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Blair Family Magazine

The Blair Family Magazine is the official quarterly newsletter of the Blair Society for Genealogical Research. Since 1983, the BFM has been the source for accurate, well-documented Blair family history and genealogy.Individual issues average twenty pages and typically include information about the Society, member news, research and computer tips, interesting and informative articles, Blair records and data from around the world, and queries.

Submissions of material for publication in the Blair Family Magazine are always welcome. We request that you cite your sources and give proper credit where due. We reserve the right to edit all material submitted for publication. Publication dates are January 21, April 21, July 21, and October 21. The deadline for submission of material is six (6) weeks prior to publication, and should be addressed to the BFM Editor.

Click Here for a printable Adobe Version of contributing to BFM
Click Here for an MS Word Version of contributing to BFM

Thanks to the contributions of many of our members, BSGR now has an award winning newsletter. The Blair Family Magazine was awarded Honorable Mention (third place) in the National Genealogical Society 2000 Newsletter Competition, Family Society category. We can all be proud of our publication. However, if we are to keep to this standard, and further BSGR's mission to collect, preserve and disseminate Blair data, the newsletter will need continuing member support. If you haven't yet sent your research findings to Blair Family Magazine, consider doing so. By publishing your data, you assure that it will be available to future researchers of your line of Blairs, and you will be assuring that our newsletter remains a good one.

Future Issues

To emphasize the Society's interest in collecting data about non-surnamed Blair lines, members are asked to submit material dealing with the descending lines of Blair daughters and the families from which Blair wives descend. If you have stories, documents, or genealogical information (not lineage lists per se) send them along to the editor.

Also, if you have areas of interest you'd like the newsletter to address, let the editor know. The editor also welcomes, comments, additions, corrections or clarifications of material printed in the Magazine.

Send your queries to Blair Family Magazine as well as to Internet lists. Your areas of interest in Blair research will then become a matter of record, available to those who read the magazine in future years.

Of course, continue to send copies of Blair data, gleaned while searching your own line, found in printed material in local libraries or amongst family papers and Bibles, or found in library surname files. These might not help in your own research, but may very well contain a clue to help another member scale an encountered blank wall. Always give complete references (author, title, page numbers, publisher), and quote exactly. Citing where you found the documentation (library, genealogical society, county court house, etc.) might also be helpful to readers. You might like to just photocopy the material - always the most accurate way to transmit material - but be sure to send the source information and your name and member number when you send photocopies. Write this on the back of the copies.

Writng Up Your Research

To assist those who might be thinking about writing up an account of their research findings but don't know where to begin, here are some suggestions.

First, have in mind what you're trying to get across. Is it simply to show new evidence to prove or disprove a genealogical relationship? Are you introducing new documentation? Showing inconclusive or conflicting data? Telling a story handed down within your family? Telling what you know so far, and asking for additional help?

Begin your paper by stating what you intend writing about - i.e., the good old "thesis statement" of your school day term papers. An example is,

There have been a variety of oral stories that Alexander Blair (1816-1865) served and died in the Civil War. One story had it that he died in a Confederate prison .... Below is the true story. [from Don Dickason, Blair Family Magazine, Volume XVII, Number. 3, page 46.]

Then, because everyone is not as familiar as you are with the Blair line being discussed, give a brief overview with enough information to help the reader understand the paper. Cite references here - to other BFM articles, to specific documents such as deeds, wills, etc. Quote these if this will make the article clearer, or, if a supporting document has not been published in BFM before (the editor can check this for you), send a copy of it (never send original documents, of course.)

Then, continue telling your point of view by simply walking through your evidence. You might wish to arrange your material here by making an outline - or you could simply stack up what you've collected in logical order and go from there. Again, cite references. And, read through what you've written to see if stranger could understand it.

In showing conflicting data, give a little background to inform readers about the points under dispute. If possible, give sources for each viewpoint. You might wish to ask specific questions for which answers are still needed.

