As promised, here is the proof argument that I submitted for my ProGen39 course (.pdf format). If I decide to pursue certification, I will not be using this as part of my portfolio so I’m sharing it with you all. Constructive criticism welcome!
June 24 came and went without much fanfare…indeed, it was the 5th anniversary of LifeCitation! This is not an excuse…more like an explanation…I was out of state attending the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, otherwise known lovingly as GRIP. How to describe GRIP? I’ve heard “summer camp for genealogists,” though no one has time to sit around a campfire singing Kumbaya. There were crafts…crafting citations, proof arguments, case studies. People wrote a lot about their families, not to their families. People learned a lot…about technology, finding the right tool to break down those brick walls, and about the very substance that makes us uniquely us…DNA. To learn more about this summer’s sessions and next summer’s sessions, go here.
My particular experience at GRIP…this was my first time attending. I chose “Mastering the Art of Genealogical Documentation” led by Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA. Dr. Jones is a leading expert in the genealogical field, with many years of educating, researching, writing, and editing. Documentation is the foundation of solid genealogical writing…I knew that this was the first course I wanted to take. For five short days, I focused on learning how to craft a well-written citation. And, to paraphrase Dr. Jones, we are always learning.
During GRIP, I had an assignment due in my ProGen39 course…a proof argument/case study. My assignment was using derivative records with secondary sources and one original record with a primary source to determine the place of birth of my 2nd-great-grandmother, Mary (Ammerman) Ford…was she born in Illinois or Indiana? At the time of her birth (1838), no official birth records were kept in either state, and there were no newspapers announcements that I could find. So, I used her death certificate, her children’s death certs, census records, and a War of 1812 widow’s pension record of her mother. I think I proved her place of birth, at least to the state level. As to the county level, it’s questionable. If anyone is interested in reading it, let me know and I’ll upload it here after it’s reviewed in class this week.
Regarding ProGen39, we have two assignments left to turn in…time has flown! I have learned so much from the group I’m in…talk about inspiring women! These ladies are fantastic. I had the pleasure of meeting one of my group members, Diana, at GRIP…hopefully next summer more of our group can attend a session in Pittsburgh together. That, too, would be fantastic!
Coincidentally, I was able to do some on-site research the day GRIP ended in Jefferson County, Ohio, in the city of Steubenville. The man I believe to be my 5th-great-grandfather, Israel Massey, died there in 1885 and is buried at the Union Cemetery. If you ever have a chance to visit this cemetery, please do! Online, I was able to find what section Massey was buried in and also used their map to find that section. He and several members of his family (son and grandchildren) are also buried in the same plot, but only what appeared to be three headstones remain.
Israel was born around 1792 in Maryland; his parents immigrated here from Ireland. His daughter, Mary Elizabeth (Massey) Devore, is my 4th-great-grandmother. She lived in southeastern Ohio until she and her family moved west to Louisa County, Iowa, in 1877. Whenever I get the opportunity to explore places my ancestors lived, I jump at the chance!
So…two major life changes to share with you. One, my former married surname is officially dropped. Secondly, I’ve decided to join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after much consideration. A friend of mine mentioned in passing about a year or so ago that she belonged to the Mormon Church in our hometown. I didn’t even know there was one in our town…less than 5 minutes from my home! We began talking and then I studied what I could online. It was as if a light was shining inside me…this was what I had been looking for my entire adult life in other religions but had yet to find! Finally, a doctrine aligned with my beliefs and how I’d been living for many years. It’s hard to explain in words, but I felt like I’d come home, joy, welcomed, like I fit in. I’ve been reading the Book of Mormon, attending sacrament services, and meeting with the missionaries. My Baptism is planned for July 20. With all my heart and soul, this feels right for me.
As I’m finishing this post on Independence Day, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank our Revolutionary War Patriots for sacrificing their lives and fortunes for what would become America and subsequently our freedoms.
I first really listened to this song in high school when we played it in marching band during the commencement ceremony. In recent years, however, I’ve studied the lyrics and history behind it. Hands down, my favorite patriotic tune:
Have a safe and joyous 4th of July, one and all!
I’ve been doing research on the surname “Shultz.” I thought I had seen all possible versions of its spelling.
Found “Shoulch” on a census.
Today, I got this:
Wow. Just…wow. I also tested my Mom and Dad. No surprises with Mom. Dad’s showed up 3% Scandinavian. DNA testing is very fascinating. I wonder if I’ll ever find my Italian ancestor.
In MuzeNews, I am the proud grant-writer of my second successful grant! I also just had a lovely 132nd Annual Meeting of our historical society. You read that right…132 years. We are the oldest continually operating historical society in Indiana. Our Museum doors have been open 117 years. Needless to say, I am a very proud executive director!
