WAGS Board Meeting Minutes
1 February 2022
The Watauga Association of Genealogists Board met about 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, 1 February 2022 as an online Zoom session. Board members present were Margaret Hougland, Sada Johnson, Wanda Manning, Jim Wilson, David Ownby, Lisa Krekelberg, Linda Blanton, Lois Wetzel, Betty Jane Hylton, and Janette Guinn. The minutes of the last WAGS Board meeting held on 30 November 2021 were approved. The number of attendees at the general meetings was requested.
Membership Report — Corresponding secretary Wanda had emailed a report showing that WAGS has 46 regular member renewals with 31 members not renewed. She also had included membership statistics showing a decline from 126 members in 2015 to 77 members in 2021.
Treasurer Report – In her November Treasurer Report Sada stated the business checking account balance on 31 October was $3873.75. There was a deposit of $6 on 23 November and a withdrawal of $71.98 to PayPal for DreamHost renewal on 29 November. A dividend of $0.32 was issued on 30 November leaving an ending balance of $3807.59. PayPal balance as of 30 October was $84.70. There were no new members. A transfer of $84.70 was made to DreamHost on 27 November leaving a balance of $0 on 30 November.
In her December Treasurer Report Sada stated the business checking account balance on 30 November 2021 was $3807.59. There were no deposits and two withdrawals: $1000 to the Friends of the Washington County, Tennessee Archives and $1000 to the Johnson City Public Library. A dividend of $0.27 was issued on 31 December 2021 leaving the ending balance $1807.86. PayPal balance as of 30 November was $0. There were 14 renewals of $18 each with a service fee of $1.12 on each of those leaving an ending balance of $236.32 on 31December.
Library News – Library Liaison Lisa reported there were questions at the desk.
Webmaster Report — Webmaster Betty Jane shared a website report printout showing views per day from January 3 through February 1 with January 22 being the busiest with 34 views and 15 visitors. She has continued to post events of genealogical, historical, and research on the WAGS Facebook page.
Bulletin Editor Report — Bulletin editor Margaret reports she is receiving new articles for the Bulletin but could use more!
Vice Chairman Report – Vice Chairman David reported he hoped the March WAGS general meeting could be held at the JCPL. He is looking for an Archives of Appalachia presentation and an ETHS presentation. The gentleman to make the presentation on Oak Ridge is not ready to travel to make appearances yet. Lisa suggested WAGS to work with JCPL on collecting family history. Jim proposed that WAGS cancel the program for July 5.
The Future of WAGS
David: How do we want to divide our meetings – Zoom or in-person at JCPL?
Sada: history – Do we want to survey? Are many folks reading the Bulletin?
Jim: How many local members belong but do not participate? Is WAGS a genealogical or a historical society? Several organizations are doing the same thing: should we all merge?
Janette: Really appreciate the Bulletin and being able to download it.
Lois: Many folks are using Ancestry and FamilySearch for genealogy instead of in-person meetings.
Linda had emailed her concerns: Why are most of the 45 local members not attending meetings? Is it the topics, the day of the week, the time of day? Why do locals renew? Only to receive the Bulletin? Do locals read the Bulletin? Would taking a survey of the Northeast Tennessee members be helpful for the Board members? Are 8 to 9 meetings a year too many meetings? Many genealogy webinars are available online and conferences are virtual. WAGS has a healthy bank account that we need to plan how to spend. The bylaws need to be reviewed and edited.
Margaret: Membership is low. Financial position is good. Participation is questionable – locals not coming to meetings. WAGS newsletter sent out every month with product and organization information.
Zoom newsletter – we need more information.
Lisa: Perhaps to have an intro to Zoom – have a website where members can learn how to use Zoom effectively and efficiently. WAGS could offer a class on how to do genealogy.
The newsletter sent out each month could have links to presentations of interest.
Meeting announcements – Betty Jane posts those two weeks before on the website and Facebook page. That information could also be available at JCPL or at the Archives or at the Tennessee State Library website.
We need to stimulate participation.
Lisa: A survey would be easy to conduct online.
David: Get ready for the 1950 Census information coming out 1 April.
