Family History Research

ProGen Study Group December 2011 Update

Time flies when you are having fun! This fall has been a whirlwind of activity on all fronts. Business has picked up a lot with some exciting Chicago genealogy clients.  The boys have been busy in school and activities. I’m writing a new book to be released by April on Kids Genealogy. And I’m still finishing the NGS Home Study Course and ProGen.

ProGen has been very challenging this fall. We have delved into Research. This means conducting research, writing a plan and report. The members of my group all presented differing research reports. I learned so much from their layout and information included. There is not just one way to write a research report.

January focuses on proof summaries. I need to figure out what I’ll write mine on. I’ll let you know how that goes. April concludes the ProGen Study Group for me. Seems like the time flew by!

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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 – ProGen Update

Last week this was me on vacation. This picture was taken in St. Thomas. My family took a cruise for spring break on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas ship.We sailed from Ft. Lauderdale, FL, to Nassau where we snorkeled with the stingrays and played on the beach. Headed to St. Thomas where we spent a day on the beach. Then St. Maarten where my mother in-law and I took my twins to the beach while my father in-law, husband and son went deep sea fishing. They caught two barracuda and some massive sunburns. Grrrrr. But overall the trip was a success. My three boys had a blast and that was the point.

The ship is enormous! You can see it pictured here on the left. Our room was in the front of the ship and the food and fun was in the back so we did a lot of walking every day.The shows were fantastic, the food was ok, the staff we encountered were wonderful and the people we met at O’Hare waiting for our plane we saw many times on the ship. Funny how there can be over 6,000 people on a ship but when you meet a handful of them you seem them every day, somewhere. Even with 6,000 people on board it never felt crowded, except a couple of lunches in the Windjammer buffet. Other than that, people had so many places to explore that the ship felt almost “empty.”

Now that I’m back in the land of reality, it is time to focus on April’s ProGen assignment. This month we are talking about Transcripts and Abstracts. The reading assignment is long so I’ll need to start on that this week. Then I have to transcribe a deed or will then abstract that same item. I believe I have a hand written will in my research files to use so that will be good. I did get some additional transcription practice this weekend as I reviewed and rewrote a letter from a Civil War Pension File I received, but more on that in another post.

It will be interesting to read everyone’s transcriptions this month, more so if they are wills. I like to see what people owned and willed to their heirs. It gives me a better sense of the life they lived, at least at the end in some cases. This will be a fun assignment I think.

Thursday evening we have our monthly chat and will discuss the time management assignment from March. Most everyone submitted their assignments while I was gone so I have to catch up before Thursday on reviewing and commenting. Reviewing each other’s work is a major part of ProGen. I learn so much every month looking at someone else’s assignments.

Well back to reality!

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ProGen Study Group Update

Another month down, how many to go? I think 12. This month we worked on Time Management. We were supposed to track how we spent our time for a week. Identify our “clients” and obligations. Identify our time thieves. We concluded with how we would better manage our time.

My submission identified my time thieves as my kids as number one, Twitter, FaceBook and Email, and housework (LOL!) as the major things. My clients are my freelance writing, genealogy business clients, my blogs, research, volunteer genealogy society projects, me myself and I, and my family.

Basically I know when I am the most productive – early morning and when the boys are in school and the house is quiet. After they come home from school I’m lucky to get much done. Most of the time I can accept this, other days it feels like I’ll go crazy because I can’t even complete a thought. I also know that once the boys are in first grade in the fall, my days will be more my own and I can expand my list of clients and goals.

It was a good assignment and made me sit back and remember again that it is ok not to get everything on my to-do list done. That I have many other responsibilities besides work and there are times when I need to shut out the world and focus.

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