Monthly Update – January 2016

My genealogy calendar began to wind down at the end of 2015, and to be honest, between a heavy workload at school and life in general, I ran out of steam. However, with the arrival of the New Year, several upcoming events and my personal goals, I am looking forward to 2016. It is looking to be an exciting year filled with new adventures and new genealogy friends.

Dear Mother, Love Daddy coverThe WWII Project

Instead of having a section devoted to just my book Dear Mother, Love Daddy, I am going to condense this section to everything related to the books and the letters.

About the letters:

  • Almost 1,200 letters have been transcribed and organized so far (since December 2012). I will continue to post a letter a day (or military related document) until all the letters have been transcribed. I still do not have a final tally of how many letters there are in the collection. According to my records, I have published 1,169 blog posts in which a letter was transcribed. This does not take into account the number of posts that did not contain a letter but rather a transcription of a document from Roscoe’s personal military papers nor does it account for the occasional letter which has been discovered amongst my father’s papers and has subsequently been forwarded to me. Often these rogue letters do not make the blog because they are so far out of sequence or context. It does not make sense to publish them at the time. They will appear in the published volumes of letters however.

Dear Mother, Love Daddy:

  • The first volume of letters has been in print for exactly 11 months. It is hard to believe that the first anniversary of its publication is quickly approaching, February 24, 2016. This last week I finally prepared several copies for donation to a few of the major genealogy and state library collections. For readers who may live in the Sacramento area, the library owns a copy of the book and it can be requested through the library’s loan system. Otherwise, copies of the book are available for sale through Amazon.com or contact me through the website to purchase an autographed copy of the book.

Lots of Love, Daddy:

  • I am hoping to have the second volume of letters ready by Memorial Day. I had hoped originally to publish this book around the anniversary of the first book. However, my schedule has not afforded me the time needed to successfully release the book at that time. This volume will also be 150-200 pages longer than the first volume and will include letters written during October through December 1942 while Roscoe was stationed in Noumea, New Caledonia. My first draft of the book is currently 400 pages. This does not include the index, author’s notes, illustration/photo credits, or the cast of characters. I have tentatively engaged the services of a genealogy colleague to be my copy editor for this next volume. I am very excited to be working with her on this project. As the spring progresses, I will make a more official announcement. In addition, I need to begin work with my book cover designer. At this point, I have an idea but nothing concrete.

Sacramento Library

Genealogy Programs Central 2016I continue to volunteer one Saturday a month dispensing genealogy advice at my local library branch. Typically, my sessions are on the fourth Saturday of the month. Upcoming dates are January 30, February 27, and March 26. These sessions are by appointment only.

Yesterday, I presented my second lecture – A Beginner’s Guide to DNA & Genetic Genealogy. The audience was wonderful! They asked lots of great questions, and hopefully, I did not confuse them too much. I am looking forward to putting together a third presentation later this spring, likely in April or May.

The Central Branch has their genealogy program schedule published for the year. All presentations are given on Sundays from 1:00-2:30 at the Central Branch on I Street, downtown Sacramento. There are some wonderful speakers on the list, including my colleague, Gena Philibert-Ortega, who reviewed Dear Mother, Love Daddy last fall on her blog. Gena will be presenting a lecture on Finding Institutional Records in July while fellow ProGen alumna Janice Sellers will be delivering her lecture Get Me to the church: Religious Records in June.

Certification

It has long been my goal to become a certified genealogist. In order to achieve this goal, the applicant must submit a portfolio of work to the Board of Certification of Genealogists. This last week BCG president, Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, announced a new application process for certification. Some of the new requirements include evaluation of the applicant’s educational experiences and a limit of 150 pages for the entire portfolio. The new application can be found on the BCG website.