In mid May I’ll be attending my DAR State Conference, and, in late June, I’ll be attending a genealogical research institute in an area of the U.S. where I will have the opportunity to do family research. I finished my research report for my ProGen39 course, and I’ve begun another one for some pro bono research I’m doing.
This year is turning out to be a ROCK STAR!!!
My apologies Interwebz….it’s been nearly 3 months since I’ve posted.
I’ve about finished a major research report for ProGen39, the 132nd annual meeting at the historical society is in a week, my first year as chapter regent of my DAR chapter is coming to a close, and it’s been 10 years since Glee premiered so I started at the beginning of the series. One ep after another…no commercials…just wonderful singing and teenage angst. It’s so weird watching it now where they just barely mention Facebook and Instagram is not even a thing.
***Shout-out to my special Glee friend (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE remember CO!!!)…been thinking of you…hope you’re doing okay!***
At this point, my life is so very full of joy at nearly every turn. My sons are growing into nice young gentlemen, my job literally could not be any better than what it is, and I get to do what I love every. single. day.
Speaking of Instagram, I’m trying it for the historical society…we’re henrycountymuseumin. Please try to contain your laughter.
Other than that, I’m anxious to check out the upcoming 2019-20 Erin Condren LifePlanners…the theme is “kaleidoscope.” I never really thought about it, but I like the word kaleidoscope and what it means, especially related to the intricacies of family history. Family history, or genealogy, is not static and it’s not just documents and photos…it’s fluid, it ebbs and wanes over time, it’s ever-changing.
How do you like my letterhead?
Henry County Genealogy Alliance is brand new. My personally founded genealogy group, East Central Indiana Genealogy Alliance (ECIGA), disbanded in December 2018. From those ashes, HCGA was born. HCGA exists under the umbrella of the historical society. I’m not sure Henry County has ever had a formal genealogical society, to be quite honest.
HCGA will have one live webinar this year AND a one-day seminar.
Question for my genealogy-focused followers: What topic would you like to join for a live webinar where you could ask questions of the presenter? What kind of speakers would you be interested in seeing at a one-day seminar?
Please share your ideas! Help me brainstorm!
Not me! I enjoy the holidays as much as anyone else. This year, I spent a great amount of time out and about in the community, sharing information about the Museum, DAR, and old-timey Christmas. I handed out over 250 candy canes with free passes to the Museum attached. I helped stuff around 300 stockings for active military personnel serving overseas. I feel honored to be in the position I’m in. I’m already planning for next year.
My favorite Christmas song is “We Need a Little Christmas.” But, I listen to it after the holidays…when all the adrenaline is spent and I need a pick-me-up. Such a great sing-along song!
Before I forget or get swept up in family get-togethers, I wanted to wish any and all readers the happiest of holidays and the brightest of New Years!
And, boy, have I had fun! I can’t believe it has been more than 2 months since my last post. I’ve been meaning to sit down to write a post but I’ve been writing other things…
I have now written a total of three grants…one accepted, one declined, and one just submitted. My fourth one is due by the end of the year. Another one will be due in February 2019.
Speaking of 2019, that is really all that I’m thinking about right now. My holiday engagements are in the books, and I’m beginning to calm down. So, what has been happening in my world?
MUSEUM: We set up at our community Christmas Walk, participated in the Candlelight Tour, conducted our own Open House, along with a few other functions. For about 10 days, I wasn’t sure if I was coming or going! In the midst of all this, I had a hard drive crash and learned how to get Windows 10 up and running again.
DAR: Had our Christmas meeting and helped stuff stockings for active-duty military personnel.
I also created an evidence analysis and business/marketing plan in my ProGen39 course. Right now, I’m updating my resume to turn in as an optional assignment. Never hurts to keep that document updated!
I am in the process of assisting TEN ladies hoping to join the DAR! I have learned so much about different families, as well as different regions of our country. It is humbling to be a part of this special process.
I updated our Museum volunteer handbook and created a groups meeting policy. I’m in the process of creating a disaster preparedness plan, as well. As we near 2019, I’m preparing our Board for StEPs, an AASLH program that very much needs to be instituted for our organization.
I have written so many letters I’ve lost count. And that brings me to my main point of this post…intentionality. Everything I do for the Museum and DAR is with a purpose; it’s intentional. I realize that many other people do a number of things that might go unnoticed, things that help the Museum in ways untold, things that help veterans and children and women in a variety of ways. I witness these activities on a near daily basis. My goal, since taking over as Museum executive director and as my DAR chapter’s regent, is to recognize these individuals personally. I sit down and write a letter, or thank-you note, or special message. Sometimes these are typewritten in the interest of time, but they are always, unfailingly, signed in my own hand. I have templates for common letters, but I always add my own words in some fashion. That is the least I can do for someone who has done so much.
