Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Role of the Genealogical Society in the 21st Century

Speaker: Jana Sloan Broglin, CG

This lecture shows different ways of getting your society's name out to the public. Examples of the Ohio Genealogical Society's website, images of the Award Winning Ohio Genealogical Society Newsmagazine as well as the OGSQ (Ohio Genealogical Society Quarterly), member benefits and society benefits, plus awards is discussed. Many societies "blame" the internet for a loss in membership. In 2005, OGS gained 200 new members putting membership over 6,000. . .
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Speaker Bio:

Jana says: My family has lived in Fulton County, Ohio, for 156 years, which is good since the county wasn't formed until 156 years ago! I first got interested in family history on March 3, 1960. Not many people can actually pinpoint the date of their passion with genealogy, but I can. My mother (whose birthday was March 3) and I were looking at the "minutes" from the Brailey family reunion on March 3. Looking at the dates, we discovered my mother's maternal grandmother was born March 3, 1860, precisely 100 years to the day earlier. It was quite a surprise as my mom never knew she was born on her grandmother's birthday. I was hooked.

Family history seemed real to me. My maternal grandmother (Lou Kennedy Beard) was one of six sisters known in town as the Kennedy Girls. Their stories intrigued of early girls high school sports to making too many pancakes. In high school, I was fascinated with American History. Since I had the knowledge of my own family on the Kennedy side going back to the American Revolution, I could see the role my family played in the developing of the country.

Genealogy was put on hold during my college years. In 1970, I began dating my future husband; marriage, a daughter, and life in general had me doing my own research sporadically. (Our daughter married in 2000 and our family grew again in 2004 with the birth of our grandson). [Editor’s note – Jana just might share a picture of the grandson if you twist her arm!]

By 1980, our local genealogical society was formed. I made the "mistake" of attending. I was hooked all over again. In 1984, I received an appointment to the board of the Ohio Genealogical Society, staying on the board (except for a few years) since that time. Through the Ohio Genealogical Society, I have been conference chair, query editor, bylaws review chair and district trustee serving six counties in northwest Ohio. In 2002 I was elected to the Federation of Genealogical Societies board and am now FGS Vice President of Membership.

I've been speaking at national genealogical societies since 2003, but have traveled in different states presenting programs. It is rewarding to see the "light bulb" go on over an attendees head as they have the "I got it!" look.

In November 2000, I received the award as "Kentucky Colonel" for books published on Kentucky's early wills and estates. My main love is still the researching in the courthouses and libraries. This drive led me to apply and receive my certification (BCG) in November 2005.

And to think, it all began with stories my grandma told me.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

FGS/NEGHS Conference Registration Early Discount Deadline

Thirty seven days
37 days
Just over five weeks

No matter how you put it, the deadline for the early registration discount for this conference is inching closer. As of May 25th, the deadline is just thirty-seven days away. If you register (postmarked or online) by July 1st, you save $30.00 off the full registration price.

It is easy to register online at the FGS Website. The site includes

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lists of speakers and lecture titles, including on which day each is presented. This site also includes details of luncheons and banquets which are an exciting part of each FGS Conference. These do require an extra fee per meal and seasoned conference goers know they need to register for several of these meals. The site also has details on the conference hotel, travel agent, and other helpful information.

As speakers provide FGS with extended details on a lecture or luncheon talk, along with some more biographical information, these are posted on this blog. This is a neat way to gain more insight into the topic, the speaker’s expertise, and to be wowed at the backgrounds of the speakers we will be fortunate to hear later this summer. The blog is also the place to check as the weeks move nearer to the conference for additional details and suggestions for conference registrants. There is no charge to check this blog or to skim over the months of postings dating back to last September. (See Archives connections in the right hand column of this page.)

If you have any questions, please contact:

Paula Stuart-Warren, CG
FGS/NEHGS Conference National Publicity Chair

or the FGS Office at

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Volunteer at the FGS Conference

Volunteer for the 2006 FGS/NEHGS Conference

No annual conference can occur with the assistance of volunteers, and we need your help to make this event a success. Volunteers will be needed to stuff bags, staff the registration booth and hospitality table provide directions, and myria other tasks. You can even volunteer while attending sessions as a room monitor!

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Volunteers are sought for the following shifts:

Tuesday, August 29
10:00 a.m., Stuffing Registration Packets
3:00-7:00 p.m., Registration Booth
3:00-6:00 p.m., Hospitality Desk

Wednesday, August 30 - Saturday, September 2
Registration Booth, Hospitality and Corridor Desk, Exhibition Hall Entrance
7:00-8:45 a.m.
8:45-10:00 a.m.
10:00-1:45 p.m.
1:30-3:15 p.m.
3:15-6:00 p.m.

