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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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    Utah Student to Receive Genealogy Grant 

    Woodbury paul 2014

    The Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Student Genealogy Grant Committee is pleased to announce that Paul Woodbury, a Brigham Young University senior from Provo, Utah will receive $500 from the Freeman Memorial Grant program and 3-day registration to the 2014 Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in Burbank, California from SCGS.

    Paul will attend the SCGS Jamboree June 6-8, 2014 and use the grant funds toward genealogy research and education. This is the fourth year that the Freeman Student Genealogy Grant Program and SCGS have partnered to offer a student genealogy award.

    Paul works at the campus Center for Family History and Genealogy and recently participated in a community seminar in Washington D.C. In 2013 he joined a student study abroad program and visited the Vatican Secret Archives in Rome -- that's quite a genealogy research trip!

    The new SCGS Jamboree DNA Day is a special attraction for Paul who is majoring in Genetics and Biotechnology and plans to pursue a career in genetic genealogy. He is excited about the great potential of genetics to help reunite families separated by adoption or abandonment and locate lost ancestors for family historians.

    The Student Genealogy Grant was founded in 2011 following the unexpected death of my mother, Suzanne Winsor Freeman. She was an enthusiastic fan of the SCGS Jamboree and an ardent GeneaBlogger follower who worked with student volunteers for many years in her capacity as Director of Voluntary Action Centers in Orange County, California and in Arizona. Mom was hopeful that DNA would solve a long-standing brick wall problem in our family tree, and we may get through it yet!

    Past recipients of the Student Genealogy Grant include Anthony Ray of Palmdale, Elyse Doerflinger of Lomita, A.C. Ivory of Salt Lake City, and Mike Savoca of New Jersey. 

    Please join me in congratulating Paul as the 2014 recipient of the Suzanne Winsor Freeman Student Genealogy Grant, and be sure to welcome him when you see him at Jamboree.


    Live-Streaming from #NGS2014 Richmond, Virginia Begins Today

    Ngs stream

    It's an unusually grey and cool day in Los Angeles, a perfect day for the National Genealogy Society 2014 Family History Conference now taking place in Richmond, Virginia. I've cleared the calendar this afternoon and I'm getting ready for the first live-streamed session, Elizabeth Shown Mills presenting "Using Evidence Creatively: Spotting Clues in Run-of-the-Mill Records."

    Nice news from Gena Philibert-Ortega that I won registration
    to the 2014 NGS Family History Conference.

    Last year at this time I was blogging and tweeting from Las Vegas at the 2013 NGS Conference, and won the Twitter Challenge prize of free 2014 registration. Unfortunately, I couldn't attend in Richmond this year and NGS kindly allowed me to use the prize as virtual registration for the live-streamed session. As I set up my online account I'm learning that virtual attendance has a lot to offer.

    Boston University is sponsoring the 2014 Live Streamed Sessions in two-tracks. Each day offers five presentations and full access to the complete conference syllabus and program.

    I've viewed many online webinars and live-streamed presentations, with varied tech experiences. Some interfaces are simple to use, others more complicated. Typical streamed sessions, such as the 2014 RootsTech streamed and recorded sessions, allow viewing only. Sometimes the format is available in multiple formats for computer, iPad, or other mobile devices, but often it is computer-only.

    In setting up my account for the NGS program, I was excited to see that the sessions are available in three different formats:

    • AudioPoint Download or Streaming - Hear presenter with synced visuals; best on mobile device
    • AudioPoint DVD-ROM - Hear presenter with synced visuals; best on computer
    • Audio MP3 - Audio only; plays on computer or cars, easily burn CDs in iTunes

    PlaybackNow is delivering the live-stream media and other content through a custom website. The website has full instructions for viewing online, downloading, loading files to iPod or iPad. NGS On Demand online access will be available within 24 hours of the recording and for three months following the event.

    I'm looking forward to trying out this new conference experience this week. With the addition of the syllabus, synced audio and visual, and downloads, virtual conference attendance is looking like a good value in online education.

