Deciding to Go for It!

The book on bottom I’ve had for 5 years.  The book on top I recently bought.

In 2013, I had a feeling my long-time job at the hospital was going to end.  And it did.  They outsourced the work I did to a national company, at which they had secured a position for me if I decided to work there.  I had no other choice, so I went to work for the national company and began planning for a change.

It took 5 years, but I was able to put medical transcription behind me and move forward with my Muze position.  I can’t even tell you the normal lab values for SGOT right now and those used to roll off my tongue!

When I first began planning my career change, I was moving in the direction of becoming a professional genealogist and consultant for this area of Indiana.  I did a lot of pro bono work, watched a lot of webinars, attended seminars and conferences, and volunteered at the historical society.  One thing I had planned on doing but could never fit into my schedule as it was a 19-month program was a ProGen Study Group.  A ProGen Study Group is held virtually and covers the information in the books in the photo (currently, only the top book is being used).  You are part of a group of 7 other students and a mentor who is certified by the BCG or accredited by ICAPGen.  You work on all aspects of becoming a professional genealogist, from an education plan to business practices to actual genealogical work.  That work you do is then peer reviewed.  The waiting list is long; I signed up during the spring of 2017 and was first contacted a year later.  Since signing up, though, the program was adapted to be just 12 months long.  You spend on average 20 hours per month working on assignments.

I was contacted about joining ProGen38.  This came at the time I was transitioning into my new role as Muze Executive Director, so it didn’t feel right.  On the other hand, it didn’t feel right to leave behind my goal of becoming a professional genealogist either.

So, when the invitation came for ProGen39, I didn’t think twice.  I jumped in with both feet and am preparing to begin this journey in September!  Maybe, just maybe, I’ll push myself a bit more and go “on the clock” once I complete the course.  You fellow genealogists know what I mean!  Apply for certification through BCG.  A giant step for me but what I’ve been planning for all along!

From StEPs to Paths!

I’ve had a couple days off from the Muze, and I’ve done the following:

  • Finished up the newsletter for bulk rate mailing! If you are so inclined, go here and click on July to read the newsletter (.pdf format).
  • Watched three webinars (intro to digitization; vision, mission, and planning; website updating)
  • Created a schematic detailing the “paths” on which we find ourselves (path to: vision, logo, virtual exhibit, website overhaul, and digitization)
  • Started planning for my Trunk of Curiosities to go with my presentations…here it is:
  • Started reading the StEPs workbook
  • Did a price comparison on different items to share with the Board
  • Getting the News You Can Use email ready to roll on August 1
  • Sent out my weekly update late Sunday night (just about slipped my mind!)

In my downtime, I have been working on:

  • DAR duties (finishing chapter yearbook, finishing plan for the year, creating a letter and first agenda, reviewing bylaws, creating an email to send out to create a bylaws committee)
  • Reviewing the chapter master report

Every once in awhile, a thought will cross my mind…don’t forget ProGen39!!  My mind, it is a’swirlin’!

For something non-work-related, I watched a couple BatDad videos on Facebook. 😀

One More StEP…or Maybe Two

My historical society took a big leap of faith and approved our entry into the StEPS Program through AASLH (American Association for State and Local History).  StEPS stands for Standards and Excellence Program for History Organizations.  It is a self-guided process wherein history organizations take a good hard look at policy and procedure and their future.  We will receive a workbook to work on different aspects of our organization, e.g. mission and governance, audience, and collection.  I am very excited about this!  We plan on reviewing it through the rest of this year and actively working on what needs attention beginning in 2019.

Drawer from Thaddeus Coffin desk

I am so grateful for the Genealogy Library we have at our historical society (named after Clarence H. Smith, some day soon I’ll tell you more about him).  When I began pondering career changes, professional genealogy seemed like the path I wanted to follow.  Volunteering at the historical society opened my eyes to the wonder that is our local history.  This position as director fulfills my genealogical passion, as well as teaches me unique things about my county.  If I don’t learn something new daily, then I consider it a nonproductive day.  These new things I learn can come from any nook of the Museum…our oldest book was published in 1789…a child on a tour showed me a new piece of wood in our Thaddeus Coffin desk (made of nearly 57,000 pieces!)…a lovely weed had found its way into our entry pavilion!  Even though I’m the executive director of a historical society and museum, genealogy still plays a large role in my life.

