What have I been doing?

What I haven’t been doing is thinking about certification!

I have been working almost every non-gainful employment hour on the genealogy conference in Illinois:

  • finalizing the program
  • getting the speaker bios/pics together
  • working on the tours
  • organizing a picnic
  • planning the fun things at the banquet
  • writing the script for the four days (if you ever plan a conference make sure you do one of these!)
  • and building a mobile app for our schedule (got the idea at the NGS conference.  See below for how to access)

Whew!  No wonder.  And this does not describe the “minutia”….building two presentations: “1719 & 1757 tax assessments in Ostfriesland” and “Ostfriesen Genealogy: an Overview.” Both of these I am doing with another person.  Also buying pretzels (who knew that Freeport IL was the pretzel capital of the world!….well, maybe not the world.)  Also, I have been copying handouts for the presentations and finally being nervous that we won’t have enough people and we will lose money!

So, no, I haven’t been thinking about certification.  But, I plan on going on the clock right after the conference.  Really!  Stay tuned!

Oh, did I mention that I am also planning to take a small group on a “study abroad” to Salt Lake City in February.  This will be a combination of coaching, genealogy research and fun.
Oh, did I mention that I am leaving for the conference a few days early so I can do some research on my maternal side in the county where two of my ancestors landed in the 1850’s before moving on to Iowa in the 1870’s.  There is a singular lack of vital records that I can tap into but I am hoping that land records will be of interest.

Happy hunting!  You may not hear from me for two weeks; then again, you might.


What I have done since the last posting:  here is the app:  http://guidebook.com/g/OGSA2012


Are you on the “should I/should I not” roller coaster?

Lately I have wondered why I am procrastinating about “going on the clock”  and signing up to apply for BCG Certification.  The last few months I have actually thought seriously about not getting certified for a number of reasons, one of which is that I am having too much fun working for the clients I have right now.   This past week I was in Chicago and I spent part of a day with a new genealogy buddy who urged me to apply.   We discussed reasons to apply and reasons that did not support applying. So, I admit I am still waffling but it might be because I am so busy planning the genealogy conference in Illinois in 2.5 weeks.

As I write this I find myself becoming more committed to applying.

The document I am most concerned about is the Case Study. I spent a lot of time on this document a year ago but now find that it does not qualify as a conclusion based on indirect evidence but rather is a proof argument.  So I have to identify another example and write something that complies with the requirements. ( I wonder how many people miss on this issue. I can’t be alone in misinterpreting what they were looking for.) Luckily, I have found another example that might work: a problem raised by Theresa’s Irish project where there are too many Mary Coynes immigrating.

The other piece that will take some time to shape up is the kinship determination project. There is a requirement for two embedded arguments. I did not do that. So, I will have to give that some thought as well.

So, I am going to put that aside and go order pretzels for 150 people. Who knew that Freeport IL was the Pretzel capital?

Let me know if this is a thought process that you struggle/struggled with.  I would be interested in knowing.

Happy Hunting!


What I have done since my last post: went to the Newberry Library with my friend and also the Chicago Historical Research Center.  Had a great time researching my own family! Finished up the report for Susan and had a chat with her about it. Both she and Stephanie want books to be published so they can share it with their families. I am now challenged to see if i can do a book in a minimal amount of time and still produce a quality product. The good news is that i have done two of my own and as a consequence i am a lot quicker than i was.  I also worked on Mary’s problem.

How do you market genealogy services?

I have tried a couple of approaches but would really appreciate comments from others about how to expand and become more professional at it.

So far, the following are being used or in progress:

  • marketing materials:  Developed a brochure and had some other genealogists and clients give me feedback about its effectiveness.  The brochure, my business cards, by letterhead all coordinate in color quality, typography etc…..a common look
  • “Word of mouth:”  although I have had some referrals it usually ends up being MY mouth that is the most effective. I try to talk it up in circles where there may be interest.  I am amazed who is interested and their level of interest.
  • Speaking engagements: I am a fairly good speaker having done it throughout my professional career.   I use each to introduce myself to others.  I have three coming up: Newcomers of Seattle, DAR and the SAR.  I have many topics.   I am thinking of joining the Genealogists Speakers Guild.
  • Donations:  As with my first three clients I am now a firm believer in….small donations give sometimes big returns.  As you know I started by giving three people a free 10 hours of research and a report of findings.   All three signed up for additional services and one even referred me to someone else.  All paying clients.  I have approached two friends whose children are in private schools to participate in their annual fund raiser’s silent auction.

If you have other ideas, let me know.  I need all the help I can get.


What I have done since the last post: connected with a friend I met at the NGS Conference so we will have a day together when I am in Chicago in another week. completed Susan’s second request and sent it off to her.  It was a major undertaking that resulted in a “storyboard” for a book.  I think she will have a major role in doing the book herself but wanted to have some direction.  Found lots of interesting “stuff” but also walked away from some interesting questions.  Perhaps she’ll think they are interesting also.