BCG Webinar Update: Fonkert on Identity

Jay Fonkert’s March 2016 BCG webinar, “Genealogical Fingerprints: Merging and Separating Identities in Family History Research,” is now accessible on demand from Vimeo. It is available for twenty-four-hour rental ($2.99) or for purchase of unlimited streaming and download ($12.99).

Go to the BCG Webinars tab at the top of this page for free previews and links to Vimeo recordings of all BCG webinars.

BCG Webinars are generally presented the third Tuesday of the month. Watch SpringBoard and Facebook for notices about two weeks before each webinar.

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.

Free BCG Webinar: Baker on Finding Your Early 1800s US Ancestors Online

The Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) will present “Finding Your Early 1800s US Ancestors Online,” a webinar by James M. Baker, PhD, CG, free to the public at 8:00 p.m. EDT, Tuesday, 19 April 2016.

This presentation describes strategies to find early 1800s United States data. A case study illustrates the use of different record types to trace families backward in time from Illinois through Indiana, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Key online sources include newspapers, historical books, property records, marriage records, military records, and city directories.

James M. Baker has been an active genealogist for the past fifteen years. He earned a PhD in sociology and social psychology from the University of Utah. In 2011, he became a board-certified genealogist. He specializes in German, Midwestern US, and early American genealogy research.

President Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG, says “The Board for Certification of Genealogists is proud to offer this new webinar as part of an ongoing series that supports our mission to provide education for family historians. This webinar will address questions regarding the genealogy standards for research. By promoting a uniform standard of competence and ethics the BCG endeavors to foster public confidence in genealogy.”

There is no charge, but space is limited. Register for James M. Baker, PhD, CG, “Finding Your Early 1800s US Ancestors Online,” on 19 April 2016 at 8:00 p.m. EDT (7:00 CDT, 6:00 MDT, 5:00 PDT).

Register early and sign in early to claim your space. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. For more information contact office@bcgcertification.org.

Learn about BCG’s previous webinars at SpringBoard‘s webinar page.

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.

BCG Webinar Update

Barbara Vines Little’s February 2016 BCG webinar, “The Importance of Context in Record Analysis,” is now accessible on demand from Vimeo. It is available for twenty-four-hour rental ($2.99) or for purchase of unlimited streaming and download ($12.99).

Go to the BCG Webinars tab at the top of this page for free previews and links to Vimeo recordings of all BCG webinars.

BCG Webinars are generally presented the third Tuesday of the month. Watch SpringBoard and Facebook for notices about two weeks before each webinar.

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.

Free BCG Webinar: Fonkert on Merging and Separating Identities

Tuesday, 15 March 2016 at 8:00 p.m. EDT, J. H. (Jay) Fonkert, CG, will present “Genealogical Fingerprints: Merging and Separating Identities in Family History Research.”

A recording of this webinar is available for a small fee from Vimeo.

J. H. (Jay) Fonkert, CG

Merging or separating identities is a core genealogical problem. Sometimes we find a person of the same name in several different places over time. Other times, we find two easily confounded people in the same place and time. A series of short case studies illustrates the importance of certain identity.

Jay Fonkert, CG, is a Minnesota-based genealogy researcher, educator, and writer who focuses on nineteenth-century Midwest research. His favorite research target is the Fawkner family of Kentucky and Indiana. He is a trustee of the BCG Education Fund, a past director of the Association of Professional Genealogists, and a past president of the Minnesota Genealogical Society. Jay was an instructor at the Salt Lake Institute for Genealogy from 2013 to 2015 and has published more than sixty research and teaching articles in the Minnesota Genealogist, The Septs, Family Chronicle, NGS Magazine and the National Genealogical Society Quarterly.

“We are pleased to offer this informative webinar,” said BCG president Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG. “The Board for Certification of Genealogists strives to foster public confidence in genealogy by promoting an attainable, uniform standard of competence and ethics. Educating all family historians is part of this mission.”

There is no charge, but space is limited. Register for J. H. (Jay) Fonkert, “Genealogical Fingerprints: Merging and Separating Identities in Family History Research” at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8778406650793309953.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. For more information contact office@BCGcertification.org.

Learn about BCG’s previous webinars at http://bcgcertification.org/blog/bcg-webinars.

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.

BCG Free Webinar: Little on Context in Record Analysis

Tuesday, 16 February 2016, at 8:00 p.m. EST, Barbara Vines Little, CG, FNGS, FVGS, will present “The Importance of Context in Record Analysis.”

