Monday, August 26, 2013

FGS2013 Announcement: FGS and RootsTech 2015 Events To Be Held In Tandem

Federation of Genealogical Societies Announces 2015 Conference

FGS and RootsTech Events To Be Held In Tandem
February 12-14, 2015 in Salt Lake City

22 August 2013 – Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies(FGS) announced today that its 2015 National Conference will be held February 12-14, 2015, in Salt Lake City, Utah in conjunction with RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch. RootsTech is held each February in Salt Lake City and helps thousands of attendees from around the world discover and share family connections, stories, and history.

With the Salt Palace Convention Center as the common venue, both FamilySearch and FGS are committed to producing a one-of-a-kind genealogy event addressing the educational needs of the family history, technology and genealogical society communities. As the logistics of this sizeable event are still being worked out, both FGS and FamilySearch will work together to share resources and provide cost benefits for all parties, including attendees and exhibitors. Attendees can expect to see familiar elements of previous FGS and RootsTech events including keynote presentations, a Society Showcase and Expo Hall.

Registration for both events will begin in August 2014, six months prior to the February 2015 dates. FGS will also hold a smaller national event for its members in late 2015, with details to be announced at a later date.

FGS President D. Joshua Taylor states, “FamilySearch has been a valued partner and sponsor for FGS during its past conferences. It only makes sense for both organizations to work together and produce what will be the most talked about genealogy events of 2015.” Taylor added that such an event brings the best of RootsTech and FGS conferences together under one roof and will offer genealogists and family historians a wide array of activities and educational opportunities.

About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was founded in 1976 and represents the members of hundreds of genealogical societies. FGS links the genealogical community by helping genealogical societies strengthen and grow through resources available online, FGS Forum magazine (filled with articles pertaining to society management and genealogical news), and Society Strategy Series papers, covering topics about effectively operating a genealogical society. FGS also links the genealogical community through its annual conference -- four days of excellent lectures, including one full day devoted to society management topics. To learn more visit

Women's Equality Day and Your Ancestor's Right to Vote

Suffragettes on way to Boston via Flickr the Commons

Today is Women's Equality Day which commemorates the 19th amendment and focuses on the continuing work for women's equality in other realms of life. You can read more about the history behind the day from the National Women's History Project.

Want to learn more about how suffrage affected your ancestor? One way to interest the non-genealogists in your family is to tell the story of how and when the women in the family got the right to vote.

Ratified in August 1920, the nineteenth amendment granted women full suffrage by declaring “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex…” 

What's important to remember is that some women had the right to vote in local or state elections prior to the 19th amendment. Other women, continued to be disenfranchised after 1920. For example, women who had lost their citizenship due to marrying a non-citizen were not allowed to vote. Women living in the U.S. Territory of Puerto Rico didn't gain the right to vote until  1935 and while the Indian Citizenship Act (1924) gave citizenship to all Native Americans it wasn't until 1965 that the Voting Rights Act was passed.

To learn more about the history of female suffrage in the state you are researching,  refer to the multi-volume  History of Woman Suffrage edited by Susan B. Anthony, et al. Volume four includes information on suffrage history in each state, as well as Britain and Canada. These volumes are fully digitized and available at Internet Archive and can be found under the category  “Women—Political Rights.”

To find voting records consult websites like, under their Census and Voter Lists page.  FamilySearch  has microfilmed voting records, to find them search on your ancestor’s place and then the category “voting registers.” To learn more about voting records for a state, search on the FamilySearch Research Wiki

In some cases, you may find a specialized database found on a library or archive website. For example, Alexandria Library  has the database entitled Voter Registrations in Alexandria, Virginia. African-Americans, 1902-1954 with over 2,000 names. 

Cyndi’s List has locality specific links for voting records on the page Voters, Poll Books, Electoral Records .

To learn more about women and their suffrage rights, consult the book The Hidden Half of the Family: A Sourcebook for Women’s Genealogy by Christina Kassabian Schaeffer.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Church Record Sunday: Church Yearbooks

Think yearbooks are just for schools? There are all types of yearbooks for organizations including religious. Did your ancestor's denomination have a yearbook?

From Internet Archive

One example of church yearbooks is found on the Congregational Library, Congregational Christian Historical Society website. According to their website,

"One of the library's most frequently used reference resources is a succession of denominational yearbooks dating back to 1854. They contain lists of active ministers, necrologies (obituaries) of recently deceased ministers, church statistics, and the denominations' annual reports.  This resource is particularly useful to churches preparing for an anniversary, genealogists, and authors researching church histories."

The great part is that some of these can be found digitized on Internet Archive, Google Books and on various individual church websites. Links to digitized copies can be found on the Congregational Library's website.

