11 January 2009

My Education Continues - Plans for 2009

If there is one thing I've learned, it's that your genealogical education never really ends. You can complete classes, receive a certificate or earn a degree, but everyday you can learn something new.

Back in February 2008, two online genealogical study groups were formed. One was the NGSQ Article Study Group and the other was the Pro Gen Group. I've been with both since the beginning and will continue in 2009. They both were the brainchildren of Lee Anders. Angela McGhie is now the coordinator for both groups. She recently sent out this notice regarding both groups:

For those interested in the NGSQ Article Study Group or the Pro Gen Study Group I wanted to post an overview and contact information. My name is Angela McGhie and I coordinate both groups. Please direct questions and participation requests to me at mcghiefamilyhistory@gmail.com
The NGSQ Article Study Groups accept new members on an ongoing basis. These groups meet once a month online to discuss an article from the "NGS Quarterly." This study is based on the model set forth by Dr. William M. Litchman where each participant reads the selected article from the NGSQ several times making notes about the research techniques, evidence and logic used in solving the genealogy problem. Members meet online to discuss the methodology used in the article and take turns moderating the discussions.

The Pro Gen Study Groups cover the research procedures and business practices outlined in "Professional Genealogy" edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills. There are two study groups currently running and I keep a list of others interested in participating. When there are enough people ready to participate we will form a third group. Each month members study one or two chapters of "Professional Genealogy" and complete a practical assignment relating to the chapter. Members then review assignments and give feedback to others in their group and meet in an online discussion of the topic.

Between these two groups I have gained experience and knowledge that I know I couldn't get anywhere else.

Locally, I will continue as editor for the San Joaquin Genealogical Society newsletter and as registrar for El Toyon chapter NSDAR. Are you a member of your local genealogy society?

If you can attend one of the three big institutes this year, be prepared for an in depth learning experience like you've never had before. The Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy January 12-16 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama will be June 14-19. I will be attending again this year. The National Institute on Genealogical Research in Washington, DC is scheduled for July 12-17.

The educational opportunities are endless with the yearly national conferences. The NGS Conference this year is May 13-16 in Raleigh, North Carolina. The FGS Conference will be September 2-5 in Little Rock, Arkansas. BYU's 41st Family History Conference July 28-31 in Provo, Utah.

Smaller, regional conferences, institutes and seminars are not to be overlooked:

St. George Family History Expo February 27-28 in St. George, Utah.
The Southern California Genealogy Jamboree is in its 40th year and will be held in Burbank, California on June 26-28.
10th New England Regional Genealogical Conference will be held April 22-26 in Manchester, New Hampshire.
2009 Midwinter Genealogy Institute "Behind the Genealogy Reference Desk" will be at the Denver Public Library on January 23 from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.
California Genealogical Society presents Scots-Irish Research Seminar March 7, 2009, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Oakland Airport Holiday Inn, Oakland, California.

There are many more happening all over. Make it a goal this year to attend one or more and keep your genealogical education up to date.


  1. Sheri,

    I read this too quickly (and I'm not awake yet) so I was rather impressed that you were a registrar for NASCAR. Oh, wait...

    Good suggestions. I need some more education myself. I would like to hear more about your plans to get certified also.


  2. Thanks again for answering my ProGen questions. I'm on the waiting list for the next group.

    I'll also be at NGS, FGS and the So Cal Jamboree. Maybe our paths will cross at some point.

  3. Sheri,

    Thanks so much for including the CGS Scots-Irish Seminar!

  4. This is great information – its encouraging to see online education is becoming more widely accepted and the benefits are backed up by a range of studies.