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A way to say “thank you” to one of our best

If you’ve ever been to a national genealogical conference, you’ve seen Laura G. Prescott.

Laura G. PrescottAnd if you haven’t ever been to one, you’ve probably seen her anyway — or at least heard of her.

A past president of the Association of Professional Genealogists and a long-time leader in the field of genealogical education (she was the host of the Ancestry Academy series, just as one example, including the probate presentation by The Legal Genealogist), Laura’s contributions to our field are many.

SO many that it’d take this entire blog post (and more besides) just to list them all.

But chances are pretty good that’s not what anyone who’s ever met her or even seen her would remember best about Laura.

No, what we all think of whenever we think of Laura is her welcoming smile and her gentle upbeat encouraging manner.

Always reaching out, always encouraging to newcomers, always enthusiastic and always always always smiling.

And making everyone else around her smile.

Until the day that one word crept into the picture.

That one word none of us ever wants to hear about a dearly loved friend.

The word cancer.

For years now, Laura has been battling cancer… and has repeatedly beaten the odds, has seen her family grow with a beloved granddaughter, and has reached the milestone of her 60th birthday.

Not once in these years has her smile dimmed.

But another word crept into the picture recently and it has made the smiles of those who love her a little watery.

It’s the word “hospice.”

We are so often counselled not to wait to tell people how much they mean to us, because we never know when it may be too late. It isn’t given to us often to have the opportunity to know when is exactly the right time.

For our friend Laura, it’s time.

Time, now, for all of us she has helped and mentored and given to so unstintingly for all these years to say thank you.

And we can do it in the form of a contribution to the newly-created Laura G. Prescott scholarship.

Here’s the info:

In recognition of the professional accomplishments of our friend and colleague, Laura G. Prescott, and her contributions to the area of education in genealogy, a scholarship for tuition to the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) has been established. The scholarship will be funded through tax-deductible donations.

Laura is known throughout the genealogical community for her passion for genealogical education in the areas of teaching, writing, research, and more. She worked for the New England Historic Genealogical Society for seven years before starting her own research business, was a lecturer at conferences, seminars, and workshops at all levels, and has written articles on a wide range of genealogical topics for the field’s journals. She served as president of the Association of Professional Genealogists and was director of Ancestry Academy, Ancestry’s collection of educational webinars presented by leading genealogical educators.

The Laura G. Prescott SLIG Scholarship is open to amateur, transitional, and professional genealogists who exhibit a passion for genealogy and appreciate the importance of education in our field. Desirable candidates will be those seeking to maintain high standards in genealogy, while also giving back to the community through volunteerism within the genealogical community (serving on society boards, conference committees, family associations) or through promoting genealogy in the world at large (through pro bono projects in cemeteries, adoption research, unclaimed persons, e.g.). Applicants will be asked to explain their reason for taking a particular SLIG course, and also to list education and experience, both paid and volunteer.

A committee will evaluate scholarship applications and choose one winner annually to receive full tuition to his or her choice of track at the traditional Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy in Salt Lake City, Utah, or to one of its alternative programs during the year. Details about applying for the scholarship for attendance at SLIG in January 2020 will be forthcoming.

Those wishing to donate to the Laura G. Prescott SLIG Scholarship may do so in one of these ways:

• Via Facebook:
• By mailing a check to the Utah Genealogical Association, Attn: Laura G. Prescott SLIG Scholarship, PO Box 1144, Salt Lake City, UT 84110 (make checks payable to the Utah Genealogical Association), or
• Via PayPal, at with “Laura G. Prescott SLIG Scholarship” in the instructions.

I’m all in on this one. My contribution was sent as fast as I could get to my computer.

Please share this post far and wide throughout the genealogical community — pass it along to your societies and your APG chapters and anywhere else you can think of — and join me in saying THANK YOU, LAURA

Thank you, dear friend, for all you’ve done… and know that we love you.

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