Seton Shields Genealogical Grants *


179 grants awarded since May 2000!


What Do You Mean by "Genealogical Grants"?
Genealogical societies, local and specialized libraries, and avid genealogists are always short of the funds they need to buy appropriate books and CDs, acquire the necessary computers and peripherals, get collected information into print, and pursue other projects. I'd like to take a tiny step toward addressing this problem.

If you represent an organization which serves the genealogical community at large - or if you serve a smaller community (perhaps you produce a family newsletter, host a website, organize reunions or some such thing) -- and find yourself shy of necessary funds, please consider filling out the form below to apply for a small grant. I will review all submissions and periodically select one for a donation. My goal is one per month. Submissions will remain active candidates for six months from the date of receipt. Hint: I find myself drawn to innovative ideas that can serve as a model to others! Why not give it a go?

I'm just one person, so I can only give small amounts, but I'm operating on the optimistic principle that every little bit helps. For the few minutes it takes to complete this form, you may be able to buy that handful of books or that scanner that's been on your wish list for so long.

What's the Catch?
There is none. Honest. I have had so much fun with genealogy for three decades and have benefited from the help of countless other genealogists. Now it's my turn to give back to the genealogical community.

Read More about Megan's Seton Shields Genealogical Grant program in this Wall Street Journal article.

Current Seton Shields Genealogical Grants

November 2014
Alex Trapps-Chabala began, at age 15, to research his 5th Great Grandfather, Jordan B. Noble, a drummer in Andrew Jackson's militia who played an important role in the Battle of New Orleans. Alex will be attending commemorative events to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans. While there, he will be presenting information on the life of his ancestor, who gained fame throughout his life both for his music and his role in the history of New Orleans. The grant award will fund copies of records at the New Orleans Public Library to help further Alex's research.

October 2014

Queen of Creole Cuisine

Leah Chase is known as the "Queen of Creole Cuisine," but she's so much more than that–a patron of the arts, a civil rights leader, a champion of New Orleans–you name it. She's a truly remarkable woman, (and full disclosure: I researched her roots), so when I saw that a documentary of her life is being filmed, I wanted to help make it possible for more people to hear her story. You can help bring the project to life, as well, by pledging your support to the crowdsourcing campaign on Kickstarter.

September 2014
Five-Finger Discount

I loved the book, Five-Finger Discount, by Helene Stapinski. Then to learn that a documentary about this dramatic, multi-generational saga – featuring a cast of swindlers, bookies, embezzlers, political "fixers" and mobster wannabes – is in process...well, how great is that? The film will explore how families and cities grow and change, through the medium of Helene's journey from past to present. It's a great story and I'm proud to be supporting the film with a grant award. If you feel as drawn to the story, as I am, you'll be happy to know that you can help bring this film to life, too, by supporting the crowdsourcing project at Kickstarter.

Apply for a Grant

* Who is Seton Shields? My remarkable mother. Naming this grants program after her is one small way to keep her memory alive, though she's no longer with us.


Learn about the LUCKY 13 grants initiative!
Learn about the LUCKY 13
grants initiative!

To review all awards from the past fourteen years, please mouse-over the 'Grants' option in the menu at the top of the page.


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