    The only downside, as far as I can see, is that pre-registration was required and closed 30 April 2014. I'll write more about the live-stream experience after I have a chance to take it for a test drive. 


    Preservation Week: Unlock the #1 Secret to Scanning Success

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    Digitize and Preserve Family Photos and Documents

    Are you getting the best possible results when you digitize family photos and documents? Check your scanning savvy with these 5 Tips for Scanning Success.

    1. Clean the Scanner Glass

    Yep, sounds pretty basic but it’s easy to forget. Old photos and documents are often dirty and may even lose bits of paper when handled. Use a microfiber cloth (used for eyeglasses or computer screens) to clean smudges and dirt from the glass of your flat bed scanner. For tough jobs, lightly wet the cloth – not the glass – then wipe the glass firmly with the damp cloth.

    2. Use the Right Equipment For the Job

    Equipment does make a difference in the end result. Your keepsake originals should only be digitized with a flat-bed scanner or digital camera. DO NOT run heirlooms through a sheet-fed scanner where they could be mangled and torn. Wand scanners are fine for books and pristine documents, but less direct handling is safer for old paper.

    Oversize documents can be difficult to manipulate for on an 11 x 14-inch flat bed scanner; minimize the potential for damage by using a digital camera mounted on a copy stand or tripod.

    3. Set Up A “Scan Station”

    Make use of every minute by keeping your equipment ready to go. If you have space, set up a Scan Station near your computer on a file cabinet or table. Keep your scanner connected to your computer with an external hard drive ready for file storage. Use two trays or boxes to organize your work: To Be Scanned, Scanned. Don’t file away the originals until you have added filenames and tags in your photo organizing software.

    4. Break Your Work Into Scanning Sessions

    Save time and be more efficient by breaking your scanning into two work sessions: In session one, complete the actual scans; in session two, finish the computer work: add file names; write metadata -- captions from the back of photos, tags with people, places, events, copyright info; and place originals in archival storage.

    And My All-Time Favorite #1 Secret to Scanning Success
    5. Use Professional Mode

    Most scanners come pre-configured for easy scanning. You don’t have to do anything after hitting the Scan button. But if you want access to some of the best features of your flat-bed scanner, you’ll need to unlock the Professional Menu. Look around on your scanner for a drop-down with more options, or check out the manual. You may have Auto, Home, and Professional modes (on Epson), or some other configuration.

    When you get to the Pro Menu, you will be able to set the best resolution for your project, choose mode, target size, and unlock color correction and descreening features. If you aren’t sure what all those options can do, refer to the manual or the handy Scanning Guide in my book, How to Archive Family Keepsakes (chapter 9).

    For most purposes, you only need to adjust resolution (or DPI) and select Photo or Document. If you wish, you can check Color Restoration to automatically restore faded 1970’s color prints, or Descreening to get better images of newspaper articles.

    Find more ideas for organizing and digitizing family treasures and genealogy research in How to Archive Family Keepsakes: Learn How to Preserve Family Photos, Memorabilia & Genealogy Records by Denise May Levenick (Family Tree Books, 2012). Celebrate Preservation Week April 23-May 3, 2014.

    Visit for more preservation ideas and information.


    Look Who's Going to 2014 SCGS Jamboree!

    Reader Renee is the winner of the FREE 3-day Registration to the 2014 SCGS Jamboree. Congratulations, Renee! 

    Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway! I wish I had enough prizes for each of you, and hope to see you all at Jamboree in June!


    Preservation Week: Trash or Treasure? How to Decide What to Keep and What to Throw Away

    Artifacts 16

    Should I keep this? Anyone who has cleaned out a family home or helped settle an estate has probably heard this question more than once. 

    It can be hard for family historians to let go of anything that might carry a family story, no matter how old or broken that keepsake might be. One keepsake isn't much to save, but it doesn't take long for family treasures to become a mountain of memorabilia that threatens to come down on our present life like an avalanche.

