30 April 2015

FamilySearch Indexing Holds First Worldwide Arbitration Event Starting Tomorrow!


FamilySearch is attempting to reduce the backlog of indexed and not published records by soliciting your assistance as an arbitrator.

If after reading the press release you think you are interested in becoming and would qualify as an arbitrator, follow the provided instructions.

Salt Lake City, Utah, April 21, 2015—More than six million indexed images containing valuable genealogical information are waiting to be arbitrated (reviewed and corrected) before they can be published and made available to family history researchers on FamilySearch.org. Eliminating this backlog of needed records is the object of the first online Worldwide Arbitration Event sponsored by FamilySearch Indexing and scheduled for May 1–8, 2015.

Volunteer arbitrators worldwide, and FamilySearch indexers who are qualified and willing to become arbitrators, are being called upon to help arbitrate the images which were previously indexed (transcribed) by indexing volunteers. In the FamilySearch indexing system, historical records are indexed by two different volunteers, then an experienced indexer known as an arbitrator reviews and corrects any discrepancies between the two indexers’ work. Only then can records be published for researchers on FamilySearch.org.

“Indexers far outnumber arbitrators, which creates an imbalance in the work and a backlog of records waiting to be arbitrated” said Mike Judson, FamilySearch indexing workforce development manager. “This event will not only help to reduce the backlog, but will make it possible to publish millions more searchable records so others can find their ancestors.”

FamilySearch indexers and arbitrators make it possible for FamilySearch.org to publish an average of 1.3 million freely searchable records containing more than three million names each day. An estimated 19.5 million names are contained in the current backlog of records awaiting arbitration.

Qualified Indexers Invited to Become Arbitrators

All indexers who have indexed at least 4,000 records are eligible to become arbitrators. Qualifying indexers who would like to participate as arbitrators should visit https://FamilySearch.org/indexing/help to learn how to get started.

Following four essential tips will ensure volunteers are ready to submit high-quality arbitrated records during the Worldwide Arbitration Event:
1.     Read the instructions. Read or re-read the field helps and project instructions for each arbitration project before beginning.
2.     Record match. Record matching ensures that arbitrators use a correct and fair comparison between the information recorded by indexer A and indexer B. For instructions, watch the video: “Arbitration Training - Record Matching,” which teaches how to complete this essential step in the indexing process.
3.     Index. If possible, volunteers should index one or more batches from each project they plan to arbitrate during the event, then continue to index one batch for every ten they arbitrate. Indexing (and reviewing the instructions) will help arbitrators stay sharp.
4.     Arbitrate in native language. Accuracy is highest when volunteers work only in their native language. Unless they have received extensive training in a second language and are highly proficient in that language, or have been specifically trained to index certain types of records in a second language, volunteers should stick with projects in their native language.

For additional information, volunteers can visit https://FamilySearch.org/indexing/help.







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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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29 April 2015

Scholarship + Genealogical Education = Wonderful Opportunity


The 2016 American Society of Genealogists (ASG) Scholar Award is open to those interested in applying.

Established in 1996, the ASG Scholar Award is an annual scholarship now providing an increased stipend of $1,000 toward tuition and expenses at one of three major academic genealogical programs in the United States. Candidacy for the award is open to all genealogists, genealogical librarians, and researchers working in related fields. Applicants submit a published work or a manuscript of work in progress, to be judged by a panel of three Fellows. The goal of the award is to recognize talent and build genealogical expertise by providing promising genealogists the opportunity to receive advanced academic training in genealogy.

The ASG Scholar Award provides financial assistance for a developing scholar to attend one of five academic programs in American genealogy: the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) at Samford University (Birmingham, Ala.), the National Institute on Genealogical Research (NIGR) in Washington, D.C., the Certificate Program in Genealogical Research at Boston University, the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), or the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP). The recipient may register for the program of his or her choice.

You can read the full details on Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter. The deadline for applying is 31 August 2015.

Do you know of other genealogically-related scholarship opportunities?




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28 April 2015

Let's celebrate Preservation Week -- We all benefit!


This week is Preservation Week. This week is always a great opportunity to think about what you, or a local organization or archive or library or government entity are doing to help make sure that future generations will be able to take advantage of all that has been preserved for them.

From the American Library Association (ALA) Preservation Week page ...

During Preservation Week libraries all over the country present events, activities, and resources that highlight what we can do, individually and together, to preserve our personal and shared history.

Preservation Week was created in 2010 because some 630 million items in collecting institutions require immediate attention and care. Eighty percent of these institutions have no paid staff assigned responsibility for collections care; 22 percent have no collections care personnel at all. Some 2.6 billion items are not protected by an emergency plan. As natural disasters of recent years have taught us, these resources are in jeopardy should a disaster strike. Personal, family, and community collections are equally at risk.

Preservation Week is an initiative of the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS), a division of the American Library Association (ALA).

Many libraries and other facilities will hold special programs this week.  Check with your local library or other repository to see if there are any special programs planned.  Or, maybe a new resource guide has been created?

As a minimum, make sure that you are “preserving” your own personal heritage for your descendants to enjoy!

