Family History Research

ProGen Update – October 2011

I just finished reading through my October ProGen assignment on Research Reports. Great refresher since I have not read that chapter in about a year. Now I need to find a research report I have permission to use from a client for my assignment or write a new one on my own research.

In September we worked on writing our Business Plans. Two of my group members already uploaded theirs for review. They are amazing! One is from a woman who has been in business several years and really understands how to write a plan. The other is from a woman who is going to launch her business in 2012. I wish I would have seen examples of these plans last year when I was just starting out.

If you have ever considered joining a ProGen group and have not done it, I encourage you to give it a try. You will learn so much! My group ends in April 2012 and I cannot believe how much better my personal and business research, reports and practices have become.

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Motivation Monday – Going for Certification

Michael Hait wrote some very interesting posts recently called, How Not to Become Certified, part one and part two. Today’s post, So, Are You Ready for Certification? was an interesting read also.

Last summer when I started my genealogy business, Generations, I thought I was ready for certification. I got the application guide and started working through some of the pieces. I quickly realized I needed more client work and education behind me or I would fail miserably.

Here I am one year later with almost two of the NGS Home Study Course CDs finished and the third on its way, I’m over half finished with the ProGen Study Group, and increased my conference and meeting attendance over the last year. I even published a book and have had several articles published in a couple of journals and magazines.

Am I ready for certification today? No but I’m closer than last year. I downloaded the updated BCG guide to review over the coming weeks. I plan to seriously look at the process, what is required and make a plan to start the work. ProGen ends in April and I plan to complete the NGS HSC by then as well. Both plus all my client work will put me in a much stronger position to work on the portfolio starting next summer.

I plan to be one of those names you see on the certification list for Illinois. Right now there are eight listed. Will I succeed the first try? I hope so, but if not, Michael Hait has given me a lot to think about if I am rejected. It isn’t failing, but a major learning experience that will only help me grow as a researcher. I am a lot less afraid to give this a try in the spring than I was. Thanks Michael for being so honest about what you went through to achieve certification!

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June ProGen Study Group Update

I’m still feeling a little out of sorts even after being home a week. Still getting caught up on things. ProGen keeps moving along though and that is one thing I have focused on the past week.

Our May assignment was to read about Accreditation and Certification. Our practical assignment was to use the transcript of a document we created in April and submit a statement identifying a research focus. Then we analyzed the data and created a research plan.

Now that June has arrived we are learning about Evidence Analysis. We read a chapter in the Professional Genealogy book and Chapter 1 of Evidence Explained.  My reading is done but I need to work on the assignment which is to select an individual I have been researching and list documents I have for that individual and my analysis of those documents. We will write proof arguments in the future.

I may select James Shannon, a man I have been working on for a friend. I found a lot of information on his family while I was in Missouri in May. It will be exciting and maybe I’ll discover something I overlooked in my initial research and review of documents.

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Wisdom Wednesday – May ProGen Update

Another month down in the 18 of ProGen Group 10.  In April we worked on transcriptions and abstracts. I used the will of a woman named Dorota Zajicek. When I got this probate file at the Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court Archives I barely flipped through it before I started copying it. First of all after I read the will I realized this was not MY Dorota Zajicek. This woman was loaded! Mine was not. I copied the file anyway in case this family connected to mine at some point.  I transcribed the will and created my abstract.

This month we are using those transcripts to work on Certification and Accreditation by creating a research focus, analysis of data and forming a research plan. All things you would do if you were applying for BCG certification.

I worked on my assignment this morning and finished it. Will post it to the ProGen group this weekend. First need to get through our chat Thursday night for our April assignments.

Next month we are discussing Elizabeth Shown Mills’s Evidence Explained Chapter 1. Stay tuned for an update then.

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