BCG Announces New Webinar Series!

The Board for Certification of Genealogists believes in education and would like to share with the public some of the expertise represented in BCG through a series of webinars.

Open to everyone who wants to improve their skills, these live webinars are set for 8 pm Eastern for the following dates:

Monday, September 22, Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, will present “Fine Wine in a New Bottle: Guidelines for Effective Research and Family Histories.” Updated, retitled, and reorganized, genealogy standards first published in 2000 are now available in a new edition. The webinar will describe the changes and what they mean for all family historians. Dr. Jones teaches at three genealogy institutes, co-edits the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, and is the author of Mastering Genealogical Proof.

To register for the September 22 webinar, please use this link:
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8699013103252043265

On Wednesday, October 15, Judy G. Russell, J.D., CG, CGL, will explain “Kinship Determination: From Generation to Generation.” Requirement 7 of the BCG certification application asks for a Kinship Determination Project in which the applicant writes a three-generation narrative and explains how the relationships are documented. All genealogists do this regularly while placing relatives with their appropriate connections in the family tree. A familiar speaker at conferences across the country, Judy will coordinate the Advanced Methodology & Evidence Analysis course at the Institute for Genealogy and Historical Research in 2015.

To register for the October 15 webinar, please use this link:
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4535381371678485505

Look for future announcements on other upcoming webinars on this blog. You may sign up on the sidebar for email notifications when a new post is written.

Early Bird Registration Ends October 31st for SLIG 2014 – Course 5 – Credentialing: Accreditation, Certification, or Both?

Last weekend in Salt Lake City we kicked-off celebrations of the 50th anniversaries of two credentials, those administered by the Board for Certification of Genealogists® and the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional GenealogistsSM. The banquet in Salt Lake City heard speaker Judy G. Russell, JD, CGSM, CGLSM, discuss the instigating factors for the establishment of credentials as well as the developments in those organizations over the last 50 years.

Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL

To continue the celebration in the “50th year of our age,” a track on accreditation and certification is included in SLIG 2014. Apryl Cox, AG®, Co-Chair of the Testing Committee of ICAPgen, and Elissa Scalise Powell, CGSM, CGLSM, President of BCG, will coordinate Course 5 in the upcoming Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, 13-17 January 2014. Course 5 is “Credentialing: Accreditation, Certification, or Both?”

Apryl Cox, AG    

The two called on great speakers to present topics in the week’s worth of classes. Their instructors include David Rencher, AG, CG; F. Warren Bittner, CG; Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL; Kelly Summers, AG; Linda Gulbrandsen, AG; Ray Clifford, AG; Raymon Naisbitt, AG; Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL; and Mark Lowe CG. Classes will cover the histories of the two organizations, their application processes, and how the applications are judged. Practical exercises will be part of the workshop experience. In the concluding lecture, David Rencher will ask, “How Many Credentials Should I Have?”

Early-bird registration ends of October 31st for the Utah Genealogical Society’s 2014 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. There are still a few seats left in Course 5. For more information, click here.

Schedule of the 50th Anniversary Lecture Series, October 10th and 11th

BCG’s 50th Anniversary Lecture Series

Greetings from Salt Lake City. Today marks the start of the one-year celebration of BCG’s 50th anniversary. It starts with two days of lectures. The BCG board has presented lectures here in the past. Those lectures were open only to Family History Library staff. This is the first time we’ve been able to open them to the general public. They take place in the auditorium in the basement of the LDS Church History Museum immediately north of the library.

The program chair for this series is F. Warren Bittner, cgSM, cglSM, of Centerville, Utah. He issued a Call for Papers to BCG associates. He also elected to reprise few lectures that had been popular in the past in the small audiences.

Please come on by. If you are busy during work hours, remember that the Keynote takes place tonight, at 7:00 PM, in the museum auditorium.

 

 

BCG Application Portfolios at Jamboree and IGHR; FGS Early Bird Deadline

Posting by Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL
President, BCG

This week is quite busy for those attending the Southern California Jamboree and the Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research (IGHR) at Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama, and for those attending both!