Bronze on wood trunk I bought today to use for my presentations! “The Trunk of Curiosities”

That is why when I recently received the invitation to join the ProGen Study Group 39 I jumped at the opportunity.  I had tentatively set aside my goal of achieving professional genealogy certification through the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG), but, by signing up and participating in the yearlong ProGen course of study, I believe I might move forward with my BCG goal.  We’ll see in a year!

Census record I may use for ProGen or BCG

Thank you to those who voted on the skeleton key poll.  What do you think of this one?

Skeleton key on gentleman’s black top hat

Planning A 2-Part DAR Lineage Workshop!

For: Ladies 18 and up who are interested in joining the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

Part 1: August 2017 General Overview

Part 2: September 2017 Completing An Application

I’m working on an agenda right now, plus invitations.  I have the location and dates nailed down so those are a go!  I hope to generate some interest and meet some new ladies.

For Part 1, this is what I have going for an agenda:

Pedigree Chart (handout)
How To Find A Revolutionary War Patriot
          www.dar.org and GRS
Sources:
     Original v Derivative
     Primary v Secondary
Proving Correct Lineage
  • First Three Generations (You, Parents, Grandparents): Must have birth, marriage, death proof.
  • There must be a connection between each generation, from the Patriot to the prospective member.
  • You must have proof of residence and age for your Patriot ancestor.
Proving Correct Service:
     Military
     Patriotic
     Civil
Requirements for Applying to the DAR (paper and electronic)
That’s probably enough for 2 hours.
On a side note, I should be receiving my DNA data soon!  Check out the Genes For Good app on Facebook.  The University of Michigan is conducting a study wherein you answer a few health surveys and they test your DNA…for free!  They have a wealth of information regarding privacy if you’re concerned.  It does take 2-3 months to get your results back.  When I tested through 23andMe, I got results back 2 weeks to the day they received the kit at the lab.  As soon as I know something, I’ll write about it!

Blogiversary~3 Years!

And I’m still here!  For the past 3 years, I’ve worked as hard as I have been able to to forward my genealogical education and experience.  I have to take the next step at some point…certification.  I knew I wanted to get my oldest son through graduation before going “on the clock,” and that has now happened.

It’s time.  I need to take that next step.  I must take that next step.

But, first…

I’ve decided to group my accomplishments and goals under my Four Cornerstones.

 <—To refresh your memory! *I need to change my name on that image…oops!

Time to review:

EDUCATION LOCAL HISTORY PROFESSIONALISM RESEARCH

Started this blog on 24 Jun 2014.

Became the county genealogist for Henry County through IGS in August 2015. Local History/Professionalism

Became the newest board member of the Henry County Historical Society & Museum in September 2015. Local History/Professionalism

General public meetings of ECIGA officially began in February 2016 (inclement weather canceled our very first meeting in January 2016). Education/Local History

Attended the IGS Conference in April 2015 and 2016.  Attended the Society Management Seminar in April 2015, 2016, and 2017. Education/Professionalism

Became NSDAR member in April 2015, Corresponding Secretary for my chapter 2016-17. Professionalism/Research

Elected Vice President of the Indiana Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists (ICHAP), term begins 1 July 2016.  On 1 July 2018, I move to being the President. Professionalism/Education

Attended INDAR State Conference (May 2017).  Did it!

Begin genealogical courses through DAR. Completed GEP I, II, and III! Education/Research

What I Want To Accomplish (June 2017-2018)!

Practice writing proof summaries and proof arguments. Have been working on these!

Write article for IGS Quarterly. Working on it!

Complete yearbook for Sarah Winston Henry NSDAR Chapter, 2017. Working on it!

Attend District INDAR meeting (August 2017). Planning on it!

Plan two-part workshop for ladies interested in joining DAR. Happening this summer!

Complete New Horizons course through DAR.  Working through that this year.

Order syllabi and/or presentations from FGS 2016 and APG PMC 2016. Planning on it!

Applied for waiting list for an upcoming ProGen Study Group!

Go ON THE CLOCK! MUST DO!!! After ProGen!

Long-Term Goals

Add two more of my ancestors to SCWFI (John Ford and Lyman S. Ford). Still working on it!

Begin working on NSDAR supplemental for William Ballard (born 1715). Need to do!

Finish studies through NGS (got this in under the wire! Signed up for the NGS Guide to Documentation and Source Citation!). Still need to do final course!

