1528290674/sizes/o/.  [CC-BY-ND-2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/)], via flickr

Following up on yesterday’s post about family secrets, skeletons, et al, let’s talk about manners.

As we celebrate with family, collect new information, reveal found documentation, ask questions, receive answers, and more, let’s please keep in mind our manners!  Though relevant year-round, the stresses of the holiday season when combined with increased family interactions and interest in ancestors might create a cauldron which can spawn rude behavior within the family.  The same rules of behavior apply to any place you may visit or contact also.

Yesterday we talked about family skeletons and both the delivering and receiving of such news along with the premise that if you don’t want to know about such, family history is probably not the hobby for you! 

Well, courtesy in our genealogical world extends into other aspects as well ...

The post If Miss Manners did Genealogy discusses...
+ Preserve the privacy of our living relatives
+ Give credit where credit is due [Editor’s Note -- aka do NOT plagiarize]
+ Document your research
+ Do your homework before asking for help
+ Beware of biases and skeletons in the closet
+ Make genealogy exciting to others

... and ends by saying ...

Inevitably, all genealogists make mistakes. If you've made an etiquette mistake, try to make it right immediately, and then move on. You don't want to burn any bridges that you might need to cross in the future. Even Miss Manners would tell you that.

There are a few other elements of etiquette that I would add ...
+ When you ask someone to participate in a DNA test and they say no, please respect that they mean NO
+ Don’t barrage anyone you are attempting to contact with excessive emails and/or phone calls, please be patient.  Remember, you want them to help YOU, not totally ignore you
+ Follow the rules (as a guest, researcher, etc) – you don’t have to like them and you do have to follow them and be respective of them (similarly – don’t be combative, argumentative, etc)


Related post are:
+ Genealogy Etiquette (Kristen’s Guide)
+ Etiquette & Ethics (Cyndi’s List)
+ 27 Etiquette Rules for Our Times (Forbes – non genealogical and we are all “people” first then genealogists)

... the latter reference states what to me is a governing tenant when interacting with others ...

Here are 27 rules to help you ... You’ll notice a common denominator in all of them: Think about other people’s feelings first because it’s not all about maximizing your personal convenience.

In some regards you cannot be TOO nice, polite, respectful ...

And, though it can be challenging, you can always apologize, offer a mea culpa, extend an olive branch, or in some manner right the wrong.  Since we've all made etiquette mistakes at one time or another, I'm sure we will understand.


What would you add to a Genealogy-specific “Etiquette” list?



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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
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Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
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18 December 2014

Secrets (aka Skeletons in the Closet) -- every family has them -- during the holidays they are perpetuated or sometimes debunked!

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I doubt there is a family out there that doesn’t have a secret of one kind or another.  Some are small (grandma’s real age) and some are much bigger (who the true parents of a person are, that great-granddad was a bigamist or murder or ?!?!) and many more in between.

Over the holidays, it’s not unusual to use the opportunity to ask older family members questions about the family and for those same individuals to share the stories of their life, including what they had been told by their parents, aunts/uncles, grandparents, etc. 

I’ve research many families (including my own) where I discover the birth of a bastard, a previous marriage and/or divorces not mentioned in the material given, evidence of crimes (there’s one family where every male sibling ended up jailed in the late 18th century), institutionalized ancestors, slave owners and much more ...

What is a family historian to do when they learn about news that is likely to be “less than well received?”  If you are the “learner” of this information, will you be sharing it with your extended family?  If not, why not?  If so, how will you do it? If you are the recipient of such news, what will be your reaction? Denial and disbelief or calm acceptance?

I was reminded of all of this when I re-read the article When a Genealogy Hobby Digs Up Unwanted Secrets.  I found the quote at the end to really speak to me.  I’ve always tried to have the perspective that everyone, including our ancestor’s were human, trying to do the best they could given the circumstances of their life.

"I felt obligated to break the news to the family," and "it wasn't well-received," says Dr. Hibben. But she is at peace with it, believing her forebears "did the best they could with what they knew." The take-away for her: "My ancestors were human, and it's OK if I'm human too."

I think it’s important to remember that we are a “product” of the ancestors we find – whether The Good, The Bad and the Ugly or mostly in-between.  Putting them up on pedestals can be dangerous and self-identifying with them to the degree that we only see the good and not the flaws can be hazardous also. Sometimes those “flaws” are what give us the best stories and allow ourselves to laugh at ourselves when we can use great grandpa’s Joe’s family story as a cautionary tale.

Another great article on this topic can be found on A Grave Interest, Skeletons in the Family Closet where she ends by saying ...

Remember that if we continue to keep those family secrets, key components of family history will never get fully revealed or stand a chance of being explained.  That could leave us with a large gap in the understanding of who our ancestors were, and the real information that could help us make sense of them could end up lost forever.

As George Bernard Shaw said, “If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.”

Some related reading:


If you truly don’t want to know about any skeletons in the closet, you may want to find a new hobby!  I often counsel my clients that if they really don’t want to know the truth, they are better off not asking the questions ...






Editor’s Note: Thanks to Claudia Breland for reminding me of this article.





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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
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Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
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Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
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