Update: Age at death vs. Average Age at Death

statisticsThis is a update to my previous post on the average age at time of death for my ancestors. I wanted to verify my previous conclusions when I received a better source of average age data than I had used.  Thanks to Ginny S. for providing the link to the National Institutes of Health paper which looked at the average age statistics in the 1800s in multiple ways.[1]  You might find the article of interest as you write papers and analyze your family:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2885717/

You can read the previous post by clicking here.

There were several observations I make about the article:

  1. It identified issues with the data collection that I had not considered before: such as the process for collection of data,  small sample sizes, the rural vs. urban dynamics, the east coast and racial bias, etc.
  2. Immigrants averaged a shorter life span in the US than native born whites in 1850. (Table 1, Ferrie, 1996.) The study did not, however, address the difference in the life span of those who stayed in the country of origin to those who immigrated. The rural differential was about 5%; the urban differential was about 18%.
  3. I was surprised that the life expectancy of a 20 year old in the US declined starting at the beginning of the 19th century until mid-century for both males or females.  There is then a slow increase in longevity; the average age does not exceed that of earlier in the century until after 1900!  (Table 1, Kunze, 1979; Pope, 1992)
  4. I was surprised that I didn’t see a more radical effect of the Civil War  in the 1860s. Twenty year old white men seemed to “hold their own” in the very low 40s. The effect of the CW is probably manifested in that during this time 20 year old white women’s life span became equal to men’s, where before it had consistently lagged by 2 years, plus or minus.
  5. The US Census mortality schedules (effective the year previous to the census year) under-reported deaths by perhaps as much as 40%, an interesting fact for genealogists, who cannot find their ancestor but feel like they should, in these non-population schedules. (15th paragraph in article after abstract.)

So, what about my data from the previous post? It appears that any differences between the “infoplease” data I used, and the NIH report are negligible, or supported my case more strongly that our family lived longer than average. My conclusions do not change and my family lived longer than average in all respects. The reasons for the extended life span were probably due to my ancestors being rural and not urban, less susceptible to communicable disease, reduction in pulmonary tuberculosis and other medical advances, etc.

Here is a summary of the immigrants in my family and why they were, as a whole became better off in the US.

My Swedes: This family emigrated in 1881 for religious reasons. They were Baptists in the land of Lutherans. The family’s safety net was the brother of the wife who had been in the US for 10 years prior to my family’s chain migration. Bengt Peter worked on the railroad for 10 years, earning enough money to buy a farm.

My Dane: Chris emigrated in the early 1900s as a young man and progressed from $5 in his pocket to owning his own business and two farms in Iowa. He had a safety net of a close friend with whom he stayed for two years before heading to northern Iowa.

My paternal Ostfriesens: emigrated in 1854 with money to buy a farm within 10 days of landing in Illinois. They were the wealthiest of all of my immigrants with much land and privilege in Ostfriesland, Germany. The males became the most formally educated of my ancestors. Marrying into this family is a young woman who was orphaned at an early age, immigrated with an unrelated family and married much younger than average into this wealthy family.

My maternal Ostfriesens: emigrated in 1864 (why, why, why would you do that!!), landed in Iowa and immediately bought a farm. But, another line within this family sector was not so advantaged.  The head of household of the Berg family died within 1.5 years of arrival, leaving the widow with 6 children under the age of 15.  She remarried, “disappeared” for 7 years and reappeared in 1871, a widow with sons who bought land all over the Midwest and daughters who married well.

I pause here for a moment to discuss my use of the word “wealthy.” By no means were these families members of the upper echelon of the society in the United States at this time, but rather they owned more land than they ever could in the country of origin. In addition, the amount of real estate and personal property indicated in agricultural schedules had a higher value when compared to their immediate neighbors. Even my great grandfather, a minister, died at the age of 55 with three farms.

