19 February 2010

An enticing video preview of Who Do You Think You Are?

I enjoyed watching this video montage from the upcoming series Who Do You Think You Are? It shows actual records, people looking at manuscripts, at microfilm, finding an ancestor's tombstone, and experiencing emotion at what they find. That emotion is the same whether you or your ancestors are dirt poor, middle class, or a celebrity. We all use the same records for the research. We all find the good, bad, exciting, boring, and ourselves when we research our family history.

After watching this show I hope that others begin the journey to discover their family history. I hope that they read the guidebooks that are on library shelves, subscribe to online databases, check others at their public library, join a genealogical society for more help, and attend a genealogy seminar, conference, or institute for more learning. Perhaps they will seek some assistance from a professional researcher.

Tons of info is online, but there are still billions of pieces of paper in libraries, historical societies, archives, and courthouses that are not microfilmed or digitized. Nothing compares to holding a diary written by great grandpa during the Civil War, a letter penned by your great great granduncle, the pages from a Civil War pension record, reading through that case file of a family member's divorce case from 1899. Nothing compares.

There are many parts to the whole research process. Thankfully, we have several shows today that are sharing the joys, tears, and thrills of family history.

Cemetery cannot be destroyed for O'Hare International Airport.

For some time now, I have been reading about Chicago's plans to add a runway to O'Hare International Airport. Sadly, this necessitated the moving of many bodies buried in St. Johannes' Cemetery on the land. Today's Chicago Tribune carries a story that the court has put a stop to this, even for some families that had agreed to the bodies being moved. The city can no longer move any bodies at this site. The 161 year old cemetery belonged to St. John's United Church of Christ.

18 February 2010

Even figure skaters have an archives

While I sit here watching the figure skating at the 2010 Olympics, I decided to check out the World Figure Skating Musuem and Hall of Fame. There is an Archives! I figured there would be as they exist for many sports.

From the website: The photograph collection of nearly 20,000 images includes many early tintype and glass negatives. Nearly 1,500 books in more than a dozen languages form the backbone of the Museum's library, along with complete sets of North American and European magazines, newspapers, scrapbooks, private letters, programs, sheet music and historical greeting cards. 

Do you have a figure skating competitor anytime from the 1920s forward? This is the place to contact. Though I would wait a while as I am sure they have been, and continue to be, quite impacted by reporters, broadcasters, and others needing data during the Olympics. It has the "most extensive collection of figure skating materials in the world."

A grade school friend did compete in figure skating -- I wonder if she is represented in the materials that are housed in Colorado Springs, Colorado?

FGS 2010 Conference program and registration is live online!

The full program, including meal events, special events, keynote speakers, special lectures, and information on the updated Focus on Societies Day is now online at http://fgs.org/2010conference/index.php. Registrations were already coming in online before the official release announcement was made!

The program section can be sorted by day, speaker, or track. Mini bios on all the speakers are on the website. Click on Partners to see all the wonderful businesses and organizations that are generous sponsors of this event and to see the long list of organizations participating as lecture, track, and luncheon sponsors. All of this helps to broaden the program, offer special events, and keep the costs down for registrants.

Do you think your genealogical or historical society, genealogy-related business, or other organization might want to reserve a space in the Exhibit Hall? Check details on that via the same website. The Exhibit Hall is already half-reserved. 

The website also has a direct link to the FGS Conference News Blog for additional details, breaking news, updates, travel details, tourism info, and so much more.

17 February 2010

A great woman and genealogist has passed away -- Marsha Hoffman Rising, CG, FASG

If you never had the chance to interact with Marsha, you have missed out on some special genealogical education from an awesome person. Marsha passed away peacefully early this morning at her home in Springfield, Missouri. Even though I have known for the last month and especially the last few days that her death was imminent, it still hit hard. For the last thirteen years, Marsha has been living with ovarian cancer, harsh treatments, spreading cancer, and with a determination to live live fully at every moment she could. The news came to me just after a woman I know told me she was pregnant with her first child. The varied faces of life.

Marsha and her husband, Dean, took many trips to all parts of the world. Their retirement came a bit early due to Marsha's diagnosis, but they still took advantage of all that they could. Marsha provided support and guidance to other women receiving and living with the same diagnosis of ovarian cancer, including two other friends of mine.

I (along with my ex-husband, Jim) was with Marsha just days before her first major surgery after the diagnosis. Where were we? At the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. As she told us what was going on, we were stunned, scared, and thankful for being able to spend time with her. During the research days,

16 February 2010

2010 NGS Conference – Early Bird Registration Ends 8 March

This press release was received today from the National Genealogical Society:

This year the annual NGS Family History Conference will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, 28 April─1 May 2010. Whether your family helped settle the nation, migrated across the country, stayed in the same place, or recently arrived in America, this conference has much to offer. The family history resources in Salt Lake City, Utah, will provide a depth and breadth to your research.