Attend FGS Annual Conference in 2018!  ECIGA plans to join FGS October 2017!

Attend APG’s PMC (Sept 2016, 2017). Really wanted to go but the Bicentennial Torch Relay goes through Henry County the day after and I don’t think I can squeeze both in.  Want to go in 2017 but too expensive (Washington DC).  Wait for it to come back around to Fort Wayne!

Join PALAM (Oct 2017). Need to do!

Planning for Henry County Bicentennial in 2022!

Go “on the clock”??? See above!

Apply for First Families of Ohio (James A. Fowler and his wife Elizabeth Devore). Need to do!

Compose my Project Pioneer project for young-at-heart folks in the senior living community to help them get their family trees online at FamilySearch.org. Working on it!

Here’s to another great year!

Webinar~Fire Insurance Maps…Google Maps of their Day! Plus Graduation!

Hosted by: Hamilton County (OH) Genealogical Society (thank you!)

Presented by: Jill Morrelli, CG

First, let me say I *big puffy heart* love Sanborn Fire Maps!  In my humble opinion, your genealogical research is lacking if you do not use this resource.  It is, in a word, indispensable!  So, when I heard about this webinar, I signed up immediately!  Right now, I’m creating a project using a story my grandfather wrote about a typical day in his life in 1933 when he was a high school senior.  He worked for a movie theater in the downtown area of our hometown, and his story is about him running an errand and running all about the downtown area, checking into different businesses and seeing different people.  He wrote this from memory for his 50th class reunion in 1983! I’m using the 1924 Sanborn Fire Map for our hometown to plot these businesses, as well as the contemporaneous city directory.  I’ve even created his avatar who will walk his remembered trail! That is his senior class picture attached to a generic body.  I think he’d approve!

Another way I’ve used Sanborn Fire Maps is to locate where my ancestors lived in Cincinnati prior to the interstates being built.  They lived very near the Ohio River.  I have used these maps in conjunction with Cincinnati’s city directories, which, again, another indispensable resource.  These ancestors rented a building and ran a dance hall out of it; I was able to find that location on a Sanborn Fire Map.  It is yet another structure no longer standing.

A third way I’ve used Sanborn Fire Maps is to find where my early Ohio ancestors lived in Butler County, Ohio, in a town named Darrville.

In Richmond, Indiana, the actual bound map books are at the Morrisson-Reeves Library.  The maps are on linen pages, making the book heavy.  When a new map was published, the old book was supposed to be destroyed but many were not.  If they were, however, the linen pages would be recycled as clothing (!) and the leather binding used on boats.

Public health service (see John Snow’s 1854 cholera map of London)

Purpose for fire insurance maps: Carriers insure for loss; not concentrating the coverage; want to know the risk for a particular building

No owners’ names! Will find building type, address, railroads and viaducts, names of additions, etc.

Map books large and heavy!

Great Fire of London, 1666: The beginning of fire insurance (1710); fire insurance in US by 1728, written in London

1790: First map published in Charleston, SC

1815: Lithographs to produce multiple maps; maps had to be drawn in a mirror image!

1850: Map created of NYC business district (George Hope)

1850: Map standardization with the companies to provide maximum info on the map

Black and white (mostly seen online), colored (usually Sanborn), colored and corrected (have layers of tiny papers when changes were made)

Daniel Alfred Sanborn (1827-1883), did 50+ maps from 1867-68!

A surveyor (“strider”) recorded each building in very fine detail

Maps were colored by hand!

Find digitized Sanborn Maps on Library of Congress website!  Also check Google, local libraries, and Indiana University.

Maps created for fire insurance companies where they had clients so some cities/towns with no clients were not mapped.

Always review the first page of a city’s/town’s map, lots of info!

Read the key for color coding!

Read the key for dwelling types!

Special Risks: Manufacturing

Who uses these maps? Urban historians, writers, architects, historic preservationists, genealogists! Also house historians and collectors.

You can analyze businesses using directories and censuses.

Use Google Maps to compare how neighborhoods appear.

Maps can also be used to analyze disasters (Fall River, Massachusetts, 1928).

So glad I was able to sit in on this webinar!  Now I’m off to check for maps online!

Before I forget, this happened:

Big day for all of us!  We extremely proud of his accomplishments thus far and what his future holds! Way to go Ben!!