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Subject: [NGS] UpFront with NGS - Volume 8, Number 7-1 July 2008
Date: Tue, 1 Jul 2008 11:32:46 -0400

UpFront with NGS
The Online Newsletter of the National Genealogical Society
Volume 8, Number 7-1 July 2008


Today in UpFront



-- A Legacy of Independence, Genealogist Style by Jan Alpert, NGS President
-- Newfangled Notions by Pamela K. Boyer, CG, CGL
-- Societies at Risk? by Pam Cerutti, Editor
-- Join the Act: Preserving the American Historical Record Act by Jan Alpert, NGS President

NGS News

-- 2008 National Genealogical Society Hall of Fame Elects Lowell M. Volkel
-- 2008 Conference Lectures Available on CD
-- Salt Lake City Research Trip
-- Save the Date: 2009 NGS Conference in the States in Raleigh NC
-- Librarians' Day 2009 Pre-conference Event in Raleigh NC
-- 2010 NGS Conference in the States Planned for Salt Lake City
-- Research in the States E-Books
-- Numbering Your Genealogy Revised and Available in Print or PDF

Other News

-- APG Names Young Professional Scholarship Recipient
-- Plan Now for National Library Card Sign-up Month

Events Calendar

-- Events Around the U.S.
-- Family Reunions

About UpFront
- Previous Issues of UpFront with NGS
- How to Submit Items for Publication in UpFront with NGS
- Disclaimers and Copyright
- NGS Contact Information


-- A Legacy of Independence, Genealogist Style by Jan Alpert, NGS President

Although I usually write a book review each month, I was looking for a Fourth of July theme when I heard a radio segment about Thomas Jefferson earlier this week on "All Things Considered." The Library of Congress has a new exhibit, called "Thomas Jefferson's Library." Mark Dimunation of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division has spent almost ten years re-collecting the same books that Thomas Jefferson sold to the Library of Congress in 1815 for $24,000.

At that time, Thomas Jefferson owned the largest private library collection in America, containing 6,487 volumes that he had collected over more than 50 years. When the British destroyed the Capitol in the War of 1812, the Congressional Library was also destroyed. As an enlightened intellectual, Jefferson felt strongly that America's leaders needed access to the best books in the world to make sound and reasoned decisions. In the National Public Radio interview, Dimunation said, "These are the books Thomas Jefferson referred to when he wrote the Declaration of Independence." Listening to the radio interview, I learned that a chimney fire in 1851 destroyed two-thirds of Jefferson's original collection. You can read more about the collection and the exhibit hours at The Library of Congress, the largest library in the world, remains one of America's treasurers, especially to genealogists.

If you have not visited Monticello in recent times, you may not be aware of the Jefferson Library at the home of Thomas Jefferson, near Charlottesville, Virginia. Although not a repository for Jefferson's personal papers, many of his papers housed at other repositories are available at the Jefferson Library on microfilm. The Jefferson Library collection includes all subjects related to the life and interests of Thomas Jefferson, including government, history, agriculture, archeology, science, and literature. It also includes considerable materials about the Lewis and Clark Expedition, which recently celebrated its 200th anniversary. You can find more information about the Jefferson Library at

Thomas Jefferson is not our only founding father who took an interest in libraries. Benjamin Franklin and a number of his contemporary tradesmen pooled their books and created a library. Franklin soon found the collection inadequate; so, he began a subscription library, which became the Library Company of Philadelphia in 1731. Fifty shareholders provided the initial capital plus an annual contribution. The Library Company was the largest public library in America until the 1850's. Today the Library Company is an extensive research library with rare books, manuscripts, and broadsides from the 17th to 19th centuries, including books the Library Company purchased over the last 250 years. The Library Company is open weekdays and is free to the public at 1314 Locust St., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. You can find more information by calling (215) 546-3181 or online at Anyone can become a shareholder in the Library Company with an investment of $200, or you can become a member for a smaller amount.

We all know Benjamin Franklin as a printer, inventor, and diplomat. His concept of a subscription library is the basis of the circulating library system we know and use today. However, today most public libraries are supported by town, county, state or federal tax dollars. Next month, I will discuss some of the other major libraries that have been supported by philanthropy.

As a genealogist, take a moment during your Fourth of July celebration to pay tribute to our founding fathers who believed in the value of collecting books and establishing libraries that we still use today for our family history research.


-- Newfangled Notions by Pamela K. Boyer, CG, CGL, NGS Education and Publications Director

Most humans are resistant to change, but sometimes change offers the opportunity to learn something new or improve the way something is done. Such was the case with the NGS conference syllabus offering for this year's Kansas City conference. In years past, all registrants automatically received a print copy of the syllabus, which usually measures about 7¾ x 10¾ inches and weighs upwards of 3 pounds. Many conference-goers opt to leave it in their hotel rooms because it weighs down their bags and takes up too much room.

This year NGS tried a new option: early-bird registrants could select either the traditional print syllabus or a new CD version in PDF format. For an additional $10, they could have both. People who registered after the early-bird cutoff date of 31 March or on-site at the conference were given only the CD syllabus.

Most of us will never curl up in bed with a good laptop computer to read, but there are some distinct advantages to having the syllabus on CD. Since the file is configured as portable document format (PDF), it is every-word searchable. If you want to find every instance of the phrase "Civil War" in the conference syllabus, a simple search lets you browse the lectures with those specific words. A year from now, when you vaguely recall that a speaker at the NGS Kansas City conference talked about courtship and marriage in Germany, you can simply search the syllabus CD for that phrase to find the materials.

>From a delivery standpoint, a CD is less expensive to produce and distribute than a three-pound syllabus, so NGS can avoid raising the cost of conference registration that would be necessary to cover the ever-increasing costs of paper, printing, and shipping of heavy books to convention sites. These publications must be sent to the printer well in advance of the conference, and it is difficult to know exactly how many are needed. Printing too many copies wastes member dollars and natural resources. By setting the early-bird cutoff date as the deadline for print syllabi, NGS knows exactly how many to order to fulfill these early registrations.