    Should I keep the silverplate coffee service that no one likes and will use?
    Should I keep grandpa’s Army uniform?
    Should I keep these old address books? Christmas cards? Bank books?

    So, how do we choose, what to save, what to toss, and what to give away? I've sifted, sorted, and organized dozens of family collections, and discovered that it sometimes "less" is truly "more," even when it comes to family archives. Yes, we could probably find a family story in every single item set aside and saved, but is that the story we want to preserve? Or, knowing the story, can we let the item go?

    Our ancestors were mobile people, and as anyone knows who has ever moved from home to home, each relocation typically involves a kind of triage. Some things are tossed away, others carefully packed up and moved to the new home. Rarely is a home moved intact from place to place.

    The same kinds of decisions occur between generations. Sometimes, a son or daughter will inherit an entire home of possessions and need to begin the difficult task of sifting, sorting, saving, and tossing.

    Family historians will want to be on the lookout for anything that documents vital record information (birth, marriage, death records), hints at unknown family members, or fills in the blanks for "mystery years" or "family secrets."

    So, what should what should we keep, and what can we toss or give away?

    It depends.

    An unhelpful answer, I know, but it does. . . depend.

    It depends on how many family collections you have already and how many more you are likely to bring home in the future. – If you have a good storage archival storage space and the time and interest to organize and preserve the items, feel free to save whatever you like.

    It depends on the size of the collection.

    A box filled with family artifacts vs. an entire family home with everything, including the kitchen sink. You might decide to save everything in the box, and be selective when it comes to the house.

    It depends on your relationship with the owner.

    This is not to say that treasures belonging to a favorite aunt are of less value than those belonging to a parent or grandparent. But if you have six aunts and uncles and inherited everything from all of them, you might be wise to be selective about what you preserve in order to allow space, time, and resources for your direct ancestors’ collections,

    It depends on why it was saved.

    Did your ancestor save that old hairbrush to brush the dog, or was it a treasured item brought from the Old Country? Not every artifact has value as a family heirloom. It might be interesting, old, or unique, but is it worthy of your preservation efforts?

    It depends on how old it is.

    That old hairbrush might not look like much, but if it’s one hundred years old, I’d probably save it. I might show it to an antique expert to learn more about it. I wouldn’t want to see it in a photo one day and realize I had thrown out great-grandmother’s vanity brush.

    It depends on what it’s worth, monetarily.

    All things being equal, sterling silver trumps silverplate when it comes to competing for precious storage space.

    It depends on what it’s worth, to me.

    However, if I had to choose between them, I would save my ancestor’s pottery baby cup over a silver one. Sentiment and connection trump a dollar any day.

    Seven Questions

    When deciding what to save and what to toss, ask yourself –

    1. Do I have the resources to care for this?
    2. Is this the only keepsake from my ancestor?
    3. What is my relationship to the owner?
    4. Was this item saved as a family heirloom?
    5. How old is it?
    6. Is it valuable?
    7. Is it priceless to me or to our family?

    Three "Yes" answers should be a clue that the item is worth preserving, or at least holding for further consideration.

    I've found 19th century baby photos tucked between pizza take-out menus and trade union cards stashed in old wallets. You have to look inside everything, but then it's ok to toss the cracked plastic envelope, the take-out menus and the smashed, blackened prom corsage.

    Take a digital photo if you need a visual reminder of the artifact. Write a short note if it holds a special story. If in doubt whether or not you should let something go, ask yourself if you've ever saved a similar memento from your own life experience, and what you expect your children to do with it. Sometimes, it's ok to give yourself permission to hold on to the memory and let go of the clutter.

    Find more ideas for sorting and organizing inherited family treasures in How to Archive Family Keepsakes: Learn How to Preserve Family Photos, Memorabilia & Genealogy Records by Denise May Levenick (Family Tree Books, 2012).

    Celebrate Preservation Week April 23-May 3, 2014. Visit all week for more preservation ideas and information.


