A New Genealogists’ Declaration of Rights: You Can Sign It

genealogists declaration of rightsA new Genealogists’ Declaration of Rights was announced before a crowd of more than 2,500 genealogists at the NGS 2014 Family History Conference in Richmond, Virginia recently. Jordan Jones, President of the National Genealogical Society (NGS), a sponsoring member of the Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC).

According to the NGS Press Release, “The Declaration of Rights is a statement advocating open access to federal, state, and local public records. The Declaration affirms America’s long history of open public records, which has been threatened the last few years over concerns about identity theft and privacy. The Records Preservation and Access Committee has worked with state and federal legislators as well as local public officials for more than twenty years in support of legislation and regulations that achieve a balance between access and privacy. The Declaration of Rights has been approved by the board of directors of the three sponsoring organizations: The National Genealogical Society (NGS), the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), and the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS).”
Genealogists from all over the U.S. signed the Declaration at NGS, and will continue to do so in the coming months at the IAJGS Conference on Jewish Genealogy in Salt Lake City, Utah (27 July–1 August) and the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference in San Antonio, Texas (27–30 August). You can click here to sign it electronically if you would like to (though you can’t do it in person.)

The press release further states, “Genealogists advocate the right of access to records held by government agencies including but not limited to vital records (births, marriages, deaths, divorces); land conveyances and mortgages; tax assessments; guardianships; probates of estates; criminal proceedings; suits of law and equity; immigration; military service and pensions; and acts of governmental entities. Genealogists further advocate that they need to be allowed access to original records when photocopies, microfilm, digital images, or other formats are insufficient to establish clear text, context, or completeness of the record. The rights of genealogists specified in the Declaration object to numerous barriers created to deny them access to records.

“Thousands of professional genealogists do research every day on behalf of clients, government agencies, and attorneys. Of particular note are the many forensic genealogists who assist the Department of Defense in locating heirs for the repatriation of remains from previous wars; assist county coroners in the identification of unclaimed persons; work with attorneys in locating missing and unknown heirs involving estates, trusts, real estate quiet title actions, oil and gas and mineral rights, and other similar legal transactions; trace and track heritable medical conditions where finding distant cousins can facilitate early treatment and possibly prevent a premature death; research stolen art and artifacts for repatriation; and identify American Indians, Native Alaskans, and Native Hawaiians to determine eligibility for tribal benefits.”

Registration Now Open for the FGS 2020 Virtual Conference

fgs conference 2020

FGS Conference 2020

PRESS RELEASE 7/1/2020 – Austin, TX.

Registration is now open for the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ Virtual Family History Conference!

The virtual event will begin with FGS “Live!” on September 2, 2020, starting at 11:00 a.m. (EDT) and concluding at 7:00 p.m. (EDT). In addition to the Live! event, all conference registrations will include a collection of 16 society management sessions assembled by FGS and more than 30 sponsored sessions. The registration packages allow you to further select either 10, 20 or 45 sessions from the On-Demand content from leading genealogists (more than 80 sessions from which to choose). All registration packages include online access to our digital conference syllabus. A special commemorative goody bag is included with the 45-session package. If you had already registered for the FGS conference in Kansas City, your registration will convert to the 20-session conference package. For more information, visit our conference website.

The FGS Live! event will feature lectures from some of the most popular genealogy speakers:

  • David E. Rencher, “FGS: Celebrating the Past and the Future”
  • Judy G. Russell, “Quarantined! Genealogy, The Law & Public Health”
  • Ari Wilkins, “Scaling the 1870 Brick Wall in African American Research”
  • Thomas W. Jones, “Building a Respectable Genealogy, One Documented Biography at a Time”
  • CeCe Moore, “Strategies of “The Genetic Detective””
  • Lisa Louise Cooke, “The 2020 Genealogist’s Google Search Methodology”

The Live! event will also include special presentations from our two Platinum sponsors:

  • Ancestry’s “Journey to “Roots Less Traveled””
  • Ron Tanner of FamilySearch, “What’s New at FamilySearch”

An online chat will take place during the Live! event and there will be a Q&A session following each session.