A recording of this webinar is available for a small fee from Vimeo.

Source citations provide context for the information we gather. Was the death date from a tombstone, a newspaper obituary, a county history, a Bible record, or a death certificate? The best citations tell us that the tombstone was contemporary with the death, the Bible record was entered in the same hand and the same ink, the county history was written a hundred and fifty years later, and the death certificate was signed by an attending physician. The details provide background context that helps us evaluate the validity of the information and suggests other avenues for research. But this information only scratches the surface. A full evaluation of any record’s context requires that we explore the complete content of the document. We want to know the reason for the document’s existence; the social, legal, and geographical context behind its creation; and what ancillary documents were produced both before and after its creation.

Barbara Vines Little, CG, FNGS, FVGS,

Barbara Vines Little, CG, FNGS, FVGS, is a professional genealogist whose primary interests are Virginia research and brick wall problems. A former president of both the National Genealogical Society (NGS) and the Virginia Genealogical Society, she coordinated the Virginia track for Samford University’s Institute for Genealogy and Historical Research from 2007–2012. She has served as editor of the Magazine of Virginia Genealogy since 1996. Winner of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly Award for excellence in 2001, she has also written for the NGS Magazine, OnBoard: Newsletter of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, and the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly. She currently edits NGS’s Research in the States series and authored the West Virginia volume. She has published three volumes of Virginia court records and edited others for publication. She has lectured for the past twenty-five years on research methodology, Virginia and West Virginia resources, and writing and publishing.

To register for Barbara Vines Little, “The Importance of Context in Record Analysis” on 16 February 2016, 8:00 p.m. EST (7:00 CST, 6:00 MST, 5:00 PST), go to https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3474700108047285762.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Attendance is limited for this free webinar. Once registered, please sign in early to avoid disappointment.

President Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG, says, “The Board for Certification of Genealogists is proud to offer this new webinar as part of an ongoing series that supports our mission to provide education for family historians. This webinar will address questions regarding the genealogy standards for research. By promoting a uniform standard of competence and ethics the BCG endeavors to foster public confidence in genealogy.”

Please visit SpringBoard‘s webinar page to learn about BCG’s previous webinars.

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.

Ramage “Reliability” Video Recording Released

Michael Ramage, JD, CG, “Reliability: The Keystone of Genealogical Reasoning, with Judicial Comparisons,” BCG’s December 2015 webinar, is now available on demand from Vimeo.com, here. It is accessible for twenty-four-hour rental ($2.99) or for purchase of unlimited streaming and download ($12.99).

Go to the BCG Webinars tab at the top of this page for previews and links to all BCG webinar recordings.

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.

Free BCG Webinar on Reliability and Reasoning

Michael Ramage, JD, CG, “Reliability: The Keystone of Genealogical Reasoning, with Judicial Comparisons” was presented 15 December 2015. A recording is now available from Vimeo, here.

Reliable evidence is essential to sound genealogical conclusions. Illustrating the importance of this quality, the term reliable and its synonyms appear in no less than seven standards in Genealogy Standards.[1] The Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) does not mention the word reliable, yet it “requires genealogists to base conclusions on reliable evidence.”[2] What does reliable mean? How is it assessed?

Michael Ramage, JD, CG

Come explore the nebulous but important principles surrounding reliability from the perspective of genealogy and the law. The laws pertaining to the admission or exclusion of expert witness testimony provide relevant insights into what is and is not reliable. This is of crucial importance to those attempting to draw a conclusion based upon the GPS.

Michael Ramage, JD, CG, is a Board-certified genealogist and licensed attorney with over thirty years of professional research and writing experience. He specializes in the field of missing and unknown heirs in estate, trust, and real estate title matters.

To register for Michael Ramage, JD, CG, “Reliability: The Keystone of Genealogical Reasoning, with Judicial Comparisons” on 15 December 2015, 8:00 p.m. EST (7:00 CST, 6:00 MST, 5:00 PST), go to  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4736616197104408066.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Attendance is limited for this free webinar. Once registered, please sign in early to avoid disappointment.

President Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG, says, “The Board for Certification of Genealogists is proud to offer this new webinar as part of an ongoing series that supports our mission to provide education for family historians. This webinar will address questions regarding the genealogy standards for research. By promoting a uniform standard of competence and ethics the BCG endeavors to foster public confidence in genealogy.”

The BCG is an independent certifying body and author of the 2014 Genealogy Standards.

Please visit SpringBoard‘s webinar page to learn about BCG’s previous webinars.


