Associates in Action

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

Activities & Projects

Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG, was quoted as the BCG president in the New York Times news article, “A Personal Sort of Time Travel: Ancestry Tourism,” by Amy Zipkin, 29 July 2016.

Catherine Desmarais, CG, with Michael Ramage, CG, taught Fundamentals of Forensic Genealogy at GRIP in June. Catherine will be coordinating The Coaching Lab: Forensic Genealogy from Inquiry to Affidavit at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) in January 2017.

David McDonald, CG, was featured in the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel business news article, “Genealogist digs deep to unearth family roots.”

LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, CG, JD, LLM, was the featured speaker at the 15 July 2016 Genealogical Institute on Federal Records Alumni Association Banquet. Her topic was “Including African American Genealogy in the American Mosaic.”

LaBrenda will conduct a workshop on 13 August 2016 for the Central Maryland Chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc., at the Miller Branch Library in Ellicot City, Maryland, entitled “Analysis of Probate Records and Study of the Probate Process.” She will make two presentations at the 37th Annual National Conference of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc., in Atlanta, Georgia: on 14 October 2016, “A Forum on the Board for Certification of Genealogists”  and on 15 October 2016, “Researching African American Families that Came Out of Slavery: Application of the First Component of the Genealogical Proof Standard.”

Melanie D. Holtz, CG, coordinated and taught a course at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) in July. Resources and Strategies for Researching Your Italian Ancestors included additional course instructors Suzanne Russo Adams, MA, AG, and Paola Manfredi, AG. Melanie has also completed work on a four-year family history book for the surname Mattei.

Awards & Achievements

Amy Larner Giroux, PhD, CG, CGL. Congratulations to Amy and her team on their second place tie in the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Chronicling America Data Challenge. Amy’s team developed Historical Agricultural News, a search tool site for exploring information on the farming organizations, technologies, and practices of America’s past. The site describes farming as the window into communities, social and technological change, and concepts like progress, development, and modernity. http://www.neh.gov/news/press-release/2016-07-25

Career News

Dawne Slater, CG. Ancestry ProGenealogists has promoted Dawne from Associate Genealogist to Genealogist Researcher. The new position reflects her years of experience in the field and acknowledges the work she has done at Ancestry since joining the firm last fall.

Publications

LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, CG, JD, LLM, A Guide to Researching African American Ancestors in Laurens, South Carolina, and Selected Finding Aids (Bloomington, IN: Xlibris Pub., 2016). LaBrenda’s book is both a locality guide, with tips on where to look for sources, and a “how to” manual for those who have not mastered genealogical methodologies. It provides background information applicable to all South Carolina counties and includes references to “modern” finding aids and websites. She offers practical advice and research strategies based on her experience and formal studies. LaBrenda will discuss her new book on the blogtalk radio program Research at the National Archives and Beyond, http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bernicebennett, 25 August 2016. The book is available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and Xlibris.

Skillbuilding, NGS 2016: Bloom on Writing Conclusions

SpringBoard, an official blogger for the 2016 National Genealogical Society (NGS) Family History Conference, is pleased to offer a review of this BCG Skillbuilding lecture, presented 6 May 2016.

F311, Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG, “Sharing with Others: How to Convey Evidence”

Reviewed by Darcie Hind Posz, CG

I always like a Jeanne Larzalere Bloom presentation because whether in person or by audio, I can tell how enthusiastic and passionate she is about genealogy and writing. Jeanne’s instruction technique also works for me. When I was working on my portfolio, defending my conclusions in my case study and kinship determination project was intimidating. Jeanne’s lecture from the NGS 2012 Family History Conference titled, “The Family Tapestry: Integrating Proof Arguments into Genealogical Narrative,” talked me into taking the plunge to write out those conclusions.[1]

Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG

This new lecture, “Sharing with Others: How to Convey Evidence,” definitely lives up to its title and description and provides listeners with new tools to apply towards our genealogical skill set and education.

