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30 October 2012

An Idea You Should Steal: "My Favorite Ancestor" Presentations at Your Genealogical Society Meetings

California Genealogical Society President Jeffrey Vaillant had a great idea I think you should steal.

When the incoming board of directors had their first meeting this past February, Jeff added a new item to the agenda: "My Favorite Ancestor." After "old business" and before we move on to new agenda items, one director gives a short, two-three minute presentation about an ancestor. Jeff makes the next assignment so the presenter will have a month to prepare.

So far each presentation has included a a photo or two to pass around. Some have recited a short life synopsis, some have focused on a good story, and some have talked about some aspect of the research itself.

It has been such a successful idea it is spreading to other committee meetings at our society. Last month our Publications/Marketing chair, Shannon Reese, brought along some photos and the obituary he wrote for his grandmother, who died this past year.

One added benefit is that the photos are also being used in the "California Ancestors" feature in our monthly eNews. You can take a look at the photos on our California Ancestors photo board on Pinterest.

It goes without saying that genealogists love to share their family history. This has been a good way to put some of the focus back on our research.

If you think this is an idea worth stealing, or you are already doing something similar, please let me know by leaving a comment.

Copyright © 2012 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library


Deborah Large Fox said...

What a great idea! I've been running an Irish genealogy group for years, and some months, it gets really hard to refresh our topic ideas. So, I think the idea is certainly worth stealing!
We have done a slight variation of this idea. We occasionally have a "Wanted" day, when we make up "Wanted" posters/ flyers for our most elusive ancestors. We include a short description of the escaped ancestor. Each member can make a short appeal for help from the others. So far, each meeting has produced at least one "captured" fugitive ancestor.

Kathryn Doyle said...

Hi Deborah,
I love the Wanted Poster idea! We definitely will steal this one. Thanks for sharing and for stopping by.