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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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    Monday
    Jan262015

    Setting Genealogy Goals With Blogging Buddy Amy Coffin

    Amy denise 2014

    Almost every holiday season since 2009 blogging buddy Amy Coffin of the WeTree Blog and I have met up in the real world for a genealogy break. We set aside the gift returns, Christmas cleanup, and dirty dishes to review the last year and set out a few objectives for the months ahead. One year we even managed to sneak in a few memorable hours researching city directories at the Los Angeles Public Library. It's great fun to look back at 2010 and see what we accomplished.

    This year, we picked a rendezvous spot midway between Amy's family in Riverside and my home in Pasadena. We pretty much decided that we had done a fair job meeting our goals for the previous years, and should try it again in 2015. Amy came prepared with paper and pen, but I had to make do with the Notes app on my smartphone. Once again we each set goals in three areas. The only rule is that is has to be something actually doable, which eliminates "finishing" our genealogy by December. 

    My goals are:

    Organizational -- To move my blog to WordPress and create a reference archive of articles that is easy for readers to access. [Right now I'm a bit stuck on the tech part of this goal, but I'm working on it.]

    Research -- To finish my D.A.R. application at last! And, then, to work more on my Brown line.

    Writing -- To write a short e-book. I just finished a new print book due out in April, How to Archive Family Photos, and I'm looking for a shorter project that will let me learn the whole ebook process. Since Amy's Big Genealogy Blog Book grew out of our 2011 Genealogy Goals, I know I have a mentor when I run into a snag and need help. 

    Amy will be sharing her 2015 goals over at the WeTree Blog. I can hardly believe that we've been doing this for over five years, but if our progress is any indication, setting goals with a friend really works! I'm fortunate indeed to have met Amy a few years ago at the SCGS Jamboree, and have to echo her question:

    So genealogy friends, are you up to the challenge in 2015?

    Tuesday
    Jan202015

    Organize Your Genealogy NOW!

    Organize Your Genealogy In a Week

    Save 20% on Any Course at Family Tree University with Offer Code FTUCOURSE. Expires 03/10/2015.

    January is National Get Organized Month, and if you are looking for a boost to your genealogy organizing resolutions, check out Family Tree University's upcoming  Organize Your Genealogy in a Week online workshop where I will be on-hand to answer questions and share tips to help you be an organized genealogist in 2015. 

    A new year brings out the best of intentions in all of us -- I know that I'm looking at a pile of papers and a flash drive filled with digital images from my recent trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. And everything needs to be labeled, filed, and organized so I can use this great information in my family history research. My goal is to process this new batch of material before this Friday, when we'll be talking more about organizing your genealogy at the FTU workshop.

    You can access the Organize Your Genealogy in a Week workshop anytime, anywhere, from your computer, tablet, or smartphone January 23rd through January 31st, 2015. The course features:

    • Six 30 to 60 minute instructional videos, and two written lessons on organizing your digital and paper genealogy. 
    • Advice from expert Denise May Levenick, author of How to Archive Family Keepsakes, (that's me!) on how to organize your research, and share your quandaries with fellow participants.
    • Unlimited viewing: Your all-access pass gets you into all videos throughout the week—you can even download the videos to watch again later or view ones you missed.
    • Make your own schedule: Because the classes are pre-recorded, you don’t have to show up at a specific time to catch the ones you want—or choose between sessions you’re interested in.
    • Message board discussions: Ask questions and share ideas to apply the research strategies you learn.
    • Convenience: Log in anywhere you can connect to the internet, at whatever times work for you.

    If you've been struggling with an avalanche papers, digital files, photos, memorabilia, and research notes, you'll find practical strategies to help you conquer the mess and find more time for your research.

    Sign up today for this one-week organizing course and Save 20% with this special coupon code:

    Save 20% on Any Course at Family Tree University with Offer Code FTUCOURSE. Expires 03/10/2015.

    And, in the meantime, you can get ready for the workshop by checking out the latest issue of the Genealogy Insider where Editor Diane Haddad offers Tips from the Pros: Baby Steps to Organize Your Genealogy from my article in Family Tree Magazine May/June 2014 issue.

    Monday
    Jan192015

    Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy Photo Album

    New England Experts

    Course coordinator Josh Taylor and instructors Cathi Desmarais and
    Diane Gravel presented five days filled with inside tips for learning more about
    New England ancestors in “Digging Deeper: Advanced New England Research.”

     

    I’m home from a great week at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) and already thinking about “next steps” for research uncovered in the Family History library collections with help from the instructors and course lessons. l  As a native Californian, I especially appreciated the compact New England history timelines, migration lore, and repository background. 

    In class, I learned what you need to research Connecticut records (a state genealogy society membership card), where to look for early printed sermons (Worcester, Mass.), and why it’s worth making friends with the Town Clerk (insider tips!). At the library, I narrowed my searches and found new records full of surprises.  

    The Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) holds a unique place among genealogy courses and institutes — it’s held in Salt Lake City near the extensive collections of the Family History Library and in recent years has been scheduled immediately following the Association of Professional Genealogists’ Professional Management Conference. The result is a busy two-weeks of genealogy meetings and meet-ups for researchers at all levels of experience.

    Sunday Brunch Bunch at SLIG 2015

    Genealogists have to eat too! Here’s a bunch at 
    Sunday Brunch at the Marriott Hotel. 