Jeanne draws us in with the fact that our work must be written because it is our legacy. Part five of the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) is to write out our conclusions. It’s the final step after the other components of the GPS, the mental processes of assembling and analyzing. Many of us hesitate with the phase of writing out our research and analysis; research is addictive and rewarding, but explaining it to make a solid case is another thing.

We need a lecture like this in our playlist. Writing an analysis of evidence and a conclusion can be overwhelming. When we can break the project down into smaller steps, writing it out and presenting it in pieces makes the process easier to understand and apply.

Listening to this lecture (several times, of course) reveals Jeanne’s methodological plan so that we can become less timid about writing out our research. We learn to use tools like research plans to lead us toward construction. Jeanne Bloom provides a road map that makes writing less intimidating and more approachable.

 


[1] Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, “The Family Tapestry: Integrating Proof Arguments Into the Genealogical Narrative,” lecture F-303, National Genealogical Society 2012 Family History Conference, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2012. The lecture is also available as a BCG webinar.

 

Click for more information.

A recording of this lecture may be previewed and ordered from PlaybackNow.

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.

NGS 2016 Live Streaming Signup Deadline April 22

Can’t make it to Ft. Lauderdale for the 2016 NGS Conference? You can still take advantage of ten lectures streamed to you live. They will also be accessible for three months after the conference closes. Several lectures from the BCG Skillbuilding track are included in “Day Two: Methods for Success.”

The signup deadline is approaching, so be quick if you want access to these lectures.

The live streaming signup deadline is midnight, Friday, 22 April 2016. Register here.

Live-streamed BCG Skillbuilding lectures, Friday, 6 May, 2016

Jeanne L. Bloom, CG, “Sharing With Others: How to Convey Evidence”

Techniques to construct and arrange genealogical reasoning so that our research is useful to future generations and facilitates effective collaboration with other genealogists.

Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL,  “Systematically Using Autosomal DNA Test Results to Help Break Through Genealogical Brick Walls”

A case study set in the early 1800s demonstrates methodology for using autosomal DNA test results to help solve longstanding genealogical problems.

Stefani Evans, CG, “Doughnut Holes and Family Skeletons: Meeting the GPS through Negative and Indirect Evidence”

When one Matteson family branch shunned its prominent renegade, it created a doughnut-hole pattern of negative evidence that, ironically, helps strengthen the case for connection.

 

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 Education Fund Workshop: Spreadsheets, Transcriptions & Abstractions

Invaluable genealogical tools, spreadsheets, transcriptions, and abstractions will be the focus of this year’s BCG Education Fund Putting Skills to Work workshop. The day-long educational event will take place in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, the day before the NGS conference, 3 May 2016, from 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. The workshop is designed to improve foundational skills for genealogists striving to develop excellent genealogical practices. 

Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG, will lead the session “Spreadsheets 201: Manipulating Data to Dismantle Brick Walls.” Students will use spreadsheets to reveal otherwise hidden patterns that can resolve problems of kinship and identity. Prerequisite: knowledge of basic spreadsheet skills. 

David McDonald, DMin, CG, will lead the session “Reach for the Power Tools: Transcriptions & Abstractions.” Students will work with various documents to transcribe, abstract, and analyze the material, with an eye toward developing effective research plans. 

The $110 registration fee includes lunch, two in-depth presentations, hands-on exercises, syllabi, handouts, and active class participation. NGS Conference registration is not required. Sessions typically book to capacity before the NGS Conference registration deadline. See the full workshop description at this blog post by Debbie Parker Wayne, CG. 

Register through the NGS Conference registration site. If you’ve already registered for the conference, just login and add the Putting Skills to Work workshop. If you haven’t registered yet, now is the time to do it! 
 

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.

News from October 2015 BCG Trustees Meeting

The trustees of the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) met in Salt Lake City on 10 October 2015. Three new trustees joined the Board: Paul Graham, CG, Judy Kellar Fox, CG, and Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL. Two trustees retired from the board: Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, and Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL. Both have served as president of BCG and provided distinguished service to the Board and the community at large for many years.

