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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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    Friday
    Jun142013

    YOU Helped! Michael Savoca Receives 2013 Suzanne Freeman Student Genealogy Grant at SCGS 2013 Jamboree

    Michael Savoca, a college student from Toms River, New Jersey was awarded the Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Student Genealogy Grant Award at the Scholarship Breakfast on 9 June 2013 at the annual Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in Burbank, California.

    Funding for this year's grant was partially assisted by the proceeds from sales of Denise Levenick's new book How to Archive Family Keepsakes during the Blog Book Tour in January 2013. Thank you!

    Savoca Levenick

    Denise May Levenick with Michael Savoca,
    recipient of the 2013 Suzanne Winsor Freeman Student Genealogy Grant

    The Freeman Student Grant was established by family and friends in 2010 in memory of Suzanne Winsor Freeman, family historian and life-long volunteer, and an enthusiastic annual attendee at the SCGS Jamboree. Each year, Jamboree has included a complimentary full-registration package for the recipient.

    Denise Levenick, Grant Chair, and Paula Hinkel, Jamboree Co-Chair introduced Michael to the breakfast attendees where he received a warm and enthusiastic welcome to the conference. Mike's father, Vinny Savoca, traveled with him to the conference and they were able to reconnect with California cousins while in Burbank.

    Mike 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. 

    "Mike is a wonderful representative for genealogists of his generation," noted Denise Levenick. "He brings enthusiasm, expertise, and a willingness to 'give back' to the genealogy community. It's obvious that Mike has a great future in genealogy, and we are delighted to encourage his research and genealogical education with this award."

    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.

    You can contribute to the 2014 Grant Fund by donating HERE

     

    Thursday
    Jun132013

    Get Started Archiving Your Family Treasures With Free Worksheet from Preserving Keepsakes Workshop

    When I first started working with the boxes of family photogaphs, old letters, and documents inherited from my maternal grandmother I was overwhelmed by the seemingly limitless selection of archival containers. I didn't know if letters should be stored upright in file folders or flat in drop front boxes (answer: either). I was confused by plastic sleeves vs. paper sleeves for photo storage (answer: either). And, I really didn't understand all the archival terms like acid-free, lignin, buffered, and P.A.T.

    My presentation Paper or Plastic?: Preserving Keepsakes Workshop at last weekend's Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in Burbank, California was designed to answer those questions. I wanted it to be the workshop I needed all those years ago. The 90-minute format gave time for a slide-show presentation followed by discussion of product options and lots of Q&A.

    Use the Hands On Worksheet

    To make it even more useful, I put together a Hands On Worksheet to walk through the first three steps of working with family collections. Answering these questions will help anyone wondering what do first when you inheirit family treasures. You may not have attended the Paper or Plastic Workshop, but I hope you will find this Worksheet useful for your own family archive.

    Download the Preserving Keepsakes Workshop Worksheet HERE.

    Here's a brief overview of how to get started:

    1. Decide on your role and goal.

    Do you see yourself as a Curator, a Creator, or a Caretaker of the collection? 

    • A Curator arranges, selects, and finds meaning in a collection.
    • A Creator might be more focused on how to refashion items (or information) into an artistic creation like a scrapbook or family tree.
    • A Caretaker, is one of the most underrated roles, but we owe a debt to those Caretakers whose main goal is to preserve and pass on family keepsakes.

    2. Name your collection.

    Instead of "Grandma's Stuff" start referring to your inheiratance as a collection, The Arline Kinsel Papers, The Brown Photo Collection, etc. You are preserving history, after all, the history of your family.

    3. Decide where to locate your collection.

    Find a place within your living space where the temperature is consistent, not too hot, not too cold, relatively dry and clean, and free of pests and pollution. It should also be fairly dark, as light hastens the deterioration of almost everything. An interior closet or even a metal filing cabinet are good choices.