So, it should be no surprise that my ancestors lived longer than the average of the time. I used to say that our family was “extraordinarily ordinary,” but I think that is no longer true. We were “privileged” from the time of their arrival–privileged with a strong work ethic, and a chain migration pattern leading them to settle in the rich land of Iowa and Illinois. That privilege does not negate the hard work, and tough times that the families endured to make the path a little smoother for their descendants. Their commitment to investment in land as a stabilizer in the family reflects their reaction to their inability to do the same in their country of origin.

Happy Hunting!

Jill

What I have done since the last posting: celebrated new years with family and friends and prepped my presentations for the new year. I have several new ones and so there was much work to do. I also prepped the presentations I have presented before for my very active first half of 2017.  I have also been recording and linking my findings from my summer trip to by database. There are hundreds of documents to record, transcribe, analyze and enter. I figure I am only about 25% through. (press on gladly!!  It’s my New Year’s resolution.)

[1] National Institute of Health, “Decennial Life Tables for the White Population of the United States, 1790 to 1900,” (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2885717/ : accessed 2 January 2017).

Age at Death vs. Average Age at Death

statisticsI am seriously into crunching numbers lately!! Comments about this and my previous two blog postings are welcomed.

I talked with my brother over the holiday who stated that our ancestors all died young.  I wondered why I hadn’t looked at this question, since I had the data to either confirm, or deny his hypothesis. So, I crunched the numbers.

Process

Several questions were raised concerning the development of the analysis:

  1. Where can I find data as to the average lifespan of a person born in XXXX year?
  2. How many generations should I go back?
  3. If that person did not emigrate, would that make a difference?
  4. Should I use predicted life span based on birth year or should I use a life span predicted if one lived to age 20, effectively eliminating childhood deaths?
  5. Should I separate men and women?

Here’s what I did:

  1. I found that data for the US at  http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0005140.html.[1] The data is incomplete particularly in the 1800s.
  2. I went back four generations, starting with my parents, because I have documented data back that far on both maternal and paternal sides.
  3. I identified the ancestors who immigrated and those who did not.
  4. I decided to use data which predicted age of death based on a person who lived to 20 years of age. If I used birth year only, the average life span of the individual  would be shorter. The method of using the predicted age of death at 20 years of age is therefore, more conservative when calculating the numbers of years more or less the individual lived compared to the average.
  5. I split the data by gender as it quickly became apparent that there were some trends that were gender based.

Hypotheses

Contrary to my brother’s statements, I hypothesized that:

  1. My male ancestors would live at least as long as average for their time in every generation.
  2. My female ancestors would live at least as long as average, but less than men, in every generation.
  3. My immigrant ancestors would die on average at an older age than those that did not immigrate in every generation.

If my hypotheses 1 and 2 are correct, my brother’s supposition is incorrect. I just threw in the 3rd one because I wondered what I would see.

My maternal and paternal ancestor’s familial and cultural norms dictate marrying approximately between the ages of 25-32.  My span of years covered in 4 generations (starting with our mother and father) is from 1931 (birth  + 20) back to 1808 (birth+20) –about 120 years for four generations. (My brother and I, and our children are continuing the tradition of late marriages and late childbirth.)

Summary of findings

My hypotheses were correct for numbers 1 and 2; my hypothesis for 3 was incorrect.

 

  1. Our male ancestors lived longer than average in every generation.
  2. Our female ancestors lived longer than average, but less than men, in every generation, except the 4th. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th generations were statistically average.
  3. Our non-immigrant ancestors died at an older age than those who immigrated.