Betty Jane: Tennessee is pushing newspaper indexing with the TSLA – Tennessee State Library and Archives.
The meeting was adjourned about 8:00 p.m.
Janette F. Guinn
WAGS Board Meeting Minutes
22 February 2022
The Watauga Association of Genealogists Board met about 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, 22 February 2022 as an online Zoom session. Board members present were Margaret Hougland, Sada Johnson, Jim Wilson, Lisa Krekelberg, Linda Blanton, Lois Wetzel, Betty Jane Hylton, and Janette Guinn. The minutes of the last WAGS Board meeting held on 1 February 2022 were approved.
Membership Report — Corresponding secretary Wanda had emailed a report showing that WAGS has 59 regular member renewals and three new members for the month of February. She reported two Bulletin V. 2, 3 thumb drive sales.
Treasurer Report — Treasurer Sada stated the business checking account balance on 31 December 2021 was $1807.86. There was one deposit of $253 and no withdrawals. A dividend of $0.16 was issued on 31 January 2022 making an ending balance of $2061.02 on that date. PayPal balance as of 31 December 2021 was $236.32. There were 8 renewals of $18 each ($144) with a service fee of $1.12 on each ($8.96) of those leaving an ending balance of $371.36 on 31 January 2022. Business Primary Share ending balance was $2924.49. Certificate Balances are $1173.87, $1244.07, and $1215.24. Sada is concerned that the PayPal account is in the name of Susan Kubenka, former treasurer. Betty Jane keeps getting messages from PayPal, too. Sada wondered if she could call and just cancel PayPal and then start over with her name and someone else with her, perhaps David Ownby.
Library News – Library Liaison Lisa reported JCPL is switching to a new catalog system at the beginning of March. The system should be much more user-friendly and intuitive. Librarian Lisa Williams attended training on using the Census’ new American Community Survey. This new resource will help with those searches formerly made with the now decommissioned American FactFinder. JCPL is appreciative of WAGS’ support and help. Going back to WAGS having a person in the Tennessee Room to help with genealogy and local history could be helpful. Perhaps on Saturdays in the summer when there seem to be a steady stream of visitors, folks travel from out of town to research their family members from the area. Many other local archives are closed on weekends, so they go to the library – which tends to be short-staffed on weekends (only two people working the desk) so they cannot really sit down with the visitors and give them research assistance. Margaret asked if JCPL has a list of WAGS members on call to help researchers. JCPL does not.
Quoting from Lisa: An idea for the WAGS to attract new members is by offering in the public program rotation one or two events each year geared towards those perhaps beginning or curious about starting their family or local history research. For instance, the John Sevier Hotel has been in the news quite a bit these past few years. A program based on that building’s history could be of interest to the wider community, and could tie in with using local history resources. Another possibility could be something spinning off the popular genealogy-themed TV shows like “Who Do You Think You Are?” or “Genealogy Roadshow.” With the former example, you could get a local celeb who’s willing to work with you all on researching their family history, and then you stage it like the show does (it would take some prep work, but we could help you do a big advertising push for it to reach a wide audience).
Webmaster Report — Webmaster Betty Jane shared a website report printout showing views per day from January 25 through February 22 with February 19 being the busiest with 88 views. A link to how to use Zoom has been posted on the WAGS home page. She has continued to post events of genealogical, historical, and research on the WAGS Facebook page. WAGS Facebook has changed and anyone can get on the page with no questions asked as had previously been set.
Bulletin Editor Report — Bulletin editor Margaret reports she has about 30 pages ready to go and is moving right along. Please send any new articles by March 1 for this issue.
Vice Chairman Report – Vice Chairman David could not be present but has programs aligned for March, April, May, and June (No July meeting). August – waiting for a reply from East Tennessee Historical Society and will contact Sullivan County Archives for September. Question: Are eight meetings too many for each year for WAGS?
If cannot find anyone to take of the chairman post, Margaret will limp along. Perhaps board members could take turns. The Board director positions will just remain empty.
Discussion: More social media? Meetings in person instead of Zoom may help. Focus on helping folks with genealogy. Have a special of the month. Would a survey be helpful? Margaret and Sada will send articles to Betty Jane to post on the WAGS webpage.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.