Another innovative idea was that of offering the syllabus as a downloadable PDF file from the e-show web site approximately three weeks before the conference. An e-mail was sent to paid registrants (full conference or one-day), speakers, and exhibitors. It included instructions for accessing the e-show web site and finding the link to download the syllabus, which could then be saved to one's hard drive or flash drive.

Only one exhibitor per company could access the syllabus in this manner-the person who received the complimentary registration-and he or she had to log in to e-show under booth registration. This vendor log-in process will probably change for future conferences with the implementation of the new NGS web site.

Using the downloaded electronic version of the syllabus was very helpful to attendees who read the materials in advance to help them decide which lectures to attend. Then, if they had not also purchased the print version, they could print only the pages they needed for the lectures they intended to attend. A printed registration brochure has limited space to describe lectures, but an online syllabus affords conference-goers the opportunity to review lectures they plan to attend to make sure the topic and materials being covered meet their research needs.

Newfangled notions always have drawbacks and glitches, especially when they are brand-new. For instance, the page numbering was off in the CD and electronic syllabus versions. We should have recognized that the first twenty preliminary pages were numbered with Roman numerals and duplicated that numbering in the digitized version so that what displayed as page 177 in Adobe Acrobat was actually the same as the print page 177. We'll amend that in next year's syllabus. We can even insert hyperlinks to make it easy for users to jump from a topic in the Table of Contents to the page containing the syllabus materials for that topic.

All attendees who registered on-site received only the CD syllabus. Some on-site registrants regretted that they had no way to print the handouts for the lectures they wanted to attend. One solution is to use the hotel or conference business center. NGS will investigate the possibility of having a printing kiosk in the conference area where attendees could print pages for a fee.

All in all, most conference-goers seemed pleased with their options for this year's syllabus and expressed a desire to continue with the same choices for next year's 2009 NGS conference in Raleigh, North Carolina. Even if you felt some resistance to this new trend, we hope you will use these few reminders to get what you want next year:

1. Register before the early-bird deadline (usually around the end of March), and choose the CD or print version on your registration form (mail-in, phone, or online registration).

2. To receive both, register before the early-bird deadline, choose both versions, and pay a small additional fee (mail-in, phone, or online registration).

3. Register after the early-bird registration or on-site, and you'll receive only the CD version.

4. Approximately three weeks before the conference, look for the e-mail or instructions on the NGS web site for downloading the electronic syllabus to view it ahead of time and print as many pages as you like.

5. At the conference, take your CD syllabus to the conference or hotel business center to print any pages that you need for lectures or note-taking.

We hope that future conference attendees will find these new options more convenient and useful, not only before and during our conferences but on the trip home and long after as well.


-- Societies at Risk? by Pam Cerutti, Editor

We all know that bad things happen to good people. Sometimes those good people play key roles in our genealogical societies, and their misfortune can mushroom into problems for the organizations that depend on them. I will offer an example, but I invite you to fill in the details with any number of other scenarios.

I recently learned of a society whose webmaster had a stroke and was incapacitated for several months. Since she alone knew the password for the society's web site, no one was able to update the society's online information for news and events without significant effort find out if anyone else could assume this role, to understand the process, and contact the web service to acquire password information and access instructions.

As unpleasant as it is to think about such things, considering the "what ifs" can give individuals and organizations a chance to plan ahead. In the example above, the society might have a second person entrusted with the password. Perhaps written instructions for performing some basic tasks would allow a backup member to post timely information until the webmaster was able to resume that role. The same consideration might apply to check-signing authority, possession of important legal and financial documents, membership data, and even newsletter assembly, delivery, and contact information. If only one person knows what to do and has the knowledge and authorization to do it, the operation may be at risk if that person is ever unavailable. If the only person who knows the location of critical information is its caretaker, others may lose precious time trying to find documents or digital data when it's needed.

Planning proactively for the unexpected need not be a morose experience. Most people like to take vacations, and many people take on society responsibilities that they may not want to keep forever. Therefore, every organization should engage in succession planning that allows its operations to continue smoothly when people take breaks or move on. If the future successors assist the current staff, the knowledge they gain not only prepares them for the major role they will play later, but also helps them serve as backup to that staff during absences for any reason. What's more, transitions and emergencies both become less stressful and error-prone.

There is no time like the present to ensure your society's future, whether you are an officer, a staff member or volunteer, or a recipient of the services these people provide to their members. This is a great time to ask what functions need attention now to head off stoppages later. It's a great time to create a contingency plan and a succession plan that dovetail with each other for both critical short-term protection and smooth long-term transition.

We also wish the webmaster who became a stroke victim a speedy and complete recovery.


-- Join the Act: Preserving the American Historical Record Act by Jan Alpert, NGS President

For the last several weeks the evening news has been full of pictures of the flooded Midwest. One can only imagine the number of historical records that have been lost just in the month of June. After Katrina hit New Orleans and the Gulf coast, the State Archivists began to formulate a strategy that would help state and local governments preserve their historical records.

Preserving the American Historical Record Act (PAHR) is the joint effort of three institutions: the Council of State Archivists, The Society of American Archivists, and the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators. U. S. House of Representatives Bill 6056, was introduced in May 2008, sponsored by Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and Chris Cannon (R-UT).

HR 6056 is requesting an additional $50 million a year for preservation and use of historical records at the state and local level, including records held by government agencies, historical societies, and libraries. Possible uses of the funds include archival finding aids, indexing, and imaging records online. It also includes money for historical preservation and disaster preparedness and recovery. The bill proposes that the National Archives will distribute the funds, using a population-based formula. There is much more information available about PAHR at

As a genealogist, you can help support PAHR in several ways. First, write your Congressional representative and tell him or her that you support PAHR. A sample letter is posted on the web site as well as a list of all the Congressional Representatives with their mailing addresses and fax numbers. The web site also lists the members of the House who sit on key committees. These are the people who can help push the bill through the legislative process.

