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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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    Tuesday
    Apr302013

    Why #NGS2013? Why Vegas?

    Is it worth your time and money to attend a national genealogy conference? I think so, and I am honored to share my experiences today in a guest post on the NGS 2013 Conference Blog, Why NGS 2013? Why Vegas? 5 Reasons to Attend a National Genealogy Conference.

    You'll see that I'm a big fan of genealogy education and taking taking advantage of learning opportunities in many forms, whether by webinar, seminar, meeting experts, talking with vendors about new products and services, or attending lectures. Conferences bring together in one place so many ways to learn more about genealogy that it's impossible to pick just one favorite reason to attend.

    Fortunately, Las Vegas is practically next door to southern California which makes this event even higher on my "Can't Miss" list. If you will be attending NGS2013, please say "Hello" if you see me in the hall or classes. 

    What about your conference experiences?

    What do you learn from national meetings?

    Read more about NGS 2013 at the Conference Blog. And, thank you to NGS for inviting all Official Bloggers to submit a guest post for the Conference Blog!

    Friday
    Apr262013

    Treasure Chest Thursday: Edna McClure and Walter George May

    I love finding buried treasure in a box of family keepsakes! I inherited two small boxes of photos, albums, and other items belonging to my paternal grandparents. This little medallion was rattling around in the corner of one box.

    May wedding medal 1

    GM Frigidare Sterling Silver Medallion,
    "To Edna on our Wedding Anniversary 1932"

    My online search for a General Motors Frigidaire medallion turned up several expired eBay listings for vintage medallion, but I have been unable to learn much about this Sterling Silver medal.

    I also found a carefully created photo album inside the box titled "Off to the Coast." It includes photographs of the couple's honeymoon trip from Nebraska to California in 1922. This helps identify the medallion as a probable ten year anniversary gift.

    This beautiful photograph of Edna and Walter May was not in the box of memorabilia where it might be expected. I found it tucked in the back of my baby book! It's another example of the way that family heirlooms can become easily misplaced and mixed in with other collections. If my sons had found the photograph some time in the future they would have no idea that this photo featured their great-grandparents.

    Maywedpix

    Edna McClure and Walter George May

    I am adding identification on the back of the photo in pencil, and enclosing it in a mylar sleeve. I've also printed the photo with a full caption on a sheet of acid-free paper. This is one of those images I don't want to lose, and I'm recording both the location of the physical photograph and the digital image on my archive catalog sheet.

    Monday
    Apr222013

    It's Official. Clark Kent and Lois Lane Are On the Job

     

    To Be Official or Not To Be Official: That is the Question.

    Recent discussion regarding the notion and nature of "Official" bloggers for genealogy events has caused some ruffled feathers and a few nasty hen-pecks in the yard.

    I've been blogging since 2007 and writing about conferences, seminars, and other genealogy events whenever I attended something I wanted to share. I have been an "Official" blogger for a few events, but mostly I have acted in an "unofficial" capacity.

    As a former newspaper reporter, I tend to think in terms of the 5Ws even while an event is unfolding around me. The old pyramid-style story is often framed in my mind before I get to my keyboard. Blogging about conferences and other genealogy experiences comes almost more easily than writing about my own family history. So, why have I bothered to request "Official" status at events rather than continue in an unofficial capacity?

    It all comes down to access. And every journalist worth his or her pencil wants to get the inside scoop on breaking news to share with her readers. Conference officials hold the key to that inside story, and they need the media to help spread the word. In the old days we used to get a "Press Pass." Sometimes you wrote a story, sometimes you didn't. It was all considered PR and part of doing business. That "Official" Press Pass to Disneyland made me the envy of my high school friends, but no one beat me up over it.

    Be Glad Clark Kent and Lois Lane Are On The Job

    Bloggers serve much the same purpose as an old-fashioned press corps. By using "Official" status, a conference or seminar can more easily distribute news to a group of "information vendors." Novice reporters wisely use their event access to get noticed by a target built-in audience, thereby increasing their own visibility. Experienced reporters can be relied on to see an event in the context of other similar events over many years; consider that a lack of articles is as much a critique of an event as a blasting commentary.

    I've never been particularly good at writing nasty reviews. I've preferred, instead, to heed my mother's advice, "If you can't say anything nice. . ."

