Archive for ‘Genealogical Education’

March 13, 2012

The Taylor Foundation Workshop

This past Saturday, I attended a workshop presented by the R. J. Taylor Jr. Foundation in Marietta. I went specifically in the hopes of being able to discuss various aspects of the publication process, from transcribing and abstracting to the finished product, with three of the ladies I knew would be attending: Vivian Price, Linda Woodward-Geiger, and Faye Stone Poss.

I was not disappointed. Each of these women took the time to answer my numerous questions with patience and grace before, during, and after the two programs (one by Linda on transcribing and abstracting, and the other by Vivian on building a manuscript). This was the second time I attended a Taylor Foundation workshop. I learned quite a bit both times, not only from the presentations but also from one-on-one discussions with Linda, Vivian, and Faye.

For those who don’t know, the Taylor Foundation provides grants to cover many of the costs of publishing transcriptions, abstracts, or indexes of Georgia records pertaining to those who lived there prior to 1851. There are limitations, but for those willing to do the work, the rewards can be fulfilling if not actually lucrative. If you’re a Georgia researcher and have easy and regular access to Georgia records, then you’re missing a wonderful opportunity by not taking advantage of a Taylor Foundation grant. Here are the rewards I hope to gain:

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February 27, 2012

Tidbits and Updates

It’s been a busy few months here in the Watson household.

We just ended basketball season. My sister is the head coach of the local high school varsity ladies basketball team. In the past four years, the Lady Cats have won 88% of their games, gone to State tournies all four years, and reached the Elite 8 three of those years. A phenomenal program. We try to get to every game, or as many as is possible. Those Lady Cats put on a heck of a show and we sure are proud of each and every one, coaches and players alike.

On the book end, Rabun County, Georgia, Newspapers, 1894 – 1899 is at the printers. I hope to have proofs in my hand within three to four weeks, and the finished product for sale another three or four weeks after that. For those who are interested, I’ve already put up an index of death notices and obituaries published in the three newspapers covered by this book.

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February 16, 2012

Three Upcoming Programs for Georgia Researchers

Georgia genealogists have three opportunities to learn and grow as researchers in programs to be held in March and April of this year.

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February 8, 2012


A new program in genealogical research was announced recently. The Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, aka GRIPitt, is a week-long program similar to Samford University’s Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, to be held annually each July at LaRoche College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

This summer, GRIPitt will offer four courses:

  • Intermediate Genealogy: Tools for Digging Deeper with Paula Stewart-Warren
  • Advanced Research Methods with Thomas W. Jones
  • Beneath the Home Page: Problem Solving with Online Repositories with D. Joshua Taylor
  • German Genealogical Research with John T. Humphrey

The course leaders are widely known genealogical researchers, lecturers, and authors, and are joined by other distinguished members of the genealogical community, including Clair Bettag, Rick Sayre, Pam Stone Eagleson, and Pamela Boyer Sayre. Elissa Scalise Powell, another well-known face, and Deborah Lichtner Deal serve as directors.

Although 2012 is GRIPitt’s first year, one course, Tom Jones’ Advanced Research Methods, filled within minutes of registration opening. The other three courses still have space, most likely not for long.

As time moves on and GRIPitt becomes more popular, I expect other courses will be added, possibly as counterpoints to IGHR’s offerings or in response to trends within the discipline. Whatever direction GRIPitt takes, the opportunity to tap into the minds of some of genealogy’s brightest stars is a welcome one.

April 6, 2011

NGS 2011 Conference: May 11 – 14, Charleston, SC

The National Genealogical Society’s 2011 Family History Conference is looming large. I’ve been looking forward to this conference since hearing Jeffrey Haines speak about it at last August’s Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference. Helen F. M. Leary is speaking, and it may, quite frankly, be the last opportunity to attend a lecture given by this bastion of genealogy. Plus, many of the lectures are geared toward Southern researchers. And it’s in Charleston. What genealogist/historian doesn’t want to visit this lore-rich, historic city?

February 1, 2011

Open Access Journals

Continuing with the theme of interesting online items…

One of the ways in which genealogists learn their craft is by studying the work of others. There are many publications available to assist with this goal, including a number of reputable journals (see Recommended Books). While many genealogical journals are now available online to subscribers or through databases such as those maintained by the New England Historic Genealogical Society, their main method of distribution remains the printed medium (i.e. on paper). There are, however, two genealogical journals now published exclusively online. Both are open access, meaning there are no subscription fees to enjoy the content.

The first is Annals of Genealogical Research, edited by Robert S. Shaw. This journal is not peer reviewed, but it does serve as a place where serious research can be published. For instance, Dawn C. Stricklin’s recent article Reconstructed African-American Cemeteries: Colored Masonic Cemetery, Farmington, St. Francis Co., MO is as much a teaching article (how to reconstruct burials in a cemetery with unmarked graves) as it is a contribution to the fields of genealogy, history, and anthropology. Unfortunately, Annals is not published on a regular basis, possibly because of a lack of submissions, but possibly also because of a lack of awareness within the genealogical community about its existence. Setting up an editorial board and implementing a peer review system would probably go a long way towards pushing this much-needed outlet to the forefront in the minds of genealogical authors.

The Journal of Genetic Genealogy is peer reviewed, and is edited by Blaine T. Bettinger, better known as the Genetic Genealogist. This journal has been published nearly every spring and fall since 2005. As the title implies, the focus is on the application of genetics to the field of genealogy. The result is a fascinating body of multidisciplinary work. Recent issues include “Where Have all the Indians Gone? Native American Eastern Seaboard Dispersal, Genealogy and DNA in Relation to Sir Walter Raleigh’s Lost Colony of Roanoke” by Roberta Estes (Volume 5, Number 2, Fall 2009) and “On the Propagation of Mitochondrial Mutations” by Ian Long (Volume 5, Number 1, Spring 2009), as well as Special Sections dealing particularly with Y-DNA Projects and Cluster Analysis. This journal is a must-read for anyone interested in genetic genealogy and related academic disciplines.

Serious scholarship includes the study of the literature of one’s field. Genealogy is no exception. The advent of open access journals such as the two named can only serve to assist in this endeavour.

January 27, 2011

A recent search for information on processioning led to the discovery of, an outgrowth of American Genealogy Magazine, which was published from 1987 to 1999. now serves as an online repository for articles and databases taken in large part from the now defunct magazine.

This site is a virtual treasure trove for American genealogists. Databases include a plaintiff index to Pickens Dist., SC, Record Book 1 (1828 – 1841), Court of Common Pleas, as well as a host of similar information from Texas, Alabama, and other areas of the United States.

The online articles were originally published in American Genealogy Magazine and include genealogies (in one form or another) of the rich and famous, including several presidents, and how-to articles for those in need of guidance. The latter include such informative pieces as Intermarriage in the Cherokee Nation by James Pylant and Migration Patterns of Our Scottish Ancestors by Myra Vanderpool Gormley. Many of the authors whose articles are inluded in the online database are well-known and highly reputable genealogists and historians.

September 6, 2010

Fairfax Genealogical Society’s 7th Annual Fall Fair

The Fairfax Genealogical Society (Fairfax Co., VA) is hosting their 7th Annual Fall Fair on 30 October 2010 at the Springfield Hilton in Springfield, VA. This day-long event features nationally-recognized genealogist Loretto Dennis Szucs, co-editor of The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy and author of They Became Americans: Finding Naturalization Records and Ethnic Origins, amongst others.

Topics for this day include: What’s New at; Hidden Sources; Dead Men Do Tell Tales; and The Ancestry World Archives Project.

For more information, see the registration page.

September 4, 2010

GGS General Meeting, 2 October 2010: Expanding Your Genealogical Horizons

On 2 October 2010, the Georgia Genealogical Society will host a four-session event, Expanding Your Genealogical Horizons: Using Easily Accessible Resources to Increase Your Success at the National Archives, Southeast Region in Morrow, GA.

Sessions include a three-person panel on “Hiring a Professional Genealogist”, something I would recommend all genealogists attend, professional and hobbyist alike. Other topics will be: Using GPS technology [etc.] to locate and mark historical sites and graves; PINES and WorldCat; and Heir Property.

Cost of the event is $25 for GGS members and $35 for non-members. The program runs from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Lunch is not included.

For more information, see the Calendar of Events.

September 2, 2010

NGS Family History Conference 2011: Where the Past is Present

Put it on your calendars now: registration for the National Genealogical Society’s 2011 Family History Conference opens 1 December 2010. The conference will be held next year from 11 – 14 May in Charleston, SC. While information on specific lectures is not available to the public at the moment, the conference blog does offer some preliminary information on the various tracks being offered, including one called the “Military Track” which will offer a series of lectures on various conflicts from the “Revolutionary War […] into the twentieth century.”

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