P.S.  Preservation Week even has a Facebook Page!
P.P.S.  There is a great Event and Speaker Map to make it easy to find out what is happening in your neck of the woods.  This is not a comprehensive resource and do check locally for non-listed events.




Editor’s Note: past Upfront with NGS posts on this topic.






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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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27 April 2015

Three Days Left to Register for The NGS 2015 Family History Conference and All Ticketed Events


Arlington, VA, 27 APRIL 2015—Have you registered for the NGS Family History Conference in St. Charles? The deadline for pre-conference registration is 29 April 2015. Registration will be available on-site beginning at 12:00 noon, 12 May 2015, in the St. Charles Convention Center.

Registration for all meals, social events, and workshops closes on 29 April 2015. No ticket purchases will be available on-site. Registration for Librarians’ Day also closes on 29 April 2015. Many events have already sold out, so don’t delay! For conference information and to register, go to http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/event-registration/.

NGS Luncheon and Sponsored Luncheons
Participating organizations sponsor several luncheons during the conference. Seats are still available for a number of the luncheons, including those sponsored by APG, NEHGS, FGS and NGS. Make your reservations now at http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/event-registration/. The luncheons are $21 per person. Menus are in the registration brochure at http://goo.gl/IQrIKQ.

Tuesday, 12 May Special Day-Long Workshops
There’s still time to sign up for in-depth workshops on Tuesday, 12 May 2015, prior to the NGS Family History Conference. The BCG Education Fund workshop, Putting Skills to Work, runs from 8:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and German Studies: Understanding German Records and Methodology runs from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Librarian’s Day, an annual event sponsored by ProQuest, will focus on an essential issue for today’s institutions, Providing Access to Genealogical Research in a Digital World. For more information, please see http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/program.  Registration for workshops and Librarian’s Day closes on 29 April 2015.

Live Streaming
If you are unable to attend the NGS 2015 Family History Conference, ten lectures featuring some of the most popular topics and nationally known speakers will be available to you via live streaming.  Details about viewing the live streaming program and the costs can be found at http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/attend/live-streaming/. Registration for the live streaming program closes on 29 April 2015.

Society Showcase
On Tuesday afternoon 12 May 2015, many Missouri genealogical and historical societies will be available in the St. Charles Convention Center from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. to answer questions about local repositories and resources, discuss their group’s activities, and sell their publications.

Add Items to an Existing Registration
To add meals, tours, and pre-conference events to your current registration, log on at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org, click on My Account, select My Events, and then click to Add Sessions.

Don’t miss out on this year’s exciting conference program from 13–16 May at the St. Charles Convention Center.

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogical education, exemplary standards of research, 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, and guidance in research. It also offers many 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.
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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 April 2015

American Numismatic Society Partners with HathiTrust


Growing up I was a stamp collector.  I spent many many hours trying to find inexpensive stamps from around the world for my albums.  They were a great way to learn geography and about changing geopolitical lines.

Coins and currency became a part of my consciousness when I heard a talk several years ago about all the different currencies that were used before the Federal Reserve was created and “a” currency resulted.  It was one of the best talks I’d ever heard in terms of truly being eye-opening about an element of historical context that I previously just had no awareness of.


The talk was reinforced as I did more and more land research and found deeds where Spanish milled dollars, current money, specie, Virginia currency and many more different types of currency were used in these land transactions.

Basically, it really opened my eyes to the idea of not assuming that just because we have “a” currency (of course, Bitcoin and other purveyors of digital currency are working to change the landscape and that’s a topic for another day), that doesn’t mean it was always that way.

So, a news item “ANS Partners with HathiTrust for Open Access Publications” caught my eye.

In a sweeping effort to make its older and out-of-print publications available to the public as Open Access, The American Numismatic Society has partnered with HathiTrust (http://www.hathitrust.org/about). As a result of this partnership scans of nearly 550 ANS titles – including the American Journal of Numismatics, Numismatic Literature, Numismatic Notes and Monographs, and stand-­alone monographs have become fully readable and downloadable to anyone who wants them under a Creative Commons, non-­commercial, attribution, share-­alike license. 

In fact, a search on colonial currency and related terms brings up quite a few resources. 

Did any particular article or publication regarding Numismatics catch your eye?





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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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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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23 April 2015

Disappearing History ... Post Civil War Black Towns are Dying



I always hate to hear about the loss of history – be it documents, memories, stories, buildings, communities, and more.

This was reaffirmed as I read “Black towns, established by freed slaves after the Civil War, are dying out” in the Washington Post last month.

Sugarland was founded on Oct. 6, 1871, when three freedmen — William Taylor, Patrick Hebron Jr. and John H. Diggs — “purchased land for a church from George W. Dawson, a white former slave owner, for the sum of $25,” Reese says. The founders made a small down payment and continued to pay until the debt was settled. The deed dictated that the land be used for a church, a school and “as a burial site for people of African descent.”

Today, Sugarland is mostly horse country with million-dollar homes that sit on rolling hills. Many of the houses that former slaves built have been torn down. The forest has overtaken lots where freedmen once lived. The winding dirt roads that separated this black community from a white world are now paved.

