Friday, April 18, 2014

Follow Friday - Genealogy Certification Blog

For the "Follow Friday" blog theme I would like to recommend Jill Morelli's blog "Genealogy Certification: My Personal Journal." Jill writes about her educational process as she prepares for certification through the Board for Certification of Genealogists.

I met Jill through the  ProGen Study Groups and enjoyed getting to know her a little better at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy last January. On her blog she sometimes posts her thoughts about the ProGen Study Group assignments, but generally focuses on what she has learned as she studies and prepares to submit her BCG portfolio. As a genealogy education blogger, I appreciate her posts on the conferences and institutes she has attended. It is interesting to hear her perspective.

Jill has a series of posts on the elements of the Genealogical Proof Standard:
GPS Element #1: Thorough Search 
GPS Element #2: Informative citations
GPS Element #5: Writing your conclusions

Another one of my favorite posts is: 
What is “Context” Anyway?

I hope you enjoy reading her blog as much as I do.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

APG Careers Webinars

The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) is hosting some new webinars on careers in genealogy. They are free for anyone to watch the live webinar, and then archived for APG members. The first one is tonight, so sign up quickly if you are interested in seeing what a House Historian does. Here is a copy of the APG press release with registration links:

Upcoming APG Webinars & New "Careers" Series!

Mark your calendars! APG has the following webinars and speakers planned for April and May, brought to you by the APG Professional Development Committee. Register soon to reserve your spot. The first webinar is this Thursday!

Careers in Genealogy: House Historian
Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 9:00 p.m. Eastern
Presenter: Marian Pierre-Louis

Have you ever considered expanding your services by including House History research? It can be a great way to supplement your business. You might even discover you want to focus on house histories exclusively. In this talk we'll cover the similarities and differences of house history research to genealogy. We'll explore the educational background needed and the main records groups used. Finally, we'll have a discussion of the many different types of clients and products that can be the source of your revenue. Come discover if house history research is in your future!

Careers in Genealogy: Forensic Genealogist
Monday, May 19, 2014 at 9:00 p.m. Eastern
Presenter: Michael S. Ramage, J.D., CG

Are you curious about the fast-growing field of forensic genealogy? Forensic genealogist Michael S. Ramage, J.D., CG, will share what led him to specialize in the field of forensic genealogy, and review some of the different types of work which require the expertise of a forensic genealogist. The webinar will also review some of the items individuals need to consider before offering forensic services, including experience, education, credentials, skill sets, and marketing.

Where Genealogists Go Wrong on the Internet

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 9:00 p.m. Eastern
Presenter Marian Pierre-Louis

There are some common mistakes that many genealogists make when developing on online presence whether through email, social media, a blog or their website. From lack of consistency in building a brand to using the wrong image size, Marian Pierre-Louis will help get you back on track. If you would like to have your online presence evaluated (and used in the presentation) send Marian an email. APG members can also submit specific questions on this topic to Marian in advance at

Please share this invitation on relevant mailing lists, with your local society, or with anyone else who might have an interest. These webinars are available and free for APG members and non-members to attend live. Webinars are also recorded, and the recordings made available to APG members on the Members Only section of our website for any member who is unable to attend the live session or just wants to review the material again. If you have any questions, or would like to suggest a topic and/or speaker you would like to see for future webinars, please feel free to email me anytime—Kimberly Powell (

APG Professional Development Committee
Melanie Holtz (Chair), Sheri Fenley, Jean Wilcox Hibben, Kimberly Powell and Craig Scott
Copyright © 2014 Association of Professional Genealogists, All rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Spring Gen Proof Study Groups Forming

Are you interested in taking your genealogical research to the next level? Would you like to discuss the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) with others in a small group? Do you want to effectively apply the GPS to your own research? Perhaps it’s time for you to begin studying the book Mastering Genealogical Proof by Thomas W. Jones. 

New rounds of Gen Proof Study Groups are forming now. The small groups of 10-15 members and their mentor will work their way through each chapter of Mastering Genealogical Proof. They will discuss their thoughts, insights and questions about the five parts of the GPS, the chapter exercises and, their own research as it applies to the GPS.
If you are interested in joining:
1.       Make a commitment. You need to be able to commit at least 10 hours per week to read the book, complete the chapter exercises and participate in discussions.
2.       Obtain a copy of Mastering Genealogical Proof. The book is published by the National Genealogical Society and can be ordered here . It is also available as a KindleEdition

3.       Read the first two chapters to understand the commitment you are making.
4.       Decide what group level you would like to be in: beginner/intermediate or advanced.
5.       Send an email to get on the waiting list (see Registration Process below). Include your preference of group level (beginner/intermediate or advanced.)

Meeting times:
  • Some groups will meet and study one chapter every week for 8 weeks, and others will meet every other week for 16 weeks
  • There will be a variety of start dates.