    45 Hour FLASH Giveaway: Win Free Registration to SCGS 2014 Jamboree

    Jamboree Button

    In honor of the 45th Annual Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree, The Family Curator is hosting a 45 Hour FLASH Contest to give away a FREE 3-Day Registration to the 2014 Genealogy Jamboree in Burbank, California June 6-8, 2014.

    Read on to learn how you can win!

    BlogSummit2012 1

    2013 SCGS Jamboree Bloggers' Summit with Thomas MacEntee,
    Paula Stuart-Warren, Judy G. Russell, Denise Levenick, and CeCe Moore

    It's no secret that I'm a big fan of the SCGS Jamboree. And no secret, too, that SCGS Jamboree loves Bloggers. This year all bloggers and social media users attending Jamboree were invited to be "Honorary Bloggers" to help promote this fabulous annual event, and one lucky participant was selected at random to receive a FREE three-day Jamboree Registration.

    And I WON. Which means, one lucky reader of The Family Curator will win! As a Jamboree Speaker my conference registration is complimentary, so I am giving away the FREE 3-Day Registration to Jamboree in a 45 Hour Flash Contest.

    And, if you don't win . . .  Early-bird Registration for Jamboree is open through April 30, 2014, so you can still take advantage of the special discount and save your cash to spend in the exhibit hall! On May 1, Preregistration rates will go into effect; after May 24, all tickets will be $195 for the three day registration.

    One Family Curator reader's name will be chosen at random to receive this free three-day registration to Jamboree. To enter:

    Leave a comment to this post naming your favorite inherited item OR the one item you wish you'd inherited from an ancestor. Please include your email to be notified if you win.

    On Wednesday, 20 30 April, 2014 at 9 a.m. Pacific Time one name will be randomly selected from the readers leaving comments, and announced at The Family Curator Blog. YOU could be the lucky winner!  

    CORRECTION:  Thanks to sharp-eyed reader Susan Kitchens for the date correction! The winning name will be selected 45 Hours after this article was posted -- Wed. 30 April, 2014 at 9am. 


    Preservation Week: Free ALA Webinars on Archiving and Preserving Scrapbooks

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    Pass it On

    The Family Curator joins libraries and institutions throughout the country next week to celebrate Preservation Week Event 2014.

    Did you know that more than 4.8 BILLION artifacts are housed in public institutions? Imagine how many more priceless personal family treasures are held in private collections and home archives?

    Throughout Preservation Week, the Family Curator will post articles and tips highlighting care and preservation for some of the most popular family keepsakes.

    Visit April 27 through May 3 to learn more about preserving the past and caring for your family collections. SUBSCRIBE to receive all new posts in your Inbox.

    Free Preservation Week Webinars

    Register NOW for great Free Webinars from the American Library Association in honor of Preservation Week

    Tuesday, April 29, 2014 -- Low-Cost Ways to Preserve Family Archives

    11 am Pacific | 12 Mountain | 1 pm Central | 2 pm Eastern
    Presented by Karen E.K. Brown, Preservation Librarian for the University at Albany, SUNY.

    What can we do to protect our collectables from damage even if we don’t think we have a perfect place to keep them? Learn about possible risks from handling and the environment, and practical, inexpensive ideas to keep collections safe to help ensure what you have can be shared for many years to come.

    Information and Registration:

    Thursday, May 1, 2014 -- Preserving Scrapbooks

    11 am Pacific | 12 Mountain | 1 pm Central | 2 pm Eastern
    Presented By Melissa Tedone, Conservator at Iowa State

    Scrapbooks can be challenging to preserve since they often contain a diversity of materials.
    In this webinar, participants will learn:

    • the common problems associated with long-term preservation of scrapbooks
    • how to identify problem materials in older scrapbooks and what to do about them
    • how to identify the most stable materials and bindings for creating new scrapbooks

    Information and Registration:


    Got Stuff? The Heirloom Roadshow Wants YOU!

