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    Putting Genealogy in a Historical Context at IAJGS

    We are getting ready to head to Salt Lake City for the annual conference of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies which begins July 27th.

    It’s always fun to talk with enthusiastic people about genealogy and their family history. But what we are especially interested in about this conference is one of the activities for participants.

    The Conference Blog explains:

    One hundred years ago, the second day of our conference, marks the outbreak of World War One. The anniversary of the “War to End all Wars” will be a major focus of our conference, with sessions exploring how the War impacted the lives of our ancestors.

    Consider submitting your World War I Story to be included in our collection. Your story need not be about the war or someone who was in the military, but it can tell the story of what your relatives did during the war.

    There’s no better way to memorialize our ancestors than to tell their stories.

    We are looking forward to reading and talking about the stories participants submit which will be posted online at the conference.

    We think this aspect of the conference is wonderful for two reasons:

    1. It means that people who attend will contribute to the conference as producers of interesting and engaging content rather merely as passive listeners of lectures by experts.
    2. It reminds genealogists that context is key in tracing a family history. While we may gather a lot of data specific to our own ancestors placing that data into the context of our ancestors’ time and place helps us to truly understand who they were.

    We would love to see more conferences include activities like this one.

    If you are going to be at the conference, we hope you’ll stop by the Stories To Tell table in the exhibit hall to say “Hi,” and to share your family’s World War I story.

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