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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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    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 --



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


    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!



    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).


    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 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.


    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!

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