Looking at the data

 

 

  • My male ancestors live longer than average for their time in all four generations.
    • All men in the 4 generations died at an average age of 70.1 years. All men who survived to 20 years of age have a predicted average lifespan of 60.5 (incomplete data from site in 1800s). That means my male ancestors died on average 10.6 years later than predicted for a 20 year old of the era.
    • By generation the results for all men were:
      • 1st generation (my dad): died at 82 years of age. The average life span of a surviving male 20 year old born in 1911 is 62.5 years of age. My father lived 19 years past what would have been predicted for him as a young man.
      • 2nd generation (my 2 grandfathers): averaged 71 years of age at time of death. The average life span of a surviving 20 year old born in mid to late 1800s in the US was 6o.6 years of age. My grandfathers lived an average of 11 years longer than what would have been predicted for them as young men.
      • 3rd generation (my 4 great grandfathers): averaged 70.8 years of age at time of death. The average life span of a surviving 20 year olds born in the mid-1800s in the US is 6o.6 years of age. My grandfathers lived an average of 10 years longer than what would have been predicted for them as young men.
      • 4th generation (my 8 great great grand fathers): averaged 69.8 years of age at time of death. The average life span of a surviving 20 year old born in early 1800s  is 6o.1 years of age. My grandfathers lived and average of 9.7 years longer than what would have been predicted for them as young men.
      • There are three significant male “outliers” in generation 4. Two men live extraordinarily long lives: a Swede who died at age 91 and an Ostfriesen who died at age 84. One individual, another Ostfriesen, died early at age 47 of unknown causes.
  • My female ancestors  are much more mixed, but perhaps predictably so. Generations 2, 3 and 4 showed little change in survivability from one generation to the next. A huge increase is seen in generation 1, probably due to improved health care, survivability in childbirth, and the small sample size .  The average age at death for generations 2, 3 and 4 are statistically the same and very close to the predicted age of death.
    • By generation, the average for all females was:
      • 1st generation (my mom): died at 84 years of age. The average life span of a  20 year old female born in 1911 is 62.5 years of age. My mother lived 21.5 years longer than what would have been predicted for her as a young woman.
      • 2nd generation (my 2 grandmothers): averaged 65 years of age at time of death. The average life span of a female 20 years old and born in the US in the 1880s is 62.3 years of age. My grandmothers lived an average of 2.7 years past what would have been predicted for them as young women.
      • 3rd generation (my 4 great grandmothers): averaged 63.8 years of age at time of death. The average life span of a  20 year old born in the US in the mid 1800s was 6o.2 years of age. My grandmothers lived an average of 3.6 years beyond what would have been predicted for them as young women. Their  is one significant outlier in the 3rd generation: a female who died at age 23 in childbirth. All three others lived past the average age at time of death–13 to 24 years.
      • 4th generation (my 8 great great grandmothers): averaged 59.3 years of age at time of death. The average life span of a surviving 20 year old born in early 1800s  is 6o.2 years of age. My grandmothers died an average of 1 year earlier than what would have been predicted for them as young women.
        • In this group, 6 of the 8 died prior to their predicted time but the number of years less than the predicted times was small.  The two women who lived longer than their predicted time in this generation, lived an average of 16 years longer. These extremes of small and very large deltas create some difficulties in drawing conclusions.
  • It was hypothesized that my immigrant ancestors would live longer than the predicted life space of a 20 year old in the US than those that did not immigrate.  Only one generation and one gender seemed to benefit with increased life span from immigrating, females born in the early 1800s. Small sample size  and four generations where there were not immigrants to provide data dictates a lack of scientific predictability across families.
    • Of the 15 male candidates, nine were either born in the US or immigrated to the US.
      • 1st generation: no comparative non-immigrating ancestor
      • 2nd generation: no comparative non-immigrating ancestor
      • The 3rd generation is contrary to the hypothesis: the non-immigrating ancestor lived longer than the ancestors who immigrated.
      • The 4th generation is contrary to the hypothesis: The non-immigrating ancestor lived longer than the ancestors who immigrated.
    • Of the 15 female candidates,  nine were either born in the US or immigrated to the US.
      • 1st generation: no comparative non-immigrating ancestor
      • 2nd generation: no comparative non-immigrating ancestor
      • The 3rd generation is contrary to the hypothesis: The non-immigrating ancestor lived longer than the ancestors who immigrated.
      • The 4th generation supports the hypothesis. The immigrating ancestors lived longer than the ancestors who did not immigrate.