Try to send clear photographs with the main image in focus and with good contrast, light to dark, and of an appropriate size to appear in the magazine. If a photo­copy must be sent, ask your copy center for a master quality image, and check to see how it prints. You might wish to have a photo copied in a photo shop. This will make the best master if the copy is in focus, not too dark, and on glossy paper. Old newsprint pic-tures may still be usable if copied to provide the best image possible. Do your best to send clean copies of maps and other graphics. The quality of photos in the magazine needs to improve. Better originals will help.

The Editor's Job

In an effort to standardize within each issue of the newsletter, a few editing standards have been adopted. When received, typed articles are changed to a standard format - margins, columns, and so forth. This need not concern the writer - a good clear typescript or clear handwritten material is enough to send.

The preferred spelling found in Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (the first spelling given) or that found on computer spell check lists is used. For better accuracy, most words are written out rather than abbreviated: "Lancaster County, Pennsylvania" instead of "Lancaster Co., PA" and "born," "married," and "died" instead of "b." or "m." or "d." which might be misunderstood, and certainly more difficult to read. To further avoid confusion and to be consistent within the newsletter, we prefer that dates should be written "2 January 1900," not 1/2/00 or January 2, 1900, with the added comma.

Don't, however, worry unduly about these basics. The editor will check over the papers received and make changes to our standard form (but do check over the spelling of names of people and places, and check dates).

Printed documents sent in their entirety are as a rule not edited to our standard, although selections may be extracted from lengthy documents, that is, the whole document not reprinted, at the editor's a discretion. Send these exactly as they appear - again, photocopying may be the easiest way to be the most accurate.

Copyrighted Material

If you are using the words of another author verbatim, quoting exactly, you must put them in quotes or indent them, and give proper acknowledgment. If you paraphrase information from someone's research, this should also be acknowledged, even if it is not quoted exactly or set apart. You may either acknowledge in a footnote or within the text.

If you're sending a photocopy of an preprinted article, give the editor as much information as possible so that the author or publisher can be contacted to acquire written permission to reprint in our publication.

Historical material reprinted by a reprint house, such as Genealogical Publishing Company in Baltimore, may require permission to print, so give us the name, date, and whatever address of the reprint house that's shown in the publication as well as the original source and date.

Material from a computer source should be so designated, giving the "address" where found. If there is a statement about using the material, copy this out and send it along. An example is that the "Missing Links", of the Rootsweb Review has its "Permission to Reprint" statement at the back of each issue, and shows how the acknowledgment should be written. If you get permission to quote material, send a copy to us or give us a reference to check.

If you have any questions about the right to copy, contact the BSGR editor, or visit
http://www.law.cornell.edu/topics/copyright.html for an overview of the copyright law.

Thanks for you help.

Mary J. Powers,
Former Editor,
Blair Family Magazine

June 2000

Individual back issues of the Blair Family Magazine are available for $2.50 each for members, and $3.00 each for non-members. When ordering, please indicate the issue(s) desired. A fourteen-year collection of the Blair Family Magazine (1983-96), including annual indexes, is available for $80.00 for members, and $100.00 for non-members. This collection covers 56 issues, 14 indexes, and over 1,000 pages of material on the Blair family. Annual BFM Indexes are also available for $2.50 each for members, and $3.00 each for non-members. Please indicate the year you desire. A fourteen-year collection of the annual BFM Indexes (1983-96) is also available for $16.00 for members, and $20.00 for non-members. You may wish to purchase the indexes first, then order the BFM back issues that pertain to your Blair ancestor. Please see the BSGR Online Store for ordering information.

Members may submit free queries to the Blair Family Magazine. Priority will be given to provide space for one query per member per year. If space permits, a member will be allowed to submit more than one query per year. Non-members are charged $3.00 per query. This fee includes a copy of the BFM issue in which the query appears. Priority will be given to member queries over non-member queries.

To submit queries or material for publication in the Blair Family Magazine, please contact:

BFM Editor

BFM Co-Editors
Christina Marie Enright
8199 Welby Road, Apt 604
Denver, CO  80229-5645
Cathleen M. Sato
2169 Smokey View Blvd
Powell, OH  43065-9208

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