The event features, 200 educational sessions taught by the nation’s leading lecturers, a vendor hall with over 150 exhibitors, Ask an Expert Consultations, International Workshops, Open Houses, and more. Click here to read more. The full conference event registration will include a ticket to “An Evening Celebration of Family History." The evening will include a multi-media tribute to family history, special guest speaker, and mini-concert by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Also featured during the week, will be free scanning of documents and photos by Ancestry.com.

Registration details and the conference program can be found online www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/conference_info  Early bird pricing for this event ends 8 March 2010. So register today, and miss out on the last minute rush to receive the discounted pricing.

09 February 2010

Valentine's Sale -- Maia's Books

I receive this press release today and though readers might like to know about this sale.

Valentine's Sale! 20% off!

Everything on-line & in retail store thru 23 February at Maia's Books.

- Sale prices are limited to items in stock - and everything on-line is in stock though some in very limited quantities.
- Items ending in .96 on the regular price have already been discounted 10%-50%; sale price is an additional 20% off.
- Special orders or requests for items not currently in stock will be considered - complete a "I'm looking for. . ." form.

Purchase $50* and receive a coupon for 10% off your next purchase! [*does not include taxes or shipping]

Click here to go to Maia's now!

Maia's stocks ALL of Heritage Books in print books and cds.

Retail Location Now Open!
4662 Indianola Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43214

February Hours
Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays:  11am-4:30pm
Saturdays:  12noon-4:30pm
or take a chance - we'll be here most days 10am - 3pm

Maia's Books will be in person in the Exhibit Halls at the Ohio Genealogical Society, National Genealogical Society, and Federation of Genealogical Societies conferences in 2010.

08 February 2010

My TV schedule

I am not sure what is going to happen to some of my TV passions. Yes, I have a TV in my office and just might have a TV in other rooms. I love to watch HGTV and the Food Network. Antiques Roadshow is an important part of each week. But history and genealogy seem to be winning out in the last year or two. PBS has called with History Detectives, African American Lives, shows on Native American, towns in the Midwest, the underground railroad, gold rush, Donner Party and the PBS list could go on. BYU television has The Generations Project which those of us who don't get BYU TV can watch some episodes online. I am guessing that these shows will be coming to other PBS stations.

Cable has The Locator, ABC had Find My Family and we have genealogists doing their own thing publicly such as The Genealogy Guys, Genealogy Gems TV, and RootsTelevision.Other genealogists have had local shows on cable tv.

On Wednesday of this week, Faces of America debuts on PBS. It's on at 7:00 p.m. my time.Then on Friday, March 5th, the U.S. edition of Who Do You Think You Are? commences on NBC.

Genealogists and research results have been on the Today Show, Good Morning America, broadcast evening newscasts, The View, cable news, Oprah, and many other outlets.Learning more about genealogy is growing today. Other countries have had shows about genealogy for years. Genealogists in the U.S. and other countries have had regular radio shows about genealogy. I have been interviewed by the press in the U.S. and Canada for print, radio, and television as have many other genealogists. Ancestry.com runs commercials on broadcast and cable television. My late father used to call and tell me that he had "heard another commercial for that company you write for."

And all we had in the early 1990s was the Ancestors series on PBS. I remember sitting in some planning meetings at the Family History Library for that show and being so excited. Compare that to today's offerings. Be sure to let the broadcast, cable, and public televsion stations know you are watching these shows. We need them to continue. An understanding of where we all came from, the trials and tribulations of our ancestors, and how closely related we just might be could be a great contributor to peace, courtesy, and realizing that people are people and we all deserve to be treated kindly.

It's an exciting time to be involved in the pursuit of family history, the education of genealogists, and in sharing the excitement with others who are not quite hooked but may be soon!

February 2010 National Archives events -- Washington, DC area

The snow will have melted (won't it?) and people can venture to the National Archives locations in the Washington for these events.

February 4, 2010

Special Programs Highlight National Archives Records in February and March

Washington, DC.   All programs are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted, and will be held in the National Archives Building in Washington, DC.   Please note that three of the programs will be repeated at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland, in Lecture Room B.

Visitors to all programs in the National Archives Building Research Center (Room G-24) should use the Pennsylvania Avenue entrance, between 7th and 9th Streets, NW.  Visitors to programs in the Adams and Jefferson Rooms of the National Archives Building should use the Special Events Entrance on Constitution Avenue at 7th St.  The National Archives at College Park, MD, is located at 8601 Adelphi Road.  For directions to both locations, see:  http://www.archives.gov/dc-metro. 

Tuesday, February 9, at 11 a.m., Room G-24, Research Center   
African American Genealogy in Ancestry.com

Sabrina Petersen of Ancestry.com discusses African American genealogy resources in National Archives records available through Ancestry.com. (The lecture will be repeated at the National Archives at College Park on Thursday, February 11, at 11 a.m.)