Conclusion

My brother’s hypothesis is incorrect. My hypotheses concerning age at death compared to average of the era is correct. My hypothesis that the immigrant’s average age at death would be older than those who did not immigrate was incorrect. Both the male and the recent female lines live longer than average. The average of life spans of females born in the early 1800s (4th generation) is statistically average. Immigration does not lengthen the age at time of death, but rather the non-immigrant, on average, lived longer than the predicted age of death by more than the immigrating ancestor.

There are two reasons why my brother would have the perception that our ancestors died young. Because our ancestors married late and also had children late, my brother and I were young when our known ancestors died, e.g. I was 7 when my last grandparent died. Others, whose parents married and had children in their 20’s or even earlier, would be older when their parents and grandparents died.

Happy Hunting!

Jill

What I have done since the last post: I recuperated from the wedding with my hubby in CO. I quit skiing about 3 years ago and instead worked on my next year’s presentations. I also started looking very seriously at the DNA kits I manage and purchased upgrades (great sale at FTDNA!). I have to wait for some test results to comeback (mid to late January) but I did upload what I had to GEDmatch, a third party tool for comparing data across companies. For Christmas I got a trip to DC for GenFed if I am quick enough on the 25th to get in.

[1] I am not particularly happy with this site and its data, so if you know a better website with more consistent coverage, let me know. I will redo the results, although I do not predict a difference in the outcomes.

 

 

 

Accredited Genealogists: By the Numbers!

statisticsIn a previous blog post, I crunched the numbers on individuals who certification from the Board for Certification of Genealogists. I thought it would be equally interesting to crunch some numbers related to the “density” of Accredited Genealogists from the International Commission for Accreditation of Professional Genealogists. The identification of AGs is by residence.[1]

If you decide you are interested in sharing this post, please do not copy the data, the bullets or the conclusions but rather link to this site. You are welcome to make your own observations and I would enjoy knowing what you think.

How I gathered the data:

  1. I took a count of all AGs on the website of the International Commission of Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen).[2]
  2. I used the population numbers for the states from the 2010 U.S. census. [3]
  3. To make the results more understandable I based the numbers on 1M people of  the state’s population . To “read” the density numbers and using Utah as an example, 40.52 means there are 40.5 AGs (rounded) for each 1,000,000 people residing in the state of Utah in 2010.

Here are some interesting fun facts:

  1. Thirty-three states have no listed Accredited Genealogists.
  2. It is no surprise that Utah has the most AGs–112. The next two highest are Idaho with 6 and Virginia with five.
  3. The three states that have the highest density of AGs per 1M people are:
  • Utah                  40.52
  • Idaho                   3.82
  • Oregon                1.04
  1. The three states that have the lowest density of AGs per 1,000,000 population and which have at least 1 AG are:
  • Florida          0.0532
  • Ohio              0.0867
  • New York     0.1032
  1. The average number is 2.94 AGs per state (50).
  2. Removing Utah as an “outlier,” the average number of AGs per the remaining 49 states is .714 AGs per 1M population.

It is possible that not all AGs are listed on their website.

Hope you thought this was interesting! I did.

Happy Hunting!

Jill

What I have done since the last posting: traveled from Boston Logan to the Denver Airport to our condo outside of Silverthorne, CO. My “office window” (tip of the hat to Judy Russell) is of the Continental Divide. LOTS of snow for December.

[1] Note: AGs can specialize in an area other than where they reside. ICAPGen is a registered trademark.

[2] International Commission for Accreditation of Professional Genealogists, “Find an AG(r) Professional,” (http://www.icapgen.org : accessed 20 December 2016). I clicked on each state noted and counted the numbers of certified individuals listed. Some states were not listed; I assumed their count of AGs was 0. Some states were listed but had no AGs.

[3] US Government, Census Office, “Population Distribution and Change, 2000 to 2010,” (http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-01.pdf : accessed 19 December 2016) 2.

