A Special Message for Society Leadership

D. Joshua Taylor, Genealogy Roadshow, PBS, family history, Josh Taylor, FGS, President, War of 1812,

FGS President, D. Joshua Taylor

We are happy to share this very special message to genealogical and historical society presidents around the country, from FGS President, D. Joshua Taylor.




Dear Fellow Presidents,

What exciting times to be involved in a genealogical and historical organization! Thank you for volunteering your time, energy, and passion to your local society. As we each continue to reach out to those interested in family history, we have unique opportunities available to us as leaders. One such opportunity comes with the advancement of technology and the increased access to historical documents and collections – access on levels never before seen.

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) effort to Preserve the Pensions continues to be at the forefront of that movement. When completed, the Preserve the Pensions will provide free access to more than 7.2 million pages for the War of 1812 records; a crucial historical collection for researcher’s throughout academia.

In February 2015, FGS announced that, with the help of the entire community and our friends at Ancestry.com, Preserve the Pensions had reached the half-way point. More than $1.6 million has been raised and millions of images are already accessible for free at Fold3.com.

In January of 2016, we were again thrilled to announce that we accomplished the $2 million mark! An incredible milestone.

But, our work is not yet done…

Therefore, I am announcing the Preserve the Pensions Leadership Challenge to fellow presidents among the genealogical community.

Now is the time to get involved.

  • Join me in giving a donation to the project, through a monthly recurring donation of $18.12 for the next twelve months.

You are also invited to join the challenge with a one-time donation of any amount.
Donations can be made online!

  • Invite members of your board and committees to join you in the challenge through a monthly or one-time donation to the project.
  • Create a society matching campaign to mobilize your membership for this terrific cause. FGS is happy to assist in setting up a society matching program, and will currently match all donations dollar for dollar. Contact 1812@fgs.org for further details.

If each leader of an FGS member organization donates $18.12 per month for the next year, we would contribute nearly $110,000 to the project. But that is just the beginning of our collective contribution! When matched by Ancestry.com, the total would be nearly $220,000 and bring more than 485,000 pages online!

There has never been a better time to become involved in this important project. Your participation in the Preserve the Pensions Leadership Challenge is deeply appreciated.

Best wishes,




Watch Josh’s video – a message to all societies – about how groups like yours can contribute to this incredible effort. Please feel free to share this with your organization or your friends – and view even more on our YouTube channel.


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