Thursday, September 08, 2011

FGS: Genealgists have an economic impact

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The mayor of Springfield addressed the opening session of the 2011 FGS Conference this morning, thanking attendees for coming early and staying late for research and tours of Lincoln historic sites. Now FGS acknowledges the economic impact genealogy research has on an area by instituting a new award. 

September 8, 2011
Federation of Genealogical ANNOUNCES TOURISM AWARD
First Recipients of FGS Genealogical Tourism Award Announced
September 8, 2011 – Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announces the creation of a new award to recognize and encourage a phenomenon garnering greater public attention: tourism and travel related to family history. 

The FGS Genealogical Tourism Award has been established - through the work of the FGS Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC) - to recognize the promotion efforts of libraries, archives and other genealogy research sites as “go to” destinations.

Recently, more travelers are visiting sites relevant to their own family history and heritage as well as sites that can help them research their own roots. The FGS Genealogical Tourism Award seeks to recognize those promoters and organizations who excel at ensuring that such sites remain accessible to the public.
Pat Oxley, President of the Federation of Genealogical Societies states: “The preservation of, and our access to, the records upon which we as family historians depend is a source of constant and significant concern to our community. We have a vision of potential ways in which tourism organizations across the country might promote and encourage the use of genealogical resources within their regions.”

The first winners of the FGS Genealogical Tourism Award are:
·         Curt Witcher, Genealogy Center Manager, Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana, for his efforts in attracting 100,000+ visitors to the Genealogical Center each year, 85% of them from outside of Allen County.  The indirect economic impact is estimated to expand the economy of Allen County by almost $7 million each year.
·         Deby Snodgrass, Director of the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for the success of the website. The Genealogy section of the site at lists genealogy resources by county as well as maps featuring Oklahoma Land Runs and Civil War Points of Interest.

According to Snodgrass, “Building our site was truly a labor of love on the part of Jennifer Kalkman, our Director of Marketing Operations and her team. Every member of the interactive team played an important role in creating it. We intend to continue to grow the site and look forward to working with the genealogical community.”

The awards presentation was made at the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ 2011 conference in Springfield, Illinois during the Opening Session on September 8, 2011. FGS hopes to provide future Genealogical Tourism Awards each year at its annual conference.

About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)
The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was founded in 1976 and represents the members of hundreds of genealogical societies. FGS links the genealogical community by helping genealogical societies strengthen and grow through resources available online, FGS Forum magazine (filled with articles pertaining to society management and genealogical news), and Society Strategy Series papers, covering topics about effectively operating a genealogical society. FGS also links the genealogical community through its annual conference -- four days of excellent lectures, including one full day devoted to society management topics. To learn more visit

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