 

Certified Genealogists: By the Numbers

statisticsI thought it would be interesting to crunch some numbers related to the “density” of those individuals who hold the Certified Genealogist credential by state.

If you decide you are interested in sharing this post, please do not copy the data, the bullets or the conclusions but rather link to this site. You are welcome to make your own observations and I would enjoy knowing what you think.

How I gathered the data:

  1. I took a count of all Certified Genealogists (CG) on the website of the Board for Certification of Genealogists® (BCG).[1] I realize that some CGs elect to not post their information on the site which would warp the numbers downward. Should I get the  numbers I will correct and repost.
  2. I used the population numbers for the states from the 2010 census. [2]
  3. To make the results more understandable I based the numbers on 1M people of  the state’s population . To “read” the density numbers and using Delaware as an example, 7.796 means there are 7.8 CGs (rounded) for each 1,000,000 people in the state of Delaware in 2010.

Here are some interesting fun facts:

  1. Eight states have no listed Certified Genealogists on the BCG website: Alabama, Alaska, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
  2. The states with the most CGs are California & Virginia (19 each), Utah (18), Massachusetts & New York (10 each).
  3. The five states that have the highest density of CGs per 1M people are:
  • Delaware                7.796
  • Utah                        6.513
  • DC                           4.986
  • New Hampshire   3.033
  • Maine                     3.011
    I thought it interesting that the “densest” state (Delaware) is ~2.5x more dense than the 5th. That is a big gap. It is no surprise to me that Utah and DC are as dense as they are. Obviously lower populated states have a bit of an advantage here.
  1. The five states that have the lowest density of CGs per 100,000 population and have at least 1 CG are:
  • Washington         0.149
  • Michigan              0.202
  • Louisiana             0.221
  • Oklahoma            0.267
  • Texas                    0.318
    Again I thought it interesting that the 5th least dense state (TX) is ~2x more dense than the lowest state (WA).
  1. Of course, I am very interested in the state of Washington as we recently “lost” a CG to Utah (50%). WA has the lowest density number of all states recording a CG—WA would have to increase its numbers of CGs to 51 to equal Delaware, the densest state! Washington would have to increase its number of CGs to 7 just to get to average!
  2. The average number of CGs per 50 states + DC is 4.22 CGs per state.
  3. The average density of CGs per all 50 states + DC is 1.08, or about 1 CG per 1M people.
  4. Colorado is most “average” of all the states at .99 per 1 M people.

Hope you thought this was interesting! I did.

Happy Hunting!

Jill

What I have done since the last posting: submitted an article to the Family History Writing contest; submitted my Case Study from my portfolio to NGSQ (it’s now out for peer review); and submitted lecture proposals to the Northwest Genealogical and to APC/Professional Management Conference for 2017. But most importantly, I attended (and had a very fun time) at the rehearsal dinner, the wedding and the dinner of my daughter to Michael Shannon in Boston! The bride was gorgeous. So much fun!

Note: Certified Genealogist is a registered trademark and the designations CG, CGL, and Certified Genealogical Lecturer are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists ®, used under license by Board certificants who meet competency standards.

[1] US Government, Census Office, “Population Distribution and Change, 2000 to 2010,” (http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-01.pdf : accessed 19 December 2016) 2.

[2] Board for Certification of Genealogists, “Find a Genealogist,” (http://www.bcgcertification.org/associates/index.php : accessed 19 December 2016). I inserted the code for each state and counted the numbers of certified individuals listed.

Footnotes! Footnotes! Footnotes! Part 2

How do you manage footnotes while you are writing so their inclusion does not halt the flow of your writing?

footnotesI struggled with this while I wrote my Kinship Determination Project (KDP) and Case Study for my portfolio for certification for the Board for Certification of Genealogists. [1]

In the end, I employed two basic techniques.

