BCG helps explain Chicago’s poorest burials

The Chicago Tribune yesterday turned to Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, a Board-certified genealogist and newly-elected President of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, for help in explaining the significance of a newly-released database of burials at the Cook County Cemetery at Dunning, Chicago, Illinois, a potters field serving poor and indigent residents.

Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG

As a Chicago specialist and the only Board-certified genealogist in the city, Bloom has often had to explain to people that the cemetery is largely unmarked — and she put the situation into historical context in her comments to the Chicago Tribune.

“People will often ask me, ‘Where’s the grave?’ And I have to explain to them the history of the institution and why the people were buried there,” she said. “It’s difficult for someone with a 2014 mindset and values to understand that thought process of the people 100 to 150 years ago.”

The database, located online at http://www.cookcountycemetery.com, was compiled by Barry Fleig, former cemetery chairman of the Chicago Genealogical Society, who said the project — which took more than five years — is a work in progress, with the goal of documenting as many of the nearly 40,000 burials at the city’s pauper’s field as possible.

The Board for Certification of Genealogists (bcgcertification.org) is an independent, national and internationally recognized certifying body. It strives to foster public confidence in genealogy as a respected branch of history by promoting an attainable, uniform standard of competence and ethics among genealogical practitioners, and by publicly recognizing persons who meet that standard.


CG or Certified Genealogist is a service mark of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, used under license by Board-certified genealogists after periodic competency evaluation, and the board name is registered in the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

Congratulations to Barbara Mathews, CG, FASG

The Board for Certification of Genealogists extends its heartiest congratulations to Board-certified genealogist Barbara Jean Mathews of Massachusetts on her election as a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists (ASG).

Barbara Jean Mathews, CG, FASG

As noted on the ASG website, “Election as a Fellow of the ASG is dependent on nomination by current Fellows…. The central criterion is the quality of a genealogist’s published work. Emphasis is upon compiled genealogies and published works that demonstrate an ability to use primary source material; to evaluate and analyze data; to properly document evidence; and to reach sound, logical conclusions presented in a clear and proper manner.”

Barbara’s work includes the 2013 publication of The Descendants of Governor Thomas Welles of Connecticut and his Wife, Alice Tomes, Volume 1, 2nd edition (Wethersfield, CT: Welles Family Association, 2013), which has just been selected as the ASG’s 2014 winner of the prestigious Donald Lines Jacobus Award. That award is “presented to a model genealogical work published within the previous five years.” She is also the author of Philo Hodge (1756-1842) of Roxbury, Connecticut (Baltimore, Md. : Gateway Press, 1992) and the editor of The Descendants of Thomas Lamkin of the Northern Neck of Virginia (Boston: Newbury Street Press, 2001).

She has many published articles in The American Genealogist (TAG) and has also written for the National Genealogical Society NewsMagazine, the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly (APGQ), The Connecticut Nutmegger, and The Essex Genealogist. Her book reviews have appeared in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, TAG, the National Genealogy Society Quarterly, and APGQ.

Barbara is a professional genealogist who specializes in the families of colonial Connecticut and Massachusetts who currently serves on the board of the Massachusetts Genealogical Council. She has served as a BCG trustee and officer, and as an officer of the Connecticut Professional Genealogists Council. Her blog, The Demanding Genealogist, explores issues of quality in genealogical work.

Most of all, though, Barbara loves to teach. She lectures at local, regional, and national conferences and has mentored groups in the ProGen Study Groups program.

Barbara joins Board-certified genealogists Melinde Lutz Byrne of Massachusetts, Frederick C. Hart Jr. of Connecticut, Ronald Ames Hill of Idaho, Helen Hinchliff of British Columbia, Canada, Henry B. Hoff of Virginia, Thomas W. Jones of Virginia, Roger D. Joslyn of New York, Elizabeth Shown Mills of Tennessee, Christine Rose of California, William Bart Saxbe Jr. of Massachusetts, Clifford L. Stott of Utah, and Helen S. Ullman of Massachusetts, as well as BCG emeritus associates John Frederick Dorman of Virginia and Helen F. M. Leary of North Carolina, in the ranks of the ASG Fellows.

Our heartiest congratulations to Barbara Jean Mathews, CG, FASG!


CG and Certified Genealogist are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, used under license by Board-certified genealogists after periodic competency evaluation, and the board name is registered in the US Patent & Trademark Office.