[1] Genealogy Standards (Nashville, Tenn.: Turner Publishing Co., 2014), passim.

[2] Ibid., 23.

CG, Certified Genealogist, CGL, and Certified Genealogical Lecturer, 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.

More BCG Webinars Available On Demand

The two most recent BCG webinars (October and November 2015) are now accessible on demand from Vimeo.com. Both are available for twenty-four-hour rental ($2.99 each) or for purchase of unlimited streaming and download ($12.99 each).

The new webinars are

Melanie D. Holtz, CG, “Applying the Standards to International Research,” and

Harold Henderson, CG, “Do You Have the Reflexes You Need to Become Certified?”

Go to the BCG Webinars tab at the top of this page for free previews and links to Vimeo recordings of both.

CG, Certified Genealogist, CGL, and Certified Genealogical Lecturer, 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.

Free BCG Webinar: “Do You Have the Reflexes You Need to Become Certified?”

Tuesday, 17 November 2015, at 8:00 p.m. EDT, Harold Henderson, CG, will present “Do You Have the Reflexes You Need to Become Certified?”

A recording of this webinar is available for a small fee from Vimeo.

Like all professionals, good genealogists learn to take certain approaches and attitudes toward our work. For example, citing and questioning sources are among the many skills and practices we slowly and painfully learn. Once learned, they become automatic—and then it’s easy to forget that reflexes even exist, and that not everyone has developed them. In this talk, Harold will discuss several important reflexes genealogists need to cultivate for successful research using the standards set forth in the book Genealogy Standards. He will help audience members answer the question, “Am I ready to try for certification?”

Harold Henderson, CG, has been a professional writer since 1979, a professional genealogist since 2009, and a Board-certified genealogist since June 2012. He lives and works in northwest Indiana, and serves as a trustee of the Board for Certification of Genealogists. He has published articles in American Ancestors Journal (annual supplement to the New England Historical and Genealogical Register), the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, and several state publications. His website, www.midwestroots.net, includes free resources and a link to his blog.

To register for Harold Henderson, CG, “Do You Have the Reflexes You Need to Become Certified?” on 17 November 2015, 8:00 p.m. EDT (7:00 CDT, 6:00 MDT, 5:00 PDT): https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5631969406323382786.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Attendance is limited for this free webinar. Once registered, please sign in early to avoid disappointment.

President Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG, says, “The Board for Certification of Genealogists is proud to offer this new webinar as part of an ongoing series that supports our mission to provide education for family historians. This webinar will address questions regarding the genealogy standards for research. By promoting a uniform standard of competence and ethics the BCG endeavors to foster public confidence in genealogy.”

The BCG is an independent certifying body and author of the 2014 Genealogy Standards.

Please visit SpringBoard‘s webinar page to learn about BCG’s previous webinars.

CG, Certified Genealogist, CGL, and Certified Genealogical Lecturer, 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.

Free BCG Webinar: Applying Standards to International Research

Tuesday, 20 October 2015, at 8:00 p.m. EDT, Melanie D. Holtz, CG, will present “Applying the Standards to International Research.”

A recording of this webinar is available for a small fee from Vimeo.

The idea of “reasonably exhaustive research” might be one of the most mysterious elements of the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS). What exactly does it mean? How do you know when you’ve achieved it? How does the GPS apply to international research?

Melanie D. Holtz, CG

The lecture will focus on showing how the standards can apply to international research through the evaluation of several Italian case studies and/or research problems. Some research problems naturally require more work to meet the definition of reasonably exhaustive research, while others may be a lot simpler.

Understanding reasonably exhaustive research is important in preparing a kinship determination project. Examples abound for those who focus on U.S. research. However, for those who don’t, it is often helpful to see examples from other geographic locations. In this way, they can more easily learn the proper application of these concepts to their own type of genealogical research.

Melanie D. Holtz, CG, is a Board-certified genealogist, writer, and lecturer. She operates an international research firm that specializes in Italian genealogical research, Italian-American dual citizenship, and Italian-American probate cases. Melanie maintains offices in both Italy and the U.S.

To register for Melanie D. Holtz, CG, “Applying the Standards to International Research” on 20 October 2015, 8:00 p.m. EDT (7:00 CDT, 6:00 MDT, 5:00 PDT): https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7525305339610306562.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Attendance is limited for this free webinar. Once registered, please sign in early to avoid disappointment.

Please visit SpringBoard‘s webinar page to learn about BCG’s previous webinars.

CG, Certified Genealogist, CGL, and Certified Genealogical Lecturer, 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.