    Get Ready to Store Your Family Keepsakes

    Next, you'll need to make notes about the kinds and quantity of items you need to store and select appropriate containers. The Worksheet also includes: 

    • a form to get you started listing items, quantity, and container options
    • photos of the most popular archival storage containers
    • contact information for archival suppliers

    You can download the FREE Workshop Worksheet Here and Get Started Archiving Your Family Keepsakes. Please let me know in the comments if you find it helpful! 

    ... and now a word from our sponsors

    Disclosure: The Preserving Keepsake Workshops featured popular archival products kindly supplied by Hollinger Metal Edge and Sentry Safe. I received samples from the company but no other renumeration. If you order from Hollinger and use FAMILYCURATOR in the Code Box, I receive a small referral commmisson. If you order supplies through Amazon using my links, I also receive a small affiliate commission.

    Wednesday
    Jun122013

    Family Curator on Fieldstone Common Blog Talk Radio This Thursday 

    Fieldstone Common with Denise Levenick

    Host Marian Pierre-Louis will interview Denise May Levenick, The Family Curator, tomorrow Thursday, 13 June 2013 at 1:00 p.m. EDT on Fieldstone Common internet radio show, .

    The weekly program features "authors and historians who bring history alive" with a focus on New England and the Northeast. Marian is also a House Historian and Genealogical Lecturer who is active in New England historical research. 

    Tune in Thursday to hear Marian talk with author Denise May Levenick about her new book, How to Archive Family Keepsakes, and discuss the challenges of safely caring for family photographs, documents, and artifacts. Listeners to the LIVE program will also have an opportunity to win a free copy of Denise's book and ask questions about their own preservation challenges.

    Show time is

    1:00 pm EDT
    12:00 pm CDT
    11:00 am MDT
    10:00 am PDT

    All shows are available on the Fieldstone Common Archive for listenting at a later time, as well. 

    Tuesday
    Jun112013

    We're Puttin' on Our Shades for Golden Rule Days, Tuesday's Tip

    Shades

    Miss Penelope Dreadful is pleased to endorse Golden Rule Days, the latest edition of Shades of the Departed Magazine published by footnoteMaven.

    NewImage

    Inside the over of this beautifully illustrated full-sepia journal, the reader will find 122 pages filled with perfectly precious photographs, handsome heirlooms, attractive artwork, persuasive prose and various verse, along with a short work presented by yours truly, Miss Penelope Dreadful.

    As readers may (or may not) know, this reporter has enjoyed weaving tales of suspense, intrigue, and near-truth for many issues of Shades of the Departed, (now available in back issues from the Publisher). These various pieces of protracted prose are inspired by Miss Maven's extensive collection of Photographs of various subjects. Miss Maven proffers the photograph and Miss Dreadful delivers the deed, er goods. 

    Our latest tale involves unraveling the story behind the old photograph, and takes into consideration the Science of Phrenology as revealed by a careful analysis of the photograph on exhibit, that of Schoolteacher Alice B. Olver. Please enjoy "Penny's Dreadful Secrets Unlocking the Clues in Old Photographs" beginning on page 18 of the current issue of Shades of the Departed Magazine. Feel free to address your compliments to Miss Dreadful ℅ the Publisher.

    Tweet It --

    Miss Penny Dreadful LOVES Shades of the Departed #oldphoto Magazine. RT if you do too! -- Click to Tweet

    It's Here! Shades of the Departed New Edition #oldphotos #genealogy -- Click to Tweet

    Monday
    Jun102013

    5 New Things I Learned at #SCGS2013 Jamboree Including New Data on the Hockey Gene

    . . . and a few wild and crazy discoveries about my genealogy friends.

    Nextgen meetup

    Next Gen MeetUp at Jamboree #SCGS2013 

    1. The Genealogy Generation Gap Has Been Zapped!

    The Chart Chick Janet Hovorka is really on to something with her new book, Zap the Grandma Gap -- If you didn't know it already, genealogy has become a multi-generational passion, and a look around the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree conference proves it!