    Wooden Case Clock

    Did you inherit a beautiful antique table or chair from your ancestor? Do you know how to how to preserve the historical and cash value of your treasure? Have you ever wondered how to care for your great-grandmother’s lace tablecloth? Wondering how to preserve your ancestor’s military medals?

    The Heirloom Roadshow is coming to the 2014 Southern California Genealogy Jamboree, and you can be part of it!

    On Sunday, June 8, 2014  from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. I will be hosting an information-packed session with special guest Joseph Baratta, antiques appraiser and auctioneer from Abell Auction Company in Los Angeles at the 45th Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree.

    Registered attendees to the SCGS Jamboree are invited to submit their keepsake preservation challenges for a chance to be featured in this lively presentation. Selected participants will have reserved front-row seating at the event and learn  how to rescue, preserve, and archive their treasures.

    The Heirloom Roadshow is looking for family keepsakes of all kinds, from knick-knacks to knock-offs. Tell us why your treasure is important to you, and you’ll learn how to take care of it for the next generation.

    How To Participate

    Send one email per heirloom with “HEIRLOOM ROADSHOW” in the Subject Line to familycurator (at) gmail (dot) com. Entries are due by May 1, 2014. Please include: 

    • your name and contact information
    • 1-3 digital photos clearly showing the item
    • a brief description of the item including
    • size and physical description
    • your preservation challenge
    • why it is special to you or your family

    Feel free to add:

    • how you came to own it
    • previous owners, where and when they lived
    • any stories or memories you’d like to share

    About the Hosts

    Denise Levenick inherited her first family archive from her grandmother in 2000 and created The Family Curator blog and website in 2007 to record her progress in preserving and digitizing the collection. She is the author of How to Archive Family Keepsakes (FamilyTree Books, 2012) and a frequent contributor to FamilyTree Magazine. Denise lectures at seminars and conferences on digitizing, preserving, and sharing family treasures, and is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, SCGS, and the National Genealogical Society.

    Joseph Baratta joined Abell Auction Company in 2001 where he is currently Vice President for Client Development and Senior Cataloger. He has coordinated the quarterly Fine Art and Antique Action for over ten years researching over 600 lots in each sale, and providing descriptions for the general sale brochure and directing the sale marketing campaigns. Joe also prepares general appraisals for estates throughout Southern California for trust officers, bankers, and private parties, and participates as auctioneer in the weekly estate auctions. Joe attended Loyola High School in Los Angeles and holds a B.A. in Art History from Boston College and certification in Appraisal Studies from New York University.

    For questions or more information, contact Denise Levenick.


    More Free Webinars for SCGS 2014 Jamboree Pre-Conference 


    Did you know that the Southern California Genealogy Society Genealogy Jamboree is once again hosting pre-conference webinars that are Free and Open to the Public? Most genealogy conferences stream sessions concurrently with the event or as post-event recorded sessions, but SCGS offers two free webinars each month as a kind of "pre-conference" as the SCGS Genealogy Jamboree Extension Series.

    Last night, I was honored to present Caring for Keepsakes: The Top 10 Family Treasures to a great online audience with SCGS host Paula Hinkel. We also had the chance to talk about the Heirloom Roadshow to be held on Sunday, June 8 at Jamboree. It promises to be a fun and informative event for everyone. Check the Jamboree Blog for more details.

    Presenting online webinars and live lectures reminds me how much I enjoyed my years as a classroom teacher. There's something about sharing your passion and hoping to ignite that fire in others that makes it all worthwhile.

    Caring for Keepsakes in the SCGS Archive Soon!

    If you missed last night's webinar, you have a second chance. SCGS Members have full access to the archive library of recorded webinars at the SCGS Jamboree Extension website as a benefit of the $35 annual membership fee. With over 65 recorded webinars available, this benefit alone makes the membership fee a real bargain. Members also receive a special conference rate and access to World Vital Records and online databases. Join today; membership information is available at the SCGS Website.