Tuesday, February 16, at 11 a.m., Room G-24, Research Center
"Face to Face with History": African American Civil War Surgeons

Jill L. Newmark, exhibition specialist and registrar in the History of Medicine Division at the National Library of Medicine, discusses her article "Face to Face with History" from the Fall 2009 issue of Prologue magazine. She shares her discovery of William P. Powell, Jr.'s story as an African American surgeon during the Civil War and how National Archives records provide a glimpse into a rarely studied part of history. (The lecture will be repeated at the National Archives at College Park, MD, Thursday, February 18, at 11 a.m.)

Wednesday, February 17, at 11 a.m., Room G-24, Research Center
Beyond the Basics: African American Genealogy

Archives staff teach "beyond the basic" archival research skills on the third Wednesday and third Saturday of the month.

Saturday, February 20, at 10 a.m., Room G-24, Research Center
Beyond the Basics: Finding Aids

Archives staff teach "beyond the basic" archival research skills on the third Wednesday and third Saturday of the month.  The next lecture is Wednesday, March 17, on non-population census schedules.

Saturday, February 20, noon-4 p.m., Room G-24, Research Center
"Help! I'm Stuck"

Not sure where to begin? Has a genealogical problem stumped you? Hoping to explore new directions in your research? On the third Saturday of each month, an archivist is available from noon to 4 p.m. to answer questions. Look for the "Help! I'm Stuck" sign at the Research Center desk.

Tuesday, February 23, at 11 a.m., Adams Room
George Washington in the Records

Prior to the noontime Book Group discussion, and in celebration of George Washington's birthday, Archives Technician Timothy Duskin, explores the many records held at the National Archives on the first President of the United States.  (The lecture will be repeated at the National Archives at College Park, MD, on Thursday, February 25, at 11 a.m.)

Tuesday, February 23, at noon, Adams Room
From the Records Book Group Discussion: The Valley Forge Winter:

Civilians and Soldiers in War The Book Group discusses The Valley Forge Winter: Civilians and Soldiers in War by Wayne K. Bodle.  Please check the Archives Shop (202-357-5271) for book availability and a special discount.  The March 16th book selection will be Our Mother's War: American Women at Home and at the Front during World War II by Emily Yellin.

03 February 2010

NBC's Who Do You Think You Are? A special connection for me

I remember his call. The excited voice was telling me about helping to research the ancestry of Sarah Jessica Parker and the privilege of meeting her. The results would be on a TV show and I have been waiting for this show since that call. The person who called me is a special part of my family and I call him a surrogate grandson. He is D. Joshua Taylor or Josh as his family and friends call him. I remember seeing Josh in Salt Lake City as a young teenager all excited about genealogy. Over the years this young man has become an important part of my life and that of many others in the world of family history. In January I got to meet his mother and thanked her for sharing him with the rest of us.

Josh is the Director of Education and Programs at the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston, and was formerly head of NEHGS' Research Services.We have done joint lectures and he teaches in the course I coordinate at the Salt Lake Instittute of Genealogy. I serve on the Board of Directors of the Federation of Genealogical Societies with Josh.

Now we all get to see him with Sarah Jessica Parker on Friday, March 5th as the U.S. version of Who Do You Think You Are? debuts. WDYTYA features family histories of celebrities. It has been a smash hit in England for many years. When I was in Salt Lake City in early January I saw a preview of the show that was presented at an Ancestry.com dinner and now NBC has some info and a short preview on its website. 

If you would like to see and meet Josh in person, be sure to attend the Federation of Genealogical Societies 2010 Conference this coming August 18-21 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Josh will be presenting several talks at the conference which also features many other nationally known and local speakers.

Ancestry.com is involved in sponsorship (and some of the genealogy research) of the show. As Suzanne Russo Adams said in a February 3d press release from Ancestry:

"Stock up on the popcorn and get ready for the new NBC hit show "Who Do You Think You Are?" The family history-focused series will lead seven celebrities on a heart-warming journey back in time as they discover more about the ancestors who came before them. Lisa Kudrow, who executive produced the show will be featured in the episodes, along with Sarah Jessica Parker, Spike Lee, Matthew Broderick, Susan Sarandon, Emmitt Smith, and Brooke Shields. Ancestry.com is a partner with NBC on the show.

The idea for "Who Do You Think You Are?" originated from a show that has been phenomenally successful in the UK for several years. Since the show aired in 2004, the UK has seen a surge of interest in family history, and we hope and expect the same reaction from "Who Do You Think You Are?" in the United States.

Typically, celebrities play the role of someone else, however in this show they play no one but themselves. Because of this, "Who Do You Think You Are?" really shows the human side of these individuals, who experience a myriad of emotions as they learn their family history. Viewers can't help but feel inspired and intrigued as they watch the episodes. Naturally, the show will lead viewers to begin thinking about and asking questions around their own family history."

4 February update: readers have reminded me that there have been WDYTYA  versions in Canada, Sweden, and one for Norway is in the works. A quick online search also shows it or similar shows in other countries. I love this interest!