This article gives fascinating insight into not just Sugarland and into the history of the rise and fall of the so-called Black towns established after the Civil War.

A related article, also published in the Washington Post is All-black towns across America: Life was hard but full of promise.

If you Google Search “Black Towns” or “All-Black Towns” you will find many references to these communities and unfortunately, many of them are to the fact that they are disappearing, such as “One by one, Missouri’s black towns disappear.”

Did your ancestors live in an All-Black Town?  Does it still exist?




Editor’s Note: This past weekend I was in Washington DC and couldn’t believe how far along the construction on the National Museum of African American History and Culture.  Though the physical elements of historical black towns will probably continue to disappear, this museum is part of the effort to help preserve African American History, including all “Black Towns.”






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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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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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22 April 2015

National Endowment for the Humanities announces new “Common Heritage” grant program


Neat news out of Washington!  NEH has announced a grant program called “Common Heritage” that will have our genealogical community rummaging through our attics, basements and personal archives for materials to get digitized and made available publicly for posterity!

Please bring this to the attention of your local historical society, library, archive or other institutions.  The application deadline is 25 June 2015.  The full press release is below.


Very exciting ...

WASHINGTON (April 20, 2015) — The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced a new grant program, called “Common Heritage,” that will bring to light historical records and artifacts currently hidden in family attics and basements across the country and make them digitally available to the wider public and for posterity.

NEH invites historical societies, libraries, archives, museums, colleges and other local institutions to apply for the Common Heritage grant program, the first federal grant program of its kind. Grants will support day-long events, organized by community cultural institutions, in which members of the public will be invited to share materials important to their family or community histories, such as photographs, artifacts, family letters, and works of art.

These items will be digitized, along with descriptive information and context provided by the community attendees. With the owner’s permission, the digitized materials will be made publicly available through the institution’s online collections. Contributors will receive a free digital copy of their items to take home, along with the original materials.
These materials will also be used for public programming – including lectures, exhibits, discussion programs, and film screenings – that celebrates and expands knowledge of the community’s past and the diverse histories of its members.

“We know that America’s cultural heritage isn’t found only in libraries and museums,” said NEH Chairman William Adams, “but in our homes, in our family histories, and the stories and objects we pass down to our children. NEH’s new Common Heritage grant program aims to capture this vitally important part of our country’s heritage and preserve it for future generations.” 

Application guidelines and a list of FAQs for the Common Heritage program are available at www.neh.gov. The application deadline for the initial cycle of Common Heritage grants is June 25, 2015. The first round of Common Heritage digitization days is expected to take place in early 2016.

The new Common Heritage grant program is part of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ agency-wide initiative The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square, which seeks to demonstrate and enhance the role and significance of the humanities and humanities scholarship in public life.

NEH’s Common Heritage program will award grants of up to $12,000 to community cultural organizations to coordinate community events and ensure that a wide range of historical materials can be digitized and contextualized through public programming. 

NEH program staff from the Divisions of Preservation & Access and Public Programs will conduct a webinar for interested applicants on Tuesday, May 5 at 4 PM (EST).
NEH Common Heritage grants webinar information:
May 5, 4-4:30 PM (EST)
https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/232247517
Access code: 232-247-517
You can also dial in by phone at: (872) 240-3312
#nehcommonheritage

National Endowment for the Humanities: Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.






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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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21 April 2015

Surprise -- Rental Property Actually Oldest House in NC (almost 300 years old)



It’s not unusual to hear stories when someone is renovating a home or building that they find hidden documents or that a neat bit of architecture has been covered over with more modern materials.

In this case, some owners were renovating their house to be used as a rental property when a carpenter, who had renovated historic properties before, “recognized that the house was far older than it appeared.”

Over time ...

Also revealed were overhead beams featuring a decorative edging known as ogee moulding used in homes 300 years ago, Thomas said. Evidence shows four staircases existed over different periods. Signs of two massive mud-and-straw fireplaces common in the early 1700s show up in the two front rooms. Piers under the house were made from ballast stones from 18th century sailing ships

You can read more about the original “reveal” and the first 3 years of discovery via Edenton couple’s house turns out to be oldest in NC.  This article also includes 12 photos of the house highlighting certain features.

Earlier this month, the house was opened to the public for Edenton’s annual 2015 Pilgrimage of Historic Homes and Gardens.

I always enjoy reading about new discoveries of things that are old.  It tells me that there are probably some more hidden gems waiting to be found!





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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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20 April 2015

Ancestry.com Introduces Ancestry Academy



Ancestry.com has announced the launch of Ancestry Academy.

We are excited to announce the launch of Ancestry Academy, a new educational website that offers exclusive, high-quality video courses taught by genealogy and family history experts. Ancestry Academy courses cover a wide range of relevant family history topics and offer something for genealogists of all levels. 

Here are a few things we think you’ll love about Ancestry Academy:

Learn at your own pace – Ancestry Academy’s in-depth courses are broken into a series of short lessons that let you learn when you want and how you want. Watch a course all the way through or pick and choose the lessons most interesting to you...

Read the full post here including details on how to access either as part of a World Explorer Plus Subscription or as part of a separate subscription package.







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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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