    The exact numbers haven't been released, but as a long-time Jamboree attendee, I could see that Y- and Z-generation Jamboree attendees, speakers, and exhibitors were present in greater numbers than ever before at the 2013 event.

    The 2013 Student Genealogy Grant recipient Mike Savoca was a first-time Jamboree attendee, but he found plenty of student-company with Elyse Doerflinger, Anthony Ray, Mike Melendez, and other young genealogists.

    The new NextGen Genealogy Network held a standing-room only virtual meet-up organized by Elyse to introduce Jamboree to NextGen organizers. 

    A look 'round the exhibit hall showed new faces with new products, too. Treelines' Tammy Hepps was on hand to show off her online new story-telling software after winning the Developer's Prize at RootsTech 2013.

    2. Genetic Genealogy is HOT!

    Everyone was talking about the DNA Day held as a pre-conference event on Thursday, June 6. Each session sounded better than the last, featuring respected scholars and researchers presenting on various aspects of genetic genealogy.

    I was sorry to miss this event, but will be sure to catch it if there is an encore next year! You know a conference is good when the audio-visual recording staff is still talking about it two days later.

    Blog summit paul hawthorne

    Bloggers' Summit, Host Thomas MacEntee; 
    from left Paula Stuart-Warren, Judy G. Russell, Denise Levenick, CeCe Moore
    (photo courtesy J. Paul Hawthorne) 

    3. Genealogy Blogging is Not Going Away

    I was privileged to join Paula Stuart-Warren, CeCe Moore, Judy G. Russell at the Bloggers' Summit moderated by GeneaBloggers' Thomas MacEntee. This annual event is a touchpoint for genealogy bloggers and gives a good sense of how we got where we are and what to look for in the future.

    With over 3,000 genealogy blogs currently listed at the GeneaBloggers website, it's clear that blogging has found an audience in the genealogy community. You'd think that everyone was reading genealogy blogs, but in reality, I heard a comment after the summit that only about 10% of genealogists regularly read blogs. If that figure is correct, a lot of family historians are missing out on some great resources.

    Although each panelist admitted that there just isn't time enough to read all the blogs we'd like to cover, no one saw blogs diminishing in popularity anytime soon. In fact, one of the first questions from the audience was about starting a genealogy blog.

    4. Genealogy Can Be Really Really Funny

    Dan Poffenberger's presentation at the Sunday morning scholarship breakfast was the best early-morning wake-up call I've heard in a long time. He gave a VERY humorous look at some of the actual records he's found along his research career, including pre-cradle to post-grave excerpts of parish registers, census records, wills, and other documents. Dan also revealed a hint of what it's like growing up with an unusual surname.

    5. Researching the "Hockey Gene"

    Inquiring minds wanted to know: Is "hockey love/obsession/passion" acquired or inherited? So, I went to the best source I know for All Things Hockey: Rhonda R. McClure (aka "nationally  recognized genealogist and lecturer on New England, immigration and naturalization, Italian, German, institutional, fraternal and computerized genealogy. . ."). 

    Rhonda's name pops up frequently as a genealogy lecturer, and nearly as often on Facebook cheering on her ice-favorites. I figured she was the go-to resource for this specialized research query.

    The question: "How did you become interested (read: obsessed) with ice hockey?"

    Her answer: "I'm from New Hampshire."

    So, there you have it. Geographic Genetics. 

    Tweetables --

     

    Wednesday
    Jun052013

    Meet Mr. Curator at #SCGS2013 Jamboree: Vintage Treasure Chest Thursday

    DanOldGreen

    We sold the truck, but Mr. Curator is still in the picture!

    Come by and say "Hello" at the Family Tree Magazine booth VM003 at the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in Burbank, Calirfornia Friday through Sunday, June 7-9. I will be signing my book, How to Archive Family Keepsakes all weekend, and Mr. Curator will be helping out on Sunday.