Study Group Platform

We use Google + private communities as a platform for the study groups so there will be no expense involved to participate. You need to have a free Google + account. Each Gen Proof study group will have their own private Google + community where they can ask and answer questions and discuss the book content and assignments.

The groups will meet in one of four formats selected by the mentor. 
Asynchronous discussion board-- These groups do not meet at a designated time but have ongoing discussions on a private Google + Community discussion board throughout the week. The mentor will log on each day to answer questions and highlight certain concepts, and participants should check in daily also.

Video chat – These groups meet weekly or bi-weekly at a designated time for a one hour video chat on a private Google Hangout. You MUST have a computer or a tablet with a headset and microphone to participate. This is great for those who like to meet in real time and video chat to discuss the subject.  

Text chat – These groups meet at a designated time for one hour in a private chat room. You type your thoughts and questions via text chat and others will respond and discuss the concepts in real time. This format is good for those who do not want to video chat, but like a designated time each week to meet and discuss the subject.

Asynchronous discussion board with option to video chat – This combination of options discussed above has become very popular.  

Mastering Genealogical Proof Google + Community
We have created a public Google + community page to encourage discussion of the book. The link to the Mastering Genealogical Proof community page is
To join, click the red “Join Community” button at the top of the page.

Registration Process
To join the Gen Proof Study Group waiting list:
1.       Send an email to genproofstudy at Include your preference of group level (beginner/intermediate or advanced.)
2.       We will email an application form to those on the waiting list which will include the name of each mentor, their study group start date and format.  Participants will reply with a commitment to participate and indicate their first and second choice for study groups.
3.       Once the study groups are filled, your mentor will contact you and give you access to the private Google + community or Basecamp website where you will participate in your group discussions.
4.       Have fun studying this wonderful new book with a great group of genealogists!

Questions can be asked on the Mastering Genealogical Proof Google + Community page or via email at genproofstudy at

Monday, March 31, 2014

NGS Conference Schedule Revised

I received notice today from the NGS Conference Committee that they have created a REVISED Registration Brochure. This new version reflects several schedule changes to accommodate the Live Streaming. The session I am presenting on "Tract Books: Master Index to Federal Land Records" is now Friday morning at 9:30am. You can download the new version of the brochure here: Revised NGS Conference Brochure. [Shared with permission.] 

Use this updated guide to plan your schedule for the NGS Conference on May 7 - 10, 2014. As the conference gets closer I will post the sessions I am looking forward to attending.

I'll see you in Richmond!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

FGS 2014 Conference Registration is Open

If you follow FGS on Facebook and Twitter, you may already be aware that registration for the FGS 2014 Conference in San Antonio, August 27-30, is open! Here is a copy of the press release:

fgs2014-logo2 copy

FGS 2014 Conference Registration is Open
“Gone to Texas” – A Conference for the Nation’s Genealogists

March 26, 2014Austin, TX. Online registration is now open for the 2014 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference, scheduled 27-30 August 2014 in San Antonio, Texas. Register at by 1 July 2014 for an early-bird discount. This year’s conference theme is “Gone to Texas,” and the local hosts are the San Antonio Genealogical and Historical Society (SAGHS) and the Texas State Genealogical Society (TSGS).

This year’s FGS conference offers an exciting opportunity for anyone interested in researching their family history. This conference will offer over 160 educational sessions on records, strategies, and tools for genealogists of all levels. Sessions will be presented by some of the leading genealogists from the United States. Ten different sponsored luncheons will provide opportunities for networking.
Platinum sponsors include leading family history companies,, FamilySearch, and findmypast. Other participating and supporting organizations include Dell, Lexmark, Board for Certification of Genealogists, National Genealogical Society, The Polish Mission of the Orchard Lake Schools, Texas State Genealogical Society, Texas State Library and Archives Commission, and The National Huguenot Society.

Conference Highlights
  • Conference Sessions:  A wide variety of genealogy-related lectures and workshops for all experience levels. Attendees will be able to learn about Texas and neighboring states research, African-American and ethnic origin research, military research, genetics, technology, migration, methodology and more.
  • Exhibit Hall: The large exhibit hall will feature the latest software, books, maps, databases and gadgets on the market for genealogists and family historians, as well as information about genealogical organizations. Representatives of FGS member societies will staff their booths in the special Society Showcase area.
  • Special Events: On Wednesday evening, local hosts San Antonio Genealogical and Historical Society and Texas State Genealogical Society invite registrants to an evening at the Institute of Texas Cultures, an amazing museum located directly behind the convention center. On Friday evening, The San Antonio Conservation Society hosts a festive evening with strumming guitars, shining horns, a capella voices of mariachis and local artisans at work at La Villita. The Conservation Society only hosts 10 of these events each year and FGS is excited to able to offer this. Details can be found at
  • Focus on Societies: On Wednesday, August 27, 2014, sessions are jam-packed with ideas and tools to help societies promote themselves, increase membership, and develop sources of revenue.  The day kicks off with a first ever, half-day workshop to develop a plan and tools to use to enhance and guide their society forward.
  • Librarians’ Day: On Tuesday, August 26, 2014, ProQuest will sponsor a full-pre-conference day of sessions designed for librarians, archivists, and other information professionals serving family history researchers.
There are more activities and research opportunities too numerous to list. However, you can learn all about the 2014 FGS Conference and register for this exciting four-day event at Be sure to also visit or subscribe to the FGS Conference Blog at for more information.

