Congratulations, Yvette Hoitink, CG!

Yvette Hoitink became associate #1072 in May, 2016. She lives in Alphen aan den Rijn in the Netherlands, about thirty minutes from Amsterdam. Her ancestors came from the provinces of Gelderland, Noord-Brabant, and Zeeland, located in the east and south of the country.

She started researching her own family at the age of fifteen and discovered immediately that a great-great-grandmother was born out of wedlock. It has been her goal since then to identify the father. Her genealogical education and experience have recently led Yvette to recognize an important clue in a document she found on her very first day of research, and she believes this clue will lead to the identity of her great-great-great-grandfather.

Yvette Hoitink, CG

Yvette Hoitink, CG

Yvette is interested in a wide range of subjects—languages, cartography, travel, history, geography, biology, photography, reading, and teaching—and she finds they all seem to play a part in thorough genealogical research. With an educational background in computer science and management studies, she spent a 20-year career in Information Technology, working as an IT consultant and project manager for different archives in the Netherlands. She found that in project management she learned two skills that are fundamental to evidence analysis—working to understand other people’s perspectives and how that may affect what they say and do, and verifying information. She started a genealogy research business four years ago (http://www.dutchgenealogy.nl/).

The fact that English is a second language for her was an additional challenge Yvette faced in pursuing certification.  Members of the Association for Professional Genealogists will recognize her name and insights, and appreciate her seemingly flawless English skills, from the APG email list. However, Yvette says that compiling an entire portfolio in English was difficult at times. She considered transcribing one particular document but decided explaining the legal nuances in English would be a daunting task, so she passed over that one and selected another that was a bit more straightforward. Also, she says, “Some of the standards and practices that BCG expects were different from what we are used to in Europe—things like using married names instead of maiden names, numbering people in a genealogy, or citing sources. Having to make my own judgements on how to deal with those situations gave me a deeper understanding, but it took more time than I had anticipated.”

She goes on to say, “Learning about the genealogy standards as formulated by BCG was an eye opener for me. The standards overlapped with best practices that I had developed for myself, but using the whole set elevated the quality of my work. I had to relearn how I did research, especially regarding the way I document my findings.” Her five-year plan includes publishing books and articles about finding ancestors in the Netherlands and doing more New Netherland research, which she thinks has great potential for new discoveries.

Yvette considers Elizabeth Shown Mills to be her genealogy hero, “not just for her amazing powers of evidence analysis, but also because she is so generous with her teachings.” Yvette encourages others, especially in Europe, to work toward certification. She found that following leaders in the field gave her excellent exposure to best practices in genealogy: reading the NGSQ, following the Legal Genealogist blog, participating in the Evidence Explained forum. Here is her advice about certification:

  • You won’t find the time, you have to make the time
  • There is no one right way
  • Education before certification
  • Certification is not the end of your education
  • Combine education with practice
  • It does not have to be perfect
  • Just turn the sucker in (hat tip: Judy Russell)

Good luck with your publishing plans, Yvette, and congratulations!

by Nora Galvin, CG

The words Certified Genealogist are a registered certification mark, and the designations CG, CGL, and Certified Genealogical Lecturer are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluation.

Associates in Action

Associates in Action highlights BCG associates’ news, activities, and accomplishments. Contact Alice Hoyt Veen to include your news in an upcoming post.

Activities & Projects

Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, and Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL, are presenting as part of Family Tree University’s Virtual Genealogy Conference in September. This is a valuable educational opportunity you can enjoy from your own home on your own schedule!

Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL, will present the BCG Education Fund Helen F.M. Leary Distinguished Lecture at the National Genealogical Society (NGS) 2017 Conference, Raleigh, North Carolina, and at the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) 2017 National Conference, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her topic at the NGS Conference is “Rainbows and Kaleidoscopes: Inclusion as a Professional and Personal Genealogical Standard” and will consider how, as professional and personal genealogists, we can enrich our family histories, client bases, and collaborations with fellow researchers by adopting inclusion as a genealogical standard. Her topic at the FGS Conference at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, continues the focus with “Rainbows and Kaleidoscopes: Inclusion as a Society and Corporate Genealogical Standard” and will consider how genealogical societies and companies can better grow their memberships, serve their constituencies, and increase their revenues by adopting inclusion as a genealogical standard.

