Fall - Winter 2012-2013
“Your Board of Assistants Has Plans For Yet Another Busy Year”
2012 was a busy year for the Illinois Mayflower Society. Two notable achievements this year were the approval of a revised set of Bylaws and the creation of a Mayflower Fellowship Grant to be awarded annually to qualified PhD and post-doctoral scholars studying at Newberry Library in Chicago.
Officers from the Illinois Mayflower Society attended (at their own expense) both the National Genealogical Society Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio on May 9-12, 2012 and the National Mayflower Board of Assistants Meeting in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey on September 6-9, 2012.
The annual meeting of the Illinois Mayflower Society was held at the historic Maldaner’s Restaurant in Springfield, Illinois on Saturday, November 17, 2012. Over 100 members attended and honored 18 new members in a special recognition ceremony. Ken Callison, Captain General of the General Mayflower Society, was a guest of honor and spoke of the new initiatives of the national organization. Election of Officers took place. (Please see list of new Officers for 2012-2013 elsewhere on the web site.) Following lunch Kathryn Harris, Library Services Director of the Abraham Lincoln Library & Museum, provided a delightful and informative presentation on the Library & Museum and its significant collection of books relating to Lincoln and Illinois. Following her presentation, she escorted the entire group on a private tour of the Library & Museum. Everyone agreed it was one of the best meetings ever.
At the annual meeting we started a new tradition which we believe will grow in popularity. In addition to each person standing when the name of his/her ancestor’s name is read off as a signor of the Mayflower Compact or a passenger on the Mayflower, we photographed all members in attendance with their ancestral families. Our plan is to have these family group pictures taken at each spring and fall luncheon. The pictures will then appear on our website and in our newsletter. These photographs will become part of the historical and pictorial records of our organization We hope this will become a popular new tradition and that members will consent to have their pictures taken as part of this program.
On December 8th a number of the newly elected officers met for our annual retreat. We spoke frankly about a whole number of issues and were able to agree on some realistic but ambitious goals for the ensuing year. Here are the goals for 2013 in no particular order of importance:
1) Archiving/Scanning of Society Documents: To move our scanning/archiving project along a number of the officers will travel to Wisconsin (at their own expense) and personally confer with the Wisconsin Society folk as to their program for scanning and archiving documents. We will then present a detailed plan to the Board of Assistants.
2) Trip to Allen County Library: We will sponsor another trip to Allen County Library during the year at a time which is most convenient to most Board members. We might open this trip up to the membership.
3) Volunteer List: Ever so often we have a prospective member who needs more help than usual in researching and organizing lineage proof. Our co-historians do not typically have the time to devote the amount of time necessary to help these individuals. We would like to develop a list of Illinois Mayflower Society members who might be willing to assist these prospective members. This list will be compiled by all co-historians from members who have shown an exceptional ability to perform genealogical research. The list will be compiled under the leadership of Marge Piersen. The program should be fully operational by 2014.
4) Brochure: Karen Seda (our new Newsletter Editor) will help create a brochure for the Illinois Mayflower Society which can be distributed at various heritage and genealogical society meetings.
5) Social Media: Karen Seda will also explore creating a presence for the Illinois Mayflower Society on Facebook and Twitter.
6) Links to Heritage and Genealogical Societies: We will endeavor to develop stronger links with Chicago and Illinois Heritage and Genealogical Societies. This task will be under the leadership of Jan Pranger.
7) Future Meetings: With a view to developing colonies elsewhere in the state (Peoria? Galesburg? Quad Cities?) We might hold a future meeting in areas outside of Chicago.
8) Heritage Weekend: Jane Schleinzer reported on her interest in developing a Heritage Weekend for members of various Heritage and Genealogical Societies around the state. We might also invite officers of the surrounding state Mayflower Societies to attend. The Illinois Mayflower Society will be one of the primary sponsoring organizations of Heritage Weekend.
This is a pretty exciting set of goals. The Heritage Weekend idea of Jane Schleinzer's is particularly interesting and has all kinds of great possibilities. Karen Seda's willingness to develop a brochure for the Illinois Mayflower Society and a social media program is greatly appreciated and is innovative and forward-looking. Of course, we will report back to our membership the progress we make in these and other initiatives.
Warm regards to all!
Max Douglas Brown
Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of Illinois
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