Tuesday, February 8, 2011

New England Regional Genealogical Conference April 6 - 10, 2011 - Josh Taylor

D. Joshua Taylor “Josh”

Here is a brief interview with D. Joshua Taylor who will be presenting three times at the April 2011 New England Regional Genealogical Conference: at the opening session Thursday April 7 “Family History in Primetime”, on Friday April 8 “Discovering your Ancestor’s Live: Political Affiliations and their Records”, and on Saturday April 9 “Creating Your Family History Website”. Josh is Director of Education and Programs at the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS).

Josh was a genealogist on the series premiere of NBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? with actress Sarah Jessica Parker. He is a popular speaker at conferences and recently spoke at RootsTech in Salt Lake City and he will speak at Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE in London. His genealogy articles have appeared in American Ancestors, UGA Crossroads, FGS Forum, Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly, and New England Ancestors. Josh has won awards such as the Distinguished Service Awards from the Utah Genealogical Association and the Federation of Genealogical Societies, the Rubincam Youth Award from the National Genealogical Society, and an Award of Merit from the Federation of Genealogical Societies.

Question 1. The big question! Are you on WDYTYA? again this season? Everyone is dying to know!

I am not on the show this season, I can tell you that from what I have seen the season looks like it is going to be full of interesting surprises – and some terrific research!

Question 2. You speak all over the United States, and in February you will speak in London. What is it like to address genealogists right here in New England? Does the proximity to NEHGS/Boston change your talks in any way?

Speaking to genealogists in New England certainly has its advantages – though I often encounter folks who have never heard of NEHGS. It is always easier to reference places and historical events that occurred in the area where your audience lives – as it gives them an immediate reference point. Because New England is my primary “home” for research, I am often able to guide audience members to resources that I am readily familiar with at a library or archive. Also, it is nice to know that they can always visit a repository like NEHGS to follow-up with additional questions or examine some of the sources discussed.

Question 3. I understand you just graduated with your MLS degree. How did you come to make that choice over any other degree? (My daughter just graduated from Simmons in May 2010 with her master's degree in Communications, and I saw your name in the printed graduation program!)

I decided to do a dual-degree masters program (MLS – Archival Management and MA in History) a few years ago after seeing the need to understand the library and archive systems, while also grounding myself in a knowledge of historical writing and methodology. I also choose the degree because it hinged on “information science,” which is important in today’s digital world. Throughout the process I came to understand the importance of bridging the two fields of “genealogy” and “history,” as both are closely related along with the importance of developing libraries and archives capable of handling digital resources.

Question 4. How important is continuing education and NERGC to genealogists?

Continuing education is vital for genealogists. There is always something new to learn (a new resource, website, database, etc. ) – even for those who have been researching for 20 years. Conferences like NERGC also serve as the backdrop for networking with other genealogists, which can be a great way to discuss research problems, share findings, and meet others who are researching similar topics. My favorite part of conferences is meeting others who share my hobby (and profession) and are open to exchanging ideas (and it is always fun to hear stories about research successes!).

Disclaimer- I have not been paid by NERGC nor I have I recieved any in kind benefits of any type to write this blog post.

Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

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