A KDP Conversation at NwGC

Clock mathI have been struggling with my writing of the Kinship Determination Project or KDP.  First, I procrastinated.  Now, the struggle is with multiple issues but this post is about my conversations with certified genealogists at the Northwest Genealogical Conference (NwGC) and their KDP.

Who was the audience for your KDP? Said a different way, for whom did you write the KDP?

The KDP can be written for any number of audiences including BCG, other certified genealogists, for family or for the author. The recommendation of others is that you have a lot more “fun” and write much more genuinely, if you write the KDP for yourself or your family.  There are several specific requirements by BCG (see the application guide) and these have to be dealt with directly.  These inclusions may not be appreciated by your relatives.

If the KDP theme is discordant with the thoughts today, e.g. slavery, Naziism,  how does one prevent a personal perspective or opinion from creeping unknowingly in the story?

Most respondents commented about how important it was to not mistake the moral standards of today with the standards or pressures on our ancestors, something ESM describes as “present-ism”.  The writer needs to be objective, even dispassionate while telling the story. The commonly held belief was that the answer was “yes” — one could, even must, remain dispassionate about the topic. It was also mentioned that if your ancestor was slow to make the change or even strategized against the change at a time when knowledge was available contrary to their commonly held belief, then that is part of the story as well. Our ancestors were not perfect people.  The story still  needs to be told in a way that can enlighten the reader perhaps even pointing out this inability to accept the change.

Do I have to be a super expert about the theme–or context of the writing?

The only reasonable answer is “It depends.”  If your context is “World Peace,” no one is the expert and you cannot convey all you know into 150 pages! 🙂  If your context is local, then, yes, you do have to be the expert illustrating exhaustive research.  For those in the middle–you have to decide when enough is enough to tell your story truthfully.  But remember, you are the expert of your family.

I want to thank all the generous genealogists that I quizzed throughout the day at the Northwest Genealogical Conference 2015 and who shared their thoughts and advice.

My next “KDP Writer’s Weekend” was scheduled for Labor Day weekend.  It appears that it will shift to the following weekend. Doesn’t mean that I won’t be working on the document in-between. I will be speaking next at Skagit Valley GS with Mary Kathryn Kozy on 19 September on “Just Do It! Writing Your Family History” and “My Top Ten Tech Tools I Really Use–Really.”

Happy Hunting!

Jill

What I have been doing since the last posting:  Attended the NwGC.  Congratulations to Stillaguamish Genealogical Society and Karen and Eric Stroshein for developing this significant NW conference. I continue to educate myself on my theme of my KDP. I am putting together a workshop on “An Overview of Scandinavian Records” so I am reading the materials that Kathy Meade handed out at her sessions she gave on ArkivDigital at NwGC.

 

 

 

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9 comments on “A KDP Conversation at NwGC

  1. Like always after reading of all of your doings, I have to lay down from exhaustion. whew!

  2. Jill, I hope nobody told you to do “exhaustive” research. That is not and never has been called for, besides being impossible.

    • Jill Morelli says:

      Harold,
      Oh, I am not doing “exhaustive search” but I am trying to do “reasonably exhaustive research”. The topic is at least now interesting to me–for a while it was not. The family is one of my favorites. So, it’s coming. (It’s just I knew NOTHING about the context–now I do.) The rest should flow.

      Thanks for the encouragement, Harold. I hope to have the first draft of the whole KDP done in two months. Should be possible.

  3. Fuller "Sonny" Jones says:

    Write the KDP for yourself and your family if the kinship is your own family. It will be much more enjoyable, and provides a legacy for all.
    If not your family, then write it for yourself and the BCG!

  4. Fuller "Sonny" Jones says:

    I meant to add this, Jill: You said: “My next “KDP Writer’s Weekend” was scheduled for Labor Day weekend. It appears that it will shift to the following weekend.”

    Let me say that is the exact sort of thing that led me to the RENEWAL portal. The KDP requires almost total concentration IMHO to do a good job. While I certainly appreciate all that you do, and applaud your genealogical efforts, let me suggest that you pare some other activities down, and follow your own advice (regarding the KDP): “Just Do It!” – – – and put the priority on “Git ‘er done!” so that you have time to review it properly after you “THINK” you are finished. I mean this sincerely! And I wish you the best of luck, you deserve it!

    Sonny J.

    • Jill Morelli says:

      Sonny, I envy you for having yours in for review. You are correct. Judy Russell said she devoted 20 hours a week for a year on her submission. I suspect mine is running about 10 hours a week right now. Yes, I am working on it, but…and I hate to add that little three little word….

      I have a particularly difficult topic to understand and I have been reading volumes so I can synthesize the information and relate it to my family issue. Writer’s Weekends are when I write; every other time I am reading. I did some writing this weekend and feel the no. 1 hard spot is getting close. I have two more hard spots (but not as hard as number one.) I am getting there.

      Interestingly, i find this harder than getting my architectural license. Maybe it’s because after five years of architectural education and 3 years of apprenticeship, I was ready to take the test.

      Thanks, Sonny for the perspective. You are, of course, right.

  5. a gray says:

    Follow this path and you will be forever trapped in the world of “presentism”: It was also mentioned that if your ancestor was slow to make the change or even strategized against the change at a time when knowledge was available contrary to their commonly held belief, then that is part of the story as well. Our ancestors were not perfect people. The story still needs to be told in a way that can enlighten the reader perhaps even pointing out this inability to accept the change.

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