    And, pre-register now to attend the next online session in the SCGS Webinar Series Saturday, 3 May 2014 10:00 am - 11:30 am, Nifty and Powerful Technologies for Genealogical Analysis and Documentation by Ron Arons.


    Caring for Keepsakes FREE SCGS14 Jamboree Webinar

    Pocket watch

    Join The Family Curator tomorrow night to learn the basics of Caring for Keepsakes: The Top Ten Family Treasures at a free webinar Wednesday, 16 April 2014 sponsored by the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree 2014 Extension Series.

    We'll also be talking about the upcoming Heirloom Roadshow at SCGS Jamboree 2014, and how you can participate. Los Angeles Estate Auctioneer Joseph Baratta will join me at Jamboree to answer your questions about how to safely preserve, care for, and enjoy your family heirlooms.

    Wednesday night's 60-minute live webinar will focus on preservation techniques for ten of the most popular family heirlooms, from photographs to furniture, love letters to lockets, and bayonets to Bibles. The presentation will also feature examples of common home archive hazards such as pests, mold, and acid migration.

    If you inherited family heirlooms, or you're wondering how to safely care for your own treasures to pass them on to the next generation, this online presentation will give you the information you need to get started safely Caring for Keepsakes.

    I will be sharing ideas from my book How to Archive Family Keepsakes and from the archives of The Family Curator website and blog. The audience is also invited to ask questions following the webinar during the Q&A session.

    You must pre-register to attend the live webcast and receive the free handout. The initial live webcast of each SCGS Jamboree Extension Series presentation is offered free of charge to the public; SCGS members receive access to recorded sessions as a benefit of membership. Visit the SCGS Extension webpage for more information about the series. 

    Pre-register for Caring for Keepsakes LIVE Webinar 16 April 2014 6:00 PM - Pacific, 7:00 PM - Mountain, 8:00 PM - Central, 9:00 PM - Eastern


    Searching Out Family History in Bend, Oregon


    Smith Climbing Rocks

    View of Black Butte through Smith Rocks near Bend, Oregon.

    The Bend Genealogical Society Spring Seminar last Saturday, 5 April brought warmer temperatures and sunny skies to Central Oregon. We drove through rain, sleet, and snow flurries en route from Southern California, but each day here has been warmer and more beautiful than the last.

    Deschutes River

    The Deschutes River running through Bend.

    Bend area family historians obviously appreciate and support their local genealogy society. I enjoyed visiting with members at the Meet and Greet evening reception Friday night at the BCG Library, and during the seminar day and wasn't surprised to hear many new members express their appreciation for the group. President Glen Roberts and Program Chair Nancy Noble organized an enjoyable event for attendees from throughout the greater Bend area.

    My sister, a new resident of nearby Redmond, Oregon, joined us for part of the day and was excited to meet a BGS member whose uncle was born in the house she and her husband had just purchased. Small world. He gave her some new information about the former residents and neighborhood, and pointed her to the Redmond HIstorical Society for more background on the area.

    We talked heirlooms of all kinds, from scrapbooks to art to player pianos. And I hope at least a few boxes will be brought down from the attic to find a more "comfortable" place inside the house.

    Visit the Bend Genealogical Society website for information about monthly meetings, special events, and the society research library. 

    Guns Quilts

    Something for everyone: quilt shop next door to the gun store.


    Classic restoration of the Old Francis School by McMenamins' Brewery and Restaurant. Classrooms have been renovated into hotel rooms and the school buildings now hold a theatre for live concerts on the premises.

    Three Sisters

    View of the Three Sisters Mountains on the highway into Sisters, Oregon.


    Student Genealogy Grant Recipients: Checking in with Anthony Ray

    Palmdale college sophomore Anthony Ray was the first recipient of the fledgling Suzanne Winsor Freeman Student Genealogy Grant program in 2011. At the time, Anthony had never attended a regional genealogy conference, although he had been a featured presenter and volunteer at the Antelope Valley Genealogical Society and headed the society's cemetery indexing project.