If you are an officer or board member of a genealogical society, ask your board to endorse HR 6056 "Preserving the American Historical Record Act." The web site includes a "draft resolution" that your genealogical organization can approve. Then have your society president or secretary forward your endorsement to Kathleen Roe, Chair, Joint Task Force on PAHR, . If you have questions, you can email or call Kathleen Roe at 518 473-4254.

The archivists have initiated this ground-breaking legislation. With the support of the genealogical community, this bill can pass, and we can make a difference.


NGS News & Events


-- 2008 National Genealogical Society Hall of Fame Elects Lowell M. Volkel

The National Genealogical Society, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, is pleased to announce the 2008 election of Lowell M. Volkel to the National Genealogical Society Hall of Fame. Nominated by the Illinois State Genealogical Society, Mr. Volkel was born in 1936 and became a Danville, Illinois, high school teacher whose interest in genealogy began at an early age. He was instrumental in establishing and promoting an interest in genealogy in Illinois, but his efforts in making records available also impacted other states. In 1962 he began a genealogy column called "Illiana Ancestors" for a local paper, instructing the public on how to do research and where to find records.

In 1970 he moved to Springfield to become an archivist at the Illinois State Archives. Few know how much influence he had with his work there. It was Lowell who worked long, hard, and diplomatically over a number of years with the Illinois State Board of Health to get them to move old vital records to the Archives. While at the Archives, he organized the filming program in Illinois for the Genealogical Society of Utah to microfilm official records in Illinois courthouses.

>From the time he joined the Archives staff in 1970 until his death, Lowell worked with the Illinois State Genealogical Society, the Illinois State Archives, and various record keepers to make Illinois records available for research. He set a precedent for other states to follow and influenced their attitudes toward record access. The Illinois Marriage Records Project, which he set in motion and which was under his supervision until his death, is a model volunteer program that is still growing. The index currently includes marriages from 97 of Illinois' 102 counties of which 79 counties have been completed.

In the days before computer indexes, he compiled, edited and indexed more than three-dozen volumes of historical sources for Illinois and surrounding states and also compiled census indexes for some East coast states.

In addition to his many publications, Lowell was also founder and first president of the Illinois State Genealogical Society, and was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 1993. He taught genealogy classes and was a frequent genealogy speaker and lecturer in the 1970s at the National Archives Institute on Genealogy in Washington, D.C. Lowell M. Volkel died in 1992 at the young age of 56, but his efforts for more than three decades had an impact that would shape the future of records access nationally.

The National Genealogical Society has administered the Hall of Fame program since 1986 to honor outstanding genealogists whose achievements in the field of American genealogy have had an important impact. Nominees must have been deceased for at least five years and have been actively engaged in genealogy for a minimum of ten years. Their contributions to the field of genealogy in this country must have been unique, pioneering, or exemplary. Such contributions could have been as an author of books or articles that either added significantly to the body of published works, or served as a model of genealogical research or writing, or made source records more readily available. The nominee could also have been a teacher or lecturer, or contributed to the field through leadership in a genealogical organization or periodical. Further details as well as a nomination form are available on the NGS web site under Competitions.

Genealogical organizations are invited to nominate qualified candidates for consideration in 2009. A representative group of nationwide genealogists reviews the submissions. The current committee consists of Shirley Langdon Wilcox of Virginia, Sandra M. Hewlett of Pennsylvania, Elizabeth Shown Mills of Alabama, Christine Rose of California, and Loretto D. Szucs of Illinois.


-- 2008 Conference Lectures Available on CD

If you were unable to attend the NGS conference in Kansas City, 14-17 May 2008, you can still be a "virtual" participant! Over 120 lectures were recorded and can be purchased on CD ROM for $12 each plus shipping. Lectures are available at by clicking on "genealogy." This is an opportunity to hear genealogical experts discuss topics that will help you in your family research. Each speaker is listed on the web site by last name, as well as the lecture track and title of each talk. You can also access the JAMB-Inc. web site via a link, "Lectures from NGS Conference in Kansas City available for purchase on CD ROM," on the NGS web site at

Also available are more than 100 lectures from the 2007 NGS Conference in the States held in Richmond, Virginia. The tracks and topics vary for each conference.


-- Salt Lake City Research Trip

Each year the National Genealogical Society hosts research trips to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. If you have not been to the Family History Library before, this is an opportunity to do a week of intensive family research. Two experienced certified genealogists, Marie Melchiori and Shirley Wilcox, will acquaint you with the resources available at the library and provide consultation about your specific research goals. If you are an experienced genealogist who has visited the Family History Library before, here is an opportunity for you to consult with our leaders and perhaps take a fresh look at one of your brick walls. Several social events provide an opportunity for camaraderie with other family researchers.

You can register for the 25 January through 1 February 2009 research trip at Pricing and trip details are available on the web site. Sign up early because space is limited to 30 participants. The research trip in November 2008 has already filled.


-- Save the Date: 2009 NGS Conference in the States in Raleigh NC

The NGS Conference in the States, "The Building of a Nation, From Roanoke to the West" will be held 13-16 May 2009 at the new Raleigh Convention Center, 2 East South St. in Raleigh, North Carolina. The new convention center will offer free wireless access in the lobby.

The conference rate at the new Raleigh Marriott City Center is $124 plus tax per night for a single or double room. They are accepting reservations now if you call (919) 833-1120 or visit

A second conference hotel, just one block from the new convention center, is the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel at 421 South Salisbury Street in Raleigh. You can call them at (919) 834-9900, or visit The Sheraton has recently been renovated, and the conference hotel rate is $120 plus tax per night for a single or double room.