    Bring your family heirloom, archiving, and organizing questions for a free consultation, and plan to attend the presentations on organizing and preserving family keepsakes --

    Paper or Plastic: Preserving Family Keepsakes is a 90-minute hand-on workshop that will include lecture, demonstration, and plenty of archival storage samples for your examination. SU019 10:00 am to 11:30 am.

    Lessons from the Archive is a traditional lecture-presentation, and will be Live-Streamed to home viewers. This session will highlight dos and don'ts for working with inherited collections, and specific case study examples from my home archives. You must pre-register to view the Live-Streamed session by signing-up HERE. SU029 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm.

    See you there!

     

    Wednesday
    Jun052013

    Touchy Feely Time with Archival Boxes and Folders at #SCGS13

    6 alpha trunk new

    Join me at the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree to get up close and personal with the most popular archival storage products -- and a few new surprises in preservation containers -- for Paper or Plastic? Preserving Keepsakes Workshop on Sunday, June 9th.

    I am especially excited to be showing off some new-to-me (and maybe to you) products from Hollinger Metal Edge and Sentry Safe. Both companies were kind enough to send me sample products and a lot of great information to share with attendees. I will also have a limited number of archival product catalogs available from Hollinger Metal Edge.

    This 90-minute workshop could also be called "Everything I Wish I Had Known When I Inherited My First Family Collection." We will discuss how to safely preserve an assortment of family artifacts, including documents, correspondence, photographs, and artifacts, and attendees will have a chance to see and handle a selection of archival storage containers.

    Paper or Plastic will begin with a presentation highlighting 

    • What Makes It an Heirloom?
    • Roles and Goals for Collectors
    • Archives 101
    • Preservation Case Studies
    • Make It Yourself Archival Options

    Following the presentation, there will be time for product demonstrations and questions, and hand-on with the sample products.

    When I first inherited my grandmother's treasures, I was overwhelmed by the huge assortment of archival storage boxes. Should I use an upright box or a flat box? Drop front or telescoping lid? Is there a difference between grey archival board and black or tan? It took hours to unravel the mysteries of the catalog and finally begin to move my keepsakes into appropriate storage. I hope Sunday's presentation will cut through the infusion and help you organize and preserve your family treasures.

    Sunday, June 7 10:00am - 11:30 am SCGS Jamboree
    Paper or Plastic? Preserving Keepsakes Workshop

    Attendees will find a 4-page handout in the Jamboree Syllabus and a Workshop Worksheet to use during the session on the Jamboree App (look in the Exhibitor listing under The Family Curator for the downloads).

    Thursday
    May302013

    Lessons from the Family Archive: Streamed from SCGS Jamboree

    I Inherited the Stuff

    Are you scratching your head over what to do first with your inherited family keepsakes? Wondering how to save your treasures from damage without breaking the bank? Join me Sunday afternoon June 9th for Lessons from the Archive streamed live from the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in Burbank, California. 

    I am excited to be presenting one of the fourteen live-streamed events from the SCGS Jamboree as part of JamboStream, sponsored by Ancestry.com. You must be pre-registered to view the sessions, and you must register for each individual session you with to attend. Click here for the complete schedule and registration information.

    I inherited my first BIG family archive from my grandmother about 2000. Everything had been stored in an old trunk for decades, and was moved into cardboard beer boxes by the time it came to me. Gradually, I moved the letters, photos, newspapers, and documents into archival storage boxes and started scanning individual items.

    Then, another relative passed away and their treasures came home with me.

    And another.

    And another.

    Along the way I've picked up a few tips that have helped me keep my sanity and keep things organized. The biggest lesson learned is certainly 

    Maintain Order in the Archive -- keep collections together and avoid orphan heirlooms.

