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!

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!


It’s truly amazing how time flies…where does it go?

It’s amazing how I never expected to be as busy as I am when I moved to part-time hours.  I’m busier now than I ever was working 40 hours/week.  It seems like I’ve created some sort of full-time genealogy/social media position and do a little transcription on the side.

It’s amazing how much I enjoy communicating via social media!  I love engaging people to talk about the Museum or my cousin’s art studio or genealogy in general.

It’s amazing how complete strangers can come together and work together to make something great happen.  And, it’s amazing how short-sighted people still are.

So, what have I been up to? … … …

I started this post on 16 September 2016.  It is amazing.

ECIGA is going strong…still holding monthly meetings and learning lots!

I’m almost finished with my third Genealogy Education Program course through the DAR, just waiting on my final graded assignment.  I then hope to hold a couple workshops this summer as I will be an official Volunteer Genealogist!

I’ve begun volunteering once a month at a local assisted-living facility, helping residents utilize to organize their genealogy and learn more.  I truly enjoy helping those folks out…what a blessing!  Our little group is called Project Pioneer.

I still volunteer and am on the Board at my local historical society…always looking for ways to get some exposure (check us out!).  Next on my agenda…learn to write grants to secure some much-needed funding!

I’ve been writing more and more and am feeling a lot more comfortable doing so.  With permission from folks I’ve helped, I might share some things here that I don’t plan on using in my BCG portfolio.

Speaking of which, once I get my son graduated in the next month, I plan to go “on the clock!”  I’ve been working on compiling the different parts of the portfolio and, as I mentioned above, am feeling more comfortable with writing and piecing information together coherently.  One thing I’m considering doing as a presentation is breaking down the Genealogist’s Code of Ethics that one must sign when completing a portfolio.  Not only do I want to sign it, but I also want to fully understand it and share that info with others.

I still work part-time from home as a medical transcriptionist.  However, it seems as though more often our workload runs low…most likely an effect of the work being sent to India or being replaced with point-and-click technology.  I urge people to carefully read reports they receive from their doctor to ensure the information is correct!  The human element of checks and balances regarding catching errors on medicolegal documents is going away so be aware of what is in your chart, at your doctor’s office, at the hospital you visit, at the clinic, anywhere or anyone who provides care for you.

That’s pretty much the update!  I’ll try to blog once weekly now, maybe every Sunday since that’s a quiet day for me, to keep up-to-date, especially when/if I go “on-the-clock.”

Before I go…this is AMAZING…check out Genes For Good, a Facebook app.  Participate in a few health-related surveys and receive a DNA kit and testing for free!  Offered through the University of Michigan. 🙂

Prompt #130

#130: Three small steps toward your goal.

My goal is to earn the title of Certified Genealogist (CG)SM.  The steps I’ve taken thus far to attain that goal include:

  1. Education.  Online classes through NGS, webinars, and seminars/conferences.  I’m happy to announce that in the near future I will begin the first of three online courses for genealogy research offered to DAR members with the help of my chapter.
  2. Expanded my research.  Researching as much as possible in surrounding counties and states.
  3. More writing! Writing up proof summaries and proof arguments.
  4. I’ll add one more thing: I’m putting together a PowerPoint about the steps to becoming certified.  Just doing that has helped me focus in on the different aspects of the portfolio and preparation for such.

One-Year Blogiversary

Time flies!

It’s nice to have basically an electronic journal of what I’ve done or attempted to do for the last year.  There were a couple slow months, I know.  I’ll take this time to list my achievements and goals for the next year.

What I Have Done (June 2014-June 2015)

Started this blog on 24 Jun 2014.

Approved for Society of Civil War Families of Indiana (SCWFI) (Civil War ancestor: Paul Mayer).

Approved for NSDAR (Patriot: Thomas Pearson).

Attended the OGS Conference.

Attended the IGS Conference.

Finished my indexing project.

Had a family reunion.

Began researching for a portion of my BCG portfolio.

What I Want to Do (June 2015- )

Start a local genealogy society (officially by 1 Jan 2016).

Volunteer more hours at local historical society.

Swearing-in ceremony for Sarah Winston Henry Chapter of INDAR (Sept 2015).