A third conference hotel is the Clarion Hotel State Capital, 320 Hillsborough Street in Raleigh. This is an eight-block walk to the Raleigh Convention Center, but approximately four blocks from the North Carolina State Archives & Library. Rooms at the Clarion are $79 plus tax per night, single or double, and include high-speed internet access. You can call them at (919) 832-0501 or visit

If you plan to attend the 2009 NGS Conference in the States, we encourage you to make your hotel reservations early because there are a number of colleges in the Raleigh area that will be having graduations the same weekend.

More information about the 2009 NGS Conference in the States program will be forthcoming in future issues of UpFront. However, the North Carolina conference flyer and much more information is available at and on the blog at


-- Librarians' Day 2009 Pre-conference Event in Raleigh NC

Librarians' Day is scheduled for Tuesday, 12 June 2009, in Raleigh, North Carolina. All librarians who work with genealogical and family history patrons are welcome. There is no charge, but participants must register by mail or online since space is limited. Registration will open in January 2009. Librarians' Day is made possible through the sponsorship of ProQuest.

Speakers will include Susan D. Kaufman, manager of Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research, on collection development; Pam Cooper, winner of the Filby prize for genealogical librarianship, on working with volunteers; and Jason Toberlin, Special Projects Librarian, North Carolina Collection, UNC Chapel Hill, on the digital resources of the North Carolina Collection and the process of creating digital collections.

Librarians who participate in Librarians' Day are also encouraged to stay in Raleigh and register for the NGS 2009 Conference in the States, which begins the following day.


-- 2010 NGS Conference in the States Planned for Salt Lake City

Plans are underway for the 2010 NGS Conference in the States to be held in Salt Lake City 28 April - 1 May 2010. The conference will be held earlier than usual in 2010, so save the date!


-- Research in the States E-Books

E-books on the following states are available from the National Genealogical Society, Research in the States Series at the NGS web site at

* Genealogical Research in Arkansas by Lynda Childers Suffridge, 2008
* Genealogical Research in Illinois by Diane Renner Walsh, 2007
* Genealogical Research in Maryland by Patricia O'Brien, 2007
* Genealogical Research in Michigan by Shirley M. DeBoer, 2008
* Genealogical Research in Missouri by Pamela Boyer Porter and Ann Carter Fleming, 2007
* Genealogical Research in Nebraska by Roberta "Bobbi" King, 2008
* Genealogical Research in North Carolina by Jeffrey L. Haines, 2008,
* Genealogical Research in Ohio by Diane Vanskiver Gagel, 2008
* Genealogical Research in Oregon by Connie Miller Lenzen, 2007
* Genealogical Research in Pennsylvania by Kay Haviland Freilich, 2007
* Genealogical Research in Virginia by Eric G. Grundset, 2007
* Genealogical Research in West Virginia by Barbara Vine Little, 2007

Each publication includes a section on archives, libraries, societies, and other research facilities in the respective state, as well as a discussion of the major family history resources available, such as maps, cemetery records, census, city directories, newspapers, military records, tax records, and vital records. In addition, each state includes a discussion of which records are available at the local, county, and state level.

Each publication is 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches, slightly larger than our previous Research in the States publications. The average length is 42 pages, but it varies by state. Each is currently available as a PDF file, an "e-book" that you can download from the NGS web site and then either read on your computer or print. Prices are $8 for NGS members and $10 for non-members. You can safely purchase and download any of these e-books at

Series Editors, Ann Carter Fleming and Kay Haviland Freilich, are continuing to work with various authors to complete research on new states, so check the NGS web site periodically for new releases at


-- Numbering Your Genealogy Revised and Available in Print or PDF

Numbering Your Genealogy : Basic Systems, Complex Families & International Kin, by Joan Ferris Curran, CG, Madilyn Coen Crane, John H. Wray, Ph.D., AG, CG, edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FNGS, is now available as a soft cover book or as a downloadable e-book. This newly revised old favorite clearly defines differences in numbering methodology between the NGSQ and Register systems. Content also covers numbering adoptions and step-relatives and describes how to number immigrant ancestors in a family history. The cost for the e-book is $8.00 for NGS members and $10.00 for non-members. The printed version is available to NGS members for $13.50 including shipping or non-members for $16.50 including shipping and can be ordered at


Other News


-- APG Names Young Professional Scholarship Recipient

The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) has named the recipient of the first Young Professional Scholarship award as Michael Melendez of Fullerton, California.

Melendez, a senior at Troy Hill High School in Fullerton, already has a long resume of genealogical achievements. He performed a 150 hour internship at the Orange Regional Family History Center in California. He completed the Staff Training Program and is currently a staff member at the center.

He is also a member of the Federation of Genealogical Societies' Youth Committee as well as the Future Genealogists Society. As part of his Eagle Scout project, Melendez put on a Beginners Famly History Jamboree.

APG provides the award as a scholarship opportunity for a young genealogist to attend its annual Professional Management Conference (PMC). Melendez will attend the PMC conference on September 3, 2008 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The scholarship includes conference registration and a $500 award toward travel and accommodations. The PMC is held in conjunction with the Federation of Genealogical Societies annual conference.

Candidates for the 2008 award were required to be between the ages of 18 and 25 years as of 1 May 2008, be enrolled as a high school senior, undergraduate, post graduate or graduate within the last twelve months of an accredited university or college, and have at least a 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale or the equivalent in another averaging system).

The Association of Professional Genealogists ( , established in 1979, represents over 1,800 genealogists, librarians, writers, editors, historians, instructors, booksellers, publishers, and others involved in genealogy-related businesses. APG encourages genealogical excellence, ethical practice, mentoring, and education; and supports the preservation and accessibility of records useful to the fields of genealogy, local, and social history. Its members represent all fifty states, Canada, and twenty-six other countries.