First, I internalize information as I do my research and take copious notes. Before I started writing, however, I also reread several key documents I had deemed critical to the research question. Then, I started writing. I do not consider myself a great writer, but once I “get going,” I do not like to stop. Here is what I do to accommodate my “with the flow” approach to citation inclusion.

I write three, four or even ten paragraphs before I pause. At those pauses, I go back to what I have written, do some rough editing and insert a “dummy citation.” Yes, it could be a real footnote if I have all the information handy, but instead of pulling out the document and figuring out how to cite the evidence, I insert number for the footnote and insert a code for the source, for example, DR HJB. This would tell me I needed to cite the death record of Henry J. Bode at that location. There may be many of these “dummy citations.”

I enter a footnote everywhere I think a footnote is needed. For every dummy citation I put where I think/know the information is found.  I rarely leave one blank.

Then I  continue writing.

At a (later) time of “citation inspiration,” I return to what I have written and start entering “real” citations. I dig out the source, confirm that it actually supports the statement, check Evidence Explained to see if there is any construction guidance and then build the citation. [2] If the content does not support the statement I am making, I have two choices: I can rewrite the paragraph so it is supportable or I go looking for a source that supports the statement.

This process allows me to keep up with the flow of writing, but also reminds me of a need for a citation. How do you handle the flow and the citation timing?

You might find it interesting to read my first blog on this topic, Footnotes! Footnotes! Footnotes!

Happy hunting!

Jill

What I have done since the last post: worked on my Timelines presentation for the Olympia GS to be given in March. I have a “never-evers” presentation I need to put together for February. I am excited about some great speaking opportunities that are coming my way for 2017.  I listened to some webinars on Legacy. I thought Gena Philibert-Ortega’s on “Social History” was particularly good.

[1] http://www.bcgcertification.org/certification/index.html

[2] Elizabeth Shown Mills, Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, third edition (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 2015).

Footnotes! Footnotes! Footnotes!

Do you manage your footnotes or do they manage you?

When writing my Kinship Determination Project (KDP) for my portfolio, I had trouble keeping  the footnotes “complete and accurate.”[1] They should add “consistent’ to this rubric.

I thought I had a plan. I didn’t; or the one I had didn’t work so well; or maybe it worked as well as could be expected.

Nevertheless, I thought I would outline my process. Hopefully, you can find some ideas you can use or perhaps learn from my mistakes.

I would also be interested in how you manage your footnotes when writing  a footnote intensive paper. I would like to improve this process.

Note: I don’t use RefNote or any specialized software. I used Word.

I did OK for most of the KDP in keeping my footnotes consistent.   I attained what consistency I did have by keeping a record in Word of every type of footnote and using the style as a template for future footnotes of the same type.  The footnotes were arranged by record type in the Word document–all the death footnote types were together, all the electronic ones were together, etc.

But, I learned as I wrote and some things shifted in the footnote creating inconsistencies.

Every footnote was entered as a full footnote. I did not make it a shortform, even if I knew there was a similar reference before it, until I was completely done with the paper. If I knew (or thought) that a footnote was previously used, I put the letters SF, for “short form,” at the beginning of the footnote.  If the footnote was a candidate for Ibid., I put that at the beginning as well. But I  did not convert it to a SF or an Ibid. until the very end of the writing process. Reason? I was moving around paragraphs of information right up until the end.  At one point I removed about 1000 words from my KDP. I knew I had to be careful. It also didn’t matter if I made a mistake because I knew I had to check every one.

By the time I got to the end of writing the document, inconsistencies in my formatting of even the typical footnote templates, had slipped in. I had also knew that there were consistencies, even if accurate.

So, I re-reviewed every footnote at the end of writing the paper. (Which I think you would have to do anyway.) Here is how I reviewed all my footnotes:

I first made sure that all footnotes were the same font type, size and black in color.

