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!

Struggling

That’s right, I’ve been struggling to find a way to merge my passion for family history challenges and my creative side.  Since you all know my background regarding my love for genealogy, let me explain my “creative side.”

My creative side is paper-based.  I like working with paper art.  I can’t draw; I’m not great at fiber arts…but, with paper, I flourish.  Ideas spring to mind, mixing colors and patterns with pictures, bringing memories to life to last, well, forever.  About 15 years ago, I was putting together Creative Memories (CM) scrapbooks…loved their books and products.  Loved them so much that even my then-husband even bought tools at the time so we could create books together.  Time for scrapbooking fell to the wayside with the raising of our sons and working full-time and my MT career taking off, as well as my newfound interest in genealogy.

Now, I’ve been yearning for some say to join the two together.  Regarding CM, they had had financial issues in the recent past, and I thought they had gone bankrupt.  I knew Archiver’s had closed.  I do have a Cricut machine and supplies with which to make cards, but that is a bit different.  On the off-chance, I did a Google search for Creative Memories.  Lo and behold, they are alive and well!

I dusted off all my old CM tools, which still work just fine, and gathered all my paper supplies.  I then scoured their website and took the plunge.  I am now a Creative Memories Advisor!  My next step is to update my tools and supplies and begin scheduling workshops.  I have literally 300+ photos from three events that I want to print and put into scrapbooks so I’m good there.  I do have to learn more about digital scrapbooking, which is now part of CM.

If you are interested in learning more about CM, check out my site.

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Where I am not struggling is with my genealogy life!  I have since become the Assistant Director at the historical society where I put in 13.5 hours/week.  I have been researching some really interesting genealogical situations and have created a digital newsletter for the society, as well as helping create our newest exhibit.

ECIGA is going great…we have 15 members so far for 2018 and have a lot of great stuff on the schedule for this year.  We are using our portable scanner and laptop to scan in record sets from east-central Indiana that are not digitized anywhere yet.  We will have a booth at the 2018 FGS Annual Conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana…come say hi!

In April, I’ll be attending the Indiana Genealogical Society Annual Conference…looking forward to that meeting and learning more!  In May, I’ll be going to the Indiana DAR State Conference where I will have the opportunity to meet our President General…how exciting is that?  Also, in May, my local DAR chapter and the historical society are partnering together to present 100 Years of the Red Poppy: A World War I Commemorative Event for the community.

I have a lot on my plate for 2018, all of which I am thoroughly excited about.  Genealogy is very important to me, as is preserving those memories for generations to come.  I can help you learn your history and then preserve it!

Something My Descendants Will Dread

I’m changing my name.

And that’s if I have any direct descendants.

Most women, after getting a divorce, keep their married name.  I’m bucking that tradition.  Not only that, but instead of using my first name, I’ll be using my middle name!  The first third of my life I went by a kid-like nickname, the second third of my life I’ve gone by my full first name, and for what is most likely the third third of my life I’m going off the rails!

Right now, I’m going through the legal process of changing it, so I’ll answer to just about anything!

In the very near future, just call me A. Kaye Ford.

Busy Weeks Ahead!

I finally had an inspiration!  I need to write an article for a genealogical journal in Indiana, but I was having trouble deciding what to write about (since I want to put together a portfolio for BCG I can’t write something and then use it for the portfolio).  So, I thought about my family and finally decided on my great-grandmother’s roots.  She was one of 9 daughters, no sons.  Her father and grandfather moved back and forth across the Midwest, from New Jersey to Ohio to Iowa, back to Ohio, into Indiana, back to Iowa, and finally back to Indiana!  I’m compiling data right now to put this together.

Yes…busy weeks…my son is graduating and has 6 full days of school left and then a plethora of senior activities to keep us hopping until June 4.  Not to mention an ECIGA meeting this week, DAR Youth Citizenship Presentations coming up plus the state conference, historical society board meeting and manning the table during our Memorial Day Festival, and meeting with my friends at the assisted-living center to help them with their family history research. Whew! I will be so ready for a breather come June!

Honor Night

I have been given the honor of presenting the local chapter DAR Good Citizenship Award to a 6th grader this week.

daraward

I actually remember this being awarded when I was in 6th grade. I also remember being a bit disappointed when I didn’t win it. So, here’s to you, Karma! On a much more serious note, I’m thrilled to be giving this award to a deserving kid this year.

Qualities exhibited by the student:

Honor: Honesty and high principles

Service: Cooperation, meritorious behavior, bringing honor to school or community

Courage: Mental and physical, determination to overcome obstacles

Leadership: Ability to lead others, good sportsmanship

Patriotism: Fundamental Americanism

So exciting!

My Experience Using a Pro Genealogist for Document Retrieval

Background: I’ve been wanting to order my 3rd-great-GF and 2nd-great-GF’s compiled military service records (CMSR) and Civil War pension records from NARA for some time now.  It was cost-prohibitive to me in that it would take literally months for my request to be filled and even then the people who are contracted to copy do just that, copy what’s in the file in whatever order it’s in (not really reading the article looking for further clues).  Not to mention the fact that I was concerned I’d send the wrong file numbers to NARA and waste my money.  So, on the advice of a member on the APG list to contact fellow APG members in the DC area willing to do lookups and searches at NARA, I did just that.

In 17 days, I had over 230 pages from the files of John Ford and Lyman S. Ford.  The genealogist I hired is Pamela Loos-Noji, Ph.D. who gave permission to share her name and services here.  My copies were sent to me via Dropbox, which I then saved to my computer.  Excellent copies of the documents and in order!  And, really, what I paid to Ms. Loos-Noji is comparable to what I would’ve paid NARA.

To put it mildly, I am thrilled!  So thrilled, in fact, that I will most likely use her services again in the future for my other ancestors with Civil War military history (I’m looking at you, Paul Mayer!).

jf_0046 Written by John Ford himself!

lyman_0078 One image from Lyman S. Ford’s file

I haven’t had time to explore all the images and analyze anything so I chose one of John’s in his own handwriting and a random image from Lyman’s file.

Needless to say, I am extremely pleased with the results.  Check out apgen.org if you need to find a pro to do some work for you!