    I will be sharing some of my favorite tips and photos from my own inherited treasures at Sunday's presentation. Sign up here to join in from home, and feel free to come back and leave any comments or questions.

    Thursday
    May302013

    Aprons from Auntie's Hope Chest for Treasure Chest Thursday

    Easy pie apron

    It's "Easy as Pie" to see that these handmade vintage aprons were made to be admired. My aunt received nearly two dozen aprons for her wedding shower in 1958 and carefully packed them away in her cedar hope chest with the hand-embroidered pillowcases, sheets, and towels. When my sister and I opened the chest two years ago, everything was still in the original paper but marked with the folds of time.

    These two aprons are my favorites. "Easy as Pie" is made with a printed kitchen towel as the center panel design surrounded by cheery yellow cotton. "Flower Garden" (on the right) is made by joining crocheted flowers to form a colorful border around a plain mesh dishcloth. The flower pocket adds another splash of color.

    Of course, sometimes a new bride wants to look frilly and pretty. That's when she brings out the nylon and lace aprons:

    Nylon lace apron

    Pink nylon (now turned brown with age) adds a pretty touch to the pink floral cotton. The lavender nylon and lace would look dainty over a plain dress or skirt.

    And, when there's work to do, the 1950's woman will turn to practical attire like these simple cotton aprons:

    Work aprons

    It's unfortunate that the cotton discolored with time, but both the flower print and blue check would have been cheery and washable coverings for everyday housework and cooking. It (almost) makes me want to wash the dishes!

    Saturday
    May252013

    With Gratitude for Their Service

    US Navy Seaman Tustin Lighter Than Air Base

    U.S. Navy Seaman 2nd Class Edwin May (from left),
    with Seaman Gilbert, Seaman Noren, and Commander MacCubbin.
    Lighter Than Air Base in Tustin, California, January 1955.
    (Official Photograph U.S. Navy.)

    Corp. W.G. May Camp Funston

    Corp. Walter G. May, U.S. Army, Camp Funston
    1917

    Col. M.N. Levenick, U.S. Army

    Col. Maynard N. Levenick, U.S. Army

    Thursday
    May232013

    Treasure Chest Thursday: Vintage Postcards Picture the History of Decoration Day

    First There Was Decoration Day

     

    This 1909 Decoration Day postcard depicts a U.S. Army vet, sabre in hand to salute his fallen comrades. The Grand Army of the Republic, as the Union Army was known, is celebrated in the five-star membership badge of the G.A.R.

    According to a 1910 history of the G.A.R, the badge was "struck from captured Confederate cannon" and the bronze "issued to the G.A.R. by the War Department as needed."

    The design includes motifs representing charity, liberty, loyalty, and fraternity surrounded by the insignia of the various branches of service -- bugle (infantry), crossed cannons (artillery), crossed muskets (marines), crossed sabers (cavalry), and anchor (sailors).

    The design was adopted in 1866, revised in 1868 and again in 1869. A few changes were made again in 1873 and 1886. This postcard dates from 1909 per the postmark, and probably shows the latest medal design.

    Shortly after the conclusion of the Civil War, communities began commemorating the fallen soldiers by decorating graves with flowers. General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic proclaimed the first major observance May 30, 1868, held at Arlington National Cemetery where both Union and Confederate graves were decorated.

    The same fascination with symbolism that created the G.A.R. medal is evident in the postcard design in these examples. 

     

    In this illustration a young child, probably a granddaughter, slips a flower in the lapel of her grandfather. He wears the G.A.R. veteran medal on his coat near the pinned sleeve, silent testament to his loss in the war. 

    In the bottom left of the card is an artist's version of the famous battle in March 1862 between the first iron-clad warships, the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia. The battle ended in a stalemate, but introduced a new phase of warfare to America. 

    This postcard obviously continues the series shown above, but the painterly scene on this card recalls the infantry's efforts in the war, in the same way that the previous card depicted naval war maneuvers. Presumably, other cards in the series pay homage to other branches of service. It would be interesting to locate other cards in the series and see the entire set together.

