Webinar~Are You Ready to be a Professional Genealogist?

An APG webinar presented by Paula Stuart-Warren, CG

This is a question I ask myself daily, usually as I slog through hour after hour of back-breaking medical transcription. I love learning new things every day and producing quality documents…the politics of the MT business, though, are wearing on me. I’ve been busy preparing my website for research and hopefully transcribing oral histories. I need my day job, though, to support my hobby-hopefully-turned-new career. I hope to learn something from this webinar, maybe something I’m missing that needs to be done now, not later!

Is a professional genealogist:
* Public image, education, experience
* Certification or accreditation
* Common sense, know right from wrong
* Standards
* Common courtesy
* Ethical behavior, abide by APG Code of Ethics
* Advanced degree? Not necessarily!
* Working as a librarian? Working as medical transcriptionist (lots of daily research)
* Knowing and visiting every courthouse?
* Knowing every single website database? No way!
* Knowing German, Irish, Swedish, French, etc., ethnic groups?
* Knowing colonial research? Not necessarily!
* Knowing when to learn more or seek out referral? Yes!

Think of it in other situations where you might seek out a professional: auto mechanic, art appraiser, quilt maker, hair stylist, for example. Makes sense!

It is:
* Education
* Knowledge
* Experience
* More education…don’t be stagnant!
* Patience
* Networking
* Continuing education…must keep learning!

Learn about business rules and regulations or ask someone who knows!

Volunteer experience!

A genealogy professional is:
* Committed to performing at the highest level
* Committed to standards
* Committed to education
* Can be board-certified
* Can accept payment
* Courageous
* Today!

* Legal ramifications
* Don’t make promises you can’t keep
* Cite sources
* Don’t just “do over”
* Clear reports
* Stay within the limits

Can you:
* Be approached?
* Be followed?
* Still have fun?

Learned a lot from this webinar! It will soon be available to be watched on the APG website, free to the public, along with the handout. I definitely need to learn more about the actual business end of things now, not later.

Webinar~Complex Evidence

Presented by F. Warren Bittner, CG

I can’t even begin to explain how much I respect this man! I’ve heard this lecture before and listened to it again tonight.

I don’t want to give away all the goodness of his lecture, but he does explain the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) and analyzing evidence (#6 on BCG certification portfolio).

Sources, evidence, and information! His lectures are very interesting, usually revolving around his family. A wonderful storyteller.

Source citations!

City directories are a wonderful source!

Multiple sources taken individually sometimes don’t help at all; put them all together, they work to solve the problem/question you’re working to answer.

False research imperatives create the impression that you must have BMD dates and direct evidence for each event, must automatically belong to the same person, create the impression that if we’ve done the citations we don’t have to compare our sources.

It is the comparison of multiple sources that leads to proof.

Complex evidence is not limited to BMD sources.

Our own birth information is secondary information, not primary (when coming from yourself).

So happy that I got to hear Minnie Mary Bahre’s story again!

Personal Historian~APG Webinar

My first webinar of 2015! This one is part of the Careers in Genealogy, about being a personal historian, presented by Linda Coffin, Executive Director of APH, presented for APG. Other archived webinars in this series include lineage specialist, forensic genealogist, and house historian.

In listening to the first 2 minutes of this lecture, I realize I am definitely a personal historian and genealogist!

APH=Association of Personal Historians

Personal Historian v Genealogist: Two paths to the same goal=Fascinating History!

Examples: Books; video; audio; “niche,” such as ‘ethical wills’, cookbooks, quilts, artwork; technology, such as StoryCatcher, GenArk, LegacyStories, genealogy-related story-telling

Interested in people and history. Personal historians come from all walks of life!

Three core components:
* Legal understanding
* Basic understanding of psychology and gerontology
* Business skills and marketing

Tracks: Audio, video, print, and online

Educational Options: APH, NIGS, University of Wisconsin-Superior, International Institute of Reminiscense and Life Review

Collaboration with other professionals (videographer, graphic designer, transcriptionist, photographer, etc.)

Documenting family heirlooms.