    I don't plan to cover all facets of upcoming National Genealogical Society conference in Las Vegas. It would be impossible. An old-fashioned press corps would divide some of the "beats" among several reporters to insure all areas were covered. And, if Official Bloggers want to work out some "unofficial" NGS news beats, I am all for collaboration.

    I do plan to keep an eye on what my fellow NGS 2013 Official Bloggers are writing about the event. I don't want to simply rehash what's already been said, and it may be tough to find a fresh angle with nearly two dozen bloggers reporting throughout the conference.

    I may not write a dozen articles about NGS 2013, after all, I am attending the conference because I want to hear the speakers and sessions, but you can be sure that what I do write about will be honest and timely. Official or un-official.

    [My two cents.]

    Monday
    Apr222013

    Meet the 2013 Student Genealogy Grant Recipient Michael Savoca

    Michael Savoca Head Shot web

    I am pleased to introduce student genealogist Michael Savoca, a junior at Kean University in Union, New Jersey, as the 2013 Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Grant recipient. Michael will receive a $500 cash award and full conference registration to the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in Burbank, California June 7-9.

    Michael has been researching his family history for over a decade, and participating in online genealogy forums and message boards for nearly as many years. His expertise in Italian and Croatian research have made him a popular volunteer online and at his local Family History Center. He has been able to travel with family to their ancestral village in Croatia and complete research in original records provided by the parish. He has also worked extensively with Italian records and assisted with the records of the Gente di Mare genealogy website. 

    In addition to researching his Italian, Croatian, Irish, German, and Hungarian roots, Michael is interested in learning more about using DNA for genealogical research and about professional archival management. He is a history major at Kean University and would like to become a Certified Genealogist.

    Michael will attend the SCGS Jamboree in Burbank June 7-9 where he will receive the award Sunday, June 9 at the SCGS Scholarship Breakfast.

    “We are so pleased to be able to partner with the Freeman Student Genealogy Grant Program to support this outstanding future genealogist,” said Paula Hinkel, Jamboree co-chair and SCGS vice president. This is the third year that SCGS has provided a conference scholarship to the recipient of the grant award.

    Past recipients of the memorial grant include Elyse Doerflinger, A.C. Ivory, and Anthony Ray. 

    Funding for the 2013 Memorial Student Grant was provided by proceeds from the sale of my new book How to Archive Family Keepsakes during the Blog Book Tour in January 2013. A big THANK YOU to everyone who purchased a book during the book tour to help fund this project supporting student genealogists. For information about donating to the grant fund, please see the SWF Grant page.

    About the Grant Program: The Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Student Genealogy Grant Program was established in 2011 to help young family historians pursue their genealogy research and educational goals. In recognition of Suzanne Freeman’s enthusiasm for the nationally recognized Jamboree, the award is directed toward a student attending the SCGS Jamboree. Suzanne Winsor Freeman was the mother of genealogy blogger Denise Levenick, www.theFamilyCurator.com.

    About SCGS: The Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree has partnered with the grant program each year to offer complimentary conference registration to the award recipient. The annual Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree is a premiere regional genealogy conference offering national speakers, workshops, and demonstrations.

    Friday
    Apr122013

    Treasure Chest Thursday for Friday's What's Up Genealogy: Ephemera or Artifact

    Man in a Bottle

    Man in a Bottle, ca. 1957

    Don't be polite. What you're really wondering is, "What the heck is it?"

    My Dad didn't want it. Neither did my aunt, my sister, or anyone else. So, I took it. 

    First definition of ephemera: stuff no one else wants.

    Really. Ephemera is intended to be thrown away after use. It has a transitory specific one-time purpose. That folks tend to tuck the odd theater stub in a scrapbook or dry prom corsages is outside the intended purpose of the item. Hence, stuff that survives is less than common and more interesting to a lot of us ephemera aficionados. Of course, there's always the craftsman who repurposes an old photo in a piece of art as well.

    Man in a Bottle 5

    "Uncle Sam" 11-29-57

    You've seen the photos and now you know as much as I do. If you have any clues about this bit of gen-u-wine mid-century craftsmanship please leave a comment or join Caroline Pointer and me tonight on What's Up Genealogy, Google+ Hangout on Air. We are talking ephemera and odd artifacts and would love to hear what you think about this treasure.

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