So, how am I doing with my BCG certification process?

Right now I give myself a C+.  I have most of the papers drafted but not completed.  I got through the first quarter of class (I passed).  I am enjoying the people in the class and the project.  I still wish the class moved along a little more quickly and a little more systematically.  Blogging is fun.  It just may be that “hunker down” time of year (snow storm here in Seattle today) but I feel that I have gotten as far as I can with the BCG certification process itself.  I would like to wrap up Mary’s project here shortly for her (I anticipated a February delivery.)

Yesterday I went to our regional NARA and attended two classes:  1.) what is online with NARA and 2.) an overview.  They were very informative.  We even got to go into the stacks which was great fun.  It is amazing what they keep.  Did you know the keep about 1-3% of all generated documents?  Did you know that the Presidential Libraries are under their supervision?   Did you know they will come speak to your group almost for free if you are close in the area?  And, stating the obvious, they only keep Federal documents.  Gee, they even let you make free copies at our NARA!

I also got in a little research:

  1. I found out Jens T. Dahle’s death date.  All I had before was the death year from the tombstone.
  2. I found out the Jens definitely applied and received a pension from the government.  Anna Olina also received the benefit after her husband died until her death in the 1940’s.  I had been directed to the Bureau of Veteran’s Affairs and requested a copy of the record under the Freedom of Information Act (!), but I didn’t know if he actually had a pension or not.  The BVA tells me it may be 2 or 3 months before I get the document.  Obviously, I won’t have it in time to wrap up Mary’s project but I will probably have it for the class project.
  3. I ordered a tape from the Ft. Worth NARA (didn’t even know you could do that) of the original New Orleans entry records.  My mother’s side of the family landed in NY harbor in 1854 (just before Castle Gardens) and then sailed around to NO.  They traveled by paddle wheel boat (probably) up the Mississippi to Illinois.  They were not in the index of names for entry but I am hoping the indexers did a really bad job of indexing and I will find them there poorly spelled. Of course, they may not be there because they come into NYC first but it’s worth a look.

That doesn’t seem like a bad day at NARA at all!  Like you, I have had worst days….those are when you go and spend all day there and come out with less than nothing!  (Course, that has value too, but it doesn’t “feel” so good.)

There were lots of genealogy classes to attend yesterday in Seattle: in addition to the NARA classes, there was a series of classes on the 1940 census and a meeting of my software program interest group (TMG has just has a new version come out.  I need to get it loaded.)

We are staring to ramp up for the conference so you may start hearing more about the planning and organization of that event.  I have asked NARA if they will come from Chicago and teach a couple of classes.

Happy Hunting!


What I have done since the last post:  (and isn’t posted above)….still cannot find a confirmation of my grandmother’s birth.  Called the church hoping their were christening records in the early 1880’s.  I am sure there were.  They are there now.  I have requested a local newspaper by Inter-Library Loan to see if it made the local paper and if there is a paper extant and if extant, if I can read it!


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