    The main image shows a war widow (note the grandmother's photo cameo brooch) with her grandson who playing at being a soldier. He wears a miniature G.A.R. medal, a too-large belt, and is holding his grandfather's saber. 

    And Then There Was Memorial Day

    This Memorial Day card bears a postmark on the reverse of 1908; it seems that the holiday was known by both names. The images here are probably meant to depict the new and old Navy warships. The card sends "Memorial Day Greetings" rather than a message for "Decoration Day," although the term Memorial Day did not become official until 1966.

    I found these cards at a local Vintage Paper and Ephemera Show in Southern California. If you love family history, and haven't discovered these shows yet, you are missing out!

    Sources:

    Naval History and Heritage

    The Grand Army Badge

    This Day in History

    Wednesday
    May222013

    Roundup for Memorial Day FREE Record Access for Researchers

    Block out a few hours and take advantage of these great offers for free access to U.S. military records this weekend.

    My Heritage Free Access to US Military Records

    Myheritage memorial day

    Researchers can take advantage on one week of free access May 21-28 to the MyHeritage U.S. military record collection. Available databases include 

    • U.S. WW II Army Enlistment
    • Service Records of Confederate Soldiers
    • WW II Reserve Corps Records
    • Air Force Register Extracts
    • US WW II Prisoners of War 194101946
    • Vietnam Casualties 1956 - 1998 
    • US Army Casualties 1961 - 1981
    • Korrean War Casualties 1950 - 1957
    • and more

    If you've been curious about MyHeritage, this would be great time to check out the website and database collection. I especially like the clean fresh design that makes the search form easy to see and understand.

    Fold3 Offers Free Access to New USCT Service Records

    Fold3 badge

    Compiled military service records of the United States Colored Troops (USCT) including over 3.6 million images is now available at Fold3.com through a partnership between Folde and the National Archives. Access to this collection is a free through May 31st.

    Available records include images scanned directly from documents as well as those digitized from microfilm. The collection consists of images for:

    • 1st through 1389th USCT Infantry
    • 1st gthrough 6th USCT Cavalry
    • USCT Artillery
    Read more about the collection and highlighted records at the Fold3 blog. American Veterans and their families are also eligible for a 50% discount on a Fold3 membership. More information is available here at the Fold3 website.

    FindMyPast Offers Free Access to US and International Military Records

    Findmypast-memday
     
    In honor of Memorial Day and Military Appreciation Month, Findmypast.com is making their U.S. and International military records available free Friday May 24 through Monday May 27. 
     
    Records include:
    • American Prisoners of Korean War, 1950-1953
    • Korean War Casualty File
    • Korean War Deaths, 1950-1954
    • United States, World War One (WWI) Draft Registration Cards,1917-1918
    • US Army Casualty File, 1961-1981
    • Vietnam War Casualties
    • Vietnam War Casualties Returned Alive
    • Vietnam War Deaths
    • World War II Army Enlistment Records
    • World War II POWs
    • and international military record collection
    The Findmypast.com Blog also features a series of great infographics from MyMilitaryBase.com about U.S. military families.

    Disclosure: I received a complimentary subscription to MyHeritage, but have no obligation to favorably review the website.

    Wednesday
    May222013

    Wordless Wednesday: Can You Identify This Military Unit?

    This image was digitized from a negative found in my grandmother's trunk of old photos and documents. The date and place are unidentified, but it seems to be part of a series of photos that may have been taken in Texas. Any ideas what these young men might be up to?

    I first discovered this photograph in 2008 and wrote about it in Treasure Revealed! but I'm no closer to knowing more about the picture today than I was then. Any ideas?

    Monday
    May202013

    Don't Miss #SCGS13 Jamboree

    Geneabloggers Lisa Alzo and Thomas MacEntee always have a great time at Jamboree!