Introducing Jane Beal, CG

Jane Beal, CG

Jane Beal has become the ninth Missourian to currently hold the credential of Certified Genealogist from the Board for Certification of Genealogists.

Jane’s first genealogical mentor remains her most powerful motivating force: her grandfather Richard Dolbeare “entrusted to a teenager many years ago the family papers and photos, obviously seeing in [her] younger self someone who cares about the family history.”

His enthusiasm and his trust started Jane on a journey that began with her New England ancestors and ultimately led her to pursue her genealogical goals and, in 2014, to becoming a Board-certified genealogist.

A registered nurse with both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Nursing, Jane explains that she has worked “in a wide variety of jobs as a nurse,” and continues to work full-time as one “although it is a desk job, not patient care.”

She lives east of Kansas City with her husband of 30 years: “We have a small farm, lots of children and grandchildren.” And, she adds, “All these activities keep me very busy, but the family knows my passion is genealogy.”

Jane started following that passion as a teenager, after getting those precious papers and photos from her grandfather, whom she credits first and foremost as her genealogical hero. Though the time she has had to devote to her passion has varied, over the years she has worked on her own family history, her husband’s, and those of three of her sons-in-law — and that doesn’t include the many others she has helped and the many local projects she’s worked on.

“I take every opportunity I can to attend genealogical conferences, learn the local history, and expand my knowledge base,” she said. “I particularly love doing research in courthouses, and of course the nearby Midwest Genealogy Center [a wonderful place].” But, Jane notes, even though she started as a teenager, she wishes she had started earlier to “focus more on the stories, history and people, rather than just getting a lot of names and dates. I think most people start off that way, I know I did.”

Today, she said, she is “passionate about the stories and history behind the names and dates, to understand what happened and why in their lives.” Her favorite project now is the ‘brick wall’ case, “particularly if they revolve around women whose history has been lost, due to either an early death or lack of a known maiden name. I like to give them back their identity.”

Jane’s advice to those considering certification is to “download and read the BCG Application Guide, outline what projects need to be done for one’s portfolio [maybe an individual has a project they have recently worked on that would fit with some tweaking or could be used with an in-depth effort], and at least start on the bigger parts of the portfolio prior to beginning the ‘clock’.” She added that it’s necessary to “stay on focus during that year, and if at all possible avoid an extension. I think you start to second guess yourself the longer it takes you.”

Besides her grandfather Richard Dolbeare, Jane considered Elizabeth Shown Mills and Thomas Jones as her role models and genealogical heroes. “During my journey to completing my portfolio, I absorbed much knowledge from their presentations [I listened to a lot of CDs from past conferences, and listened over and over again], as well as from their books and articles,” she explained. “I felt they brought me to a higher level and expectation of myself and my work.”

She hopes to have her own genealogy research business in the future, mainly focused in individual clients, and looks forward to contributing articles on genealogy to various publications.


CG or Certified Genealogist is a service mark of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, used under license by Board-certified genealogists after periodic competency evaluation, and the board name is registered in the US Patent & Trademark Office.

Welcome to Board-Certified Genealogist Nora Galvin

Claire Ammon, CG, and Fred Hart, CG, FASG, joined Nora Galvin, CG, at the annual meeting of Connecticut Ancestry Society. Photograph © Robert Locke, used with permission.

In April 2014, Nora became Connecticut’s third Board-certified Genealogist. Nora combines her professional work in Connecticut and Irish research and genetic genealogy with activities in local genealogy societies. She is journal editor and past president of Connecticut Ancestry Society, board member of the Connecticut Society of Genealogists, president of the Connecticut Professional Genealogists Council, and editor of the e-zine of the New England Regional Genealogical Conference. In her past career as a biologist, Nora worked in laboratory research for a pharmaceutical company and as a high school biology teacher.

When asked about advice she would give to those considering certification, Nora suggested finding as many varied genealogical experiences as possible. She said,

I worked as a professional for five years before I began to feel I might be ready to start on my portfolio. My own family research taught me about the “known knowns” and the “known unknowns” but it was my client work that taught me about the “unknown unknowns.” (Apologies to Donald Rumsfeld.) I thought I was getting a “feeling for the organism,” the title of a book about biologist Barbara McClintock. It captures the sense of knowledge that I had to develop to be ready to get that portfolio put together.

With tongue in cheek, Nora also advises starting your genealogy career early. She took time to be a high school teacher, a stay-at-home mother, and a research scientist. She started genealogy research about twelve years ago and set up her business soon after, in 2006.