Janette F. Guinn
WAGS Board Meeting Minutes
29 March 2022
The Watauga Association of Genealogists Board met about 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, 29 March 2022 as an online Zoom session. Board members present were Margaret Hougland, Sada Johnson, David Ownby, Wanda Manning, Jim Wilson, Lisa Krekelberg, Linda Blanton, Betty Jane Hylton, and Janette Guinn. The minutes of the last WAGS Board meeting held on 22 February 2022 were approved.
Membership Report — Corresponding secretary Wanda shared that WAGS has 63 regular members with no new members for March. Exchange members number 25, and Free/Life members are 38. There were no sales.
Treasurer Report — Treasurer Sada stated the business checking account balance on 31 January 2022 was $2061.02. There was one deposit of $186 and no withdrawals. A dividend of $0.17 was issued on 28 February 2022 making an ending balance of $2247.19 on that date. PayPal balance as of 31 January 2022 was $371.36. There were 5 renewals of $18 each ($90) with a service fee of $1.12 on each ($5.60) of those, leaving an ending balance of $473.13 on 28 February 2022.
Library News – Library Liaison Lisa reported JCPL staff are preparing for Summer Reading 2022 and an upcoming One Story, One Community reading event. A discussion was held concerning having a WAGS member available on Saturday afternoons in the summer to give out-of-town patrons genealogy help. It was decided to have phone numbers there of willing WAGS members who can be available at certain times.
Webmaster Report — Webmaster Betty Jane shared a website report printout showing views per day from February 27 through March 28 with March 23 being the busiest day with 59 views. The top three most viewed posts were WAGS of NE TN, WAGS Bulletin, and WAGS Publications. Betty Jane has continued to share and post programs on genealogy and history on the WAGS Facebook page.
Bulletin Editor Report — Bulletin editor Margaret reports she has finished the Bulletin and Etta is proofing the last 20 pages.
Vice Chairman Report – Vice Chairman David had sent an email to WAGS members on 22 February detailing the WAGS meetings for March, April, May, and tentative June. He will be unable to attend the May 3 Limestone field trip because that is Election Day and he is working in the election.
Library Volunteer List
WAGS volunteers for the JCPL genealogy help on Saturday afternoons: We need to advertise that help is available along with the dates and times in the WAGS newsletters, and put information on the WAGS website – not just for members only.
Summer Workshop at JCPL
Lisa and Betty Jane met and discussed a June workshop: Gathering Family Stories and Checking Them Out. This is a joint workshop by WAGS and JCPL and will be on Saturday 11 June from 2-4 p.m. Four tables were suggested:
Beginning Genealogy – Where do I start? (Genealogy forms are available.)
DNA – Q&A
Help with Brick Walls
Oral History – Collecting and Storage
WAGS members are asked to sign up to work tables by 26 April.
Possibility of in-person Board Meetings
In-person Board Meeting on April 26. *[Reminder: In 21 November 2021 Board Minutes: “Board members definitely want Zoom for Board meetings.” DJFG]*
Membership: Who has not renewed? Send list of not-renewed to board and to the website board-only section. Wanda will send out a second reminder on 30 March for folks to renew or miss getting the April Bulletin.
Social Media: On Facebook page: How to join WAGS. In the WAGS newsletter – push information out! What we are doing, what is coming up, and announce at meetings.
Programs and events: How many should we have per year? WAGS is currently trying to have eight meetings a year: March, April, May, June, August, September, October, and November. Is this too many meetings? Program presenter gift: a one-year membership in WAGS to Jeremy Smith for his presentation on Archives of Appalachia in April. David made a motion to make a $100 donation to the Archives of Appalachia for the April program, and a $100 donation to the manager of the David Crockett Birthplace State Park at Limestone for the May program visit to the park. Sada seconded the motion which passed.
Website – Discussion: Send items for the webpage to Betty Jane and she will put them up.
Bulletin: Send feedback to Margaret; what do we want in the Bulletin? What creates the most interest?
The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.
Janette F. Guinn