-- Plan Now for National Library Card Sign-up Month

This September, the American Library Association (ALA) kicks off National Library Card Sign-up Month. Nobody appreciates their library cards more than genealogists, and many readers will doubtless be active in promoting this event. To help your planning, you can find resources online at


Events Around the U.S.


July 2008

9 July 2008

Berkeley CA - The California Genealogical Society presents A Day of Irish Information with Nora Keohane Hickey, Wednesday, 9 July 2008, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Berkeley Yacht Club, 1 Seawall Drive, Berkeley, California. Program topics include: Debunking some myths of Irish genealogy; Extracting all the important information you can from Griffith's Valuation; Little-known and under-used Irish genealogical sources; Common problems in Irish genealogy. Cost is $25.00 for the full-day seminar of four lectures. Box lunches can be purchased in advance. Download the registration flier at the California Genealogical Society web site: Further information is available at the CGS blog:

Ms. Hickey will also provide private Personal Consultations on Thursday, July 10, 2008, at the CGS Library. The fee will be $15.00 for fifteen minutes.

19 July 2008

Nashville, TN -- Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society Meeting takes place at 1:00 p.m. at the Knowles Fifty Forward Senior Center, 174 Rains Ave. (near the TN State Fairgrounds) in Nashville. Amber Barfield, Documents Conservator at the Tennessee State Library and Archives, will be our speaker. Her program is entitled: "Restoration and Preservation of Manuscripts and Documents." She will show how to clean, de-acidify, and store valuable documents. Products and equipment used in the preservation process and information on where they may be obtained will be on display. Please BRING any letters or other documents you have specific questions about to learn from an expert the best way to preserve your treasures. Enjoy the fellowship of other genealogists while enjoying some refreshments. See you there! Contact: or

26 July 2008
Charlotte NC - "From Ulster to the Carolinas: Finding Your Scots-Irish Ancestors" sponsored by the North Carolina Genealogical Society & the Olde Mecklenburg Genealogical Society will be presented in Charlotte. David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FIGRS, FUGA, Director of the Records and Information Division of the Family and Church History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, will provide sessions on "Irish Jurisdictions and Reference Works," "Irish Immigration - the Sources in Ireland," "The Scots-Irish in North Carolina," and "Irish Church Records: Church of Ireland, Presbyterian and Catholic." Additionally, he will provide insight on "Where Genealogy is Heading Over the Next Few Years." For information and reservations, visit or email: .

Note: The Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room of the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, 310 North Tryon, Charlotte, NC will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Friday, July 25, 2008 to accommodate researchers, especially early arrivals for the conference. Additionally, staff will assist visitors with research, provide free copies of research from microfilm and photocopy machines, and supply light refreshments from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Researchers will also have access to Library Ed. and HeritageQuest. Laptops are welcome; the building has Wi-Fi. The library will resume regular hours from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on July 26.

26 July 2008
College Park MD - Maryland Genealogical Society presents a Basics+ Census Workshop, which will be held at the McKeldin Library, University of Maryland, College Park from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Staff from the National Archives and Records Administration will share their insights on United States census records, some of our most valuable genealogical sources. The cost for pre-registrants is $15.00 for MGS members and $20.00 for non-members. The deadline for pre-registration is 19 July. Walk-in registrants will be accepted at an additional $5.00 cost. A registration form and further details are available at

Basics+ Workshops are designed to help beginning genealogists learn the fundamentals, but also to offer new insights for more experienced researchers. Presentations at the census workshop will address both widely used and less well-known census schedules, including those for general population schedules, 1890 veterans schedules, 1850 and 1860 slave schedules, 1880 dependent/delinquent/deficient schedule, and mortality, agriculture, manufacturing, and social statistics schedules.

29 July - 1 August 2008
Provo UT - 2008 BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy will be held Tuesday, 29 July, to Friday, 1 August, at the Brigham Young University Conference Center. For more information go to

August 2008

9 August 2008
Toronto ON - The Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, the Ontario Black History Society, and the North York Central Library have joined together to sponsor "African Roots in Canada", a day-long summer workshop on techniques and resources for researching ancestors of African descent. With expert speakers from the United States and the West Indies as well as Ontario, this event will offer both new and seasoned family historians an opportunity to gain fresh insights, share stories, and meet others with similar research interests. The workshop will be held in the Auditorium of the North York Central Library, 5120 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario. Early registration rates are available until July 15th. For program and registration details, visit To check availability, call 416-733-2608 (voice mail) or e-mail .

15-16 August 2008
Indianapolis IN - Midwestern Roots 2008 presented by the Indiana Historical Society will feature more than 30 presentations, covering topics ranging from DNA and genealogy to technology and methodology. An exhibit hall will showcase vendors selling the latest products and tools for genealogists. The exhibit hall is free and open to the public on Friday and Saturday. A pre-conference highlight on Thursday, 14 Aug. will be a panel discussion with some of the pioneers in genetic genealogy on its evolution, potential and present-day uses. The conference is at the Indianapolis Marriott East, located at 7202 East 21st St. The Marriott and La Quinta Inn have special conference rates if you mention Midwestern Roots 2008. Cost for the basic two-day workshop (including lunches) is $150 ($125 for IHS members, $75 for students), and single-day registration (including lunch) is $90 ($75 for IHS members, $45 for students). Additional pre-conference activities and workshops are available for a fee. For conference information, registration forms, exhibitor information, specific pricing or a scholarship application, call (800) 447-1830 or visit

17-22 August 2008
Chicago IL - The 28th International Conference on Jewish Genealogy at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile This annual conference is the premier event for Jewish Genealogists. Attendees from around the world gather to learn, share expertise, and find others researching the same surnames, towns, and countries. All are welcome, from beginners to experienced genealogists. The IAJGS is proud to co-host this conference with the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois and the Illiana Jewish Genealogical Society. Please visit our web site at:

23 August, 2008
Grass Valley CA - The Nevada County Genealogical Society is presenting its 15th annual Digging For Your Roots seminar from 8 a.m. - 4:15 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, 1866 Ridge Rd., Grass Valley, CA. Speakers will include Stephen P. Morse (One Step Webpages), Susan Jackman (Using County Histories & Maps in Your Research),
Pamela Dallas (Cemetery Records & City Directories), Barbara Leak (Animap Software Demo, Evaluating Evidence & Searching for Soldier Ancestors), and other great presenters and presentations. A full day of techniques to jumpstart
your genealogy research. Cost is $15, optional bag lunch $5. For a registration form or more info, contact , phone (530) 432-7774, or , phone (530) 274-2362. Registration checks should be payable to NCGS and mailed c/o Judson Gears, P. O. Box 558, Penn Valley, CA 95946-0558.

