30 August 2017

Gardens – Always Changing and Yet the Same!


Gardens – Always Changing and Yet the Same!

True confession time – I do not have much of a green thumb.

My earliest recollection of a garden was my mom trying to grow a little patch in our backyard in Connecticut – it did not last long.  What I really remember is that for years afterward, I always forgot about that patch of garden until I mowed the “grass” which took over and it always smelled of mint.  Yep, mint!  The one thing my mom planted which ran wild for as long as we had that house.

Next up, were growing beans in science class.  I suspect I was initially fascinated and then lost interest since I don’t remember anything more than that!

When I first moved into my second house, we built a terraced area for plants.  Little did we know (or pay attention to) the fact that it got little sunlight, the roots from the tree next to it, loved it, and with time, all the surrounding trees got so large that it now gets no sunlight!  There are many more stories I could tell about my lack of gardening prowess.

A couple of years ago, with my now-grown daughter in tow, we’ve revisited gardening … we now pay attention to sunlight (or lack thereof), watering (hopefully not needed and can be provided), space requirements and few other things.  We also now focus more on flowers and herbs that are pretty low maintenance and that “should” work for where we live (fingers crossed).  We also realized that our best place for planting vegetables and herbs is right in front of the house.  So, if you ever visit and wonder why under the bay window there are no flowers or shrubs, it’s because that patch is reserved for vegetables.  We’ve successfully grown onions and sweet potatoes and even artichokes!  We are now trying asparagus and rhubarb though you’ll have to wait until next year for a status on those.  I will say that the flowers produced by artichokes stunned me with their vibrant colors.  We’ve decided to just let them flower next year .

Many people have gardens or access to allotments – sometimes to provide food, or to provide beauty, or to assist pollinators, or to attract wildlife, and more.  When you visit historic properties, there is often a garden.  Gardens have historically and to this day been an important part of many people’s lives.

I’ve recently visited two arboretums (in Raleigh, NC and the National Arboretum, DC) and found that I loved it.  I previously just never associated acres and acres of plants as something interesting to visit before.  I have visited historic properties and their associated gardens though always in the narrow context of that property and that garden as something interesting though not necessarily memorable.  Now I look at gardens and delight in those which I will never aspire to and take notes on plants that just might work in my own.

This discussion about gardens was prompted by the new Smithsonian Exhibit, Cultivating America’s Gardens which also has a wonderful online presence so that you can explore the exhibit in your jammies without leaving home.

Want to learn more about gardens?  The Smithsonian Gardens has an Archives of American Gardens.

Want to share about a Community Garden?  Check out the Community of Gardens initiative.

Next time you look at a garden or work in yours, appreciate the memories it might stir or think about how your ancestors may have also done the same.




What is your earliest recollection of a garden or gardening?

What heirloom plants, seeds, garden designs or more been passed down in your family?

What is your favorite garden-related story?

Who do you most strongly associate with gardening in your family?




Editor’s Note: If this post interested you, you might want to read It’s Fall – Time to Garden – What Seeds Might Our Ancestors Have Planted? (October 2016)






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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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29 August 2017

NARA Seeks Feedback on Draft FY 2018-FY 2022 Strategic Plan (1 September 2017 deadline)


NARA Seeks Feedback on Draft FY 2018-FY 2022 Strategic Plan (1 September 2017 deadline)

From our friends on the IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee ….

The (US) National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has posted its draft strategic plan and the public is invited to submit comments by September 1, 2017.  Earlier this month NARA employees were given one week to provide feedback and now the plan is being shared for public comment. For information see: 

One can access the draft plan at:

The report pdf is available at:

Note the draft plan states that public access is NARA's core mission. It lists the goals of digitization of all their records to make them available through the National Archives Catalog.

For instructions using GitHub or submit them by email to strategy@nara.gov

The intent is to deliver the final plan in February 2018.

Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee







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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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National Genealogical Society - June 2017 Quarterly Now Online

National Genealogical Society - June 2017 Quarterly Now Online

Volume 105, No.2, June 2017 (PDF 2.4MB) of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly is now available online in the Members Only section of the website.

Feature Articles

+ Indirectly Identifying Relatives of Michael Kerns of Blair County and Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, by Pam Pracser Anderson
+ Parents for Cynthia (Parker) Wilcoxon of Ohio and West Virginia, by Shannon Green
+ The Misattributed Military History of Amos Parsons – Mariner, Farmer, and Soldier – of Gloucester, Ipswich, Rowley, Newbury, Sutton, Oxford, and Ward, Massachusetts, by Joan A. Hunter, CG
+ Parents for Greene Garrison of Ringgold, Iowa, by Nicole Gilkison LaRue, CG
+ Samuel Williamson’s Disconnected Origin and Emigration to England, by Allen R. Peterson, CG
+ Robert Stanhope: Dehumanized – Ignored – Reinvented, by Ruth Randall, CG
+ Parents for Richard M. Vaughan (1844-1921) of Howell County, Missouri, by Nancy Niles Wehner, CG

and other regular features ...