Learn More and Stay Connected
Like FGS at:
Follow FGS on Twitter at and hashtag #FGS2014.
Visit San Antonio at

About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)
The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was founded in 1976 and represents the members of hundreds of genealogical societies. FGS links the genealogical community by helping genealogical societies strengthen and grow through resources available online, FGS FORUM magazine (filled with articles for the family history community), and Society Strategy Series papers, covering topics about effectively operating a genealogical society. FGS also links the genealogical community through its annual conference — four days of excellent lectures, including one full day devoted to society management topics. To learn more visit

Federation of Genealogical Societies
PO Box 200940
Austin, TX 78720-0940
phone: +1 (888) 347-1500
fax: +1 (866) 347-1350

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Free Archived Webinars and Lectures from NEHGS

Would you like to learn research skills from some of the experts at he New England Historic Genealogical Society? Did you know they have how-to videos, archived webinars, and recorded lectures available free on their website? NEHGS is expanding their online educational programs and have a variety of presentations on research subjects as well as using the NEHGS website.

Look for the the following programs available at

Archived Webinars:

Find Your 17th-c. New England Ancestors with NEHGS
Presented by: David C. Dearborn

Ten Steps to Writing & Publishing Your Family History
Presented by: Penny Stratton

Get the Most from NEHGS . . . from Home!
Presented by: Jean Maguire

Maximize Your Search Results, Parts I & II
Presented by: Andy Hanson-Dvoracek

Expand Your Research Using NEHGS Online Databases
Presented by: Ellie Spinney and Sam Sturgis

Video Lectures:

Getting Started: Genealogy with Rhonda R. McClure
Civil War in your family tree
Searching with Ryan Woods

Getting Started: Irish Genealogy with Marie Daly

Identifying Civil War Ancestors with David Allen Lambert

How-To Videos

Number an Ahnentafel with Penny Stratton

Number in Register Style with Penny Stratton

Use Torrey's New England Marriages Prior to 1700
with David C. Dearborn

Search Journals on with Andy Hanson-Dvoracek

Save Searches on with Andy Hanson-Dvoracek

Print Records on with Andy Hanson-Dvoracek

Monday, March 17, 2014

NGS Conference Early-bird Deadline Approaching

I am excited to attend the NGS Family History Conference in Richmond this year. I am one of the official bloggers and will be posting my conference tips before the conference, and some of the things I learn while I am at the conference. For those of you thinking of registering for the conference, the early bird deadline is only a week away. For those of you already registered, be sure you have reservations for the luncheons and NGS banquet if you want to attend. Meal reservations have to be in by April 24th. These are a great place to network and get to know other genealogists. Here is the latest press release on the conference from NGS:

Have you registered for the NGS Family History Conference in Richmond? The deadline for the early bird discount and ordering a print syllabus is 24 March 2014. After that date, the NGS member price will increase from $195 to $230 for all four days, the non-NGS member price will increase from $230 to $265, and only the flash drive syllabus will be available. You really don’t want to miss this year’s exciting conference program from 7–10 May at the Greater Richmond Convention Center and Richmond Marriott. For conference information and to register, go to

Breakfast, Luncheons, and the NGS Banquet
Participating organizations sponsor several luncheons during the conference, and the NGS Banquet is an event not to be missed!  Registration for all meals and social events closes on 24 April 2014. Tickets for social events will not be sold on-site. Make your reservations now at The NGS First-Timers Breakfast is $24; luncheons are $32; and the banquet is $51. Menus are in the registration brochure at

Society Night
On Wednesday evening 7 May 2014, many Virginia genealogical and historical societies will be available in the Richmond Marriott from 5:15 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. to answer questions about local repositories and resources, discuss their group’s activities, and sell their publications.

Richmond Area Tours
There’s still time to sign up for several exciting tours through Richmond Discoveries on Monday, 5 May, and Tuesday, 6 May 2014, prior to the NGS Family History Conference. For more information, please see Registration for the tours closes on 1 April 2014.

Add Items to an Existing Registration
To add meals to your current registration, log on at, click on My Account, select My Events, and then click to Add Sessions. To add pre-conference events, click on My Account and then select Upcoming Events.

We hope to see you in Richmond in May. Frommer’s recently placed Richmond on its list of Top Destinations for 2014, and the city is just one of three US destinations listed.