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Honoring Our Ancestors
June 15, 2012

Greetings Fellow Family History Sleuths,

Well, it's certainly a busy month – am bouncing around NJ, NY, DC, VA, MD and CA in June, and having lots of fun meeting my tweeps and Facebook friends. Thanks once again to the good folks at the Southern California Genealogical Jamboree for hosting yet another amazing event (look below for a few photos)! Here's hoping that your summer travels are loaded with plenty of new cousin encounters and fresh genealogical discoveries!


Photos from Jamboree 2012

Thanks to all who came to my newspaper talk! Special shout-out to the wavers! (Click to view video)

Click for video

Gearing up for another talk - newspapers!

Steve & Anita Morse - check out Steve's shirt, including his addition

Katherine Hope Borges nailed it!

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Genealogy Round Up, June 7

NARA in DC on 6/20 - pls join us! 
Megan Smolenyak, Marian Smith, John Phillip Colletta, Joel Wurl 

Name Change and Double Milestones for Genealogy Grants Program

A Look at New York City, From 1940 to Today - Interactive Feature - NYTimes.com

Sharing and Genealogy

From the good folks at Legacy Family Tree!
Reverse Genealogy: Finding the Living - webinar-on-CD

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Seton Shields Genealogical Grants

You may or may not be familiar with what I've long called the Honoring Our Ancestors Genealogical Grants Program.  In a nutshell, I make a donation to support one genealogical initative each month.  I've been steadily doing this since I first became a professional genealogist and am delighted to announced a special pair of back to back milestones.

The May 2012 grant marked the 12th anniversary of this program and the June 2012 is the 150th grant (for those who are swift with math, I occasionally give more than one grant a month, which is why the numbering is running slightly ahead of the number of months).  This seemed to call for a celebration of sorts, so I've decided to rename the program in honor of my remarkable mother.  From this point on, it will be known as the Seton Shields Genealogical Grants Program.

Here's to the next dozen years!  In the meantime, you might be interested to read about the most recent awards.

May 2012
For the 12th anniversary grant, I decided to do something I've never done before. I sought out an unsung hero - someone who probably doesn't get enough recognition for what they contribute to the genealogical world - and I selected Tom Tryniski of FultonHistory.com. If you're not familiar with this website, I'll briefly explain that Tom single-handedly scans and uploads millions of pages of newspapers, much like some larger, commercial organizations. The site initially focused on Central New York, but has branched out to include newspapers in nearby areas ranging from the Pennsylvania border to Brooklyn. I have no idea how he does it, but he does and I'm grateful, so I took advantage of the PayPal donation option he provides on the website. If you have ancestors in that area, do yourself a favor and check it out. And by the way, it's one of the more amusing websites you'll encounter!

June 2012
For the 150th grant, I opted to do something a little different. I was fortunate enough to start playing with genealogy way back in the 6th grade due to a homework assignment. Mrs. Berkowitz provided the spark for me to become a professional genealogist today. For that reason, I thought I would see whether I might be able to pass that spark along. I've long been a fan of DonorsChoose.com, an organization that allows you to browse and support school projects. Many know that education in our country is suffering and both students and teachers are affected. This is a great way to help make up for at least a little of the relentless deficits in our school budgets. So I did a little searching and picked five projects across the country that had some aspect of family, national or international history and culture associated with them. Just maybe a couple of the students will feel the pull of genealogy and contribute to our field and understanding of our history in the future.

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Genealogy Round Up, May 31

Is Elizabeth Warren Native American or What?

Speaking in NJ (twice), CA, DC & MD in June. Please join me to talk genealogy!
Megan's Calendar-Genealogy expert, speaker and author of 'Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing'

Genealogy on Pinterest

Christopher Guest plans new "Family Tree" TV series

Michelle Obama's Ancestors: 'American Tapestry' Has Holes in It

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Genealogy Round Up, May 17

Crew Members of the USS Monitor: Solving the Mystery of the Skeletons in the Turret 150 Years Later

Who's joining us in Indiana in July?
Midwestern Roots Family History and Genealogy Conference

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Upcoming Events

If you plan to be near any of the events where I'll be speaking, I would love to meet you. It's always a kick for me when folks mention that they read this newsletter, my blog, Huffington Post or whatever, so don't be shy about introducing yourself!

For more information on these events, please see my Events Calendar. And if you're interested in scheduling me, just click here.

  • June 20, 2012 - Washington, D.C - National Archives - William G. McGowan Theater - "Ellis Island and the Immigrant Experience"
  • June 26, 2012 - Basking Ridge, NJ (delivered live via Skype) - Bernards Township Library - "Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing"
  • June 29, 2012 - Annapolis, MD - Kunta Kinte - Alex Haley Foundation - "Hey America, Your Roots are Showing"
  • July 20-21, 2012 - Indianapolis, IN - Indiana Historical Society Midwestern Roots Conference - "Adventures Behind the Scenes" Panel, "Reverse Genealogy: Techniques for Finding Your Lost Loved Ones," "Cold Cases: Genealogists, Coroners and the FBI," "Hey, America, Your Roots are Showing" and "Trace Your Roots with DNA"
  • August 1, 2012 - Legacy Family Tree - "Neglected History" Webinar
  • August 2, 2012 - Haddonfield, NJ - Haddonfield Lions Club - "Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing"
  • August 18, 2012 - Williamsburg, VA - The Tidewater Genealogical Society - "Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing"
  • September 12, 2012 - New York, NY - New York Public Library - "Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing"
  • September 29, 2012 - Manassas, VA - Ruth E. Lloyd Information Center (RELIC) for Genealogy and Local History - "Cases That Made My Brain Hurt"
  • November 3, 2012 - Pensacola, FL - West Florida Genealogical Society - "Right Annie, Wrong Annie," "Trace Your Roots with DNA," "Find That Obituary! Online Newspaper Research" and "Honoring Our Ancestors"
  • November 27, 2012 - New York, NY - The New York Public Library - "Trace Your Roots with DNA"
  • April 27, 2013 - Charlevoix, MI - Charlevoix Public Library - "Reverse Genealogy: Techniques for Finding Your Lost Loved Ones," "Find That Obituary," "Right Annie, Wrong Annie" and "Cases That Made My Brain Hurt"

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