    Dinner at the Blue Iguana

    Blogger meet-up at the Blue Iguana in Salt Lake City with (from left)
    Shelley Bishop, me, Susan Clark, and Michelle Goodrum.
     

    The week-long Institute concluded Friday evening with the traditional Completion Banquet, featuring speaker David Rencher who shared the story of a small bundle of family letters that held the key to a decades-long family struggle with an Arizona land claim. At one suspenseful point, the slide changed to show a name and photo and a voice shouted from the back of the room: “That’s my third times great-grandfather!” It was Josh Taylor discovering something new about his ancestors, and a new connection to David Rencher. Only at a genealogy event!

    The evening continued with the Utah Genealogical Association annual awards presentations: Pamela Boyer Sayers and Rick Sayers were named as UGA Fellows, and Judy G. Russell was awarded the Silver Plate Award for excellence in publications. It’s a wonderful acknowledgement of their outstanding contributions to genealogy excellence and education. I feel fortunate to have attended lectures and courses presented by each one.

    UGA President Bret Petersen also announced the new courses for SLIG 2016 and introduced the new director Peg Ivanyo as Christy Davies Fillerup retires after four years as SLIG director. Christy was presented with the UGA Presidental Award, and will continue as Managing Editor of the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly.

    Judy Russell with Paula Williams

    Paula Williams congratulating cousin Judy Russell (right),
    recipient of the  UGA Silver Plate Award.

    SLIG Banquet 2015

    At the Completion Banquet with (from left) Michelle Goodrum, 
    Jamie Mayhew, Susan Clark and Paul Woodbury.

     

     

    Monday
    Jan122015

    This Just Looks Like Salt Lake City

    Sharon Church

    My family thinks I’m in Salt Lake City this week attending the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, fondly known as SLIG, but I’m actually in New England (virtually) tramping through churchyards and property boundaries in pursuit of my elusive ancestors. Tour guides Josh Taylor, with New Hampshire expert Diane Gravel and Vermont expert Cathi Desmarais, have planned a great schedule for “Diving Deeper into New England” and I plan to take advantage of every opportunity to channel my deepest northeastern roots.

    Sharon VT

    Sponsored each year by the Utah Genealogical Association, SLIG offers five days of intensive genealogy instruction in eleven tracks, including classes in DNA analysis, U.S. and German research, genealogy writing, and methodology. The institute follows the Association of Professional Genealogists annual Professional Management Conference, and many researchers have taken an extended sabbatical to attend both events. I’m enjoying catching up with old friends and meeting virtual friends face-to-face. 

    I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be this week than in New England, but with the recent Eastern winter storms I’m one happy genealogist in Salt Lake City.

    FHL 2014

    Wednesday
    Dec312014

    Blog Posts I Almost Wrote in 2014, and a Few I Finished

    Lady typing

    I have a hard time getting a post from inspiration to publication. Sometimes, the words come easily. More often, I start to write, stutter, delete, start over, stammer, until I either push through to the final thoughts or hit the big red Delete button. Sometimes, a crisis intervenes mid-sentence and by the time I return to the post I've lost whatever thread I was chasing. Sigh. Such is the life of a blogger.

    5 Posts That Might Yet Be

    Who knows? One day, the Post Status on these Drafts may even change to Published:

    3 Things  -- This brief post on my Three Favorite Tech Gadgets appears finished except for one thing: a good title. Alas, doomed to Draft Status all for the want of a title. Any ideas?

    Unexpected Family History Discoveries at the Allen County Public Library -- Now why is this a Draft? It's a long article completed after FGS 2013 at Fort Wayne. Maybe the cat jumped on my keyboard and hit the Draft button. Another article to "review" and post.

    Murder and Mayhem: How Dreadfully Delicious -- Reading between the lines of this post title and skimming the few completed paragraphs, I can only guess where this article was going. . .  Maybe a visit to Shades of the Departed and footnoteMaven?

    More About Metadata -- Maybe this was a "need to write" title. I need a little "more" to go on here.

    Looking for a Texas Connection with T.W. and Maude (Chamblin) Saunders -- No article, just a title. I know what  happened here, though. I read another blogger's account of connecting with cousins because of a blog post and decided to throw out the bait. Unfortunately, I must have gotten lost on my way to the worm box.

    5 Top Posts of 2014

    Photo Tutorial: How to Relax and Rehumidify Old Rolled Photographs and Documents -- This post is The Family Curator's most popular, and most controversial, post of all time. Is it  safe? Is it a good idea? Will it work? All I can say, is "It worked for me!"

    Four Tried and True Systems for Organizing Genealogy Research -- A short round-up of genealogy organizing systems. 

    Tech Tuesday: Streamlined Scanning with a Genealogy Photo Workflow -- A peek at my scanning setup and workflow solution.

    Is It Worth the Trouble to Clean Dirty Old Negatives -- I tried two different methods; check out the results.

    Microfilm to Megapixel: Use a Digital Camera as a Film Scanner -- Discussion and review of my experiment in digital film photography at the Family History Center.

    Thank you for joining me at The Family Curator. Let me know what you enjoy reading, and what you'd like to know more about; your comments are the best part of this adventure.  See you in 2015!

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