Family History Research

Book and ProGen Update

I cannot believe December is half over already! I’m thrilled to report my Bob Brouk book is done and published. I’m waiting for my proof to arrive to finalize things. As soon as it is I’ll post a link. My goal was to tell his story so his memory would live on and I have done that so I’m very pleased. I am already starting on my second book which I hope to have out by summer. Chicago researchers will hopefully find this book very useful.

ProGen is moving along. We had a great discussion at the beginning of the month about our personal libraries. We each had to share the books we thought were the most valuable and the books we still wish to add to our libraries. There were many books almost all of us owned such as The Source or The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy. Another popular book that was listed as owned or wanted was Bringing Your Family History to Life through Social History. This book is out of print but if you search you may find it for under $75.00. I landed it for $30 a couple of weeks ago. Used of course but in great condition. Check them out if you are looking for out of print books.

This month in ProGen we are reading about writing reviews. I have yet to complete my reading so need to get on that. The month has just flown by.  I’ll post another update in early January after our discussion.

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November ProGen assignment update

Our November ProGen 10 Study Group assignment was a lot of fun to create. The first step was to go on or a similar book indexing website or use a spreadsheet, to record all the genealogical books, magazines, journals, CD’s, etc., in our personal libraries. The second step was to identify books, journals, CD’s, etc., missing from our collections. The third step was to create a purchasing plan to obtain the missing items.

I have heard from other ProGen Study Group participants that this particular assignment was fun and informative because you could see what resources others had. If you are interested in seeing what is currently in my personal library, you can view it on I have a personal book listing on’s Visual Bookshelf. Just look for Jen Holik-Urban if you want to see what I read for fun.

If you have an online book collection and want to share it, please post a comment with the link.

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ProGen Update – November

Another month, a new ProGen assignment. This month we are reading about Libraries and Copyright. Our assignment this month is to catalog our home genealogy libraries, which includes magazines, CDs, books, online books, etc, either through an online system or a spreadsheet. Then we need to make a purchasing plan for books we do not own.  Should be a fun assignment!

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More Educational Opportunities

Continuing on the ProGen Study Group theme this month of Education, I want to tell you about a couple of other opportunities. The first is Family Tree University. They have a lot of paid courses and seem from time to time, to offer free classes. Because I am teaching a Beginning Genealogy class over the winter, and it has been years since I was a beginner, I wanted to see what others are teaching. I signed up for the FTU Discover Your Family Tree course. It began yesterday and runs until October 24. I will post next week about my thoughts on the course to that point.

The next opportunity that is absolutely on my list is the National Genealogical Society Home Study Course series. Let’s face it, with three kids in school, a part time job, my business, research, ProGen, and everything else I do, Home Study Courses are the way to go for me. I can learn at my own pace and fit it in around everything else.

Do you follow Nikki LaRue at Blog of a Genealogist in Training? She had a great post recently about finishing ProGen Study Group 3 and beginning the National Genealogical Society Home Study Course CD3. Nikki is a fellow Chicago area genealogy mom who is doing it all too! She has written many accounts of her experiences with the NGS HSC and ProGen. Reading her latest post makes me want to start the courses now, but I need to wait at least a month before diving into that. Too many other things to finish first.

And last, I will take the Boston University Certificate in Genealogy courses in 2011. Timeline TBD but it is absolutely on my MUST-DO list.

Have you taken some fantastic online classes you recommend? Please let me know your thoughts. I’m sure there are many others looking for the same thing.

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