Waaaay back in the dark ages of 2000, I decided to launch a genealogical grants program. I was so thrilled at the prospect of being able to make a living at what I love that I wanted to find a way to give back, so my Honoring Our Ancestors Genealogy Grants program (later rechristened Seton Shields Genealogy Grants in honor of my mother) was born.
It’s kind of funny now, thinking back to those early days when it was a struggle to make a grant some months. Though I had been obsessed with genealogy since the ripe old age of 10, I was new to the professional world and the income wasn’t exactly rolling in! But I’ve been doing it steadily ever since – mostly monthly, but in recent years, larger amounts on a quarterly basis. I’m so glad I stuck with it because I’ve always been a believer in the water-on-a-stone concept – that notion that a drip, drip, drip approach can ultimately make a difference.
And what a ride it’s been! To get a sense of the wide variety of genealogical endeavors I’ve had the opportunity to support, please take a few minutes to explore here.
May of next year will be my 20th anniversary, and since next year will be 2020, I thought that might be a fitting time to wrap up. 20 years in 2020. In fact, if I play my cards right, it will also be the 220th grant! I have one other milestone I’ll be aiming for, but whether I reach it remains to be seen.
The reason I’m sharing this decision now is to give any fence-sitters – those folks who have been considering applying for a grant, but haven’t done so – a heads up that the clock is now ticking. Generally, grant applications remain active for 6 months, but since this is the curtain call, any made from this point on will stay under consideration until the end. Applications for fascinating, innovative, creative, and yes, even mundane genealogical projects (sometimes libraries need shelves, you know?) of all stripes are welcome!