The Wake County Genealogical Society (WCGS) sponsored Anna Killian, a student in the North Carolina State University Public History program, to attend the 2017 NCGS Fall Conference. With the assistance of Dr. Craig Friend, Humanities and Social Sciences Distinguished Graduate Professor of History and Director of Public History at NCSU, the WCGS solicited applications from students who were asked to write a paragraph or two about why they would like to be sponsored to attend the conference. After the conference, the winning student will provide the WCGS with a summary of what they learned and how they may be able to apply this knowledge in the future.
The winning submission from Anna Killian
“As a young girl growing up in Appalachia, the family and our roots were always near and dear to my heart. I spent hours by my great-grandmother’s side recording her stories before she passed away, countless days were spent with my grandmother learning tricks in the kitchen that had been passed down from her mother, and notebooks are filled with anecdotes, pictures, and genealogical information I collected from my grandfather and uncles. Before I could drive, I hauled tape recorders to family reunions and asked about ancestors no one remembered, hoping to uncover missing links in our genealogy. Upon arriving at the university for an undergraduate degree in history and entrepreneurship, I made genealogy one of my scholarly focuses, and have since tracked my paternal line to the eighteenth century. I also set aside time to create an entrepreneurial business plan that would allow me to one day assist others in discovering their roots.
If granted the honor of attending this conference on a scholarship, I would dedicate my time there to learning from professionals about resources and methodology, and I would network with others who consider genealogical research a fascinating and beneficial field. Moreover, the speakers who are scheduled to present their research and expertise are fascinating, dealing with minimalist data, proxy data, and even the genesis of DNA analysis. As a second-year graduate student at North Carolina State University pursuing my Master’s in Public History, I am particularly appreciative of opportunities to learn about the future of our field, and how new technologies affect it. I would be honored to have the chance to discover from other conference attendees and speakers how they view the future of genealogy and how to become a better steward of the past.
Thank you for your time and consideration of my application. If I am chosen for this scholarship, I am prepared to hit the ground running on October 28th, and am excited to gain insights into the field.” Anna Killian