Other church yearbook collections include these from the Seventh-Day Adventist Church dating back to 1883, and this example of Central Congregational Yearbooks from Kansas Memory,

Saturday, August 24, 2013

FGS2013 Special:

There's a lot going on at the Federation of Genealogical Studies conference. For those of us not able to attend it can feel like not being asked to the prom. So through some help from my friends I thought I would bring you some information from the conference.

For this post, I wanted to bring you a new book announcement (because who doesn't like a new book?)

Photo used with permission of Gary W. Clark (2013)

From introduced its latest book Cased Images and Tintypes KwikGuide at the FGS Conference in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. This is the latest book in the KwikGuide series that helps genealogists, family historians, and photograph collectors identify and date their vintage photographs.

The Cased Images and Tintypes KwikGuide presents a step-by-step guide to dating daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and tintypes. It reveals clues found in the cases, brass mats, photograph styles, and other attributes that help the reader establish a probable date of the photograph within a few years.

This is the third in a trilogy of books on vintage photographs. It joins the acclaimed 19th Century Card Photos KwikGuide and the recently released Real Photo Postcards KwikGuide. These KwikGuides provide the researcher with comprehensive information that will help establish the date of unmarked photographs, which in turn can lead to identifying the person(s) in the photo.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Drawing Tonight! FGS 2013 and the War of 1812 Quilt

Photo provided by Gary W. Clark (2013). Used with permission.

Some of my readers may know that I am a founding member of Genea-Quilters with my friends Dear Myrtle and Tami Glatz. The Genea-Quilters were recently involved in coordinating a beautiful quilt that  was donated to help the FGS Preserve the Pensions effort.

The quilt drawing is tonight! But you still have a chance to win this wonderful quilt. You do not need to be present to win and you can enter from home.

Photo provided by Gary W. Clark (2013). Used with permission.

Just go to the FGS Preserve the Pensions Donation page. Then click on Donate Now! When you make your donation, check off that you want to be entered in the quilt drawing.

Everyone is eligible, even the quilters who helped to create this quilt. The winning entry is computer picked so everyone has an equal opportunity.

Hurry! The drawing is tonight at 7:30pm (Eastern) at the Evening at the Library event.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

WDYTYA, War of 1812, and a GeneaQuilt

Tonight's episode of Who Do You Think You Are? touches on the War of 1812. The episode follows "Chris O’Donnell’s strong family legacy through an epidemic and war. He travels to St. Louis and Washington D.C to see how deep his roots go and learn of the events that strongly tie his family to American history."


It's a good time to point out that the last Genea-Quilters project was a fundraiser for the Preserve the Pensions project sponsored by the Federation of Genealogical Societies. You can read more about the giveaway on their blog. That quilt will be in the hands of a lucky winner this weekend at #FGS2013.

The Preserve the Pensions Fund is an important effort. You can read more about this on the FGS website. Looking for War of 1812 records? Check out the collection of over 700,000 records on Fold3.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Brother, Can You Spare a Dollar? Please Help Tell The Story of Alice Guy

Have you ever felt passionate about research?

Now I know that sounds odd to some but for most of us genealogists and family historians we can relate with feeling passion for our family history research. We understand the feeling of really liking to research an ancestor who we never met.

Now that idea of research being fun and making you feel like you want to know more isn't something everybody can relate to.

I can tell you personally that I have felt passionate not only about researching my own family history but researching other "dead people" including those whose names are on the signature quilts I own and  the community cookbooks I research.

But I also am passionate about a recent Kickstarter project that I am not involved with any way except supporting the project  and really feeling excited about the research another group has done.

Be Natural is a documentary about the first female director Alice Guy-Blache. Alice did so many remarkable things for her time but, like many women pioneers, she was almost completely forgotten by the film industry. This is a woman whose films were loved by directors like Alfred Hitchcock. She was a ground breaker and led the way for women in the film industry today.

When I watch the clip uploaded to Kickstarter and read the information on Alice I get really excited. I want to know her story. I want to go see the documentary that helps tell her story. Heck, I even want to help research her life.

But there's a problem. While we often think that people in the entertainment industry have access to great gobs of money, that is not always true. People aren't breaking down doors to fund documentaries or documentaries telling the story of  early 20th century female directors that no one has heard of.

That's where we can make a difference. Please check out Alice's story on Kickstarter. Then make a decision to help. Even if it's $1.00 that can make the difference.

As genealogists we know the feeling of helping to tell the story of someone whose life was lost to current generations. Let's help to tell Alice's story so she won't be lost to the future.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Join Me for a Virtual Conference in September

It's time for the Family Tree University Virtual Conference.

I will be presenting on two topics, Cool Tools for Creating Timelines and Money-Saving Strategies for Frugal Family Historians.  Because I do like to save money, I wanted to pass on the fact that the early-bird discount (25%) ends on  Friday.

See you at the Virtual Conference!