September 2008

12-14 September 2008
Salt Lake City UT - MENSA Colloquium 2008: "Tracking Granny's Granny," presents speakers Christine Rose, CG, CGL, FASG; Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, CG; Colleen Fitzpatrick, Ph.D.; Stephen P. Morse, Ph.D.; and James W. Warren. Contact Jill Beckham at or visit

19 September 2008
Butte MT - The Montana State Genealogical Society will host the Annual State Conference in Butte Montana on 19-20 September 2008. Presenters will be noted national speaker Michael John Neill; Ellen Crain of the Butte-Silver Bow Archives, and Christy Leskovar, Montana Writer. For more information contact S Valentine,

19-20 September 2008
St. Paul MN - Minnesota Northstar Genealogy Conference -- Minnesota History Center, St. Paul, MN (; featured speakers: Christine Rose, CG, CGL, and Paula Stuart-Warren, CG.

19-21 September 2008
Ottawa ON - "Celebrate Your Anglo-Celtic Roots" at the 14th Annual Conference of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada's capital. Something for everyone-special focus on England. Program includes: 18 presentations by over a dozen experts in family history research and genealogy; pre-conference course, workshop, and tour of Library and Archives Canada; consultations with experienced researchers; research room with free access to genealogy databases; marketplace of related products and services. Keynote speaker: Sherry Irvine, CG, FSA Scot. Sherry is an author and recognized specialist in English, Irish, and Scottish family history, and a past president of the US Association of Professional Genealogists. Visit to get the complete program brochure and poster and the registration form for both off-line and secure on-line registering. Savings on registrations postmarked before 15 August. Official web site:

27 September 2008
Portsmouth OH - Free Workshop: Introductory German Genealogy from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Portsmouth Ohio Public Library. Robert Rau will present Introductory German Genealogy and Reading German Church and Civil
Records. No registration is necessary. Sponsored by the Ohio Chapter, Palatines to America at

October 2008

4 October 2008
Montgomery AL - Fall Seminar: Using Maps in Genealogical Research presented by Richard G. 'Rick' Sayre. Seminar is 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Archives Building, 624 Washington Ave., Montgomery. Rick Sayre is a veteran researcher, lecturer and author. His areas of research include urban research methodology, mapping for genealogists, military records, immigration, and the regions of the Ohio River Valley and Western Pennsylvania. Rick is a member of the National Genealogical Society, the Association of Professional Genealogists, and a variety of other genealogical societies.

11 October 2008
Seaside CA - "Heritage Harvest Genealogical Conference" will be presented by Monterey County Genealogical Society & the Monterey Family History Center, in Seaside California on Saturday, 11 October 2008, 8:30-4:30. Geoff Rasmussen will be the keynote Speaker: "Timelines and Chronologies, Secrets of Genealogical Success," with four additional sessions during the day. Concurrent sessions by local speakers will present topics such as web sites, federal records, newspaper research, Danish research, Hispanic research, immigration, writing histories, photo touch-up and restoration, hands-on PAF and Legacy training, and more. Registration by 25 Sept. 2008 guarantees syllabus. Web site: Contact for registration form: .

18 October 2008
Elgin IL - The Illinois State Genealogical Society invites you to celebrate our 40th anniversary at the fall conference, 40 Years of Discovery-Portals to the Future, which will be held at the Fox Valley University and Business Center on the campus of Elgin Community College. There is easy access off Interstate 90 on the far west side of Elgin, IL.

Featured speakers are D. Joshua Taylor, Research Services Coordinator at the New England Historic Genealogical Society; Beau Sharbrough, Vice President of Content for and founder of the FGS and GENTECH web sites; and Loretto Szucs, Executive Editor and Vice President of Community Relations for Discover and evaluate new web sites, online databases and free tools on the internet. Investigate Footnote, FamilySearch, and NSDAR collections. Jumpstart your research with new techniques, get organized using Word tools and explore easy procedures for scanning and restoring documents. Harness the Internet with a basic or intermediate hands-on computer session presented by Lori Bessler, Outreach Coordinator for the Wisconsin Historical Society Library.
More info:

18 October 2008
Brookville OH - Palatines to America, Annual Fall Seminar is 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at the Brookside Plaza Community Center. Guest Speakers: Carrie Eldridge, Donald Bowman, and Gale Honeyman. Topics: Water and the Pioneer, Early Migration Trails of America, A Brief History of the Brethren: Celebrating 300 years in America and
Researching at the Brethren Heritage Center. Tour of the Brethren Museum follows the meeting with the opportunity to research their genealogy records. Your $35 registration fee includes a wonderful October Fest Buffet Lunch. For details see

18 October 2008
Houston TX - Colonial Virginia by Barbara Vines Little, CG, will be the topic of a seminar by the Houston Genealogical Forum from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Bayland Community Center, 6400 Bissonnet, Houston. Her lectures will be: Records and Repositories; Colonial Land Patents; and Colonial Wars and Militia Service. Lunch will be available onsite. For details, visit or email .