Room monitors are necessary for every lecture throughout the confrence. Volunteers may register for a single shift or a block of time. They may choose to work in the same location for the duration, or in several different areas.

For more information or to volunteer, please contact NEHGS/FGS volunteer coordinator Susan Rosefsky at or 617-226-1276.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Spotlight on Local Speakers: Cherry Fletcher Bamberg

As the editor of Rhode Island Roots, the journal of the Rhode Island Genealogical Society, Cherry Fletcher Bamberg, is always on the look-out for stories from the Ocean State. . .

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She's the author/editor of many books and articles on Rhode Island including The Diary of Capt. Samuel Tillinghast of Warwick, Rhode Island, 1757-1766 (RIGS, 2000).

Her lecture on the 1774 Colonial Census of Rhode Island, "People of Color at Warwick RI in 1774: Putting Names to the Numbers" is on Saturday (S-318). She'll discuss her techniques for identifying people of color in Warwick prior to the Revolution and tell the tales of Sampson Spywood, Fora Barton, Prosper Gorton, Tamar Rice and Newport Wickes among others.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Update on the Conference Hotel

Michael J. Leclerc, Conference Co-Chair of 2006 FGS/NEHGS has an update on the host hotel, the Boston Sheraton

The 2006 FGS/NEHGS Conference, Birthplace of American Genealogy, is attracting participants from all over the world. Just a note to let you know that the overall room block at the conference hotel is almost full and that the block for Tuesday and Wednesday is already full. But there is good news . . .
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We are working to increase the number of rooms that will be available, and hope to have that in place over the next couple of days. It was completely unexpected that we would fill up this quickly and will let you all know as soon as we can about the availability of additional room nights. On the plus side, it is kind of nice to have the problem of so many people booking into the conference hotel. :-)

The Sheraton Boston at 39 Dalton Street is the conference hotel. It is conveniently attached to the Hynes Convention Center through the Shops at Prudential Center. The conference registration, lecture halls, and the Exhibit Hall will all be in the Hynes Convention Center. All of the meal events for the conference will be held at the Sheraton. Rooms are $159 per night for single/double and $40 per night for each additional person. This is an incredible savings over the regular room rate of $299 per night.

To make a reservation, contact the Sheraton at 617-236-2000. Be sure to identify yourself as part of the Federation of Genealogical Societies 2006 Conference to get the discount.

For more information about the conference and to register online, visit the 2006 conference section on the FGS Website.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Backgrounds of Conference Speakers

This afternoon I decided to read through the bios of the 2006 FGS/NEHGS conference speakers at The diversity and breadth of the education, occupations, expertise, interests, and volunteerism is astounding. Reading these is a bit like peeking into their lives. A rather quick tally of these limited-word bios shows: . . .

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  • More than a dozen currently work full-time in the archival field
  • Another dozen or so work full-time in the field of history
  • Almost twenty work professionally as librarians
  • Over sixty are authors, editors, and/or writers in the fields of history and genealogy and some in other areas of interest
  • Almost fifty are genealogical educators as teachers and/or lecturers

The degrees speakers have earned encompass history, engineering, veterinary medicine, photography, technology, law, geography, mathematics, library science, and other disciplines. A large number of these have earned advanced degrees. You will get to hear from college professors, high school teachers, law enforcement specialists, software developers, website creators, world travelers, research tour leaders, manuscript collection curators, political advisors, business administration specialists, professional genealogists and many with extensive expertise in technology.

I have a bit of a disclaimer on these tallies – I included personal knowledge of the interests and occupations of some of the speakers for these tallies. In a future blog posting we will look at the ethnic interests, places of residence, genealogy professionals, and a few other areas. This is an impressive group of people that we are privileged to have sharing their expertise at this conference.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Finding Other Topics of Speakers

It's easy to check which other lectures are being presented by the speakers featured on this blog.

Check the FGS website for these and for details on the other speakers and lectures. Click on the FGS Conferences tab and when you get to the page for the 2006 Conference scroll, down below the conference logo to find the links to conference and program information. This is also the place for easy and secure online registration.

Does the conference logo intrigue you? Check out its significance on the September blog archives. Simply click on the archives link located in the right-hand column of the blog page you are currently reading. (September 28th posting.)

Death and Burial, Peasant Ireland in the 19th Century

Speaker: Seán S. Ò’Dùill, B.A., H.Dip.

The traditions of the West of Ireland were not exceptional. Many of these traditions were shared throughout Ireland in the 18th and 19th centuries and were part of a wider western European tradition. Some of the topics Sean will cover in his talk are:
- Importance of subject , Cult of the dead
- Animism, Pagan, Fairy, Supernatural
- Social purpose and disease prevention . . .

