Journal Jottings, May 2017

By Diane L. Richard, NCGS Journal Editor, journaleditor@ncgenealogy.org

Soon after you read this issue of Journal Jottings, we’ll be busy with the NGS 2017 conference in Raleigh. As part of the local host committee, one of my responsibilities is the Exhibit Hall. I’d love to meet readers of the Journal. When not giving talks, I will likely be found at one of three places: the Exhibit Hall table, the NCGS booth, or the NGS booth (as I wear my hat as editor of Upfront with NGS). You can also use the conference app to “connect” with me.

Repository Emissaries Needed

It is not possible for your NCGS Journal editor to get to every place that might have gem material for the Journal. If you happen to live near a North Carolina or out-of-state repository that holds unique and unpublished materials about North Carolinians, please consider donating a few hours to visit said repository on behalf of the Journal.

If you tell me where you can or would be willing to visit, I will check online catalogs and finding aids and gladly provide you with a mission.

Digital scans and camera photos are ideal as are good old-fashioned paper copies. You will be reimbursed for copy and parking expenses.

If you are interested and able to serve as an NCGS Journal emissary, please contact me at journaleditor@ncgenealogy.org.

Submission Guidelines

Recent submissions have reminded me that I take for granted that I know how material will be presented in the Journal and that, not surprisingly, y’all are NOT mind readers! So, I thought that I would take a few minutes to remind those planning to submit something of a few aspects that better ensure that your piece will be published and is “close” to being in ready-to-publish condition. With that in mind, please review the following guidelines.
1. Read Sharing Your Genealogical Treasures by Larry W. Cates, NCGS Journal Editor (2012-2015). He really provides invaluable insight into what is needed and important.
2. Make sure that what you submit has not been published in a major genealogical publication already. The Journal strives to provide “new” content to its readers.
3. Ensure that ALL stated “facts” are documented. Every time you state a fact (birth, marriage, census, deed, probate, newspaper notice, Bible entry, membership list, and so on), include a reference to where the reader can access that information. If the information is in private hands, provide sufficient details about the source (family Bible held by xxxx) so that the reader can evaluate the quality of the source/evidence. All case studies should be well documented so that readers can recreate the submitter’s research.
4. Use footnotes (or endnotes). Many current submissions include detailed reference information in the body of the text. That can overwhelm the reader and make your article more disjointed than it needs to be. You can either use the footnote/endnote capability included in your software or just number items and create a list at the end. The Journal uses footnotes/endnotes so that the documentation of facts (as stated in item #3) does not clutter up the narrative. An example:
Joe Smoe and family are listed in the Wake County 1840 census.1
1 Ancestry.com, 1840 census, xxx
5. Consider including sidebars if you are submitting a case study. (An example can be found in the NCGS Journal, volume 43, number 2, May 2017.) Sidebars provide content that is educational and often supplemental to the text. Case studies can be overwhelming for novice and even experienced researchers to read and fully comprehend. The use of sidebars for supplemental information, summary of key elements of a case study, challenges faced, lessons learned, or key resource documents can help the reader better navigate your case study and/or learn relevant information that would disrupt the flow of the narrative.
6. Do include images. Images can be in color or black and white. Many readers are visual and we are now able, via the website-based version of the Journal, to include color. Send along as many images as seems feasible. Do remember that the print format of the journal is 6” x 9,” so complex documents will not reproduce well. Sometimes, a “snippet” of a document is all that is needed to make a point. Images of people, places, and things always work.

I hope that these few guidelines make sense and that you can appreciate their value. The less massaging needed by an editor, the more likely that a piece will be used, and sooner rather than later.

That said, if you are confused or have questions about the guidelines presented above, just ask the NCGS Journal editor, journaleditor@ncgenealogy.org.

NCGS North Carolina Research webinars

Whether you are coming to Raleigh for the conference or just researching North Carolina ancestors (physically in Raleigh or at home in your jammies), please do check out two of the newest NCGS webinars, presented by yours truly.

Submissions, short and long, are always welcome

Anyone can contribute content to the NCGS Journal. Submissions can be any length, from one page to several pages. If you have a photo or image related to your submission, send it along. A few ideas for Journal articles:

  • 2017 marks the 100-year anniversary of WWI. Did your ancestors served in the war? Do you have a family story related to the war?
  • Did you come across an interesting North Carolina-related document in an out-of-state repository? Submit a digital image or a transcript along with a source citation.
  • Does a particular bit of North Carolina history intrigue you? Write an article and share that history with other North Carolina researchers.
  • Does your family history provide a neat example of a research element? Share your research strategy with other genealogists in the Journal.
  • Do you have an historic photo of North Carolinians? Is there a story behind the photo? Share the photo and the story, whether it’s a few sentences or several paragraphs. The photo might even end up on the cover of the Journal.

Please send suggestions, submissions, etc., to journaleditor@ncgenealogy.org. And remember, you do not have to be an NCGS member to support the NCGS Journal.

Thanks again to all who have helped and to those who will volunteer in the future. It does take a village to create a journal.

Hope to see you in Raleigh at the conference!

Go Journal Team!