    Anthony attended the 2011 SCGS Genealogy Jamboree and went on to use the grant funds for research expenses. He graduated in May 2013 from West Coast Baptist College with a degree in religious education, emphasis in music. He's now pursuing further studies at Antelope Valley College and plans to continue his music studies at California State University Northridge.

    Ray family

    Anthony Ray researching with his family in Sonora, Mexico, Summer 2013.
     Left to right is Judy Jones (Anthony's grandfather's cousin), Maria Magdalena (Maruca) Medina (Anthony's grandfather's mom's cousin), Grandparents Arthur Ray and Cristina Ray, Anthony Ray.

    In 2013 Anthony realized a long-held goal of researching his family history in the small Mexican pueblo of Santa Cruz, and was joined on the trip by his grandparents. Anthony writes:

    As soon as we crossed the border, I saw the church where my grandmother was baptized, her siblings, and where my great grandparents were married. My dreams were finally starting to unfold. An hour and a half later, and only about twenty miles away from Nogales, we reached the small pueblo of Santa Cruz. We had to travel by dirt roads, crossing rancho after rancho. The desert was so beautiful and the skies so clear!

    We finally reached the town. It was very emotional for me to be there, where so many generations of my family were born, married, had children, died, and were buried. I’ve always imagined what the town would look like, what the cemetery might be like, the church, the municipio (town hall). The first stop we made was at a tiny adobe structure just outside of town. That small, little building is said to be where my 3rd great grandparents once lived. It was humbling. From there we drove by the cemetery and then to the municipio. The church was just right across the street. The total area of the town would probably equal to less than a square mile.

    When we walked into the municipio, I found that nearly everyone we encountered was related to me. The secretary was very accommodating, and she pulled out all of the records that they had for my cousin, Homer, and I to look through. In Mexico, privacy laws are not nearly as strict as they are here in the states. I looked at birth records all the way up to about 1950. It was amazing the access that we were granted! For one, everyone knew my cousin, Homer, and everyone was happy to see him. That helped to facilitate that access.

    Anthony spent hours searching local cemeteries and reading records at the mortuary that had served his family for generations. In Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, he met with the city historian and searched newspapers in the archives; he then visited the local church and convinced reluctant officials to allow him to peruse the official records.

    Anthony ray

    When the Student Genealogy Grant program was founded in 2010, we weren't sure if young genealogists would be interested in attending a genealogy conference and spending time talking about records, repositories, and sources. Students like Anthony Ray, Elyse Doerflinger, A.C. Ivory, and Mike Savoca showed us that the future of genealogy is already here, and young family historians are searching for answers and ready to learn more about genealogy today.

    Grant applications are now being accepted for the 2014 Student Genealogy Grant to be presented at the 45th Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree. Visit the Suzanne Winsor Freeman Grant Webpage for information and application materials. Applications close March 31, 2014,


    Student Genealogy Grant Recipients: Checking in with Elyse Doerflinger

    Elyse grad

    Since receiving the Suzanne Winsor Freeman Student Genealogy Grant in 2012, Elyse Doerflinger has graduated from college with a bachelors degree in education and expanded her classroom teaching skills to include genealogists and grade schoolers. 

    She is busier than ever, completing her student teaching requirement, presenting at genealogy conferences, blogging, and publishing content to her YouTube Channel.

    This year marks the Fourth Suzanne Winsor Freeman Student Genealogy Grant. Founded in 2010, the Student Genealogy Grant aims to encourage young family historians by providing funding for educational opportunities and enrichment in genealogy. In partnership with the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree, the Grant includes a $500 cash prize and full registration to the annual genealogy conference in June. 

    Elyse has a keen interest in organizing genealogy paperwork and keepsakes (sounds familiar!). She writes about her own family treasures at Elyse's Genealogy Blog and describes how she used some of her grant funds to help purchase archival supplies to store her growing home archive: Treasure Chest Thursday: Grandma & Grandpa Doerflinger's 50th Wedding Anniversary Album.