Where does she see her career going now that she is Board-certified? She will have fewer clients but bigger projects and she will be able to devote more time to editing Connecticut Ancestry. Travel to Ireland for research is also in the cards. She admits to being at first skeptical of the hype around autosomal DNA testing, but is now a convert. She enjoys applying her scientific background to genetic genealogy.

Her genealogy heroes are “The people who dig, dig, dig and put together amazing work.” In New England, she admires the work of Robert Charles Anderson on the Great Migration Project, and that of Helen Ullmann, who has transcribed countless almost illegible early records so that others can use them easily. She also admires the family historians who call themselves amateurs but who turn out wonderful narratives documenting their ancestors.

In Connecticut, vital records, town records, and land records are kept by the town clerks. The Connecticut Professional Genealogists Council has worked for decades to provide support and improve communications with the Town Clerks Association. CPGC instigated legislation to provide funds for records preservation at the town level as well as legislation to clearly state genealogical access to vital records. Nora is a member of the Town Clerks and Genealogists Action Committee as well as a member of the consortium of Connecticut genealogical societies. She has testified before legislative committees regarding open records and continues to advocate for preservation and access.


(CG or Certified Genealogist is a service mark of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, used under license by Board-certified genealogists after periodic competency evaluation, and the board name is registered in the US Patent & Trademark Office.)

Nora in the vault in Manchester Town Hall, admiring a book of records preserved with funds stemming from legislation instigated by Connecticut genealogists. Photograph © Barbara Mathews, used with permission.

BCG Congratulates Newly Elected Trustees

It is with great pleasure that BCG announces the results of the annual election of BCG trustees. Every year five trustees are elected for a three-year term, making fifteen board members, including five on the Executive Committee.

The recently-elected trustees are Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG (incumbent), Stefani Evans, CG (incumbent), Harold Henderson, CG, David McDonald, CG (incumbent), and Nancy A. Peters, CG. Their biographies appear below. They join current trustees:

  • Laurel T. Baty, CG, 2013-2016
  • Warren Bittner, CG, 2013-2016
  • Laura Murphy DeGrazia, CG, 2011-2014
  • Michael Grant Hait, Jr., CG, 2013-2016
  • Alison Hare, CG, 2012-2015
  • Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, 2011-2014
  • Debra S. Mieszala, CG, 2012-2015
  • Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, 2012-2015
  • Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL, 2012-2015
  • Michael S. Ramage, JD, CG, 2013-2016
  • Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL, 2012-2015
  • Dawne Slater-Putt, CG, 2013-2016

Many thanks to the Nominating Committee and the Teller Committee for your work!

Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL
President, BCG

Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG. Illinois. Incumbent. Certified in 1999 and a trustee since 2010, Jeanne is treasurer of BCG. She is a full-time professional researcher specializing in Chicago and Cook Coun­ty research, problem solving, and multi-generational family histories. She conducts research projects for government agencies, attorneys, authors, newspapers, heir-search firms, professional genealogists, and fam­ily researchers. Jeanne is an author and frequent lecturer in national, state, and local venues. In her previous career, she was a banker and a financial planning analyst.

Stefani Evans, CG. Nevada. Incumbent. Certified in 2005, Stefani is completing her first term as a BCG trustee. She is member at large on the Executive Committee, BCG advertising manager, and a member of the Outreach and ACTION committees. Since 2009 she has been a BCG Education Fund trustee. As a director of the National Genealogical Society (NGS) she served as conference chair for the 2013 NGS Family History Conference. She was a mentor for ProGen 2 and has published articles in the NGS Quarterly, the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society Record, and the Utah Genealogical Association’s Crossroads. She is a PhD student in U.S. history.

Harold Henderson, CG. Indiana. Harold has been a professional writer since 1979 and a professional genealo­gist since 2009. He has been certified since June 2012. Harold is a director of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) and chairs the APG Quarterly Advisory Committee. He moderates the Transitional Genealogists Forum. His research, writing, and speaking focus on methodology and on the Midwest and its northeastern feeder states.

David McDonald, DMin, CG. Wisconsin. Incumbent. David is immediate past president of BCG. First certified in 2004, he has served as BCG Outreach Committee chair and now serves on the Executive Committee. He is a former director of NGS and often lectures at regional and national conferences, par­ticu­larly on religion and its impacts on genealogical research. His research focuses on the Midwest and Great Plains, as well as Germanic Europe and the United Kingdom.