BCG officers for 2015–2016 are Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG, president; Stefani Evans, CG, vice president; David McDonald, D.Min., CG, secretary; Michael S. Ramage, JD, CG, treasurer; Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL, and Richard G. Sayre, members-at-large.

BCG is in the process of redesigning its website. Judy G. Russell issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) on 26 October 2015. The RFP is for a redesign and update of the BCG website and overall BCG graphics for branding purposes.

The BCG trustees honored thirty-year associate Miriam Weiner with Emeritus status. “Miriam was the first Jewish genealogist to become certified by the BCG and is known for her pioneering work in Holocaust research and Eastern European records,” said President Jeanne Larzalere Bloom. “The Board is grateful for her many contributions to the field of genealogy and for promoting genealogy standards during her distinguished career.”

BCG will host “meet and greet” events at two national conferences in 2016. The gathering at the National Genealogical Society conference (4–7 May 2016, Ft. Lauderdale, FL) will be organized by Nicki Birch, CG. That at the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference (31 August–3 September 2016, Springfield, IL) will be organized by David McDonald.

For questions or more information, please visit http://www.BCGcertification.org or contact Nicki Birch at office@BCGcertification.org.

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.

Recordings of BCG-Family History Library Lectures

If you were unable to attend the lectures sponsored by BCG and the Family History Library yesterday, you may access recordings of all for a small fee each. For many of us that’s a lot cheaper than a trip to Salt Lake City!

NOTE: Jamb Tapes has gone out of business, so the recordings referred to below are no longer available through them. They may be archived in genealogical libraries.–October 2016

Michael Hait, CG, “What Is ‘Reasonably Exhaustive Research’?” Jamb Tapes May 2015, F351

Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG, “The Art of Negative Space Research: Women,” Jamb Tapes May 2015, S451

Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL, “After the Courthouse Burns: Rekindling Family History Through DNA,” 2014 International Genetic Genealogy Conference

Michael Ramage, JD, CG, “Forensic Genealogy Meets the Genealogical Proof Standard,” Jamb Tapes May 2015, F342

Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA, “Margaret’s Baby’s Father and the Lessons He Taught Me (about Illegitimacy, Footloose Males, Burned Counties & More),” an earlier version at Jamb Tapes 2008, F-144

Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA, “When Does Newfound Evidence Overturn a Proved Conclusion?” Jamb Tapes May 2015, F321

 

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 Lectures in Salt Lake City, 9 October 2015

The Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) will offer a day of free skillbuilding genealogy lectures at the LDS Church History Museum, Salt Lake City, 9 October 2015. 

Renowned genealogists Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, Michael Hait, Thomas W. Jones, Elizabeth Shown Mills, Michael Ramage, and Judy G. Russell will present six one-hour skillbuilding lectures. The annual lectures, co-sponsored by BCG and the Family History Library, are free and open to the public. Anyone in Salt Lake City on that day is welcome to attend. The lectures will be presented live.

Friday, October 9, 2015, Church History Museum Auditorium (on West Temple next to the Family History Library)

9:00 a.m. – “What Is ‘Reasonably Exhaustive Research’?” Michael Hait, CG

10:15 a.m. – “The Art of Negative Space Research: Women,” Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG

11:30 a.m. – “After the Courthouse Burns: Rekindling Family History Through DNA,” Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL

12:30 p.m. – One hour break

1:30 p.m. – “Forensic Genealogy Meets the Genealogical Proof Standard,” Michael Ramage, JD, CG

2:45 p.m. – “Margaret’s Baby’s Father and the Lessons He Taught Me (about Illegitimacy, Footloose Males, Burned Counties & More),” Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA

4:00 – “When Does Newfound Evidence Overturn a Proved Conclusion?” Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA

“Whether you attend one skillbuilding lecture or all six, you will learn more about how to apply sound methodology to your genealogical research,” said BCG President Jeanne Larzalere Bloom. “The Board for Certification of Genealogists strives to foster public confidence in genealogy by promoting an attainable, uniform standard of competence and ethics. Education is part of this mission.”

For questions or more information contact office@BCGcertification.org.