For those who cannot make these events, please check out the new audio clips at the bottom of http://www.bcgcertification.org/certification/why.html. Thank you, Joan Hunter, CG, Alvie Davidson, CG, and Kathy Hinckley, CG, for telling us about your individual pathway to certification.

It is with pleasure that I can say that BCG will have a presence at both Jamboree and IGHR and be able to have available successful portfolio applications for attendees to browse on a limited basis. At Jamboree, look for the BCG table on Friday, June 7 (only) from noon to 6 pm. There you will meet some of our associates. We thank Stefani Evans, CG, for spearheading this volunteer effort.

In addition look for the Jamboree speakers who are Board-certified including: Jean Hibben, CG, Judy G. Russell, CG, CGL, Craig R. Scott, CG, Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, and Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL. They may be able to answer your certification question or point you in the right direction.

On the Samford University campus, where ten courses will be occurring simultaneously all next week, the BCG portfolio applications will be in the classroom of course 6, “Genealogy as a Profession” in Ralph W. Beeson University Center Annex, room 212. Anyone may come and look at the portfolios in the classroom during break times. IGHR attendees can also attend the Tuesday evening lecture (6 p.m.) on the why and how of getting certified given by Elissa Powell, CG, CGL, and Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL.

With BCG being a sponsor of IGHR for the past several decades, it is no surprise that nine of the eleven course coordinators are Board-certified and that six out of seventeen instructors are also certified. You may see them all at http://www4.samford.edu/schools/ighr/IGHR_faculty.html.

The next national conference is the Federation of Genealogical Societies in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, August 21-25. See www.FGS.org to sign up for the early bird registration before July 1. BCG will have a luncheon, a booth, and two sessions (not overlapping) on how and why to be come certified. Genealogical education is important to achieve if you want to become certified or just learn “cool stuff.”

See you there!

New Books at NGS 2013: Jones on GPS and DeGrazia on NYC

The National Genealogical Society announced two new books at the conference in Las Vegas two weeks ago.

© 2013 by the National Genealogical Society, Inc. Used by permission of the National Genealogical Society and the photographer, Scott Stewart.

 

The National Genealogical Society announced publication of Mastering Genealogical Proof by Thomas W. Jones, CGSM, CGLSM. It is a workbook for learning to use the Genealogical Proof Standard in our work. It can be ordered here.

Two types of online study groups have sprung up for those of us planning to use the book. Pat Richley-Erickson of DearMYRTLE fame established a group which uses Google+ Hangouts on Air to record to YouTube. It is all explained here. Angela McGhie of ProGen Study Group fame established small groups in a private setting. The GenProof groups are explained here, and in Angela’s blog.

 

 

 

 

© 2013 by the National Genealogical Society, Inc. Used by permission of the National Genealogical Society and the photographer, Scott Stewart.

 

Laura Murphy DeGrazia, CGSM, authored Research in New York City, Long Island, and Westchester County, a new book in the NGS Research in the States Series. As Laura states in her introduction, 62% of the state’s population resides in this area. Settled in 1624, its deep history and large population make for a significantly complex research environment. Laura’s book is a clear explanation of the types of records available and how to find them.

Soon this book can be ordered here.

 

BCG Skillbuilding at NGS 2013: Barbara Mathews on “Not Quite Right: Recognizing Errors”

© 2013 by the National Genealogical Society, Inc. Used by permission of the National Genealogical Society and the photographer, Scott Stewart.

Please welcome guest blogger ____, CGSM

No, that welcome message is not a mistake. I put out two email calls to Board-certified genealogists requesting guest bloggers. Instantly many people stepped forward and scooped up speeches by Tom Jones, Judy Russell, and Elizabeth Shown Mills. My own presentation waited and waited … {{shaking head in embarrassment}}.

It’s not quite fair for me to review my presentation. I’m not unbiased, am I? I thought about putting a third frantic request out to the Board-certified associates, but then I decided to blog about what it is like to give a speech at a big genealogy conference. It seemed a better route to take than to risk a third rejection.

The process began more than a year earlier, when I answered the Call for Proposals from NGS. I used the “console” to enter the required data, from my contact information, biography, and experience as a speaker to the title, an outline, and a brief description of the speech itself. I then waited until I was contacted by the Program Chair several months later. I had to sign a contract. I also decided to approve having the sessions recorded by JAMB-Inc.

