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    In every family, someone ends up with “the stuff.” It is the goal of The Family Curator to inspire, enlighten, and encourage other family curators in their efforts to preserve and share their own family treasures.

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    Were Your Early Ancestors Part of the Great Migration? Find Out Free This Week

    NEHGS July 4th  Great Migration promo press release

    I have a few ancestors who should be named on these lists. . . do you? This week you can check out all online searchable databases related to The Great Migration — those early American colonists who came across the Atlantic from 1620 to 1640 — at the New England Historic and Genealogical Society website

    If you’re a frequent visitor to The Family Curator you may know that NEHGS and the website are among my very favorite places to research, not only because I have New England roots but because I love discovering names from history books listed right alongside my lesser known ancestors. It makes my people seem more real somehow, to know they too had a place in history.

    I didn’t learn about my New England family history until fairly recently; unfortunately, shortly after my younger son graduated from a Massachusetts college and came back to California to live at home. Oh the research trips I could have enjoyed! Fortunately, Mr. Curator likes New England too, and we’ve been able to visit those ancestral states many times since graduation day, with a few productive stopovers to research at NEHGS on Newbury Street. I won’t be traveling this weekend, though, except virtually at

    More details from NEHGS:

    Inspiration for a nation—born in the Great Migration.

    To salute the anniversary of our nation’s independence, NEHGS announces FREE access to all online searchable databases related to the Great Migration on  A unique foundation of governance and religion was brought by the 20,000 men, women, and children who crossed the Atlantic between 1620 and 1640, seeking opportunity and relief in New England, in the period known as the Great Migration. These are the Mayflower names, the Pilgrims, the Puritans, and the families that delight and provide rich insights for genealogists and family historians.  Since 1988 NEHGS has sponsored the Great Migration Study Project. The results are yours to research FREE all week, starting Wednesday, July 1, through Wednesday, July 8.


    Scenes from IGHR, Samford


    It’s easy to see why the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research hosted by the Samford University Library is close to the heart of so many genealogists. I was privileged to attend Dr. Thomas Jones’s genealogy writing course and be part of the IGHR Class of 2015. If you have this institute on your Big List of Things to Do, I encourage you to move it to the top and be part of the 2016 program.

    Samford Univ Library

    IGHR is hosted each year by the Samford University Library with the assistance of
    the friendly and efficient library staff.

    IMG 0797

    What a great library display highlighting family history and genealogy! 

    Samford Beeson Hall

    Beeson Hall, where several classes (including mine) were held.

    Samford campus

    Across the green.

    Memory Leake Hall

    ‘nuff said.

    IGHR Banquet

    IGHR Banquet introductions in the beautiful dining hall by course coordinator Judy G. Russell.

    Campus Clock

    Time to think about marking your calendar for IGHR 2016!


    "Be Prepared With a Genealogy Disaster Plan" Live-Streaming at SCGS Jamboree Free Handouts

    Attend the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in person or virtually through the live-streamed video presentations beginning Friday, June 5, 2015 at 1 p.m. PDT. The series begins with “Be Prepared With a Genealogy Disaster Plan” presented by Denise Levenick, The Family Curator.

    • Learn tips to safeguard your genealogy research;
    • Discover resources to protect your home and family;
    • Learn steps to recover disaster-damaged paper, photos, and artifacts;
    • Create a Personal Genealogy Disaster Plan 

    Download the Syllabus and Genealogy Grab-&-Go Checklist HERE and visit the SCGS Jamboree webpage to register for the free Live-Streamed lecture series.

    Grabandgo Page 3


    Kick-Off Summer With 40% Off Genealogy Books

    Save 40% at Shop Family Tree with Offer Code FFSUMMER40

    In our house, summer time is reading time, and the FRIENDS & FAMILY SUMMER SAVINGS at Shop Family Tree is a great time to stock up on family history books. Now through Sunday, June 7, 2015 save 40% on genealogy books, kits, and downloadable videos.


    NOTE:  This Summer Offer has ended, but you can still Save 20% at Shop Family Tree with Offer Code ARCHIVE20.

    My new book How to Archive Family Photos is only $11.39 with this great sale. Add The Family Curator’s "Digitizing Your Genealogy Cheat Sheet" and video “5 Easy DIY Genealogy Book Projects” for more step-by-step guidance to help you control the chaos of your ever-growing digital photo collection. 

    If you're ready to work with your family keepsakes this summer, you'll find complete archival kits for preserving photos, documents, textiles, and other family history heirlooms. Check out the complete collection of Family Tree Magazine Archivist Kits -- also on sale with the special savings code FFSUMMER40.

    Family Tree Magazine Archivist Kits

    The Friends & Family Summer Savings ends Sunday, June 7, 2015. Order Now.


    A Few Thoughts: A New Leaf on the NEHGS Family Tree

    Nehgs logo

    American Ancestors magazine, website and The New England Historic Genealogical Society brand have a new oak leaf logo inspired by artwork in the Peabody family tree in the library collections. I’ve always loved the symbolism of simple nature-inspired designs, and the new oak leaf is a fitting icon to represent the deep and expansive roots of NEHGS. 

    When I first learned of “the genealogy library on Newbury Street” I couldn't imagine I would one day be researching my own ancestors in its collections. I was certain that my ancestors came directly from the Old World to the midwest, and then on to California. It wasn’t until after both sons spent four years each in Boston area colleges that I discovered my New England ancestors. And it was a good thing too, because the brick streets, autumn colors, and white steeples of New England felt so much like “home” I was reluctant to give up those annual parent weekends and visits.

    So I didn’t.

    The NEHGS Library seemed like the perfect place to begin my on-site genealogy research, untangling the twigs and branches of a hand-sketched family tree that showed our roots going back to the golden days of Camelot, or at least King Uther Pendragon.


    NEHGS Library, before the entry remodel.

    I was sure I would find the answers I sought at NEHGS and registered for the annual NEHGS Spring Getaway in 2009, four days of guided research in the library collections. NEHGS did not disappoint. I was stunned to discover that my grandmother’s hand-sketched family tree (few citations, of course) was basically sound, and “YES! We do have New England roots!” It was a turning point in understanding that family stories like ours could be factual, and that it was possible to discover the records to support those conclusions. I didn’t NEED royalty in the family tree, but I sure wanted to know that at least some of those names might be correct. 

    Levenick roberts nehgs

    Working with Gary Boyd Roberts in the library research
    room. He makes Register Style seem "easy."

    The morning lectures, followed by conversations with experienced genealogists like Chris Childs, David Allen Lambert, Rhonda McClure, and Gary Boyd Roberts gave me a nudge to move forward and trust what I was learning. I showed Chris Child a copy of our family tree featuring the Child family, joking that we might be “cousins.” I expected a laugh, not a brisk walk to the stacks to find a family history that connected our two families. And I really didn’t expect Chris to show me Gary Boyd Robert’s work outlining connections to notable kin that nearly reached back to King Uther.

    It was an A-ha moment. And I made a pretty excited phone call to my family that evening. I think I even impressed my skeptical sons! 

    At home, I continued my research from home in Southern California using the ever-expanding digital collections at the NEHGS website. I discovered further New England connections, and found branches on my family tree that reached out in all directions recording “generations as they branch from past to present,” as NEHGS President and CEO D. Brenton Simons noted in a recent member letter. 

    The new oak leaf logo for NEHGS is an apt symbol for NEHGS and it’s deep history in American genealogy. With the addition of new webinars and other educational opportunities, NEHGS expands far beyond New England to reach out to researchers everywhere. Today you’ll find digitized databases for England, Ireland, Canada, Italy, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, and Australia, as well as over 350 United States digital collections. 

    New England may include six “official” states, but research at the New England Historic Genealogical Society includes a much larger world. If you haven’t been to New England lately, try a “virtual visit” to NEHGS to learn more about your American ancestors.

    Read more about my Spring Getaway research trip:

    Family Curator Visits NEHGS Spring Research Getaway 2009

    My thanks to NEHGS for permission to use the logo and research photo in this post.

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