Create the yearbook for Sarah Winston Henry Chapter of INDAR (Sept 2015).

Attend regional INDAR meeting (Aug 2015).

Add two more of my ancestors to SCWFI (John Ford and Lyman S. Ford).

Begin working on NSDAR supplemental for William Ballard (born 1715).

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

Attend OGS Conference (Apr 2016).

Attend IGS Conference (Apr 2016).

Attend Midwestern Roots 2016 (July 2016).

Attend FGS Conference (Aug/Sept 2016).

Attend APG’s PMC (Sept 2016).

Join PALAM (Oct 2015).

Become an aunt again!! (July or August 2015)

Put together another family reunion (Oct 2016).

Go “on the clock”???

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

Webinar~Truth or Fiction: Unraveling a Family Yarn

Another terrific webinar in the BCG series, presented by Teresa Steinkamp McMillin, CG.

This webinar explored taking a family tale, handed down generation by generation, and proving or disproving it.  It was a very fascinating case study to dissect, and Ms. McMillin took us through it step by step.

Start with what you know and use the GPS.

I have a couple family yarns that I’ve been told.  I’ve disproved one of them, which opened up more questions than answered questions.  Another one of my family yarns is going to take some serious in-depth research to unravel.

After recording what you’ve been told, start digging into the resources, any and all that you think might be pertinent to proving the family story.  Newspapers, church records, civil records, land records, etc.  Then, compare what you’ve found to what you’ve been told and see how the story lines up.  Sometimes, you’ll find surprises in the research.

Thanks again to BCG and Ms. McMillin for providing a great educational program!

The Family Tapestry: Integrating Proof Arguments Into The Genealogical Narrative~Webinar

Another webinar in the BCG series, presented by Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG

Ms. Bloom used the analogy of creating a proof argument as in creating a tapestry, a family tapestry if you will.

In her analogy, she tells us that:

Genealogy Standards form the loom, or framework, of our proof argument.
Reasonably Exhaustive Research includes the warp threads.  Warp threads are strong and run up and down the length of the tapestry.
Argument is the woof threads.  Woof threads are woven using the direct, indirect, negative, and conflicting evidence.
Conclusion is your tapestry.  It meets the Genealogical Proof Standard and combines the five elements into a connected whole (who, what, when, where, and why).

Where the assertion of kinship is first introduced in your report is where you weave in the written and documented conclusion.

I have been considering this as I begin to put together my KDP, how to include my arguments.

Another great learning session!

Webinar~Certified or Certifiable? Why A Genealogist Would Go Through All That Trouble

Another great webinar in the BCG series, presented by Jean Wilcox Hibben, PhD, MA, CG

BCG website

* Certification: Evaluation of competence of work samples in a portfolio based on:

Documenting, researching, and writing.

Benefits of being certified, higher standards, efforts to reap rewards (personal and financial), preparing to go “on the clock,” second round for some applicants. If you submit a second portfolio, you start from the ground up, a complete re-do of your portfolio.

Be measured by those who know the field.

Turn in application to go “on the clock” aka 1 year to turn in portfolio. Submit preliminary application along with a fee. “Time is literally money.”

Take classes to prepare properly for certification.

Take time to do some work before going “on the clock.”

Obtain the aid of a mentor (email list through BCG once you’re “on the clock”).

Clarify anything that confuses you. Ask questions.

Take the quiz to see if you’re ready (readiness quiz).

Look at sample portfolios at major conferences at the BCG booth.

Attend what conferences/seminars you can and visit the BCG booth when there.

Read On Board! It’s time for me to subscribe.

Pursue certification to ‘prove’ or test oneself, advance career, validation of skills.

Preparing to go “on the clock”, create a timeline! See the BCG website for an example.

Join APG and NGS!

*Failure first time around:

Failure to follow all instructions.

Failure to read the rubrics that the judges use.

Lack of understanding of the terminology and genealogy scholarship.

Not enough experience, turning in application before you’re ready.

Portfolio can now be submitted electronically.

**I have found the BCG webinars to be exceptionally insightful. It was announced that archived webinars will be on the BCG website soon!**

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!