Nancy A. Peters, CG. South Carolina. Nancy is a full-time genealogist specializing in South Carolina and English research for clients. Certified since 2011, she serves as an editorial assistant for OnBoard. She volunteers in the document conservation lab at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History and as a consultant in her local Family History Center. In her previous career, Nancy managed her own consulting practice, designing technical training courses and providing instruction internationally for corporate clients in the software industry. Nancy holds advanced degrees in Computer Science from the University of Arizona and in International Business from the London School of Economics in London, England.

Victor S. Dunn, CG, wins 2014 Mosher Award Competition

 

Vic Dunn, CG

Victor S. Dunn was announced as the 2014 Mosher Award winner at the luncheon of the Board for Certification of Genealogists in Richmond at the National Genealogical Society Conference.

Vic Dunn’s successful entry in the Mosher Award for Colonial Virginia Research competition is a proposal for indexing obscure or difficult unpublished Virginia resources. Dunn is creating a database entitled the Virginia Business Records and Manuscript Index, which will be hosted by the Virginia Genealogical Society at their website (http://www.vgs.org/). The projected launch date is May 2014.

Indexed business records will include merchant journals, ledgers, daybooks, and memorandums, along with account books and documents kept by individual farmers, plantation managers, physicians, and attorneys. A number of these records survive for the colonial period as early as the first half of the eighteenth century, including locations in a number of eastern Virginia burned counties. When possible, the database will include links to online resources.

Vic is a board-certified genealogist and a full-time professional researcher. He coordinates the Virginia track at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at Samford University in Alabama and publishes frequently in major genealogical publications, including the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, NGS Magazine, BCG OnBoard, Magazine of Virginia Genealogy, and Virginia Genealogical Society Newsletter. Vic currently serves as a governor of the Virginia Genealogical Society. He is a past trustee of the Board for Certification of Genealogists and past treasurer and board member of the National Genealogical Society.

The annual $500 Mosher Award competition is administered by the BCG Education Fund. For more information about Education Fund programs, visit (http://www.bcgcertification.org/educationfund/index.html).

 

New Board-Certified Genealogist: Darcie M. Hind Posz, Washington, D.C.

Darcie M. Hind Posz

Darcie M. Hind Posz of Washington, D.C. has earned the credential of Certified GenealogistSM.

The newest member of the Class of 2013, Darcie has been a professional genealogist for more than nine years. She is President of the National Capital Area Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists and will be Region 4, Northeast, Board Director for the Association of Professional Genealogists in 2014.

Her research emphases include Chicago and Hawaiian/Polynesian genealogy and urban ancestors. Her writing has appeared in the APG Quarterly, FGS FORUM and NGS Magazine and portions of her research are housed at Columbia University. She is the NGSQ Study Group Coordinator and in the past served as the chair of the Federation of Genealogical Societies Outreach Committee.

She resides in Washington, D.C., and can be reached at darcieposz@hotmail.com.

Darcie’s achievement came on her second attempt at certification and she credits both perseverance and continuing education for her success. Asked if she had advice for those seeking certification, Darcie suggested “elaborate outlines to make sure that all of the criteria stated in the instructions, rubrics and the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) will be met.”

Her genealogical heroes include Elizabeth Shown Mills (“her methodology and studies on multicultural subjects have inspired me for years”), Thomas W. Jones (his new book Mastering Genealogical Proof and teaching style “made understanding and applying the GPS attainable”), and Eugene A. Stratton and Neil D. Thompson (“my lineage heroes”; “Stratton’s comment about DNA in Psychic Roots is what inspires me to do what I do,” while Thompson’s work “feeds the royal lineage junkie within me”).

She hopes, when seeking recertification in five years, to be in the Waipio Valley beginning her dream of a land study done on foot.

Let’s all extend a warm welcome to Darcie!

Former BCG Vice President Joy Reisinger, RIP

Free of copyright, posted on Pixabay.com by Karla31 of Mörlenbach, Germany.

Guest post by the Rev. Dr. David McDonald, CGSM

It is my sad duty to report that Joy Reisinger, Certified Genealogist Emeritus, died early Tuesday morning, 10 December 2013, in her hometown of Sparta, Wisconsin. A past trustee and vice president of the Board, Joy also served as conference program co-chair for the NGS conferences at Saint Paul and Milwaukee. For many years, she lectured across the United States and Canada on research methods, and Quebecois resources. She last attended a national conference in 2006 at Chicago.

