27 December 2008

FGS Conference 2009

Thinking about going to the Federation of Genealogical Societies and Arkansas Genealogical Society 2009 Genealogy Conference that will be held September 2-5, 2009 in Little Rock? The conference blog continues to have additional information and updates. The hotel information was just updated to include hotel amenities. Camping and RV Park info was also added.

24 December 2008

Holiday Greetings

The last month has been incredibly busy and I am sure your's has been too! I am finally getting around to some holiday greetings.

Dear Readers,

This is my greeting to you as 2008 comes to an end and 2009 is just about here. No matter the personal, country, or world conditions, there is much to be thankful for. I turned 60 this year and that is something to be thankful for (ouch!) as it is better than not turning 60. I moved to a one-level rental townhome that I love and plan to stay here for at least two years.

I just spent a Christmas celebration weekend with my oldest son and daughter-in-law, my daughter and son-in-law, and four of the grandchildren. My daughter and family come to the Twin Cities every other year for Christmas so it was our turn to go to Hermantown to be with them. It was a great time to be thankful for. Tonight I will spend Christmas Eve with my oldest son and family. They told me I have to stay overnight so that Santa won’t be confused about where to leave my Christmas Stocking! After Christmas morning with them, I will spend time with my Dad. My youngest son moved to Washington, DC this year and will spend Christmas with friends.

2008 started out on a good note as I traveled to Salt Lake City to teach at the annual Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. It was my twelfth year are part of SLIG. It was also a trip to have a family reunion of sorts – with many from my genealogy family. On January 8th, I spoke to my Mom’s main caregiver back in Minnesota and was told she was having a good day. The good start ended with the phone call from my sister Linda that same evening telling me that Mom had passed away. She had suffered for many years surviving breast cancer, emphysema, severely broken leg that got worse, bad osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and other maladies. She no longer spoke and the glint of recognition of family beyond my Dad had been gone for a long time. She is no longer suffering, but I still miss the frequent phone calls we used to have.

The shock of my Mother’s sudden death was difficult. The cost to go back home was also a shock. Then my Dad called and told me to stay in Salt Lake City – he was going to have the service immediately and he knew the airfare cost was prohibitive. My “family reunion” family had a special memorial service for Mom. It was perfect. Some friends mourned their own losses, too. This other family is very special to me. My Dad later said he wished he had been there with me. I was fortunate to see many of these friends at conferences and seminars throughout 2008. I also have a reunion every so often with a group of friends from elementary school.

Several good friends passed away during the year and I miss them. I do admire them for their upbeat attitudes as they fought disease. Others are still fighting valiantly. Some friends are spending their first holiday season without their significant other or in the midst of a family crisis. It will be difficult, but remember that you will make it through – just be sure to do something special for yourself and reach out to others if you need someone to talk to. You have my phone number and I am always willing to listen.

My oldest son was married this summer to a woman I dearly love. Their outdoor ceremony was perfect as was the day. Jim has one daughter and Jamie has one daughter and three sons. We will all be together tonight. I knew that they were all part of my family once they began teasing me about my height.

My Dad is amazing. His mind is sharp and we had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration at my sister and brother-in-law’s new lake home. Dad played cards for hours with us and got off some real zingers as he teased us. He turned 89 this year and I wish his body was as good as his mine. I love you Dad.

I look forward to 2009. My biggest wishes are for better health for my Dad and some more positive changes in this country and the world.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and best wishes for all celebrations and neat memories to all the special people in my life,



11 December 2008

Post-Adoption Research

If you are involved in such research, run, don't walk, to read an article by Debbie Mieszala, CG, in the October-December 2008 NGS Magazine. (This issue is volume 34, #4). The article is titled "Riding the roller coaster of post-adoption research." Debbie discusses the adoption triad (child, adoptive parents, and birth parents), respectful adoption language, possible records that were created, the two versions of a birth certificate, and gives the reader a search checklist. She does not avoid the emotional roller coaster that this research generally involves and gives tips on dealing with this issue and with making everyone as comfortable as possible.

If you are not a National Genealogical Society member, a public library, historical society or genealogical library in your area may soon have this issue on the shelf.