Starting with footnote number 1 and going in order:

  1. I made all my footnotes into endnotes and copied them into a single Word document (I called this document the “Endnotes”). Then I changed the document with endnotes back into one with footnotes.
  2. Working back and forth between the document and the Endnotes, I checked to make sure that footnote #1 was accurately reflecting the content of the cited work, complete and in a format that was most consistent with the narrative.
  3. I re-checked each one against Evidence Explained [2] so I knew where I deviated and why.
  4. I used the Find feature to see if I had any duplicates of that footnote. Since even the most typical footnote had a unique identifier, this was not hard. (Obviously, the first footnotes were unique, so this happened later in the writing.)
  5. On the Endnotes, I changed the color of that particular footnote to green, when I was completed with checking for correctness, accuracy, consistency.
  6. Repeat, until you find a source that has already been cited. Create the shortform. Copy the shortform and paste into the Endnotes, under the first full citation.
  7. As you go, adjust the footnotes to include Ibid., if appropriate.
  8. When you are done, all Endnotes will be green; all shortforms and Ibid.s will be entered and you will have checked all against other similar footnotes for consistency. And you will have checked each type against Evidence Explained.
  9. Pat yourself of the back and repeat for the Case Study! [3]

I hope it doesn’t sound confusing. It went quite smoothly and quicker than I thought.  I am visual so the color coding was essential. The Find feature was a godsend. If I discovered an inconsistency, I could identify all of the affected footnotes and change them one-by-one.

That describe how I handled them when the document was finished.  Next we will look at how I did ciations during the writing process so they didn’t put a full stop on the flow of the writing.

Happy hunting!

Jill

What I have done since the last posting: I know it has been some time since I posted but I have traveled to the Eastern time zone 3 times in about 10 days.  Plus made presentations in about 10 venues. I also am Seattle Genealogical Society’s president.  It’s been an active fall, but is now winding down as we get ready for our daughter’s wedding in Boston.  Looking forward to it and to a little relaxation afterwards.

[1] “Rubrics for Evaluating New Applications for BCG Certification, revised 18 January 2016,” Board for Certification of Genealogists (http://www.bcgcertification.org/brochures/BCGNewAppRubrics2016.pdf : accessed 9 November 2016).
[2] Elizabeth Shown Mills, Evidence Explained, Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, third edition (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 2015).
[3] I wanted to make this a 12-step program, but I just couldn’t come up with two more steps to my process! 🙂

 

 

Why no posts lately?

clock-6I have been obsessed about working on my portfolio for the Board for Certification of Genealogists! That’s why! 🙂

Ever since I got home from my summer sabbatical to the Midwest, I have been working on the portfolio with a vengeance.  I cannot (or won’t) tell you when it gets submitted, but I have yet to push the button that sends it off to BCG.

Here are some of the topics I am going to cover in the future:

  • Methodology used to keep the footnotes very consistent
  • What would I do differently?  what would I do the same?
  • What were the “wrap-up tasks” I did in the final days before getting it out the door?
  • Did I incorporate a lot from my summer trip into the document?
  • What resources were most valuable to completing the portfolio?
  • and others that I can only imagine at this point.

After I get those blog posts done (and perhaps interspersed with them), I plan on starting a new series that mirrors Liz Covart’s “Doing History” series.  I have her permission to use the titles of the series, review her content, apply her topics to genealogy and then write about it.  She has assured me that in November and December she will be interviewing genealogists for her regular series, Ben Franklin’s World.  If you are not familiar with her podcasts,take a minute to check out her website. Her reviews of books on topics related to history of the early United States sustained me on my driving trip through the Midwest.  Her sub-series on “Doing History” is sponsored through the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture.

So, stay tuned to get inundated (well, probably not.)

Happy hunting!

Jill

What I have done since the last posting: worked on my portfolio, spoke to the Sno-Isle Genealogical Society (Solving Family Myths) and the Susan Woodin DAR (Finding Dirk: Insanity in the 19th c.). I also made the invitations to a party in Boston to celebrate my daughter’s wedding. I listened to Paula Stuart-Warren talking about finding information in historical journals.  She spent much time talking about JSTOR.