The following two-hour workshops will also be held on September 3-4:

  • Angie Bush, “Using the “What are the Odds” (WATO) Tool” on 9/3/2020
  • Cari Taplin, “Using Google’s My Maps as a Planning & Analysis Tool” on 9/3/2020
  • Angie Bush, “Latest Developments in Company Tools for DNA” on 9/4/2020
  • Pam Vestal, “What the Heck Does That Say” on 9/4/2020

For a full description of the registration packages, a list of the available On-Demand content, a list of all of the free sessions, and much more information, visit our conference website.

About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was founded in 1976 and empowers the genealogical and family history community, especially its societies and organizations, by advocating for the preservation and access of records and providing resources that enable genealogical organizations to succeed in pursuing their missions. FGS helps genealogical societies and family history enthusiasts alike to strengthen and grow through online resources, FGS FORUM magazine, and through its annual national conference. FGS launched the Preserve the Pensions project in 2010 to raise more than $3 million to digitize and make freely available the pension files from the War of 1812. Fundraising was completed for that project in 2016 and the digitization continues. FGS was also the driving force behind the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors project alongside the National Parks Service. To learn more visit fgs.org.

Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 260

Your Guide to the 1950 US Federal Census

Are you ready for the release of the 1950 census from the National Archives? Lisa Louise Cooke covers how to prepare and everything you need to know to get the most out of this important genealogy record collection being released by the National Archives on April 1, 2022. Before you start searching for your family, familiarize ourselves with this important records collection and start preparing for success. 
 
This episode brings you the audio from Elevenses with Lisa episode 51 PLUS important updates. You will learn:
  • the interesting and little known stories behind the 1950 census,
  • what it can reveal about your family, (and who you will NOT find!)
  • the important documents associated with it that you can access right now!
  • The status of the Infant Cards.
  • What you can expect when it comes to indexing the collection. 
Thanks to our sponsor: Get 20% off Newspapers.com. Click here and use coupon code genealogygems 
 

Listen to Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 260

Watch the Original Video

This audio comes from my series Elevenses with Lisa. You can watch the video interview at the Elevenses with Lisa episode 51 show notes page.

 

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NGS 2015 App: A New Generation in Conference Apps

NGS conference appAre you heading to NGS this week along with us and thousands of others? Download the NGS app if you haven’t already. This free, multi-event app will work for all current and future conferences of the National Genealogical Society (U.S.).

According to conference organizers, the NGS 2015 app can “help you make the most of your trip to St. Charles before, during and after the conference.” They recommend attendees begin using  it now “so you can plan and improve your conference experience.” But the app will continue to be viable in the future as they add additional events to it.

Features include:

  • The Dashboard to keep you organized with up-to-the-minute information
  • About the NGS 2015 Family History Conference to keep all conference information in one place
  • Alerts of important real-time communications from NGS
  • Twitter feed to follow and join in on the conference can you buy medication online from canada chatter. The Twitter hashtag is #NGS2015GEN.

You can also

  • Sync your schedule across multiple devices
  • Locate exhibitors you plan to visit
  • Access a list of Local Places based on Category
  • Connect, message, and share schedules with your colleagues through the Friends feature
  • Link to syllabus material for each lecture, which will be available about 29 April 2015

The NGS Conference App is available for iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone, and web-enabled devices. Click here to download or search your app store for NGS Family History Conferences.

turtle_in_shell_400_wht_5833Are you new to attending a big genealogy conference? Click here to find a video that will help you know what to expect, how to prepare and how to get the most out of attending a conference.

Family History and DNA: Spencer Wells at SCGS

A couple of months ago, I blogged the cool news that the Southern California Genealogical Society will be sponsoring a one-day genetic genealogy conference on Thursday, June 6, 2013 in conjunction with its annual Jamboree.

In the following video interview, a news reporter chats with Spencer Wells, one of the keynote speakers for “Family History and DNA: Genetic Genealogy in 2013.” They talk about how the National Geographic Society’s Genographic Project uses DNA to place us on a worldwide family tree. Spencer even helps the reporter take his own DNA cheek scraping on live TV.

Whether you’d love a teaser for the upcoming genetic genealogy conference or you’re just interested in DNA, check out this video:

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