10 December 2008

Gold Rush Stories

In the weekly (and free) e-News I receive from the New England Historic Genealogical Society this notice was included today:

Seeking Gold Rush Stories

For a California Gold Rush-themed issue, to be published later in 2009, the staff of New England Ancestors magazine would like to hear from those with ancestors who traveled from New England to participate in the Gold Rush. Please send a paragraph of information on your Gold Rush ancestor(s), outlining the details and briefly mentioning relevant family stories, documentation, or photographs concerning the Gold Rush, to magazine@nehgs.org. Some submitters will be asked to write accounts for publication in New England Ancestors magazine or NewEnglandAncestors.org.

09 December 2008

Archivist of the United States resigns

December 9, 2008

National Archivist Allen Weinstein Resigns

Washington, D.C. . . On December 7, historian Allen Weinstein, Archivist of the United States, submitted his resignation to the President, effective December 19, 2008. Professor Weinstein, who has Parkinson's disease, cited health reasons for his decision.

Deputy Archivist of the United States, Adrienne Thomas, will serve as Acting Archivist until a new Archivist is appointed, in accordance with the National Archives governing statute, 44 USC 2103(c).

In his letter to the President, Weinstein said "During my tenure as Archivist, my team of colleagues and I have made substantial progress in achieving virtually all of our goals. Moreover, we at the National Archives have worked diligently and successfully on our primary mission of maximizing public access to the records of all three branches of government while protecting at all costs this agency's rock-solid nonpartisan integrity." The Archivist says that the time has come for him to address fresh challenges.

Weinstein was nominated by President Bush on April 8, 2004, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on February 10, 2005. Under the National Archives statute there is no specific term of office and the position is not intended to change hands automatically with the election of a new President.

02 December 2008

Have you attended a FGS Conference?

I am looking for some human interest stories to use in publicizing the September 2-5, 2009 Federation of Genealogical Societies and Arkansas Genealogical Conference. I need names and contact info for stories related to attending a FGS conferences. The areas I am hoping for are these and others that you might have to share:

a. a great research find because of what was learned at a conference
b. someone convinced to venture out to libraries and not do just online research
c. a person finding a possible relative at the conference
d. great friendships evolving due to conference attendance
e. breaking through a brick wall because of conference attendance
f. chance meeting at a booth in the vendor hall
g. learning a lot about a research facility just by talking with someone at a luncheon

The name of the person submitting the story would be used in the PR as will their city and state.



NGS Conference Program Online

I just noticed that the National Genealogical Society's Program and Registration for the May 13-16, 2009 Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina has gone live. The website has a nice listing of items in the left hand column to click for just about all the knowledge you need for attending the conference.

I checked airfares earlier today and they have come down a lot for that time period from when I first checked two months ago.

NARA Award for Excellence in Genealogy

I received this press release from the U.S. National Archives. It sounds interesting.

December 1, 2008

Two awards to be granted for articles based on National Archives records

Washington, DC* In celebration of its 75th anniversary, the National Archives announces two awards to recognize significant achievements in genealogy research, based on records from the National Archives.

The National Archives is known worldwide as a treasure chest of genealogical information. Each year, millions of people use Federal records in the National Archives to search for their family roots. Census schedules, ship passenger arrival lists, citizenship papers, military pension files, land patents, and court records offer detailed evidence to flesh out family histories. This competition provides an opportunity for students to share their research "treasures" with the public.

The awards are $1,000 for first place; $500 for second place. Winning articles may be published in Prologue, the quarterly magazine of the National Archives, and/or on the National Archives web site.

To be eligible, an applicant must be either an undergraduate or graduate student enrolled in an accredited institution of higher learning; have completed at least one semester; and have not yet advanced to candidacy, if in a Ph.D. program. An applicant does not have to be an American citizen, but must be attending an American college or university. Permanent National Archives employees are not eligible.

Awards will be announced at the National Archives annual Genealogy Fair on April 22, 2009.

Applicants are required to submit:
1. Cover sheet that includes the following:
o Name and contact information;
o Proof of enrollment at an accredited academic institution; and
o Signature giving permission for the article to be published.

2. An original, unpublished work between 1,000 and 3,000 words that demonstrates the use of National Archives holdings to conduct genealogical research. The essay must be typed and include a works-cited page or bibliography. End notes are suggested but not required.

Please submit applications to:
Diane Dimkoff
Director, Customer Services Division
Room G-13
700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20408