Cheryl Brown Abernathy of Fredericksburg, Ohio, became a Board-certified genealogist on 9 April 2014. She is the owner of The Past Lane where her professional work focuses on Wayne County, Ohio, and nine nearby counties. She does in-depth research, records look-up, and lineage society applications. Living in the north central Ohio region to which her ancestors migrated more than a century ago has given her the skills and experience she uses in her business. She volunteers as chair of the Settlers and Builders of Ohio, one of the lineage societies of the Ohio Genealogical Society.
Cheryl’s top genealogy hero is her grandmother, Mary Belle (Wear) Martin, who developed and nourished her interest in genealogy. In her family genealogy website, in its coverage of Mary Belle, Cheryl provides a great example of melding facts and source citations. Today her friends Donna Gruber and Elissa Scalise Powell give her encouragement.
For Cheryl, preparation for the submission of her BCG portfolio including attending an impressive selection of institute courses:
- Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research (IGHR) at Samford University
- Course Two, Intermediate Genealogy & Historical Studies – 2009
- Course Four, Advanced Methodology & Evidence Analysis – 2011
- Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) at La Roche College
- Beneath the Home Page, Problem–Solving with Online Repositories – 2012
- Advanced Land Research: Locating, Analyzing, Mapping – 2013
Her advice to others interested in becoming Board-certified is that they “take all the coursework you can, whether it’s a ProGen study group, IGHR, GRIP, SLIG, Boston University or any of the numerous opportunities available.” Asked if she would do anything differently, Cheryl said that she’d start attending institutes earlier in her career. In five years, she sees herself as still learning, researching, and honing her skills.