    Elyse gates stuart warren

    Elyse with Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Paula Stuart-Warren at the
    2013 SCGS Genealogy Jamboree. (Photo: Cyndi Ingalls)

    Her speaker biography for the 45th Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree where she will be a featured lecturer, notes

    Elyse Doerflinger is a professional genealogist specializing in using tech tools to make research more efficient and organized. She is the author of Elyse's Genealogy Blog and has created a YouTube Channel with a variety of genealogy videos. She loves to research her Appalacian ancestors, Colonial New England ancestors, and her never-stay-in-one-place-for-long ancestors that moved all over the country. She also has ancestry from England, Wales, France, and Germany.

    Grant applications are now being accepted for the 2014 Student Genealogy Grant to be presented at the 45th Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree. Visit the Suzanne Winsor Freeman Grant Webpage for information and application materials.


    On the Oregon Trail: Join Me in Bend for the Bend Genealogical Society Spring Seminar

    Drake Park Eric Swanson

    The snow has melted in Bend, Oregon, just in time for the annual Bend Genealogical Society Spring Seminar, April 4-5. I am honored to be the presenter at this annual event and hope you will consider attending if you live in Central Oregon.

    The day's program will focus on preserving and digitizing genealogy research and family history keepsakes with four sessions:

    Preserving the Past: Archiving and Digitizing Your Family Keepsakes 

    The Paper-Less Genealogist

    Secrets in the Attic: Break Down Brick Walls with Home Sources

    Dirty Pictures: Save your Family Photos from Ruin 

    The all-day event will be held at the Bend Golf and Country Club and is open to the public; registration is required and seating is limited. See the Bend Genealogical Society Website for information and registration.

    Photo Credit: Drake Park in Bend, Oregon (Wikimedia Commons/Erik Swanson)


    Student Genealogy Grant Recipients: Checking in with A.C. Ivory

    This year marks the fourth year of the Suzanne Winsor Freeman Student Genealogy Grant program. Founded in 2010 the Student Genealogy Grant aims to encourage young family historians by providing funding for educational opportunities and enrichment in genealogy. In partnership with the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree, the Grant includes a cash prize and full registration to the annual genealogy conference in June.

    Four students, two from California and one each from Utah and New Jersey, have received the award. Contributions to the Genealogy Student Grant program made it possible to award two grants in 2012: to recipients Elyse Doerflinger of Lomita, California and A.C. Ivory of Salt Lake City, Utah. Elyse and A.C. continue to be enthusiastic representatives of student genealogy and active in the genealogy community.

    Ac ivory Cabrete

    A.C. spent time in the Dominican Republic last spring, stopping at Cabarete
    on the north side of the island of Pico Isabel de Torres.

    A.C. Ivory, 2012 grant winner, spent time studying and traveling both north and south this  year. Between genealogy conferences, college studies, and work, A.C. was able to study abroad in the Dominican Republic and revisit his favorite haunts in Southern Alberta, Canada.

    A.C. is currently unravelling family mysteries at the Family History Library where he often researches between classes at the University of Utah and his work as a professional genealogist with ProGenealogists in Salt Lake City. He is a popular speaker at genealogy conferences and meetings, and enjoys mixing travel and genealogy whenever he possible. Look for him at the 45th Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree in Burbank this June.

    The $500 cash award was established in 2010 in memory of Suzanne Winsor Freeman, family historian and life-long volunteer, and an enthusiastic annual attendee at the SCGS Jamboree. Any genealogist between the ages of 18 and 25 who has attended school in the last 12 months is eligible to apply. The recipient must attend the 2014 SCGS Jamboree in Burbank, California to receive the award.

    Funding for the cash award is provided by the family grant program; Jamboree registration is provided by the conference. Visit the Student Grant Webpage for more information and application materials, or to contribute to the Student Grant Program

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