There were two more milestones. About three months before the conference, I had to send in my handout/syllabus material. I made sure to format it as required to fit properly in the syllabus, and to email a pdf version. That gave me time to polish my speeches using PowerPoint software.

The final milestone was to show up and deliver the speeches. This meant packing my own projector and computer, including lugging them through airport security and stuffing them into storage bins on the packed airplane. I made my own flight booking, but NGS booked two room nights for me. I extended that booking to include the full conference. I invested in flight costs and five nights at the hotel. The trip meant adding on other costs, such as parking in Boston, taxis to and from the Las Vegas hotel, and meals. On the plus side, my convention registration was gratis and I got a check for both speeches. In total, I will have to spend more money that I take in, but the overall conference costs are reduced because my speeches were accepted for the program.

Butterflies in my stomach? Totally. I used the nervous energy to go over the PowerPoint slides and to reread the speeches — as well as to arrive in plenty of time for each speech. I set up my projector, set up my computer, and used the convention center’s built-in cabling to connect them. The Las Vegas Hotel Convention Center supplied an A/V specialist who checked in with me before each speech to ensure that all was in working order. In addition, JAMB-Inc sent a man to double-check the recording device and put in a fresh CD. Once I got the thumbs-up from him, I was free to begin.

The errors speech needed tuning up the week of the convention. I wanted to make sure that the discussion of sources, information, and evidence was in parallel with a newly published book on genealogical proof.[1] There were about 50 or 60 people there to hear the lecture. They took notes earnestly, so I felt that the revision effort was well worth it. Once it was over, I packed as quickly as I could so that the next presenter could set up.

My speech on recognizing errors is meant for those beginning to work with the terminology used for sources, information, and evidence. I went over the various terms carefully, explaining what each meant and how it is useful to document analysis and evidence evaluation.

This session has been taped. During the conference you can buy it from the JAMB-INC booth in the main conference hall. After the conference, it will be available online at http://www.jamb-inc.com/category/genealogy. This is session S441 under the heading 2013 NGS Conference/Las Vegas, NV.

 

[1] Thomas W. Jones, Mastering Genealogical Proof (Arlington, Va.: National Genealogical Society, 2013). It can be ordered online http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/mastering_genealogical_proof from the National Genealogical Society. It is a workbook. You read a chapter on a topic and then work on the questions at the end of the chapter. The topics I discussed are in Chapter 2.

BCG Skillbuilding at NGS 2013: Thomas Jones on “Debunking Misleading Records”

Please welcome guest blogger Judy Kellar Fox, CGSM

The buzz in Las Vegas is about Thomas W. Jones’ Mastering Genealogical Proof (Arlington, Va.: National Genealogical Society, 2013), just released and available for sale now at the NGS booth in the Exhibition Hall.  It promises to be our guide to excellent research.  His first talk of this conference, “Debunking Misleading Records,” offers an expanded look at some topics in the book.

Tom opened by asking, “How many of you have encountered misleading records?”  Laughter, with many hands raised.  He then asked, “How many of you have not?”  More laughter, but no hands.  He showed a great slide of a Family Tree Maker Family Archive tree with all the mistaken information marked.  The sheet bleeds red with corrected names, dates, and facts, all determined after careful investigation of the type he proposes.

This lighthearted introduction gave way to a look at two aspects of the Genealogical Proof Standard: no. 3, analysis and correlation of information, and no. 4, resolution of conflicting evidence.  Tom pointed out how records can mislead, then demonstrated ways to test and prove errors.  He based his examples on three articles from the National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ):

Melinda Daffin Henningfield, “Determining Linnie Leigh Gray’s Birth Date,” NGSQ 98 (December 2010): 245-50.

Allen R. Peterson, “Who Were the Parents of Charlotte Ann Williams of Flint, Michigan? A Death Certificate with a Half-Truth,” NGSQ 98 (September 2010): 177-88.

Richard A. Hayden, “Resolving the Inexplicable: The Marriage Bond of Archibald Young and Lettice Morgan,” NGSQ (March 2007): 5-16.

