Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

U. S. Genealogy Writer’s Market

19 August 2013

Dear Genealogy Periodical Editors:

How do genealogical authors find your publication?

Genealogy periodicals—from popular magazines to state and national journals to the newsletters of local genealogical societies—are vital to the genealogy community.

Among other vital roles, periodicals

  • educate genealogists about records and research methodology;
  • enable genealogists with similar research interests to communicate with each other;
  • share local, national, and international news of concern to genealogists; and
  • allow researchers to publish the fruits of their research efforts.

Despite this central position in the genealogy community, there exists no central resource bringing together all of the genealogy periodicals published in the United States.

To do this we plan to publish the first U. S. Genealogy Writer’s Market in early 2014. This book will list basic details about genealogy periodicals, so that genealogical researchers and prospective writers can quickly and easily locate their ideal publishing markets.

In order to do this we need your help—just fill out the short online questionnaire at this address:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GWM-Editors

Please feel free to alert other editors to this project. If you have any questions or comments, please contact either of us at our respective emails.

Harold Henderson, CG

librarytraveler@gmail.com

Michael Hait, CG

2010: Did I meet my goals?

Last year I reviewed my ten favorite moments of 2009, and set some personal goals for 2010. First I would like to see how successful I was at achieving my 2010 goals:

“1.  Continue to write more articles.  My goal will be to have at least ten articles accepted in 2010 (if not necessarily published during the year, due to editorial lead times).  You know what, why sell myself short?  Let’s make it twenty articles!”

Made some pretty good progress here. In 2010, I had the following articles published in various magazines:

  • “Social Networking: Unplugged.”  Discovering Family History.  Jan/Feb 2010.

  • “‘Tweet’ Your Family History: Using Twitter for Genealogy.”  Internet Genealogy.  Feb/Mar 2010.

  • “Autopsy of a Death Record: What You Need to Know.”  Discovering Family History.  Mar/Apr 2010.

  • “Indirect Lineage.”  Family Chronicle.  May/Jun 2010.

  • “Social Security Applications: What You Need to Know!”  Family Chronicle.  Jul/Aug 2010.

  • “Research and Collaborate: MS Live Workspace.”  Internet Genealogy.  Aug/Sep 2010.

  • “Understanding Passenger Lists.”  Family Chronicle.  Sep/Oct 2010.

  • “Crafting an Effective Research Plan.”  Family Chronicle.  Nov/Dec 2010.

Two other articles have been accepted, but not yet published. Keep your eyes open!

“2.  Become a Certified Genealogist.  My “clock” is up at the end of February, and I am steadily working on my portfolio.  Hopefully, the results will come back in my favor, to demonstrate my commitment to the highest research standards.”

I filed for a year extension, in order to give myself more time to cross the t’s, and dot the I’s. The clock ends in about a month, so we’ll see how quickly I can finish it up, or if another extension is on the horizon. ;(

“3.  Present for local historical and genealogical societies, and local conferences….”

I took off like a champion in 2010, presenting 12 times (including two lectures on one of those occasions). I currently have just one lecture scheduled so far in 2011, but if anyone is looking for a lecturer for their genealogical society, library, or other organization, I am available!

“4.  Publish a few books.  I currently have several books in various stages of planning and completion, including one on the Civil War draft in Maryland (containing the names of over 20,000 free and enslaved men) that will be published within the next month or so.”

I didn’t finish that Civil War draft book in the “next month or so,” but I did finish it in October 2010. I also published two other books, containing transcriptions of the first two registers of the Slave Claims Commissions, for a total of four print books. I also wrote and published an e-book Research Guide for Prince George’s County, Maryland, the first of a series of research guides on all of the counties of Maryland.

“5.  Publish at least one article in a scholarly journal.”

I had one article published in the Maryland Genealogical Society Journal in the April 2010 issue, entitled, “Identifying the Last Slave-Owner of Freedmen in Maryland Using Local Records.”

“6.  Complete more research into my study on the slaves of Prince George’s County, Maryland.  My notes currently contain the names and final owners of over 6,000 slaves.  I want to flesh out the details of the lives of many of these people this year.”

I was able to finish extracting information on the slaves identified in two of the Prince George’s County Register of Wills Inventory Books. Where possible, I have matched these slaves from the estate inventories with later records.

“7.  Publish my Examiner.com column more often.  Since 22 April 2009, when the first article was published, I have published 79 articles.  This is an average of 1 article every 3 or so days.  I will try to bring that average up to about 1 article every 2 or so days.”

