Journal: 27 September 2015

bacon & eggsIf you are interested in what I (or actually others) had for breakfast or a cute picture of a cat, I recommend you head over to Facebook.  This journal post will be more about the variety of genealogy events or tasks I have been working on these past few weeks and why I participate in them.  I do this not out of any “bragging rights” but rather as a “confessional” in that I haven’t done much on my KDP and I haven’t had that second “Writer’s Weekend” that I promised myself.

This is the season for Fall seminars and I have been honored to speak at two  so far — Skagit Valley and Whatcom GS.  I will also be speaking at the Nordic Heritage Museum and the Heritage Quest Research Library Fall Seminar in October. These are arranged months in advance. I love to do these.

My presentations take a lot of time to prepare, some of them well over 80 hours each, but I find the enthusiasm of the audience at the time of presentation almost addictive.  I truly feel that I have something to offer others that is useful and helpful.  I also believe that one has to be a born teacher to like to present and not everyone “has that gene.” While the day can get long and my feet can hurt, I enjoy meeting fellow genealogists and listening to their stories and I admit, I like telling mine.

Lecture development:  I am working very hard on a series of presentations on Swedish records research.  My concept is to develop the following:

  • Beginning Swedish Research (I will be giving this at the Family History Fair in November)
  • Using Swedish Parish Records (beginning)
  • Using Swedish Probate Records (intermediate)
  • Using Swedish Clerical Surveys (Intermediate)
  • Using Swedish Tax Records (advanced) I am working on this one now.

I like putting structure around a topic that I am knowledgeable about so it can be shared with others and I like graphically composing the presentation. Too many lecturers use PowerPoint as their outline for their presentation instead of relying on the program’s inherent graphic delivery of images.

I  also learn a lot just doing the research.  For example, for my fire insurance maps presentation I had to learn about the growth of the insurance industry.  Who knew? I like these little diversions of scholarly  investigations, writing the paper (syllabus), putting my knowledge into graphic form (the PowerPoint) and then sharing what I learned.  I can work on a single presentation for just a short time and then put it down–something I cannot seem do with my KDP.  The audience’s questions can be an indication I missed something I should have covered in the presentation so I try to always leave time for questions and discussion.  (I then revise the presentation or add to it responding to he gaps exposed by the Q&A.)

Kinship Determination Project: I have been reading a very pertinent book lately on the issue of 15th and 16th c. impacts on my family.  While not riveting, it fills in a good gap.  I admit to serious procrastination as well.  I need to write!!

I find it hard to write for an hour or only two on the KDP.  I really do want large blocks of time which are only available on the weekends when other events intervene.  It is just a matter of personal priorities–which tells me that I am just a simple, unadulterated procrastinator.  I wish writing came more easily to me; I wish that I could see my errors more easily; I wish I didn’t worry about whether I had enough; I wish …; I wish….; etc.  (observation: this truly looks like a personal problem to me.) 🙂 I will move on.

Seattle Genealogical Society:  I helped Betty with the layout for the syllabus for the Fall Seminar featuring Tom Jones.  I am excited about him coming to Seattle (along with all the other Fellows).  He is also teaching two intermediate classes on Sunday and I am taking the one on Research Planning.

I enjoy Tom’s classes and this will be a great weekend in Seattle for genealogy.  I suspect will come away with a little nugget of information that I can use in the research plan for my portfolio.

I have applied to lecture at a number of national and regional conferences.

  • Ohio State GS, held in Mason OH: I submitted 8 (?) but was not selected,
  • National Genealogical Society, May, Ft. Lauderdale, FL: They selected two, “On Death and Dying: the Changing Face of Death and Dying in the 19th century” and “The Push and Pull: Decision-making of a 19th c. Emigrant
  • Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference, end of August, Springfield IL: I should find out the end of this month — and since there are not too many days left in the month…..
  • SCGS Jamboree, June, Burbank CA, I submitted 6 possible lectures or webinars: I find out the end of October.
  • National webinar series: not yet officially announced but I will be presenting fire insurance maps in April.  I will let you know the particulars when in early April because I would like a lot of folks to dial in and listen live to the session. I haven’t decided whether I should respond to the WI webinar series.
  • Popular Culture Association National Conference (theme: genealogy); Seattle WA in March: My friend, Lisa Oberg and I applied and were accepted to speak at this academic conference.  We will be speaking on the history of genealogy with a special focus on the periods of high interest.  Trying to determine why those peaks occurred and why at that moment in time.

Submissions are usually a brief description of each lecture and sometimes with a brief outline of the proposed topic. The committee, which reviews hundreds of applications, has the very difficult job of filtering through many that may sound good but which relies ultimately on whether the speaker is knowledgeable and is a good speaker.

While I do not love applying it is a necessary task if one wants to speak at conferences and it usually doesn’t take long.  Since compensation is usually low, I first have to figure out whether I want to attend the conference.  Until one is a “star genealogist” and the committee asks me to speak, I am afraid I will be submitting with everyone else. But, I do see my name getting “out there” more which will make it easier to get those society seminars. The good news is that I am developing a nice library of presentations. Sometimes the society or conference selects a presentation I do not have “presentation ready.” Those require more work.  (example: On Death and Dying)

In addition, I submitted an article to the FGS newsletter that was accepted for publication on managing a Family History Writing contest. The editor has asked for another article as well.

I hope you see the juxtaposition of what I am doing and why I am doing it.  But, now, I have to get to work on the KDP!!

Happy Hunting!


note: I had a buttermilk waffle and bacon for breakfast. Monday through Saturday is Cheerios.

Photo: Cyclonebill, Copenhagen, Denmark. licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic


9 comments on “Journal: 27 September 2015

  1. Fuller "Sonny" Jones says:

    Hi Jill:

    Somehow I “knew” you were not going to do that KDP writing you were planning.

    You said “My presentations take a lot of time to prepare, some of them well over 80 hours each, but I find the enthusiasm of the audience at the time of presentation almost addictive. I truly feel that I have something to offer others that is useful and helpful.”

    As I said before, I admire your genealogical efforts in helping others, BUT if you are serious about this Certification thing, you are going to have to sacrifice something and allot the time that it requires.

    Perhaps having to “REUP” will bring this home?? It did for me!

    Good luck

    Sonny J

  2. I really am interested in what you had for breakfast and I like cats, too. I feel your pain regarding writing and I do hope you will enjoy the KDP writing, so I hope you will cut it down to size as it is starting to loom as too large of a task.

  3. Gumball says:

    For someone who says they wish that writing came more easily to them sure does write quite a lot. Just look at this blog. I wish I could type as fast as my mind thinks but somehow I don’t see that happening. Oh well. as always “Good Luck In The Future, Digging Up Your Past”

    • Jill Morelli says:

      I do write a lot, but I had to force myself. I am definitely better than I was. I wish I could compose citations faster. I am very deliberative- not necessarily a bad thing– just seems like it takes a long time! Thanks for the support and comment!

  4. Emily Garber says:

    Throw some blueberries on those bowls of Cheerios. Makes breakfast much more memorable(!). Hope you find your way back to the KDP task.

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