Among the many tasks on which she served so capably was the legislative lobbying effort that kept Wisconsin’s historic vital records accessible and available to the public at a time when pressure was being exerted to close off the materials from public view. She was invited by then-Governor Tommy Thompson to attend the bill-signing ceremony at the state capitol in Madison. She was the longtime editor and publisher of “Lost in Canada,” a newsletter for Canadian-oriented researchers.

In her service to BCG, Joy was actively involved in the development of the first version of the Board’s policy manual. She also began the lecture series for the Family History Library staff during BCG’s October meetings. Most recently, she was a participant in the genealogical community’s Records Access and Preservation Committee collaborative work. First earning her credential as CGRS No. 442 in 1980, and then as CG No. 410 in 1998, she was elected Emeritus in 2007.

Recent ill-health has kept Joy from full participation in the wider life of our genealogical community, but she has kept herself up-to-date on various events and activities as best she has been able. We met as often as possible, given the physical distance between us, usually for a treat of Culver’s frozen chocolate custard with plenty of Diet Pepsi to wash it down. I last visited her on 30 November at the hospital in Sparta, enjoying the chance to share stories of the most recent Board meeting in Salt Lake City and the celebratory events marking the Board’s semi-centennial.

Joy is survived by her husband of 59 years, Jim; three daughters, Barbara and Martha (Brad) of Sparta; and Mary Angelis of LaCrosse; four grandchildren: Emilie and Samantha McKenzie, Ben Reisinger and James Gennaro; and two great-grandchildren. She is further survived by her siblings June (John) Wulff, Linda Deters (Bob Colby) and Lanny (Linda) Deters; and one sister-in-law, Carol Deters. Along with her parents, Joy was preceded in death by a brother and her youngest daughter, Jane, in September.

Details of the visitation and memorial mass will be forthcoming from the family. Burial will be in Saint Patrick’s Cemetery, Sparta. Notes of condolence may be addressed to the family at 1020 Central Avenue, Sparta, Wisconsin 54656.

On a personal note, Joy was indispensible as a mentor in my own certification process, and a trusted friend and ally. I will miss her, and her counsel, tremendously.

R.I.P., Janey Ruth Eaves Joyce, CG

Guest blogger Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL, provides the following.

I just received notification from San Antonio that Janey Eaves Joyce passed away last week. The Amarillo Globe-News link below covers her life nicely. Janey was very helpful in the Lone Star Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG).

Janey Eaves Joyce, a Board-certified Genealogist since 2003, passed away on 30 July 2013. Janey helped researchers many times at the Lone Star Chapter of APG Roadshow at the Texas State Genealogical Society Annual Conference. She won the 1st Place TSGS Writing award in 2011 for “The Rev. Moore Bingham (1707-1853) and His Wives, Ann Barber and Lucy Barber: their Ancestors and Descendants”  (http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~txsgs/TXSGS-New/Pages/Grants-Awards-2011.htm) and she won the Grand Prize TSGS Writing Award in 2006 for “Bartlett Eaves.” Also, she recently won first place in 2013 Connecticut Society of Genealogists’ writing contest for her “Moore Bingham” work. There is a story about Janey’s life in the Amarillo Globe-News where she once served as editor: (http://amarillo.com/news/local-news/2013-08-03/ex-agn-editor-janey-joyce-dies). 

Many visitors to the BCG booth may recall looking at Janey’s successful portfolio as one of the first ones offered for public review.

She will be missed by the genealogical community in San Antonio, all of Texas, and the community of board-certified and professional genealogists.

Please Welcome Rebecca Koford as a Board-certified Genealogist

Rebecca Whitman Koford of Mt. Airy, Maryland, earned the credential of Certified GenealogistSM this month. Genealogy has been her passion since childhood. She has been working professionally as a genealogist since 2004.

Rebecca’s commitment to education includes completion of the NGS Home Study Course, NIGR, ProGen Online Study Group 4, and Advanced Methodology at SLIG. She lectures and teaches about family history research. Until she moved to Mt. Airy in 2010, she was Assistant Director of the Family History Center and an Instructor in genealogy for Howard Community College, both in Columbia, Maryland.

She is now the Director of Genealogy for Reel Tributes, a company that creates films on family histories. Her professional work includes Maryland and lineage research. Currently she is focused on lecturing about, and spreading the word on, the War of 1812 Preserve the Pensions project sponsored by FGS at www.preservethepensions.org.  She can often be found at the Maryland or Pennsylvania State Archives.  She is grateful for the support of her three wonderful teenagers and very patient husband.