Editor’s Note: Please note that online access to the NGS Quarterly (NGSQ) and NGS Magazine are available only as long as your membership is active. You can access the NGSQ archive – the index is available for FREE and as a member you have FULL  access to the archives encompassing 1912 (Volume 1) to the present.



Editor’s Note: Check out past Upfront with NGS articles on NGSQ here.



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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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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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28 August 2017

Stop by Booth #628 at FGS And Say Hi!



Stop by Booth #628 at FGS And Say Hi!

Much of the genealogy world will descend on Pittsuburgh, PA, 30 August – 2 September, to attend the FGS Annual Conference, Building Bridges to the Past.

If your plans include this conference, please visit NGS at booth #628.  We’d love to have you stop by, whether just to say hi, or to learn about education programs, while possibly purchasing some incredibly valuable publications such as Mastering Genealogical Documentation, Mastering Genealogical Proof, Genetic Genealogy in Practice, Pennsylvania – Research in the Pennsylvania, etc.

Representatives will also be happy to talk with you about the value of an NGS membership, NGS-sponsored research trips, the 2018 National Conference, Paths to Your Past (2-5 May 2018, Grand Rapids, MI), and much more!







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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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24 August 2017

Genealogical Ethics – A Must Read from The Legal Genealogist


Genealogical Ethics – A Must Read from The Legal Genealogist

Please read today's post from The Legal Genealogist – Ethical guidance.

It references standards of behavior in situations where our research may impact the living, possibly in a hurtful manner.  None of our research happens in a vacuum.  Odds are that you are not the only person affected by what you learn.

Judy references standards published by The National Genealogical Society, The Board for Certification of Genealogists, Genetic Genealogy Standards and the recently updated Code of Conduct/Ethics from The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies.

I will add to Judy’s list the Code of Ethics and Professional Practices published by the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) which explicitly states …

8.   Maintain confidentiality of client communications and research, except as permitted in writing by the client or required by court or professional disciplinary proceedings;
9.   Treat information concerning living people with appropriate discretion;
10.        Refrain from violating or encouraging others to violate laws or regulations concerning copyright, rights to privacy, business practices, or other pertinent subjects;

The Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy also has Standards of Practice and Conduct which states “As far as legally and reasonably possible, I will protect the privacy of my Client and that of living people discovered in my research or named in my reports …”

The bottom line, as the saying goes, is to keep in mind that knowledge brings responsibility and ethical considerations.










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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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21 August 2017

Yummy Food for the Tummy – Dining Out & Sweet Memories


Yummy Food for the Tummy – Dining Out & Sweet Memories

Just about a year ago, I mentioned my Auntie Edith in the post, The Right to Privacy – Personal Correspondence.  She is the source of the stories in A Window of Memories and gave me permission to publish them.

For this post, I want to share a particular story … FYI, the mentioned Margaret is my mother.

Wallpaper
Thinking about this (pulling off heart monitoring connectors) reminded me of an incident during World War 2. Elsie had taken Margaret (pictured a few years earlier) to stay with her Mum & Dad in Derby for a few weeks. They went on a shopping spree in town and decided to have “elevenses”. Auntie Mary was a very particular person and nothing but the best would do for her and so they ended up in Derby’s poshest (and most expensive) restaurant. Elsie and her mum were chatting and eating their toasted tea cakes and drinking coffee quite happily, when it was suddenly brought to their notice that Margaret, tucked away (safely, as they thought) in her pushchair, had been doing a bit of exploring and having found a loose corner, had happily stripped off several large pieces of very expensive flock wallpaper! (a girl after my own heart). I don’t know how much it cost Auntie Mary to get out of that one but I bet she never went in that shop again.

Dining out at restaurants can be a great source of memories!  And, we are not always talking fine dining establishments.  Growing up, it was our ritual on Friday nights to eat dinner at McDonalds (my mother always wanted a “plain” fish sandwich – if one remembers how slow service was back in the early days of McDonalds, you can just “hear” our groans, all to no avail!) and then go grocery shopping.  We did that for years and years! 

On a “rare” occasion we visited a local steak restaurant and we didn’t really eat out much except for one other really memorable time at The Four Seasons Restaurant in New York City.  I can still visualize the restaurant and it was the only time (I think my dad learned a very expensive lesson that meal) we went to such a “posh” restaurant and in the “Big City” at that. He said we could have whatever we wanted.  I remember that I had “boars head paté” and a “coffee cup soufflé” (which was served in a coffee cup).  Don’t ask me anything else about what anyone else ate and I remember what I had!  After that, it was back to McDonalds .

I can still bite into a child’s size cheeseburger and be taken back to those Friday nights.

To help us with our recollections or to suggest where our family members may have eaten out, there are menu collections for us to access.