Watch here in 2019 for more about the not-yet-lost-art of letter writing!
I have successfully written my first grant! (With two more in the wings!) I’m so excited about this and the assistance the Museum is receiving with these funds…we will be able to purchase the needed software to create a virtual exhibit *and* electronically catalog our entire collection! We are very thankful to the Henry County Community Foundation for their time and consideration in reviewing our grant paperwork and supporting our project. The value added to the Museum with this grant is truly priceless!
I’m also busy with my DAR Chapter Regent duties…preparing for our second meeting. I held a Constitution Day event and volunteered at The Wall That Heals program in a nearby town in our county. What an honor!
Also just had my second meeting with my ProGen39 ladies…we’re down to 6 from 8…will surely miss the two who are unable to join us as they had so much knowledge to bring to the table. I’m working on my Evidence Analysis assignment right now. I chose someone not known to me and not related; her headstone at the cemetery is right next to my grandparents and great-grandparents and I’ve just always wondered who she is. Let me tell you, learning her story has been a challenge! That’s great though; she’s helping me become a better genealogist!
I’ll close with a painting (artist Charles Kennard) of an old toll gate and covered bridge in a town called Knightstown, neither of which are still standing. This was related to some research I was doing about covered bridges in our county, none extant. My guess is covered bridges were just commonplace before iron truss bridges came into being, and no one really thought to take photos of them…at least in Henry County. We have this painting and two photos of one bridge located just west of Dublin, IN (said to be the first covered bridge on the National Road in Indiana). That’s it! I patiently await the day when someone finds a cache of photos that their ancestor, who loved covered bridges, took, and they then graciously donate them to us…patiently awaiting that day!
I’ve added two new starts to my new job position: DAR Chapter Regent and the first meeting with my ProGen39 group. Both happened within days of one another. These two positions plus my executive director position at the Museum are my three main projects to tackle for the foreseeable future.
This gavel was handed down to me as Chapter Regent. Our chapter just celebrated its 90th anniversary last year. What an honor to hold this in my possession until the next Regent takes over. I also received the Big Bag o’ Stuff that I have yet to inspect!
A beautiful rose in bloom with my office at the Museum in the background. Three days before, it was just a bud. It will take me longer than three days, but I hope to grow just as wondrous as it in the future.
My ProGen study group will last a year…an intensive course in preparing oneself to become a professional genealogist. This is a peer-reviewed group that includes a lawyer, a teacher, and others with great experience. We all want to become better genealogists and hold ourselves accountable for completing assignments, providing valuable feedback on others’ assignments, and attending a monthly chat. In my case, I don’t have time to take on clients, but I am able to assist many folks researching their east-central Indiana roots. I want to provide that service at the highest level possible so they may find their genealogical story. If I feel I am successful at this endeavor, I will most likely seriously consider BCG certification, though I would prefer to attend a genealogical institute before attempting certification. An institute, you say? Why yes! I’ll explain about those in an upcoming post since it will be something I explore for my educational plan assignment.
Right now, I have no less than four events to plan for, one more step to go in the grant process (and if that goes well I’ll be writing grant #2), preparing my evaluation for the Board, creating a Constitution Week poster, reading three chapters and writing an educational plan for myself, and I’m constantly thinking about 2019.
Whew! Time for some sleep and start all over again tomorrow! I wonder what new thing I’ll learn??
I recently had the pleasure of meeting Lori Lee Sauber…a Washington State resident with Hoosier roots. I was able to connect her with some old family documents that gave her more insight into her Hoosier ancestors’ lives in the early to mid 1800s. This is hands down the best part of my job! She contacted our historical society well in advance of her trip, enabling me to pull items for her to review, thus a major time-saver. In the photo below, only a small portion is shown of the table of items we examined. I was thrilled to be a part of her journey! Follow her story by clicking on her name above.
I would be remiss if I did not tell you about the L2Scrollio! I asked Lori Lee if she could bring one so I could see it in person. I got to check out her very own L2Scrollios! She created these on her own, a very creative and ingenious tool for any researcher. And, as she conducted her research, she did refer to her L2Scrollios when determining different ancestors who had the same names. I could envision this as a very handy visual at family reunions when explaining to your cousins who your 3rd-great-grandparents are or explaining generations removed. I’m a believer! For more info, just click on her name up above.
I thoroughly enjoyed spending the morning researching with Lori Lee and am so happy that she was able to visit our historical society and county. Not only was this trip beneficial for Lori Lee but I also benefited as a researcher by learning more about her ancestors, knowledge I will be able to share with future guests and descendants of this family. Win-win!