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

If you’ve been waiting for recordings of BCG’s most recent webinars, four more are now accessible on demand from Vimeo.com. All 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

Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG, “The Family Tapestry: Integrating Proof Arguments into the Genealogical Narrative,”

Teresa Steinkamp McMillan, CG, “Truth or Fiction? Unraveling a Family Yarn,”

Shellee A. Morehead, PhD, CG, ”Diamonds in the Rough: Finding and Using Manuscript Collections,” and

Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL, “The Best Educational Plan for You: Sifting Through the Options.”

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

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.

Skillbuilding: Bloom on The Art of Negative-Space Research: Women

SpringBoard, an official blogger for the 2015 NGS Family History Conference, is pleased to offer a review of this skillbuilding lecture, presented Saturday, 16 May 2015:

S451: Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG, “The Art of Negative-Space Research: Women,” reviewed by Debbie Mieszala, CG.

Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG, is equal parts determination and enthusiasm as she guides her audience through a case study entitled “Three Graves under a Few Small Trees” within her BCG Skillbuilding presentation, “The Art of Negative-Space Research: Women.” Bloom’s interest in a trio of eighteenth-century burials was not dampened by the fact that they now lie under a parking lot. Inscriptions and remarks about the gravestones were documented over a century ago.

BCG President Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG

With the humor required to fortify a genealogist through the most complex of research problems, Bloom explains the methodology she used to determine how the man and two women lying under the tarmac were connected. No record for either woman names her parents. Spelling and name variations added complexity to the research. Facing an unfortunately-common dearth of female-specific records, Bloom began by identifying and researching the men in the women’s lives—using the negative space around the women to form images of their identities. Others sharing their surnames were researched at length, and a community of family and associates provided valuable evidence.

As the “spaghetti family” strands are unwound, primarily through extensive work in probate and wills, Bloom paints a vivid picture of a family emerging from hiding. “It really does take getting down to the documents, looking at them and reading them,” she declares. Extensive document analysis and correlation were crucial to the problem’s solution. Bloom’s research strategy allowed her to identify parents for the two women, put a name to a previously unidentified child, and connect the trio of family members forgotten under a parking lot.

Bloom advises that “Just because researching women can be challenging, it shouldn’t be ignored.” Her problem and solution format inspire genealogists to look more closely at the elusive women who represent one half of our ancestry.

“The Art of Negative-Space Research: Women,” session S451, was recorded by Jamb Tapes, Inc.

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: Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG, on “The Family Tapestry”

The Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) is pleased to present a free webinar on Tuesday, 19 May 2015, at 8 pm EDT. President Jeanne Bloom, CG, will speak on “The Family Tapestry: Integrating Proof Arguments into the Genealogical Narrative.”

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

When we tell a story, sometimes we need to stop and explain. Just how did we figure out who the main character’s mother was—without any census, vital records, or probate records? This problem confronts every genealogist who prepares a portfolio for certification as well. Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG, will use the language of weaving and the work of distinguished philosopher Stephen Toulmin to deal with this perennial issue in writing up genealogical research.

Seating is limited for this webinar. Please register early and sign in early to avoid disappointment.

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

BCG President Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG

Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG, is president of BCG and a full-time professional researcher specializing in Chicago and Cook County, Illinois, forensic genealogy, problem solving, and multi-generational family histories. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a second-year certificate from the University of Chicago’s publishing program. Her interest in genealogy began much earlier. Rather than having her grandmother read her a story before naptime, Jeanne would ask to hear a story about when she was a little girl.

“We are pleased to offer this informative webinar,” said BCG treasurer Michael Ramage, J.D., 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. Please register for Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG, “The Family Tapestry: Integrating Proof Arguments into the Genealogical Narrative,” on 19 May 2015, 8:00 pm EDT (7 CDT, 6 MDT, 5 PDT) at the following link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4634996031472159746.

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

Please visit http://bcgcertification.org/blog/bcg-webinars to learn about BCG’s previous webinars.

CG and Certified Genealogist are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluations. The board name is registered in the US Patent and Trademark Office.