I won’t even try to calculate the average. I know it went down. Sad smile

“8.  Contribute more often to my Genealogy Trails websites for Maryland:  Prince George’s Co., Charles Co., and St. Mary’s Co.

In the springtime, due to time restraints, I made the decision to give up administration of these Genealogy Trails websites. However, I would like to recommend the sites to all researchers—don’t just check them for information on your families, but please contribute as well. These volunteers work very hard to make information available online at no cost.

“9.  Find a good balance between professional/client research, and research for personal publishing projects.  …”

Due to uncontrollable circumstances, I am now a full-time, self-employed professional genealogist. This change has forced the balance to shift to much more client research, in order to pay the bills. However, this has so far been a great experience, and is providing many more projects for use in case studies, etc., as well as the income that it provides directly. Somehow I have also made the time to work on publishing projects, etc., publishing four books in 2010, with at least three more coming in the first quarter of 2011.

“10.  Continue to explore new and innovative sources for revenue based in genealogical and historical research.  If my desire to become self-employed in this field, then I will have to be able to generate enough income to support myself and my family.”

See #9. Still looking and still working.

Looking Back on ‘09, Forward to ‘10

This has been a rather momentous year for me, in terms of my writing and genealogy goals.  In no particular order (how could I choose my favorite?), here are my favorite parts of 2009:

1.  Presented my first lecture on 17 October 2009, at the Mid-Atlantic Family History Conference in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, on researching your Civil War veteran ancestors.

2.  Began teaching a course in African-American genealogy for GenClass in April.  The course ran again in June and November.  Unfortunately, GenClass has closed its doors, but I have been accepted to present the same course for the National Institute for Genealogical Studies (NIGS).  See www.genclass.com for more details.

3.  Began writing the “African American Genealogy Examiner” column on Examiner.com.  This column has been widely accepted by much of the “Geneablogging” community of genealogy bloggers, and was even nominated for Family Tree Magazine’s “40 Best Genealogy Blogs.”  The final list will be released in the May 2010 issue (the current issue is March), so keep your fingers crossed!

4.  Had three articles published in Family Chronicle magazine in 2009:  “Breaking the Chains: Researching Former Slaves” (Feb); “Sourcing Your Sources” (Jul/Aug); and “Small Worlds: Researching Social Networks” (Sep/Oct); and one article in Discovering Family History magazine:  “Social Networking: Unplugged” (Jan/Feb 2010, released this past Tuesday).

5.  Met many great new genealogy friends as I started attending local chapter meetings for the Association of Professional Genealogists (National Capital Area chapter) and the Afro-American Historical Genealogical Society (Baltimore chapter).

6.  “Met” and became acquainted with many great new online genealogy friends on the social networking sites Twitter and Facebook.

7.  Became the Coordinator of the Resource Library for the site Lowcountry Africana (www.lowcountryafricana.net).  With a more specialized audience, I have been able to delve a little deeper into many of the research concepts that I have explored in my Examiner column.

8.  Published digital images of the 1867 Voters Registration Lists for all available Texas counties, as e-books on Scribd.

9.  Joined the ProGen Study Group (ProGen 5), and the NGSQ Study Group.  Both of these groups will challenge me to raise my level of research and professionalism, as well as acquainting me with many other aspiring genealogists like myself.

10.  Bought stock in Ancestry.com (ACOM).  If I am going to give them so much of my money each year, it seems only fair. ;)

And now, for my goals for 2010:

1.  Continue to write more articles.  My goal will be to have at least ten articles accepted in 2010 (if not necessarily published during the year, due to editorial lead times).  You know what, why sell myself short?  Let’s make it twenty articles!

2.  Become a Certified Genealogist.  My “clock” is up at the end of February, and I am steadily working on my portfolio.  Hopefully, the results will come back in my favor, to demonstrate my commitment to the highest research standards.

3.  Present for local historical and genealogical societies, and local conferences.  I already have two presentations on African-American research coming up in New Jersey on 6 February, and in Kensington, Maryland, on 17 April.  Once I have a few more presentations designed, I will try to start shopping them around to other local societies.

4.  Publish a few books.  I currently have several books in various stages of planning and completion, including one on the Civil War draft in Maryland (containing the names of over 20,000 free and enslaved men) that will be published within the next month or so.