Combining genealogy and personal history creates enormous potential for interesting and dynamic family histories…bring that history to life!

Another great webinar…I’ve learned a lot!

Passing Thoughts~Kinship Determination Project


For the BCG certification portfolio, the final component is #7, the Kinship Determination Project (KDP). It requires 3 generations researched and documented in a narrative lineage, narrative genealogy, or pedigree lineage. The generations used cannot be you or your siblings. So, that excludes your parent’s generation because even if they are the 3rd generation you document, you and/or your siblings, as their child/ren, will be listed. The most recent generation related to yourself that can be used would be your grandparent’s generation.

I’ve been mulling this over…which family and which generation to use, plus which style to use. At first, I thought I wanted to use my Ballard line (Amos>Aaron>Amos Benton). There are good Quaker records there, but Aaron was an only child so that generation is a little sparse. Now, I’m considering the Ford line (Nathaniel>John>Lyman)…definitely a bigger challenge. Both of these lines start with my 4th-great-GF (Amos Ballard and Nathaniel Ford), so if I’m the first generation I’d be using my 5th, 6th, and 7th generations, if that makes any sense.

I’m pretty sure I’ve touched on this before…from a webinar…found it! here

Styles (the bold is mine; everything in bold is per the BCG FAQ on their website bcgcertification.org:

  • Narrative Genealogy (Descending)
    A narrative genealogy is an historical account of a family, in which each individual life is presented in historical context with biographical and genealogical details. Typically, a narrative genealogy presents the generations in a descending arrangement. Starting with a more-distant ancestor or ancestral couple, it comes forward through the generations, attempting to account for all known descendants, in all lines (female as well as male) for a certain number of generations.
  • Narrative Pedigree (Ascending)
    A narrative pedigree is essentially the reverse of the narrative genealogy. Instead of starting with an ancestral couple and tracking all descendants forward in time, it begins with a more-recent person and develops his or her ancestry in various branches. As with a narrative genealogy, a narrative pedigree should provide a discussion of the lives that have been assembled for each person, not just a recital of the vital statistics that would appear on a pedigree chart.
  • Narrative Lineage (Descending or Ascending)
    A narrative lineage is a genealogical and biographical account of a family in a direct line, through a certain number of generations. It might start with a more-distant couple and come forward through the generations, or start with a more-recent person and proceed backward in time. A narrative lineage would provide the same personal detail on each couple and their children as called for in a narrative genealogy or a narrative pedigree.

I think I’ll do a narrative lineage and use the Fords. I have other plans for the Ballards! I need to get on the ball and find marriage records for Genesee Co, NY!!!




I’m sitting in on an APG webinar entitled “Building Your Author Blueprint: Writing Opportunities for the Genealogy Professional” presented by Lisa Alzo. It’s great, so many wonderful tips and information about genealogical writing, including blogging.

It did get me to thinking, though, that I need to keep track of the webinars I attend since I have a generic statement on my genealogical resume that I’ve “attended webinars”…people might want some sort of proof.

What better place to keep track than right here? I’ll start with this one and then go through my notes and add the others. I have registered for a number of upcoming webinars, as well.

*Expect change and make your own opportunities!*
*Keep a running list of ideas and keep motivated!*

Has it seriously been 5 months since I’ve had this blog up?!

Third/Fourth Month and Hannah Katherine (Hanby) Ballard

Yes, I missed my 3-month update…ugh! Much has been happening on the genealogy/family history front here…a small family reunion, getting my DAR application put together, plus 2-3 Civil War applications. I have copies of copies of copies EVERYWHERE!

The family reunion was a nice get-together for my mother and her 2 living sisters and brother. It was nice to see them and the cousins and get pictures and share social media contact information. 🙂

My Mom found a good picture of my 2nd-great-GM, Hannah Katherine (Hanby) Ballard, so I thought I’d share a bit of her life with you.

