SpringBoard is pleased to offer a review of this BCG Skillbuilding lecture, presented 4 May 2018.

F301: Angela Packer McGhie, CG®, ”History, Records, and Context: Researching the Locations Your Ancestors Lived”

Reviewed by Scott Wilds, CG®

Location, Location, Location! Angela didn’t actually say this trite phrase during her terrific lecture, but the point came through. Knowing and understanding both the location and the time period of our research subjects is essential in planning our research, identifying and interpreting records, and learning about our ancestors’ lives.

Angela tied our need to understand a location’s history and geography, laws and customs, and records to meeting the Genealogical Proof Standard and in meeting Genealogy Standards 12 (Broad Context), 14 (Topical Breadth), and 17 (Extent). Genealogists who are “On the Clock,” contemplating certification, or who just want to do the very best work possible will benefit from this lecture.

This lecture may be particularly helpful to BCG applicants confronting document work from an area where they have limited past research experience. Angela’s analysis of the FamilySearch Wiki was brilliant in squeezing every possible bit out of this key resource. Other resources looked at local and social history and ways to identify records and repositories. Need to formulate a plan to research a specific genealogical question? This talk and the syllabus will give you many ideas to pursue.

Several examples from Angela’s own genealogical research brought the talk to life, showing the necessity of maps, gazetteers and local histories, and other resources in planning, research, and analysis.

The lecture ends with a look at some fun resources that I was unfamiliar with, including What Was There http://www.whatwasthere.com/, which matches modern photographs with historical views, and History Pin http://www.historypin.org/en/, a place with photographs and stories telling the history of local communities.

A recording of this lecture may be ordered from Playback Now www.playbackngs.com.

The words Certified Genealogist and letters CG are registered certification marks, and the designations CGL and Certified Genealogical Lecturer are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluation.