Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Wisconsin Magazine of History and The UW Certificate in Genealogy and Family History Program

I am a member of the Advisory Board of the Certificate in Genealogy and Family History Program at the University of Washington in Seattle. As you know, I am also a 2005 graduate of this outstanding program. The following is the program description:

Learn to unearth new facts about your ancestors and view the information within the political, economic, and social changes that shaped communities of that time. Focus in depth on a selected project to better understand the course of your ancestors' lives and the lives of the subsequent family members. Uncover fascinating stories not just about your past, but also about the forces and people behind societal transformations.

We were all exceptionally pleased to find that one of the recent program graduates, Nancy K. Plant, an attorney in Seattle, has had her program project published in the Wisconsin Historical Society magazine, Wisconsin magazine of history. It is an exceptionally well written and researched article.

She Taught Him to "Hear With His Eyes"

By Nancy K. Plant

At the turn of the 20th century, Wisconsin had the most progressive program to educate deaf and speech-impaired children in the entire nation. As part of this movement, Maude McGinty touched the lives of many young students by giving them the gift of communication. This article details the growth of the deaf education movement in the United States and Wisconsin, focusing on the extraordinary devotion Maude had for her students and the impact the chance to communicate had on these children.

Writing your family history may be of interest to a broader audience than just your family. Have you considered writing for the historical journal of the state where your family lived? The historical society publications publish guidelines for written articles that can be found online. Many of the state historical societies also honor written family histories with special awards.

The Wisconsin Historical Society and the Wisconsin State Genealogical Society give an award each year for a published genealogy detailing the history of a Wisconsin family.

The nominations are evaluated by the following criteria:

-- The quality and depth of research and documentation (inclusion of more than just names, dates and places)

-- Accounts should include activities, achievements and personalities of individuals described

-- Attractiveness of presentation and ease of use (do the illustrations, table of contents, index, tables, etc., contribute to the quality of presentation?)

When writing your family history look to expanding your horizons. And if you're looking for a fantastic genealogy program please consider the University of Washington's nine month Certificate in Genealogy and Family History. I highly recommend it.


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