Julie's Genealogy & History Hub

Julie's Genealogy & History Hub -

Oklahoma Genealogical Society’s 2015 Family History Writing Contest

Entries will be accepted January 1, 2015 to March 1, 2015 for the Oklahoma Genealogical Society’s 2015 Family History Writing Contest.  Everyone is invited to enter; there is no entry fee and you do not have to be a member of the society.

Submissions must be original, unpublished, and less than 2,500 words.  Winning entries will be published in the Oklahoma Genealogical Society Quarterly.

Complete rules, along with the entry form, can be found at the society’s website.  It is unclear as to whether entries must be related to Oklahoma in some way.  It appears there will be cash prizes awarded, but they are not specified.

Good luck!

Need some convincing to write about your genealogy research?  See my post 4 Reasons to Convert Your Genealogy Research Into Writing.

Feedback is a Good Thing: Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research Offers New Interactive Option for Courses

A few months ago, I received word of a new genealogical institute that would be offered in a virtual manner.  I remember being excited at the prospect of such an institute, but with my schedule and financial constraints, I was not able to jump on board and try it out. 

About a month ago, I came across Jenny Lanctot’s blog post Review: Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research (VIGR) and was curious to see what she thought.  As I had feared, Jenny’s biggest disappointment had to do with the fact that it was clearly stated that courses would be limited to 100 participants to allow for “a higher level of class participation and instructor feedback than typically offered by genealogy webinars,” and she felt that this level of interaction was not a reality.  Many of the people that commented on her post, who also attended the same course Jenny discussed, felt the same way.  Following was my response to her post:

Thanks for sharing your experience, Jenny. Having run webinars for nearly three years using GoToWebinar, I wondered how the idea of “a higher level of instructor feedback” would work, especially with the modifier of “limited class sizes of only one hundred registrants per course.” Sounds like it may not have worked out so well. There are other options available to make it a more interactive experience, but I get the feeling that this was a matter of going with what you (the organizers) know and what the genealogy community is familiar with (webinars, particularly the GTW platform). Perhaps with your feedback (as well as others who participated and felt the same way) a better solution can be implemented in the future.


Fortunately, my prediction was right.  The organizers of VIGR considered the feedback and are trying a new solution, where participants can pay an extra $30 to receive “Plus” perks that include a separate one-hour Q&A session and instructor feedback via email (details in the press release below).  I’m not sure that I agree with the solution of a “Plus” package, especially since a higher level of interaction was promised from the beginning.  But kudos to the organizers for listening to the participant’s feedback and trying to come up with a solution.

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Book Review – Guide to Genealogical Writing

GuidetoGenWritingTitle:  Guide to Genealogical Writing

Authors:  Penelope L. Stratton and Henry B. Hoff

Format:  Paperback

Published:  2014

Synopsis:  (from NEHGS website)  Whether you are new to genealogy or have been researching for years, this improved edition of our bestselling “writing guide” will help you present your findings in writing.  Using examples from NEHGS’s award-winning publications, our experts show you how to write your family history clearly and accurately—from building a genealogical sketch to adding images to indexing.  An appendix on genealogical style covers alternate spellings of names, when and how to use lineage lines, how to include adopted children and stepchildren, aspects of double dating, and other issues faced by genealogical writers.  This update of Genealogical Writing in the 21st Century is a must-have for anyone interested in sharing their research!

My Rating: 

This book caught my attention before it was even published and I of course had to get my order in early so that when it was published, I’d be among the first to receive a copy.  Although this is considered an update to Genealogical Writing in the 21st Century (second edition published in 2006), I tend to disagree, only because I feel it is its own book.  While there is some topical overlap between the two books, each is written and organized differently. 

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