Seton Shields* Genealogical Grants

Seton Shields* Genealogical Grants2019-06-11T18:27:11-04:00



It's my turn to give back to the genealogical community!


What Do You Mean by “Genealogical Grants”?

Genealogical societies, local and specialized libraries, and avid genealogists are always short of the funds they need to access or buy appropriate research resources, acquire computers and other equipment, get collected information into print, digitized, and/or online, and pursue other projects. I’d like to take a tiny step toward addressing this problem.

If you represent an organization which serves the genealogical community at large – or if you serve a smaller community (perhaps you produce a family newsletter, host a website, organize reunions or some such thing) — and find yourself shy of necessary funds, please consider filling out the form below to apply for a small grant. I will review all submissions and periodically select one for a donation. My goal is one per per quarter. Submissions will remain active candidates for six months from the date of receipt. Hint: I find myself drawn to innovative ideas that can serve as a model to others! Why not give it a go?

I’m just one person, so I can only give small amounts, but I’m operating on the optimistic principle that every little bit helps. For the few minutes it takes to complete this form, you may be able to buy that handful of books or that scanner that’s been on your wish list for so long.

What’s the Catch?
There is none. Honest. I have had so much fun with genealogy for three decades and have benefited from the help of countless other genealogists. Now it’s my turn to give back to the genealogical community.

Read More about Megan’s Seton Shields Genealogical Grant program here and in this Wall Street Journal article.

Latest Seton Shields Genealogical Grants

January – March 2019

The second of two grants Q1 2019 has been awarded to The Historical Society of Harford County. Grant funds will assist with purchase of the materials necessary to process and store the 1,088 letters in the collection of the late Nancy Webster Barnes, which was recently donated for genealogists and historians to research and explore.

Family photo, courtesy of Regina DillardThe first of two grants this quarter has been awarded to Regina Dillard. Grant funds assisted with the cost of Y-DNA testing of the only two men of her grandmother’s generation left in the family who could be tested, ages 86 and 72.

October – December 2018

U.S. Lifesaving Service Logbook from 1892My third and final grant for Q4 2018 was awarded to loveren collections, an organization with the aim to reconnect people to the land and everyday perennial plants. The grant funds will assist with the purchase of books for research in European ancestral herbalism and ceremony (specifically from the Carpathian Mountains and Eastern Europe), which could be accessed as a free library source through the Permaculture Teaching Institute in Chicago.

U.S. Lifesaving Service Logbook from 1892The second of three grants this quarter has been awarded to the Knox County Genealogical Society. The grant funds covered the cost of a special camera and software for photographing and digitizing church records and other historical books, some of which date back to the early 1900s.

U.S. Lifesaving Service Logbook from 1892My latest grant has been awarded to Donna J. Weathers. The grant funds will help to cover the costs of compiling and publishing digitized records of the men who served as Surfmen in the U.S. Lifesaving Service.

To apply for a Seton Shields grant, fill out and submit the form here.

July – September 2018

Statue of Liberty MuseumI’m delighted to announce this quarter’s grant in support of the Statue of Liberty Museum that’s being constructed by the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation. So many of our ancestors’ first glimpse of America was Lady Liberty and her iconic image has become a symbol of freedom admired around the world. I’m excited to make a modest contribution to a museum that will tell her story to our descendants for generations to come.

To apply for a Seton Shields grant, fill out and submit the form here.


Review Awards From The Past 18 Years

View all Grant Awards from 2014 – 2018
View all Grant Awards from 2007 – 2013
View all Grant Awards from 2000 – 2006

Seton Shields Grant Application

* Who is Seton Shields?

My remarkable mother. Naming this grants program after her is one small way to keep her memory alive, though she’s no longer with us.

Seton Shields and family

Irish America – “Photo Album: The Shields Family” by Megan Smolenyak
and Irish America Digital Magazine [Page 96] – “My Irish Mother” by Megan Smolenyak