November 2008

7 November 2008
Tucson AZ - Arizona Genealogical Advisory Board hosts a special event featuring John Philip Colletta from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the Embassy Suites Williams Center, Saguaro and Kachina Rooms 5335 E. Broadway Boulevard, Tucson. Topic: How to Assemble and Write a Genealogical Work that is both a Reliable Document and a Readable Story. Colletta presentation is $15.00, dinner with Colletta an additional $10.00. Please visit our web site at for additional information.

8 November 2008
Arizona State Genealogical Society Seminar featuring John Philip Colletta is 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. (Lunch included-not guaranteed after 1 November) at Christ Church United Methodist, Fellowship Hall 655 N. Craycroft, Tucson. Topics: How to Prepare for Successful Research in European Records; Lesser-Used Federal Records: A Sampling for Fresh Research Ideas Using Original and Derivative Sources: How to Evaluate Evidence; Hacks and Hookers; and Putting Up Pickles: Snares of Yesteryear's English. Seminar cost is $45.00 and includes dinner, discounted cost for members, lunch not guaranteed after 1 November. Please visit our web site at or email Amy Urman @ for additional information.

14-15 November 2008
Raleigh, NC - "This Land Was Their Land" sponsored by the North Carolina Genealogical Society will be presented at the Brier Creek Country Club, Raleigh. Rick Sayre, CG, Monica Hopkins, Larry Cates, and A. Bruce Pruitt will present the following topics: Topographic and Other Maps for Genealogists, Maps of the Southeast United States, Google Earth for Genealogists (Sayer);Understanding Land Records, Understanding Deeds (Hopkins); Land Grants in North Carolina 1663-1960 (Pruitt); The Law of the Land (Cates). Land research is essential for locating and sorting people in large families and with common surnames. These workshops provide tools for this and much, much more. For information and reservations, see or email


To add your event to this calendar, please send an announcement to .


Family Reunions


12-13 July 2008
WEATHERMON - Join us for the *Weathermon Reunion* in Northwest Missouri on 12 and 13 July 2008. The descendents of Christopher Columbus and Martha Vestal Weathermon will meet for the 14th Biennial Weathermon reunion in Billy Sherman Memorial Park near King City, Missouri. New activities are planned including tours of the nearby Weathermon Cemetery, children's activities, a basic genealogy class, talent show, and tours of a nearby wind farm to compliment the traditional carry-in dinner and wiener roast. As always, a memorial service is planned, and there will be displays of genealogy materials and family photos, Bibles, mementos, etc. For more information, contact:

13 July 2008
RHODES - The 62nd Annual Joseph E. & Mary Beck Rhodes Reunion will be held on Sunday, 13 July 2008 at the Swift Creek Baptist Church located at 413 North Center Road, Hartsville SC in Darlington County. You are cordially invited to attend Worship services at 11:00 a.m.
Registration - 12:15 p.m.
Covered dish luncheon - 1:00 p.m. Plates, cups and ice tea will be furnished.
Business meeting - 2:00 p.m.
Please make plans to attend and represent your ancestors; they are as follows: Curtis Rhodes, Elizabeth "Betsy" Rhodes Fields, Calvin Rhodes, Sarah Ann Rhodes King, Nancy Rhodes Beasley, Caleb Beck Rhodes, Everett Edward Rhodes, and Joseph Edward Rhodes, Jr. For more information call: 843-332-2588, write: Mrs. Doris M. Bateman at PO
Box 2748, Hartsville, SC 29551-2748 or email: .

19 July 2008
AVERY - The AVERY Memorial Association Annual meeting/reunion will be held on Saturday, 19 July 2008 at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum in Mashantucket, Connecticut, from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. A buffet lunch will be served at 12:30. Our speaker will be Avery Memorial Association Historian Vincent Pitts, Ph.D. Averys in the Civil War. For those who would like to explore the museum, there is a separate fee of $13.

On Sunday, 20 July 2008 there will be a church service at the First Church of Christ Congregational Church in Groton CT. A brunch in the church hall will follow; there is a small fee for the brunch. After the church service will be a dedication at the Avery Monument, commemorating the 114th Anniversary of the burning of the Hive. After the dedication there will be a cemetery workshop at the Avery-Morgan Burying Ground in Groton. The Ebenezer Avery House will be open. The cost for the annual meeting/reunion is $30, which does not include the lunch buffet on Sunday. The deadline is June 15, 2008.

Contact Stephanie Lantiere at for details. You may also want to check out our web site at:

27 July 2008
GRIGSBY - National GRIGSBY Family Society in Napa Valley, CA Triennial Reunion. Friday, 25 July 2008 to Sunday, 27 July 2008. Follow the steps of the Grigsbys that traveled overland and settled in Napa Valley, California. Join us in this year's Napa Valley Triennial Reunion.
.. Learn about prominent Grigsbys in Napa Valley & California History
.. Confer with NGFS Genealogist
.. Learn details of the upcoming Grigsby DNA Project
.. Meet, greet and enjoy your Grigsby "Cousins"
For further details, see or contact Sharon Braden, NGFS President (712-486-2571).

16 August 2008
HARTLE - The 100th Annual Hartle Family Reunion of the descendants of Socrates Hartle (1818-1877) will be held at the Harrison-Smith Park in Upper Sandusky, Ohio, on Saturday, 16 August 16 2008 at 11:00 a.m. Bring food,
beverage, table service and all your family! For more information contact Richard Hartle, President,

30 August 2008
STROCK - The 129th Annual STROCK Reunion will be held at the Southington American Legion Hall on Warren-Burton Road, Southington, Ohio, on Sunday, 3 August 2008. Anyone interested in the Strock / Bensinger family (or any related family line) is cordially invited to join us. Our theme this year will be the Wild West, so put on your cowboy hat or Indian feathers and join us! (Western attire is optional). The covered dish dinner will begin at 1:00 p.m. Please bring a dish to share and your own table setting. We ask each person attending to bring an unwrapped $1 for a child or adult to be used during game time. There will be door prizes as well! Questions? Please contact Judith McGarvey:

23-24 August 2008
HARLOW - The HARLOW Family Association Annual Reunion with be held 23-24 August 2008 in Kingston and Plymouth, MA. On Saturday 23 August from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. we will hold our annual business meeting at the Beal House 222 Main St. Kingston, MA. At 6:00 p.m. the Harlow cousins will gather for an evening meal at the Beal House. followed by a lively fund-raising auction. On Sunday 24 August we meet at our ancestral home, "Harlow Old Fort House" at 119 Sandwich St. Plymouth, MA for a church service at 10:00 a.m. followed by a group picture and a picnic lunch (hamburgers and hot dogs) at noon.