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- Signs of impending death, reading the mind of God or the Augaries
- The wake: respect and disrespect, wake games and hooleys
- The funeral, digging the grave, the "Hungry Grass"
- Three steps for mercy

Sean told the blog that his lecture is in English with contributions in the Hiberno-English as spoken in Louisburgh, County Mayo. He learned this form of English at his grandparents' knees. [For more on the Hiberno-English check Wikipedia]

Speaker Bio:

Sean O'Duill is a fluent Irish speaker from Louisburgh, Co. Mayo. He teaches in St. Declan's College, Cabra, Dublin and has published many articles in Irish and English on various aspects of Irish Folklore. He first lectured to genealogists and family historians at the 4th Irish Genealogical Congress in Trinity College Dublin. He lectured for the first time in America at the Irish Seminar sponsored by NEHGS in 2003. In 2004, he presented 3 folklore lectures to the International Genealogical Festival in Sligo.

He has been a speaker at the NGS Research trips to Ireland 1999-2002, New England Historic and Genealogical Society Research trips 2002-2003, and most recently was a featured speaker for the TIARA 2005 research trip to Dublin. In 2005 Sean was the keynote speaker at the National Genealogical Society Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. Many in the audience were not of Irish descent, but they thoroughly enjoyed his presentation on matchmaking and marriage traditions.

The source of Sean's research is the 1937 Irish Folklore Commission School Project which was designed to gather and preserve the richness of Irish folklore through school children of 12 to 14 years. By interviewing their grandparents and neighbors in the parish, they were able to reach back to just after the famine period and record the treasures of their elders. Sean declares himself to be "of the folk" and as he is from within the tradition, he can bring to life the voices of the children, their ancestors and ours.

Sean's career as an educator of adults is developing while his career as teacher of high school students has just ended with his retirement. This next phase of his life will probably lead him to many places in Ireland, the U.S., Canada, and the wider world wherever there are Irish descendants keen to learn more about the lives their Irish ancestors lead and to understand the many traditions they brought from Ireland to their new countries.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Researching Irish Genealogy: Planning is the Key to Success

Speaker: Eileen M. Ò’Dùill, CG, CGL

Eileen shared some extended info about her lecture for blog readers:
This lecture is designed to help researchers who have already familiarized themselves with the records available through their local Family History Centers. Resources in Ireland which will bring you to the next level will be discussed. The preparatory research necessary before embarking for Ireland and advice on the best use of time while in Ireland will be reviewed. Handy hints, gathered from experienced American researchers in Ireland will be shared.

Her "insider's guide" to repositories and resources in Ireland will . . .

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map out an effective research strategy and avoid the most commonly made mistakes. All of the major Dublin repositories will be discussed particularly the free Genealogical Advisory Services in the National Library and National Archives. An update on changes in the General Register Office in Dublin will be provided as well as a discussion of what they have planned for researcher access now that the computerization is nearly complete.

Speaker Bio:

Eileen Ò’Dùill, (nee O'Sullivan) was raised in Queens, New York, one of 7 children of Irish parents. She obtained a B.A. in history from Emmanuel College, Boston and an M.A. in history from New York University. In 1974, she followed her heart to Ireland where she met and married Sean O'Duill. Sean is a Mayo man with a great love for the Irish language. [Also a conference speaker and his bio will be posted soon on this blog.]

The Ò’Dùill's have 5 Irish speaking children: Rita, a secondary school teacher, Caitlin a primary school teacher, Sorcha a medical doctor, Sean, a post-graduate student at National University of Ireland at Maynooth and Laura, a Leaving Certificate (high school) student.

Eileen was fortunate in 1991 when she was able to turn a lifelong hobby into a business providing a professional genealogical research service. Being an American living in Ireland has enabled her to have a unique perspective on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean and an understanding of her fellow countrymen in their quest for their Irish heritage.

Eileen has lectured at Federation of Genealogical Societies conferences in Ontario, California (2002) and in Orlando Florida (2003). She has also spoken at National Genealogical Society Conferences in Richmond, Virginia, Providence Rhode Island, Milwaukee Wisconsin, and Nashville, Tennessee.

Eileen has been a guest on several Irish Radio shows including the Gay Byrne Radio Show, Liveline and Family Tree. In 2000, Eileen co-authored Irish Civil Registration- Where Do I Begin? with Steven ffeary Smyrl and is recognized as an expert on the General Register Office. She has been admitted as expert genealogical witness at kinship hearings in the Surrogate Courts of New York State between 1991-2005.