Colorado’s Karlene Howell Ferguson, who received her Certified GenealogistSM credential in early 2014, describes herself as a “life-long history student who always tries to put the person of interest in historical context.”
She began doing family research roughly 10 years ago: “I did not start until I retired from a career in public human resources management, so I have been trying to make up for lost time.”
Her genealogical education includes attending the National Genealogical Society conference every other year, and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy in the off year. She has also attended the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, and the NEHGS research week in Washington, D.C. and the research week in Orange County, New York. She is currently participating in Gen Proof 29 (the course built around Thomas W. Jones’ new Mastering Genealogical Proof) and is looking forward to the NEHGS trip to Albany, New York, in July.
Karlene’s advice to those considering certification is that “preparing the portfolio is very, very time consuming. In order to make the most of your application year, try to have as many of the decisions (e.g. kinship project, case study, client report) made prior to your preliminary application.” If she had one thing to do over in her own preparation, it would be to “spend more time learning from others. Attending institutes, conferences and research weeks are very educational, but you need the chance to reflect on actual written products, your own and others.”
She adds that while she learned a tremendous amount about family research in preparing her application portfolio, she realized in that process that she had “just scratched the surface. So much to learn; so little time.”
Her heroes in her quest for certification include Carol Darrow, CG, “who taught many of the classes at the Denver Public Library that got me started on the right track”; “all of the county clerks, court clerks and local librarians who graciously took the time to help me find the records I was seeking”; and her husband, Jerry, “who has been totally supportive of my family research even though he is not very interested in it. He is, however, the best person to help with a cemetery search!”
Some of Karlene’s genealogical goals for the next five years are:
• “to write the story of my Swedish immigrant family, who came to the U.S. in 1921. My plan is to self-publish so that the written story will be available to cousins.”
• “to learn about DNA so that I can add that tool to my family research tools.”
• “to determine a way to share my family stories with other researchers, so they do not have to repeat my mistakes.”
We’re pleased to have this opportunity to introduce Karlene to the BCG community!
(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.)