835

My ProGen Certificate

At this point, I feel fairly confident about my educational experiences. I have completed Boston University’s Genealogical Research Certificate program and the ProGen study group. I will continue to attend local learning experiences, like those offered at the library or the genealogy societies in my region. I still would like to do a couple of the home study courses from the National Genealogical Society, and maybe someday, I will be able to attend a week long institute like SLIG or GRIP. Although part of me is not really thinking of attending an genealogy institute as a student, why not think higher and bolder, like as an instructor?!? But let’s be realistic for 2016…

Another colleague of mine suggested that I blog about my journey to certification (Thank you Jake!). I have long been a fan of Jill Morelli’s blog Genealogy Certification: My Personal Journal. Jill is another ProGen alumna, and I had the pleasure of meeting her in person last year at Jamboree. Jill is already “on-the-clock,” as we like to say about the certification process. She has already submitted her application and currently has 3 months remaining before she must submit her portfolio. As I stated in my year in review post last month, I want to have my plan in place for certification by the end of this year. Most of the advice I have read (from people who have gone through the certification process) recommend having one’s ideas and preliminary research started before submitting the application. Blogging about my progress will hopefully keep me on track for my goal.

Roscoe with his wife Gladys and their sons, John & Mark (circa July 1942 in Kentland, Indiana)

A branch of my family that I will NOT be using for my portfolio!

One of the main requirements for any item submitted in the portfolio is that: “No material in an initial application may have been reviewed, critiqued, or proofread by another individual.” For me, this means that none of my prior work submitted as coursework for Boston University or ProGen is eligible to be used for my portfolio. Over the last few years, I have tried to be careful about not writing and posting about every aspect of my family genealogy for precisely this reason. I had to keep branches of the family dark since they were potential portfolio fodder.

So for January…

One element of the portfolio is a Kinship-Determination Project (KDP for short). Three generations of a family must be presented in a narrative genealogy, narrative lineage, or narrative pedigree format. Within the narrative, proof summaries or arguments must be used, as appropriate, for at least two parent-child relationships. This month (OK this morning…) I think I have decided upon which branch of the family I am going to use for the project. My next step for the project will be to begin analyzing the documents I do have and begin assessing what documents I need to obtain.

Jamboree

Jamboree 2015

Jamboree 2015

This month pre-registration for Jamboree began. I had so much fun last year and I am looking forward to attending this year. Stay tuned for more updates! I have signed up to take one workshop so far. I still consider myself extremely fortunate that Blaine Bettinger was in my ProGen study group. His knowledge of DNA and genetic genealogy is incredible and I looking forward to taking his workshop on Third Party Tools for Autosomal DNA. If you ever have the chance to hear him speak or lecture, do not miss the opportunity!

Until next month….

©2016 Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2016/01/24/monthly-update-january-2016/

10 thoughts on “Monthly Update – January 2016

  1. Steve Conner

    I just discovered your certification posts! As I stand at the beginning of the journey, it is good to see that the path is well worn and those who walked before are so helpful to share their experiences! Many thanks!

    Reply
    1. Deborah Sweeney Post author

      Thanks Steve! And of course this post was a year and a half ago so things have definitely changed and evolved since then. I am behind from where I wanted to be of course but I think I am on the right track now.

      Reply
    1. Genealogy Lady Post author

      The BU course was intense! It’s been almost a year since I finished ProGen and I miss my monthly assignments and chats. Both are definitely worth the time and effort.

      Reply
      1. Beth Wylie

        I was going to do it this Spring/Summer but found out I was pregnant. I decided that I really wanted to get the most of it and give it real time/attention so it will probably be another couple of years. Had no idea about the requirement for the hours to be original research!

      2. Genealogy Lady Post author

        The BU course was definitely more hours than they advertised and of course you want to do well so people spend even more time…..
        As for ProGen, we had a larger group when we started but we did lose people fairly early on, one was a young mother who was overwhelmed by the work load and carrying for her baby.

      3. Beth Wylie

        Yes, I know my limits! We have a three year old so I remember clearly how the first year or so was. Not going to put that kind of pressure on myself. Lol.

  2. Amy

    Good luck in the certification process. I do not know anything about it, but it sounds quite demanding. Does this then qualify you to be an expert witness in a court case? To charge people for your services? What is the advantage of certification? (Not that I plan to pursue it—I am content as an amatuer; just curious!)

    Reply
    1. Genealogy Lady Post author

      Thank you Amy! I am both looking forward to the process of certification, and dreading some aspects of it. As a certified genealogist I would certainly be eligible for legal situations, including court witness. I would also be eligible for some government jobs.

      A genealogist does not need certification to charge clients for services. There are only a small percentage of genealogists who undertake certification. For me, it is part validation of my skills, plus having the “street cred” of achieving the top level in the field. 🙂

      Reply

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