Hannah Katherine (she went by Kate) was born on January 1857 in Darrtown, Butler County, Ohio, to William Clinton and Hannah Ann (Fowler) Hanby. She and her family moved to New Lisbon, Henry County, Indiana, when she was approximately 7 years old. Sometime during 1873-74, she met Dr. Amos Benton Ballard who was a newly-minted physician/widower/divorcee with one son (Everett Guy) and had set up shop in New Lisbon, IN, in the latter months of 1873. By 31 August 1874, Kate and Amos were married. Kate was 17 years Amos’ junior.

amoskate Dr. Amos B. Ballard and Hannah Katherine (Hanby) Ballard, picture taken probably shortly after they wed.

They began moving around East-Central Indiana, from Henry County to Jay County, then Randolph County. Their first child, a son, William Benton, was born in 1879 in Jay County and died 3 years later of “brain congestion.” I’ve searched Jay County for his final resting place but have been unable to locate it (Amos’ eldest son, Everett, actually took a picture of it that I have but he didn’t identify the location other than for saying “Green Township, Jay County”). In Randolph County, Dr. Ballard served as a physician and a preacher, marrying several different couples. During this time, three more sons were borne to them: Clarkson (“Clarkie”), George, and Harvey. Shortly after Harvey’s birth in October 1890, Kate took her three sons via train to visit her family in Henry County. Dr. Ballard stayed behind due to being busy as a country physician. Unfortunately during this trip, Clarkson and George fell ill with diphtheria. Kate returned to Randolph County where Dr. Ballard met them at the train. They lost Clarkson on 6 January 1891 at age 9 years old. George survived and wrote a letter detailing these events. George wrote that after Clarkson’s death, Kate’s grief was too much for her and they moved back to be near her family in New Lisbon. Finally, in 1894, their final child, another son, Willard Marion, was born. If Kate thought she was out of the woods as far as bad things happening to her, she was not. Her mother passed in 1894, then Dr. Ballard in 1897 while he was visiting his eldest son, Everett, in Madison County, IN.

filename-1(1) Not sure who the two young boys are between Amos and Kate, possibly the youngest two.

On the 1900 census, Kate is enumerated as living in Sulphur Springs, Henry County, IN, with her sons Harvey and Willard; George moved to Oregon shortly after Dr. Ballard’s passing. It is noted on that census that Kate reports 5 pregnancies, 3 surviving children.  On the 1910 census, Kate is still living in Sulphur Springs, now with just Willard, and again she lists 5 pregnancies, 3 surviving children. I have been unable to locate her on the 1920 census. The last census on which she was enumerated, the 1930 census, she was living with her youngest son, Willard, in Middletown, Henry County, IN. She died in 1936 and is buried next to Dr. Ballard and their son, Clarkie.



Education: I mentioned on Twitter last week that I had received 3.5 hours of no-expense-to-me genealogical education via 2 webinars and my first-ever Google Hangout. The first one was entitled “Hunting for Henry: A Case Study Using Collaterals” presented by Teresa Steinkamp McMillin, CG, and offered by the Illinois State Genealogical Society. Excellent case study regarding a German immigrant (see my Paul Mayer). The next day, I had the honor of listening to Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL, discuss “Kinship Determination: From Generation to Generation.” This was offered by the BCG. Ms. Russell presented the material in such a way so as to remember that what we do is FUN! This also covered BCG Certification Requirement #7. Right now, I’m trying to decide what ancestor to begin with for my KDP (kinship determination project). Lastly, I sat in on a Google Hangout to cover how to get started using Evidentia. Evidentia is a software that captures your sources and gives them a voice. If forces you to cite your sources and analyze them and attach them to a subject. I won’t lie, it intimidates me and I was so glad that the software developer, Mr. Ed Thompson, decided to offer these beginner sessions.

Upcoming news: Going to a Genealogy/Family History Day at the Indiana State Library this weekend…this is exciting because I’m bringing my oldest son along with me. The library had ghost hunters do a year-long investigation of the library, and they will be discussing that. He is big into ghost hunting so I thought he’d enjoy it. Plus, big news on my research biz! Recently, I was inspired to go for it and get it started. I still work my regular day job but I’m moving closer and closer to taking clients!