We then have an afternoon program which includes a short business meeting, results of our silent auction, and ending with this year's guest speaker, Joan Hiatt Harlow, an internationally known writer for children. Her books include Joshua's Song, Shadows on the Sea, Star in the Storm, and Thunder from the Sea. Joan is an instructor for the Institute of Children's Literature of West Redding, Connecticut. She travels often, doing personal book signings and speaking engagements at schools and reading festivals. Born and raised in New England, she lives in Florida and New Hampshire. This year, she will be doing a book sale/signing at the Plymouth Antiquarians Society's Hedge House Lawn during the Waterfront Festival on August 23rd, the day before the Harlow reunion. Be sure to visit her if you're in town before the reunion.

In case of inclement weather, we will move all of the Sunday's festivities to the Beal House in Kingston, MA. For more information please visit or email Winfield Harlow at .

30 August 2008
BINGHAM - The Bingham Family Reunion of Southeast Kentucky will be held in Middlesboro, Kentucky, on the grounds of the Binghamtown Baptist Church. This will be a "pot luck" affair. Everyone attending the reunion is asked to bring a covered dish and non-alcoholic beverage. Lunch will be between 12 noon and 1:00 p.m. A sheltered area is available, as is Fellowship Hall. This gathering will begin as early Saturday as you would like to show up. Several people will be there around 9:00 A.M. to prepare for the day's activities. Plan to stay till about 3 or 4:00 or as long as you wish.

We invite all BINGHAMS (descending from John A. Bingham b. 1763 and Deborah Phipps b. 1768), related families, and friends to this reunion. Come meet your extended family, trace your genealogy, or learn about your family history. Please bring any historical information you might have-old photos, books, family Bibles, or whatever information you might have. Please tell as many of your family about this as you can. We want everyone to have the opportunity to attend. Forward names and e-mail addresses to and /or . If you need assistance with lodging, directions or just have a question, contact Robert Barry Bingham at (859) 619-6397, 3232 Tudor Drive, Lexington, KY 40503

10-14 September 2008
SOULE - SOULE Kindred in America, Inc. will be holding our 2008 Reunion in Plymouth, MA on 10-14 September 2008. The gathering will include a day at Plimoth Plantation with a group luncheon prepared in the 17th-century manner and a day centered in Duxbury, MA. Registrants will be near libraries which have excellent resources for Soule (and name variants) family researchers. Registration materials are now available through our web site and our quarterly publication, Soule Kindred Newsletter.

20-21 September 2008
HEMPSTED - A HEMPSTED Family Reunion hosted by Connecticut Landmarks at the Joshua and Nathaniel Hempsted Houses in New London, Connecticut, will take place on the weekend of the 20th and 21st of September 2008. The Hempsted Houses, dating from 1678 and 1759, are two historic sites owned and operated by Connecticut Landmarks, formerly known as the Antiquarian & Landmarks Society. The Joshua and Nathaniel Hempsted Houses were home to family members for three centuries, from the 17th to the 20th centuries. For information about attending the event, please contact Rick Spencer, site administrator, at (860) 443-7949 or by email at com.

16-19 October 12008
LEE - The annual meeting of The Henry Lee Society will be held in historic Pensacola, Florida at the Courtyard by Marriott Downtown 16-19 October 2008. The Society was founded in 1981 by Reba Wilson, Betty Glover and others including E. Russ Williams, Henry and Katherine Lee, and Grace Moses. Wilson and Glover are authors of THE LEES AND KINGS OF VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA. Contact Rovena Lee at for information.

October 17-18 2008
BOBO - The 2008 Bobo Family Reunion will be 17 and 18 October 2008 in Shelbyville, Tennessee, and will open with a family dinner (lunch) at Miss Mary Bobo's Boarding House in nearby Lynchburg and close on Saturday, 18 Oct., with a combined reunion dinner with Bobos from the Middle Tennessee area. For full details, contact Charles H. (Chuck) Bobo, Bobo Family Assn. Coordinator, either by email at or write to him at 3101 Thurman Rd., No. H-22 Huntsville, AL 35805. Interactive Web Site: The new Bobo Family CD is ready with more than 20,000 individuals. Contact Chuck for details.

5-7 June 2009
QUARLES - The QUARLES Family 200 Years Celebration/Reunion will be in Cookeville/Algood, Tennessee on 5, 6, and 7 June 2009. You are invited to a reunion of the descendants of Lt. WILLIAM PENNINGTON QUARLES, RWA, of Virginia who settled at White Plains, Tennessee, in 1809, present-day Putnam County. Associated families: Burton, Hawes, Hughes, Little, Huntsman, Hyder, Simpson, Lampton and Snodgrass. Please visit our web site often for new information at Questions? Contact Eunetta Finley Jenkins at or at 931-526-9072 or 931-260-7651 or at 33 Ferguson Avenue, Cookeville, TN 38501


To add your family reunion to this calendar, please send an announcement to

Planning your own family reunion? Read the popular book in the NGS Guide Series by Sandra McLean Clunies, CG: "A Family Affair"

Family reunion planners can find lots of reunion planning info and can request a free copy of Reunions magazine at

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