    Early Bird Registration Closes 24 May

    You still have time to register for the upcoming Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in Burbank June 7-9, and the Family History and DNA Day on Thursday, June 6. Jamboree gets bigger and better with something new each year.

    The 2013 conference will kick-off Thursday with Family History and DNA: Genetic Genealogy in 2013 featuring Spencer Wells, PhD. and Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Then, on Friday, the 44th Annual SCGS Genealogy Jamboree will open with 50 speakers, 70 exhibitors, and 150 sessions.

    Join us for the Sunday morning Scholarship Breakfast where I will introduce Michael Savoca,  recipient of the 2013 Suzanne Winsor Freeman Student Genealogy Grant. Jamboree is Mike's first national conference -- be sure to say "Hi" when you see him in June.

    Register soon to take advantage of the Early Bird pricing!

     

    Randy Seaver and Angel Linda will be there too! 

    Tuesday
    May142013

    Hitting the Jackpot at #NGS2013

    Ten Tweets to Richmond

     

    With Mystery Judge Gena Philibert-Ortega
    (photo courtesy Randy Seaver and Kathryn Doyle) 

    The NGS Las Vegas Twitter Challenge was a fun event encouraging attendees to tweet as they completed ten (fairly challenging) tasks throughout the conference week. Each task required a photo and inclusion of the official challenge hashtag #ngs2013hunt, as well as the challenge number. In addition, participants were encouraged to incorporate the conference theme -- Building New Bridges -- in some way.

    Rather than a blind drawing for all participants, the "most creative and innovative entry overall" would be selected as the winner by a secret judge. Whew! 

    With encouragement of my genealogy blogging friends, I managed to complete all ten tasks AND be present for the announcement of the winner. It was a good thing Kathryn Doyle was keeping up on all the news, because my car was packed and I was nearly headed home early for Mom's Day when I got her message to stick around for the final announcement.

    Gena Philibert-Ortega was revealed to be the mystery judge and announced the winners -- Holly Simmons and Denise Levenick! Woo-hoo. Looks like I'll be headed to Richmond next spring. Thank you VERY MUCH NGS!

    #NGS2013Hunt Twitterstream

    Genealogy Dress Code: Hard Hats Required (kilt wearers exempt)! #NGS2013hunt Challenge1 http://t.co/edeCrE8zVI

     

    No lunchbox & thermos needed at the BCG luncheon. #NGS2013hunt challenge 2 with Diane Gravel & Joan Peake. http://t.co/wylzzoWQ3t

     Checking out new tools for building bridges w/NGS publications. #NGS2013hunt Challenge#3. http://t.co/DXRKHPIDjh 

    Found a helpful NGS Ask Me volunteer who fixed my specs without any tools! thanks Lenny! #NGS2013hunt Challenge 4 http://t.co/B7upZJ8wXR

    #NGS2013 Exhibit Hall buzzing.Talked w/Treelines about gr8 new tool to build bridges betwn now/then. #NGS2013hunt #5 http://t.co/9rN2903Xqx

     

    Spreadsheet as #genealogy tool for building bridges to ancestors' past w Jill Crandall #NGS2013hunt Geek Chlng 6 http://t.co/pXeT7iILd9

    Yes, it's Vegas, Baby for #NGS2013. Ready to build new bridges. #NGS2013hunt Challenge 7 http://t.co/Plx35KGDpV

    @walkingyourtree wins longest #NGS2013 badge WOW! She could build a bridge with those ribbons! #NGS2013hunt clue 8 http://t.co/8NsSdT2VrD

    Networking about building bridges with Pam Eagleson & Stefani Evans for #NGS2013hunt challenge #9 http://t.co/WgbkK2Qzfk

    Rubbing shoulders w/ NGS celeb Laura deGrazia, she knows the best tools for NY Research #NGS2013hunt Challenge 10 http://t.co/QPAYAA7aHl

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