Julie's Genealogy & History Hub

Julie's Genealogy & History Hub -

Entries for the 2017 Connecticut Society of Genealogists Literary Awards & Essay Contest Now Being Accepted


The Connecticut Society of Genealogists is now accepting entries for both the Literary Awards and Essay Contest. Submission deadline for both is July 15, 2017. Winners for both will be notified by September 1, 2017.  Details for each are below.

6th Annual “Tell Me Your Family Story” Essay Contest

This contest is open to anyone; winner receives $100. Entries must relate to New England and not more than 10 pages (double-spaced). Entries could include family stories, oral histories, diary/journal excerpts, Bible record or cemetery marker transcriptions, family histories or traditions, or socioeconomic conditions affecting the life on an ancestor. These essays must convey how it pertains to the author. Click here (opens PDF) for full rules and entry form for this contest.

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Super Sale on DNA Tests – Autosomal Down to $59!


In honor of National DNA Day, which celebrates the discovery of the DNA helix and completion of the Human Genome Project, Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) has marked down all their DNA tests for one week starting today, April 20, 2017.

The last time I wrote about a big FTDNA sale, the autosomal test was down to $69, the cheapest ever. But they’ve outdone themselves this time as the autosomal Family Finder test is down to $59, yes, $59! Now’s the time to stock up!

Been holding out on the mitochondrial full sequence test? It’s down to $149! And all of the Y-DNA tests are marked down too.

Hurry over to FTDNA to take advantage of this super deal and celebrate National DNA Day!

This page does contain affiliate links.

Attend Up to 10 NGS 2017 Conference Sessions At Home


Since 2014, the National Genealogical Society has been offering live streaming of ten sessions (broken down into two tracks) during their annual conference. Although they are streamed live, those who register for one or both of the tracks can watch them live or on-demand at any time during the three months following the conference.

I have registered for one track every year (even in 2015 when I attended the conference) and have been pleased with both the live stream and the on-demand options. Although the price went up a bit this year, I have still registered for one track. This really is a great opportunity for those that can’t make it to the conference, especially because one of the tracks is dedicated to DNA, which is a hot topic right now.

The other nice thing about registering for the live stream/on-demand sessions is that you get a digital copy of the entire conference syllabus—what a bonus!

Here’s what’s on tap for this year:

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Not Quite “On the Clock,” but Getting There


Part of the reason I haven’t had a lot of time to dedicate to my blog is because my “free” time has been spent working on my portfolio for BCG certification. As we’ve discussed in previous posts, life can get in the way, so instead of starting my BCG clock now, I’m trying to get the two biggest components into a draft state so I can make sure I can submit my portfolio within the allotted time (one year). So what have I been doing to prepare?

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Genealogy Blog Reading Philosophy

Closeup image of male hands holding tablet computer

A few days ago, I posted What Happened to Genealogy Blogging? because I wanted to know why so many genealogy bloggers that I follow hadn’t posted in over a year. A flood of comments came in sharing all sorts of wisdom, which you can read about in my post Follow Up & Reflection on ‘What Happened to Genealogy Blogging?’ In addition to answering my initial question, I came across several comments about blog reading; a handful of people like me hadn’t read any genealogy blogs in quite some time (and most didn’t have plans to return for various reasons). This got me thinking about why I stopped, why I’m trying to get back to reading genealogy blogs, and what my preferences are. I thought I’d share my philosophy.

I actually talked a little about blog reading in my post Reevaluating Life: Why ‘Friday Finds’ Series Will Be Discontinued Beginning January 1, which I wrote at the end of 2015. When I wrote that post, my intent wasn’t to stop reading blogs altogether. My plan was to “clean out my blog reader to remove blogs that do not fit my current interests” so I could better manage my reading time and focus on the things I was really interested in reading about. If your math is good, and you read Saturday’s post, then you know that I never did get around to that task of cleaning out my reader back at the end of 2015. I was so overwhelmed that I kept putting it off and basically just stopped reading altogether. Almost 18 months later, and I have finally started to whittle my way through those 600+ blogs. I’m down to just under 250, which of course still seems like a lot.

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Follow Up & Reflection on ‘What Happened to Genealogy Blogging?’


Funny thing. When you write a thought-provoking blog post, you really need to make sure you have time to react! Honestly, I didn’t know that Saturday’s blog post What Happened to Genealogy Blogging? was going to be so comment-heavy, but it certainly was (heck, I didn’t even know if people still read my blog!).

A very big “thank you” to everyone who took the time to comment, both here and on Facebook. This blog post is intended to sum up what people said, and I also reflect personally on some of themes a little more.

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What Happened to Genealogy Blogging?


I have two confessions to make. First, I have not read any genealogy blogs in almost 18 months. Second, I spent yesterday going through my blog reader to do some clean-up (so I can get back to reading regularly), which resulted in the deletion of many blogs (hundreds!).

I will also admit that I myself have not been blogging much in the last few years. While I know what my reasons are, I’m curious to know the reasons of others. I ask because as I was cleaning up my blog reader, I was shocked at what I was seeing. After going through about 20 blogs, I started to record some information because I was so shocked, I thought that what I was seeing couldn’t be possible. Sadly, it was. Here’s what I found:

Out of the 350 blogs found in my reader that hadn’t had a post in over 30 days, 63% hadn’t been posted to within the last 12 months! Of the blogs that had been posted to within the last 12 months, just over half had been posted to within the last 6 months. What’s more, of those 350 blogs, over half hadn’t seen a post in over two years. Here’s how the numbers look:

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Reminder – Early-Bird Entries for ISFHWE 2017 Excellence-in-Writing Competition Due 3/15

Entries for the 2017 International Society of Family History Writers and Editors (ISFHWE) Excellence-in-Writing Competition are now being accepted.  Submissions are due by June 15, 2017 (a discounted entry fee is offered for entries submitted by March 15, 2017). 

Both ISFHWE members and non-members are allowed to enter the competition. 

Here are the categories for this year:

  • Category I – Columns.  This is for columns of original content published on a regular basis, in any medium, published in 2016. Each entry must consist of 2,000 words or less. These are entries from the author’s regular column, not features.
  • Category II – Articles.  These one-time articles (not part of the author’s column) must have been published in 2016 in a journal, magazine, newsletter, blog, or website. Entries cannot exceed 5,000 words.
  • Category III – Genealogy Newsletters.  This category is for society or family association newsletters published in 2016. Entries should consist of two issues, each submitted as a single file in PDF format. The judging will be based on originality, content, visual appeal, writing and editing quality, and accuracy. The award is to the editor of the publication.
  • Category IV – Unpublished Authors.  Entrants in this category aspire to be published writers or columnists in the field of genealogy, family or local history. The submissions in this category are original and unpublished, between 500 and 2,000 words.
  • Category V – Unpublished material by Published Authors.  This category is for original unpublished genealogy-related articles by previously published authors. Entries should be between 500 and 3,000 words.
  • Category VI – Poetry/Song.  This category is for original content (published in 2016 or unpublished) that is related to family history.  Entries should be no longer than 1,000 words and have a title.

Cash prizes will be awarded to the winners of each category.  Winners will be announced in the fall of 2017. 

Complete details, including rules, judging criteria, entry fees, and the entry form, can be found here (will open a PDF file).

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