As 2017 comes to a close, I wanted to take the opportunity to highlight some of my activities this year. I wasn’t as productive in my overall blogging this year, but I improved upon content which I believe is more important. Also, I managed to get even more involved out of the blog-o-sphere in this avocation that I love. My hope is that 2018 allows me to set and reach new goals for my genealogical pursuits, both in my personal research and with the genealogical organizations in which I have become involved. Developing new relationships, organizational and leadership skills within this arena is something of great importance to me as I hope to transition at some point to pursuing genealogy professionally.
Here are my highlights!
- Joining the Oklahoma Genealogical Society’s Board of Directors. I have immensely enjoyed helping this organization develop new marketing strategies to engage members and promote our great monthly meetings and seminars. We have an exciting 2018 ahead of us, and I look forward to implementing new ideas to enhance our already wonderful programs.
- My blog post, Southern Heritage- It’s Complicated, went a little viral in the genealogy community. My first blog post to receive such high traffic, thanks to being shared by some great genealogy friends like J. Paul Hawthorne of GeneaSpy and the brilliant and extraordinary Judy Russell, The Legal Genealogist. I was so honored when Judy wrote a post inspired by my blog!
- Seeing genealogist and historian Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. speak in person at my alma mater, the University of Central Arkansas. This event was part of a week long series of events in Little Rock honoring the 60th Anniversary of the Little Rock Central High Crisis and Desegregation. This was my first time seeing Dr. Gates in person, and seeing him speak about such an important event that shaped not only my hometown of Little Rock but also the Civil Rights movement in this country, made this experience even more meaningful.
- Giving my first presentation at a genealogical seminar. OGS held its annual Genealogy Summer Sizzler, and I presented “Getting the Next Generation Involved in Genealogy.” This was a big personal accomplishment for me, and now that I have done it once, I am looking forward to opportunities to present in the future. I already have another one lined up for February 2018!
- Being interviewed by the great genealogy podcast, ExtremeGenes, about my blog and research into my slave owning ancestors. I feel that not enough white people, whether active in genealogy or passively involved in just their own family research, discuss this shameful past. Many want to hide it away and pretend it wasn’t “that bad,” or maybe pretend that their family wasn’t involved. I believe more of us should speak openly and candidly about our ancestors involvement. You can read some of my 2017 posts to see more of my thoughts on this matter.
- Completing the Baylor University Institute of Oral History‘s online workshop, Getting Started in Oral History. During this workshop series, I learned about the technical aspects of recording oral histories to ensure the highest quality content, preservation strategies, as well as the importance of interviewing techniques. Furthermore, I learned about the legal and ethical aspects of ensuring that the narrator of the story understands and is in agreement with the purpose of the interview and ultimately how and where it will be distributed.
- Winning a registration to RootsTech 2018 from wonderful speaker and blogger, Melissa Finlay of Boundless Genealogy. I have long wanted to attend this event, but with two small kids in daycare and some family health issues this year resulting in some unforeseen medical expenses, I didn’t think I could justify spending the money. I hoped to win a registration and use points I have accrued for the flight, so my only major expense will be the hotel. I couldn’t have been more thrilled to have won Melissa’s, and yes, cried tears of JOY at this blessing. I can’t wait to thank her in person at RootsTech 2018!
- Attending the Arkansas Genealogical Society Fall Seminar and interviewing D. Joshua Taylor for a NextGen Genealogy Network blog post! Many will recognize Taylor from the Genealogy Roadshow on PBS. Additionally, he is the President of the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society. I was thrilled and so appreciative that he allowed me a few minutes to discuss NextGen Genealogy Network and some great projects with NYG&B.
- Helping my team at NextGen Genealogy Network accomplish some great year end goals! We held our first #GivingTuesday fundraising drive and raised $500! Additionally, we completed our first membership survey to help us focus and plan for goals in 2018.
As 2018 begins, I already have some great things planned I with share with you in my next post!
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