5.  Publish at least one article in a scholarly journal.

6.  Complete more research into my study on the slaves of Prince George’s County, Maryland.  My notes currently contain the names and final owners of over 6,000 slaves.  I want to flesh out the details of the lives of many of these people this year

7.  Publish my Examiner.com column more often.  Since 22 April 2009, when the first article was published, I have published 79 articles.  This is an average of 1 article every 3 or so days.  I will try to bring that average up to about 1 article every 2 or so days.

8.  Contribute more often to my Genealogy Trails websites for Maryland:  Prince George’s Co., Charles Co., and St. Mary’s Co.

9.  Find a good balance between professional/client research, and research for personal publishing projects.  In 2009, I cut down greatly on the number of client research projects that I accepted, in order to focus more on other projects, such as the above noted project (#6).  I would like to create

10.  Continue to explore new and innovative sources for revenue based in genealogical and historical research.  If my desire to become self-employed in this field, then I will have to be able to generate enough income to support myself and my family.

Assuming that I am still writing this blog this time next year, we’ll see how successful I have been at meeting these goals.

Happy New Year, and to everyone, have a great 2010!

Current Activities

I know I haven’t posted to this blog in a while.  I have been quite busy.  Thought I would take the time to let everyone know what I’ve been up to.

April marked the first offering of my course, “African-American Genealogy”, available through GenClass.com.  The course is email-based, and lasts for one month.  It currently includes 8 email lessons, though we are currently putting the finishing touches on a bulleting board system and a chat room function to enrich the learning experience.

I was also accepted to Examiner.com as the National African-American Genealogy Examiner.  I have already posted two articles:

Many more are still to come.  I look forward to this being a long-lasting endeavor.

Also, look for two articles I have written coming in the next few issues of Family Chronicle.  The first one is called “The Sources of your Sources” and explores the importance of identifying the informant for your record sources, and using this information to judge the reliability of the source.  There are examples using the major record groups.  The second article is called “Small Worlds and Clusters” and discusses the history of the development of network theory, in terms of social networks (and I don’t mean Facebook), and how to use the current knowledge to improve your “cluster genealogy” skills.

Finally, I have taken over the reins as administrator of the Prince George’s County, Maryland, and Charles County, Maryland, Genealogy Trails websites.  I have also taken over St. Mary’s County, Maryland, but have not yet been able to update the site.  These sites are dedicated to providing free record transcriptions for the benefit of genealogists.  If you are researching any of these three counties, and have records that you would be willing to transcribe or even just donate to the site (I’ll transcribe it!), please contact me at michael.hait@hotmail.com.  I’ll appreciate all of the help I can get!

There are a few other things that I have been working on, but I have to keep them under wraps for now – I will let you know about them as soon as things are finalized!

P. S. For any philatelists (stamp collectors) out there – I have also launched a store with mostly First Day Covers from around the world – and many other stamps and covers soon to come!  Visit Hait Stamps and Covers at http://www.haitstampsandcovers.com for my fully searchable catalog.  Check back often, as I add new products on a regular basis!

Remember our Troops this Christmas!

First, I would like to send my love and support to my younger brother Shawn Hait, currently serving the U. S. Army in Iraq.  He has already missed the birth of his first son, and will spend Christmas and New Year’s serving our nation.  He is in my thoughts and prayers, and I ask that you keep him in yours as well, together with all of the other young men and women serving abroad. 
 
In honor of our soldiers, let’s explore military records.  Beginning with the American Revolution, the originals of most military records prior to World War I are held at the National Archives and Records Administration headquarters in Washington, D.C.  The two basic record groups are service records and pension files.
 
Compiled service records contain details of the soldier’s service, put together from their appearances in muster rolls, clothing rolls, prisoner rolls, hospital rolls, etc.  Many Revolutionary War records were destroyed, so these CSRs often contain much less information than those of later wars.
 
Pension files contain information from applications for pensions from either soldiers or their widows.  These files can contain an enormous wealth of genealogical information, including birth, marriage and death records, and affidavits from friends, family members, and neighbors, on many different topics.  The bulk of the file will usually contain information on any injuries sustained while in military service (if this is the basis of their application).
 
Both service records and pension files for the U. S. military from the Revolutionary War through 1917 are held at the National Archives and Records Administration headquarters in Washington, D. C.  From World War I onwards, these files are held at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri.  Additional information, including necessary forms, is available on the National Archives’ website:  http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/get-service-records.html
 
Merry Christmas, and God Bless You!
 
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