Monday, February 23, 2015

Yet another reason to join the National Genealogical Society

"One of the best ways to learn problem-solving techniques is to analyze NGSQ case studies," writes editor Melissa Johnson, CG, in the brand-new first issue of the on-line NGS Monthly. "Case studies demonstrate how challenging genealogical questions can be answered." Since every problem is a little different, stop looking for one-shot cure-alls and rules, and see the examples published quarterly in NGSQ and analyzed monthly in the new magazine.

If you've tried the National Genealogical Society Quarterly and found it tough sledding, NGS Monthly may be your gateway to a whole new level of research and analysis. If you're a member, the February 2015 issue should be in your email. If not, join here.

Thursday, February 19, 2015


It would appear from multiple reports on Facebook that RootsTech's record-breaking audience also included a number of intellectual property thieves, some who knew better and some who didn't. You need explicit permission to take pictures of a presentation or copy the handout. Without that permission you might as well be snatching their wallet.

Friend and colleague Judy Russell was there and sets us all straight at her blog, The Legal Genealogist. I was not in attendance (I don't do celebrities), but perhaps the organizers could find someone to croon a catchy tune about the Eighth Commandment and/or federal copyright law.

And it's possible to do that without insulting your audience. I remember the country auctioneer in western Illinois who always used to tell people to keep an eye on their stuff: "I know everybody here is honest, but we don't know who might show up later!"

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Why was the first public orphanage built in 1790 in Charleston, South Carolina?

In the Winter 2015 issue of the Utah Genealogical Association's quarterly Crossroads, I review John F. Murray's book, The Charleston Orphan House: Children's Lives in the First Public Orphanage in America. "No nuance, no child, no foster mother is left behind in this revealing and riveting book."