Learn more about some of these collections via:
(1) The Woman Who Collected More Than 25,000 Menus.  You can access some of her collection here. A related initiative is What’s on the menu? – an effort to transcribe menus.  So far 1,332,621 dishes have been transcribed from 17,545 menus.

You can also find a few more resources via The Old Foodie – Online Menu Collections.






What are your memories of eating out growing up?

What are some of the iconic tales shared in your family about dining out?

What was your favorite restaurant as a child?

What other collections of menus are you aware of?





Editor’s Note: I searched Newspapers.com and in the Delaware County Daily Times (Chester, PA), 21 Feb 1968, Page 20, there are recipes given for soufflés and the article states “At the Four Seasons Restaurant in New York, these individual coffee souffles are actually baked and served in coffee cups – hence the name.” My mouth just salivates as I read the recipe and the one I had!



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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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17 August 2017

Mail Order Kit Houses – Not just Sears sold these!


Mail Order Kit Houses – Not just Sears sold these!

This post starts in MS.  The Preservation in Mississippi blog has once again introduced me to something I didn’t know about – Aladdin Homes!

The post, The Aladdin Company’s Order Ledger talks about this company that “had a mail order catalog that offered plans and all the lumber you would need to build a house, pre-cut.”

I am familiar with the Sears catalog homes -- “Sears reported that more than 70,000 of these homes were sold in North America between 1908 and 1940.” I didn’t realize that there were several other companies that also produced/sold “Kit House(s).”  Sears does maintain an Archive.

Want to learn more about the Aladdin Company and its kit houses?  Check out this digital archive (Clarke Historical Library). Via the catalog section, you can get a sense of what homes were available for purchase in 1911 and 1932-1934.

Begun in 1906 by two brothers, Otto and William Sovereign, the family-owned firm continued to manufacture houses until 1981. Over the firm's long history it sold over 75,000 homes to both individual and corporate customers.

Maybe your family purchased theirs from Montgomery Ward (Wardway Homes)? Additional resources can be found at kithouse.org.





Did any of your family live in a “kit” house?

What other resource materials survive for these homes you ordered from a catalog?

Did any form of pre-fabricated and/or kit-type houses exist before the dawn of the 20th century?








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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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16 August 2017

Telephone Booths … Going, Going, Almost Gone!


Telephone Booths … Going, Going, Almost Gone!

Let me say up front that I “think” we always had a phone in our house, even when we lived in several rentals (starting when I was about 3).  I could be wrong.

That said, phone booths were so ever-present until recently.

·        In high school, they were by the cafeteria.
·        In town, you could always find one near a gas station, inside a diner, around hotels and related, malls, and elsewhere.
·        In Europe, I remember visiting places that were just phone booths and you signed up for a time slot to make your cross-Atlantic phone call back home.
·        In airports, train and bus stations, they seemed to be everywhere!

I cannot tell you when I last saw a working phone booth.  Every airport I’ve been in this year has banks where phonebooths used to be and now they sit as silent reminders of what was.

Basically, I remember that when traveling, you always made sure you had some change just in case you needed to make a call.  I have a vivid memory of being pregnant, tired, hungry, and frustrated (not necessarily in that order) in Jackson Hole, WY, and trying to remotely convey all of that to my husband as I inserted a continuous stream of quarters into a payphone!  Effective though not necessarily satisfying.

I also remember the frustration when the phone book was missing or missing so many pages that the number you needed was amongst the missing.  Thanks goodness for the operators!

The day I switched to a cellphone is also a vivid memory.  It was about 16 years ago and I was driving with my kids and the car broke down.  The nearest phone booth was easily over a mile away.  We were in a neighborhood and I decided to visit the nearby houses and ask to use their phone to call AAA.  I had to go to several houses before someone would let me in (actually brought a cordless phone to me outside) so that I could call AAA.  It made me realize how vulnerable I was.  Yet, I remember being on highways, in the middle of nowhere, with a flat tire, and before you knew it, someone would stop, help you change the tire and you’d be on your way again (though, I did make sure I knew how to change my tires!).

I was reminded of all this when I read Those Disappearing Telephone Booths (Preservation in Mississippi blog).

A Wikipedia article about telephone booths tells us that some countries no longer have “any” telephone booths in operation anywhere!

A few months ago, CBS posted Last call for the phone booth? Which talks about the rise and now fall of an institution that some people alive have never used (including my own 20 something children)!  The article talks about The Payphone Project which has an associated Facebook Page. Want to see what payphones are still in your community, check here.

Of course, there was also a time before payphones … and, I’m not that old!

Time does march on, and institutions very familiar to us aren’t familiar at all to our children.  Well, the same goes for our ancestors.  There are businesses and services that they used that are completely unknown to us. 




What are your favorite memories of telephone booths?

When was the last time you used one?

Are any still standing in your community?




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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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