It’s disconcerting to think that we have to be suspicious of all the records we use, but since we must, this talk shows the way!

This session has been recorded. During the conference you can buy it from the JAMB-INC booth in the main conference hall. After the conference, it will be available online at http://www.jamb-inc.com/category/genealogy. This is session W121 under the heading 2013 NGS Conference/Las Vegas, NV.

Judy reports, “Blogging is a recent activity for me, inspired by a need to share family mementos and photos with members of the younger generation, to reach them with a medium they use.  That’s Ancestors from the Attic (http://foxkellar.blogspot.com).  I’ve also been experimenting with a blog as serialized research report: Pinpointing Dennis Buggy’s Irish Origins (http://foxkellarbuggy.blogspot.com).  It allows me to demonstrate and explain good practices with each post.”

 

Using Established Patterns (and Records Access) to Find Answers

Established Patterns

The Editors’ Corner points out that the December 2012 issue of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly has a theme, Six Degrees of Separation. Editors Melinde Lutz Byrne, CGSM, and Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CGSM, CGLSM, discuss using established patterns and networks to find not only relationships but also records. Burned courthouse? Remember that attorneys using that courthouse also kept records. Lost vital records books? Remember that midwives, ministers, and gravestone carvers also kept records.

The last issue of the 100th volume is rounded out by contributions from other Board-certified genealogists:

  • Michael Hait, CGSM, “In the Shadow of Rebellions: Maryland Ridgelys in Slavery and Freedom”
  • George Findlen, Ph.D., CGSM, “Resolving Duplicate Roman Catholic Parish Register Entries: French Canadian Examples”
  • Allen R. Peterson, CGSM, “Living on the Edge: A Hyde Family of Cheshire and Derbyshire, England”
  • James W. Petty, AG, CGSM, “Black Slavery Emancipation Research in the Northern States”

Michael blogged about the genesis of his article, which tied as a winner of the 2011 NGS Family History Writing Contest. Read his story here.[1] His co-winner was F. Warren Bittner, CGSM, “Without Land, Occupation, Rights, or Marriage Privilege: The Büttner Family from Bavaria to New York,” published in the previous NGSQ issue.

Records Access

Melinde and Tom remind us that records — including workarounds for missing records — are only part of problem resolution. Access to those records is also critical.

Identifying active nexuses is not enough to complete the workaround. The archivist, descendant, institution, or government that preserves records is the final component. Without repositories in every sense, activities that greater nexuses chronicle might as well never have happened.[2]

Budget issues regarding the Georgia Archives and high-tech solutions to accessibility at the National Archives were highlighted in social media this week.

  • The Records Access and Preservation Committee reminds us that the Georgia Archives is a budget line item and attention from genealogists is still needed on this issue. RPAC wrote directly to Gov. Nathan Deal of Georgia about the need to preserve the historical record.[3]
  • David Ferreiro, Archivist of the United States, was interviewed about NARA’s evolving use of digitization. The post and a sequence of short videos can be found here.
  • Pamela Wright, NARA’s Chief Information Officer, appeared at the 2013 Summit: Advancing Citizen Engagement, which was part of Social Media Week 2013. A blog posting NARA’s use of social media to create better records access is available here.

[1] Michael Hait, “Writing the Ridgeleys,” Planting the Seeds, posted 17 Feb 2013; http://michaelhait.wordpress.com/2013/02/17/writing-ridgelys/: viewed 22 Feb 2013.

[2] Melinde Lutz Byrne and Thomas W. Jones, “Editor’s Corner: Six Degrees of Separation,” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 100 (Dec 2012): 243.

[3] Fred Moss, “Georgia Archives — RPAC Letter to Gov. Deal,” Records Preservation and Access Committee, posted 3 Feb 2013; http://www.fgs.org/rpac/2013/02/03/georgia-archives-rpac-letter-to-governor-deal/ : viewed 22 Feb 2013. The letter to Gov. Deal, signed by Janet Alpert, the RPAC chair, can be viewed at http://www.fgs.org/rpac/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/GeorgiaArchives-28-Jan-2013.pdf .