Thursday, May 21, 2015

Thoughts on The Genealogy Society

Our state genealogy society is going through some changes. So this brings this up in my mind as I am on the board. Let's discuss genealogy societies.

These questions came from a genealogy friend of mine.

1. Do you expect to pay dues to organizations (and how much)?

Yes, but I expect them to be reasonable. I think the lowest dues I pay is $20 and the highest is probably $48. Those seem reasonable depending on what funds are used for, and the benefits derived (see next question). 

2. How do you expect those dues to be used? If more than one, how do you split it?
a. To give you exclusive access to materials (members only access)
b. To cover the operational expenses of the organization (utilities, supplies, copies, equipment, etc.)
c. To purchase additional materials for research (books, microfilm, etc.)
d. If not a genealogy society, to support charity
e. Other, what?

This could be expanded to say how do you want them used.
Okay I expect all three of a genealogy society. I don't want B (covering expenses) but I realize it's a necessary evil. Other organizations I'm in do support charities or give scholarships, so I know that's part of my dues (the $48 one). I don't know how you split it, as I suppose it depends how much you need for choice B, and then A and C can be evenly split with what's left. And one has to hope there is something left. 

3. Do you expect or want a newsletter? How do you want it sent? By email, posted on web site, snail mail (paper copy), or a combination.

Yes I like a newsletter. Why are you paying dues if you don't want to be informed? If it's posted on a web site then I like a link sent to my email reminding me to check it. I don't need a hard copy; I'm all about saving money to have it go to something else besides stamps, paper and ink. 

4. Do you, or would you, consider volunteering your time to help the organization? Even if you are not local, there are usually still ways you could volunteer. If so, how much time would you consider (per week, month or year)?
I would add to this if you volunteer, do you expect free membership? And should the board (who volunteers their time), therefore get free membership?

Yes I do volunteer my time for this group I am referencing. I would consider for other groups but one cannot spread oneself too thin. So maybe currently I would consider 10 hours a month or so. 
I added the following because one society of mostly younger folks offers free membership in trade for volunteer hours. I think this is a great option for younger folk who might have more time than money, and maybe for older retired ones too. I also think the board, assuming they put in "enough" hours, should get free membership. 

5. Do you expect organizations to host programs, classes, entertainment, a conference or some other type of outreach?

I think this is a nice benefit for members and a good way to draw people in. So yes I think some type of class, program or conference is a nice benefit. 

5b. I'm asking because I am conference coordinator. How much would you pay for a 2-day conference with 8 presentations, one hour each with about 5 given by a nationally known speaker? Would you want lunch included or register for that separate? (So many people now a days have food limitations that sometimes this is good.)

Answering my own question, I expect to pay $75 for the 2-day conference, $40 a day without lunch. If a nice lunch is included, add $20 per day, so $110-$115 for 2-day conference including lunch, $60 for one day. If lunch is just a sandwich, chips and fruit, knock the lunch down to $10. And I expect lunch to be an option in registration, not because I have food limitations, but I know many people who do. 

6. If you thought the society could be improved, would you be willing to help on a committee, or serve on a board, to encourage and help change?

Yes in fact I have. Last year (2014) I was disappointed to only see less than 40 attendees at our annual conference so I volunteered to help, became conference coordinator and was happy to see double that (about 80 people) at our 2015 conference. 

This is all the questions my friend had. I thought I had another one but I can't think of it again. It will come to me right after I post, because that's the way it goes.

Yay, I thought of it before I posted.

7. How often do you expect a society to meet? This could vary depending on type of society and location. Do you want to always meet in person, or are conference calls or online meetings acceptable?

Answering my own question again: If a society is local (in one's own county), then I think monthly meetings in person are acceptable. If a society is state or regional, then I think quarterly is enough in person. If more meetings are necessary, then I think conference calls or online meetings should be considered and used. 

Okay I think that's it. Feel free to add your own questions below in the comments. Also feel free to answer these in your own blog, and leave me a link in the comments. Or leave your answers in the comments or send me an email or message. I am interested in more people's opinions. As always, thanks for reading. I may suggest this as a discussion for #genchat too, if we haven't done it already.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

April Ancestor: Lars Jorgensen

Well here it is April 30th and I haven't blogged about my April ancestor Lars Jorgensen. April was a very busy month, for genealogy and a few other things, so I figured I could be late with this one.
Lars Jorgensen is my 2nd great grandfather on my father's side. He could be one of my favorite ancestors. Well maybe they all are.

Lars was born in Denmark, probably in or near Fyn on January 11, 1849. According to his marriage licenses, his parents were Jorgen Rasmussen and Kirsten Andersdotter. I don't know much about his early life in Denmark. Next I find he marries Anna Marie Olsen February 23, 1871 presumably in Denmark. Then some time after, in 1871, they immigrate to the United States, staying in Omaha for 2 years. Their first children, twin sons, were born in Omaha on May 22-23, 1873. I heard one was born before midnight and one after. The second twin, Chris, was my great-grandfather. Shortly after that, they took a homestead in Kearney county. Four more sons were born: Rasmus, Ole P, Rasmus K, and Hans Samuel. The first Rasmus died as a toddler, so evidently they liked the name so well, they named another son. They lived the pioneer life for a few years, working the land. In October 1889 Lars was ordained to the ministry and was a pastor of the Danish Free Mission Church. His first wife Anna Marie passed away in 1906. In June 1907 he marries his daughter-in-law's mother (also my great-great-grandmother) Emeline "Lena" Nelson. Lena passes away in 1914. In 1915, Lars marries Maren Petersen, and she lives until 1920.

Lars lives on the family homestead according to census records in 1880 and 1900. In 1910, he and Emilina are found living in Cheyenne county, with two of his sons living nearby, perhaps on the same land. According to the 1920 census, he is back in Kearney county with wife Maren living at 913 Hull Ave in Minden. I think now I want to drive through Minden to see if that house still exists. From an online map it looks like that would be near the train tracks and highway in the eastern part of town. In 1930 the census lists him living at the "Bethany Old People's Home" in Minden.

Lars passes away at the age of 85 on July 9, 1934 at the Bethany Home (nursing home) in Minden, Kearney county, Nebraska. He is buried in the family plot at Fredericksburg Cemetery near Minden on July 11th. I have a gravestone photo taken by my father.

In addition to census records and gravestone photo, I have his obituary, his last two marriage records, and information about his homestead. I thought I had his death certificate, but I may need to check. 
So I guess this ends what I know about my great-great-grandfather. I should go start organizing my genealogy now or scan some photos.