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.


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