Nancy A. Peters, CG, and Sara A. Scribner, CG, will present the BCG Education Fund Putting Skills to Work workshop at the National Genealogical Society (NGS) 2017 Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Nancy A. Peters, CG, will lead the session “Make Your Case: Correlating Evidence to Solve Genealogical Problems.” Are you facing what seems like a brick wall in your research? Solutions to complex kinship and identity problems require skill in working with direct, indirect, and negative evidence. This session provides practical methods and hands-on experience in correlating evidence to recognize patterns, connections, and inconsistencies that will help you make your case.

Sara A. Scribner, CG, will lead the session “Make Your Case: Constructing and Writing Proof Discussions.” You solved your brick wall problem. But can you prove your case in writing to the toughest critic? This session deconstructs creating a convincing proof. Session participants learn how to resolve conflicting evidence and construct proof discussions from the self-evident to the complex. The session covers logic used in genealogical proof, and useful structures for the written part. Hands-on practice includes dissecting proofs written by published authors, and creating a practice proof for a personal genealogical problem.

Publications

Darcie Hind Posz, CG, has published two new articles: “Tanaka (田中) and Ishihara (石原) Families of Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan and Papaaloa, Hilo, Hawaii,” The American Genealogist 88:2 (April 2016): 81-94; and “The Todd Family of Lawrence, Massachusetts: A Study of Thelma Todd’s Immigrant Parentage,” MASSOG: A Genealogical Magazine for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts 40 (August 2016): 96-100.

Congratulations, Jeanette Shiel, CG!

The Board for Certification of Genealogists welcomes Jeanette Shiel a native of Brunswick, near Albany, New York, and a current resident of San Diego. Jeanette became interested in genealogy after moving to California. Researching her Northeastern ancestors has been a long-distance project.

Jeanette provides this insight into her reasons for doing family history. “I pursue genealogy research because our ancestors’ lives matter. Whether they were well-known and left a vault filled with a paper trail or whether there are barely bits and pieces of breadcrumbs scattered here and there to hunt after and collect them. They want us to know. They want their story told. I personally enjoy the hunt for breadcrumbs.”

Jeanette Shiel, CG

Jeanette Shiel, CG

Jeanette feels that participating in a ProGen (Professional Genealogy) study group was a very helpful piece of her genealogy education. It gave her insight into the world of genealogy publishing and various kinds of writing that go into a portfolio. Her advice for others considering certification: “Write, edit, set it aside, rewrite. Be prepared and absorb as much genealogy education as you can. Never stop learning.”

Jeanette’s experience in preparing her portfolio was mostly positive. She enjoyed writing, which turned out to be a pleasant task. However, she dreaded writing citations and put off adding them until she had completed each component of her submission.

Certification is a strong recommendation that she will be able to point to in her new genealogy business, Fine Lines Genealogy (http://www.finelinesgen.com/). She expects that having gone through the certification process will be helpful in working toward her goal of publishing her research. She says, “I think it’s important to share what you’ve learned.”

Inspiration for family history research and for working toward certification comes from “people (both genealogists and non-genealogists) that never give up. They take on obstacles as challenges and never stop (the search) until they reach their goal (answer their research question). Genealogy is a never-ending process, a puzzle never completely solved. There may be brick walls, but they take them down one brick at a time.”

Jeanette exhibits similar doggedness in searching for the father of her ancestor, William Goddard. “I have taken a possible eighty-eight adult males on the 1810 census and through process of elimination of probate and other records it’s dwindled down to thirty-six males. I keep records of each family and capturing all of these families in context is quite a challenge. I will eventually solve this enigma…and when I do, it will be a story to share.”

Good luck with that research, Jeanette. Congratulations!

Jeanette can be reached at jbstree@roadrunner.com.

by Nora Galvin, CG

The words Certified Genealogist are a registered certification mark, and the designations CG, CGL, and Certified Genealogical Lecturer are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluation.