BCG: What is on my monthly to-do List?

clock 1As you know I went “on the clock” (OTC) in May.

So, what have I done to advance my portfolio?  It seems like almost nothing!  🙂  But, as I write down what I have done–I am ok.

  1. I have worked on my Dirk article about my great grand uncle who spent from 1872-1905 in three different insane asylums in Illinois.  It is a kinship determination project, but is not one I am submitting for BCG.  By writing it, I have learned a lot about the different numbering systems and put the principles in practice.  I have also figured out how to make Word behave so I can have a + sign, a numeral and a roman numeral all line up vertically in the same line with the text.  Yea!
  2. I attended Warren Bittner’s class at NGS 2014 on writing well.  He is such a fabulous writer.  I am studying his approach to writing, by re-reading my notes and the syllabus and articles he has written.  I am extra lucky that his Büttner article, which won the NGSQ writing award in 2012, was our NGSQ Study Group article for June.  Zola, the leader, formulated great questions about the article to aid our reading and we had a lively discussion.
  3. I have scheduled monthly readings.  I will be reading the BCG rubrics, The BCG Standards Manual, Genealogy Standards and the first two chapters of EE once a month.  I just do not think I can put those in front of me enough times. (Besides, I have heard that the most common reason for not “passing” is that the individual didn’t follow directions.)
  4. I have turned in my assignment (the last) for ProGen, completed and submitted my presentation proposals for NGS, FGS, and OGS. and completed the presentations and syllabi for WSGS and OGSA.
  5. I attended the SCGS virtual conference.  Great presentations.  Some of the best speakers. Since I am a member I will be able to review those, including Warren Bittner’s presentation on writing proof arguments.
  6. Worked on my resume–it did need updating.
  7. Worked on the BCG provided document.  My ProGen experience really helped me here.  when we were transcribing in ProGen I identified some formats I particularly liked.  It was nice to have an example of a format I was comfortable with.

I don’t think that is too bad actually!  Next? –probably the transcription of the document that I provide.

I am also done with the Dirk article–5000 words.  I am fairly pleased with it.  I see some gaps, but I suspect most authors do.  I may be able to fill a couple of those gaps the end of this month when I visit Elgin Hospital and have a tour of the facility by the resident historian.  It should be interesting talking to him.

Happy Hunting!


What I have done since the last posting (see above):  If you didn’t listen in on the SCGS free webinars you missed out on some very good presentations.  Warren Bittner’s presentation on Proof Arguments is still available at (session S-421).  It was presented at NGS in 2013.

[1] Rubrics can be found at

[2] Board for Certification of Genealogists, The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual (New York: Turner Publishing Company, 2000).

[3] Thomas W. Jones, editor, Genealogy Standards (Nashville:, 2013).

[4] Elizabeth Shown Mills, Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, Inc, 2007).


Where should I publish my work?

In my last post I requested suggestions for where to publish the Dirk Bode article.  I got some suggestions from Harold–thanks, Harold–which set me on my usual “dog on a bone” hunt for options.

Scenario: you have spent a lot of time writing an article and you think it is pretty good.  Someone should want to publish it, right?  Well, here are some options for you.  We will start with those that you probably think of first:

Option 1:  Do nothing.  You could write it up (because to comply with the GPS Element #5 you need a written conclusion) but you keep it private so no one can read it.  😦  This is very sad and not recommended!
characteristics: This option is chosen, either with mindfulness or not, the most frequently.

Option 2: Self-publish.  You write it up and publish though a local printer, an on-line service (I use, but there are others) or even a local print shop, like Kinko’s.  You then distribute to your relatives. And, if you are really thinking ahead, you run 6 extra copies and send one to your local genealogy society, the library in the locale in which the family was based, the state historical society, SLC Family History Library, Allen County (IN) Library and the Library of Congress–yes, all of them.
characteristics:  These companies will print anything you give them.  You are the editor and no one reviews your work.  You can also purchase marketing or editing services from some of these services.

Option 3:  Commercial press.  You could submit your book (usually) to a commercial press who thinks your work is so wonderful that it will have mass market appeal.  I don’t know about you, but I cannot imagine anyone thinking that my family is so fascinating that they buy the book!–but you might have a compelling story.
characteristics: usually you have to have a book and they are very selective.  The selection process can take a year or more.

Option 4: Submit to a periodical.

The latter option is the one I researched and I thought I would share my findings.  There appears to be groups within this option and I will discuss each. [1]

Group 1: national peer-reviewed genealogical journals, top rank
example: National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ), The American Genealogist (TAG), New England Historic & Genealogical Register, New York Genealogical Register.
These journals are moderately to highly selective. Each has staff and an editorial board which puts each submission through a rigorous review.  The focus of each journal may differ, for example, NGSQ uses the case study format to illustrate various methodologies.  TAGs articles focus more on the kinship determination and tend to be longer, even extending over multiple issues.  TAG and NEHGR seem to me to be fairly similar but that is probably my Midwestern bias.

Group 2: regional/state-wide reviewed genealogical journals
example: Illinois State Genealogical Society Quarterly
These journals do a little editing and accept work that ranges from family stories (Southern California Genealogical Society) to more scholarly.  Usually there is no paid staff or editorial board but they have built a reputation by having a consistent vision over a long period of time and have a larger distribution network.

Group 3: local genealogical publications
example:  Seattle Genealogical Society Bulletin.  While the quality of the articles has improved recently, with these publications there is no history of sustained quality by today’s standards of scholarship.  (full disclosure: I am the Publications Director for SGS, going into my 3rd term)

I suspect that you could have identified these same groups listed above and identified the same or similar publications. but, we genealogists are missing another segment of publications–scholarly journals but not genealogy publications. .

Group 4: scholarly journals
These are peer reviewed journals which are more scholarly in nature.  The journals with a national scope tend to be more rigorous in their selection criteria.  Genealogists rarely submit to these types of journals, yet,  there is a wide variety of publications which fit well with the topics of our research.  If we truly believe we are creating new knowledge, shouldn’t we be submitting–and getting published– in such journals? These journals fall into three sub-groups that are of interest to us–locality, ethnic and thematic

Sub-group A: general journals, locality focused
examples: Pacific Northwest Quarterly, Alabama Review, California History, Chronicles of Oklahoma, Journal of Illinois History, Traces  (Indiana & Midwestern History)
My friend Trish, a certified genealogist, submitted a paper to the Pacific Northwest Quarterly on Rebecca Lena Graham, a native American from the Seattle area who lived in the early part of this past century.  The PNQ is not an historical journal, and they accepted her work.  Most of these journals are published by the state’s historical society.

Sub-group B: historical journals, ethnically focused
examples: The Jewish Quarterly Review, German History, Irish Historical Studies

Sub-group C: historical journals, thematically focused
examples: Agricultural History, Journal of Women’s History, Journal of Social History, Journal of the Early Republic, Journal of Military History, Journal of Urban History

Any of these journals, depending on your focus of your article could be considered for publication of your work.  I found most of the lists of possible journals in three places:

  • Conference of Historical Journals, a membership organization of journals which focus on history. but not all belong.  There is a link on the left sidebar to members websites.
  • SAGE journals: a consortium of journals which appear to be managed by SAGE.
  • Project MUSE: is a provider of humanities and social science scholarly content.

Here are some hints as you go exploring. Always read a couple of issues to see the character of the submissions that are accepted.  Read the submission requirements carefully; for example, some, but not all, use the Chicago Manual of Style 16th edition as their style guide. Most wanted between 4000 and 12,000 words including the endnotes; the work had to create new knowledge.  The document could not be published, including the web, prior to publication in their periodical and copyright issues were important. A few of the journals editorial staff ran the document through the software program that has been developed to identify plagiarism.

Only one of the journals I looked at specifically stated it did not accept genealogy or family history articles (Chronicles of Oklahoma).  In a review, however, of their past issues, I observed numerous articles focused on individuals and their contribution to culture or society.

Let me know if you found this interesting.

Happy Hunting!


What I have done since the last posting:  worked more on the Dirk article (getting close to having all the research done–but I keep finding good stuff.  I have about 5000 words); got the the contract out for our plenary speaker for the OGSA conference in Minneapolis in August; completed the research for this article; sent in my registration for the SGS Spring Seminar with Jeanne L. Bloom and to OGSA for the Ostfriesen Family Reunion; printed the SGS Bulletin; kissed my hubby ‘hello’ as he got back from CO and almost simultaneously kissed him ‘good-bye’ as he flew off to Alabama.  And, like two ships passing in the night, I fly out on Thursday on a red-eye and am gone when he returns!

[1] Fine print: This is my view of the world and your world-view may differ.

I have exciting news!

First the good news!

I submitted an article to the Illinois State Genealogical Quarterly and it was accepted!  Not only was it accepted but it is going to be their lead article and I get the cover!  I am very exited about this.

The article is written in NGSQ style (scholarly) with full citations.  NGSQ style of writing is usually a case study which illustrates the use of different analytical tools to determine conclusions that are not obvious.  It concludes usually with a genealogical summary.  My article was on the discovery of the birth village of my great grandmother which I determined by researching a neighbor who turned out to be her sister.  I then found the birth location of the sister and thereby found the birth village of my ancestor.

I used onamastic (I had never heard of that word before….basically patronymic naming) analysis to see the similarities in the names of the parents which indicated kinship.  By researching the two of them side-by-side, all pieces fell into place.

The article is over 5000 words long (counting the citations).  Whew!

In a previous article, I blogged about my subject/locality guide on House Histories.  I believe that one will be submitted to SGS Bulletin for publication when it is needed.

Thanks for letting me share my news with you!

Happy Hunting!


What I have done since the last post: finished up my client working on his Norwegian side of his family, started working on my sorority sister’s ex-husband’s Danish family (for the kids) and am starting to layout the SGS newsletter which goes out the end of this month.  I did volunteer to be the Publications Chair again next year for Seattle Genealogical Society.  I have a big project coming in the door May 15th–and it has to be done and to the publisher by the time we leave for the Cape in mid-June.

The bad news?  I found out about the acceptance of the article while sitting in my car keeping warm… which I was doing because I had to wait for the Seattle Police to arrive….because my car had been hit by a van.  I am fine.  The car is in the car hospital. Life goes on.

What do you do with sources within a table?

I have been having a small discussion with another reader on how to cite sources to content that is included in tables.  Since we were not in alignment with our thinking I did some research.

The issue is not one of the form of the citation but rather where the citation ought to be located.  Should you 1.) just add a row at the bottom of your table and place your citations there or 2.) should the citations be in sequence with your others and be located at the bottom of the text?

Here is what I found:

Elizabeth Shown Mills does not address this on her website…..nor would I expect her to.  In her book, Evidence Explained, Ms. Mills states that The Chicago Manual of Style is “rooted” in this style manual.


Elizabeth Shown Mills, Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2007) p. 42.

The Chicago Manual of Style Online (CMS) states:

“3.74 Order and placement of notes to tables

Footnotes to a table are of four general kinds and, where two or more kinds are needed, should appear in this order: (1) source notes, (2) other notes applying to the whole table, (3) notes applying to specific parts of the table, and (4) notes on significance levels. Table footnotes always appear immediately below the table they belong to and must be numbered separately from the text notes. But if a multipage table contains no general notes and any specific notes pertain only to a single page, these notes may appear at the foot of the printed pages they apply to. In an electronic version that includes hypertext links, all footnotes are usually grouped at the bottom of the table.”

Emphasis is mine.  Note: it says at the bottom of the table, not at the bottom of the page or at the bottom of the text, except in the situation where you have a multipage table

In a review of the NGSQ over the past year, all articles with tables cited the source attached to the table itself and used superscript letters in lieu of numbers. (This is also consistent with CMS; however, the CMS also allows you to use symbols, such as asterisks and crosses, in lieu of letters.  The main criteria is to be different than the main body footnotes.)

I then checked out the The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, American Spirit (DAR), The American Genealogist and some other peer reviewed journals. If they had tables, the sources were within the tables and usually superscript letters. Single sources were embedded within the table and labeled “source: citation followed.”

I did a sample table following the examples i had seen.  This was a challenging example as there are so many citations.  It may also be possible to pull these citations out of the table itself and place them below but connected to the table. (see Tom Jones’s example.)  (Sorry this is so long; I got carried away.)  Note: the lines forming the table are lost on the blog posting.

Event Grietje Wennenga Bode Eda Wienenga Eckhoff
Birth date 19 October 1849a 12 April 1853a
Birth location
     1870 census, entry 1 Hanoverb not found
     1870 census, entry 2 Hanoverc
     1880 census Prussiad Hanoverb
     1900 census Germanye Germanyc
     1910 census Germanyf Germanyd
     1920 census Germanyg Weener, AUe
a. Iowa Department of Vital Statistics, death certificate 38-059 (1922), Grietje Bode; Vital Records Section, State of Iowa, Des Moines.b. 1870 U.S. census, Stephenson County, Illinois, population schedule, Ridott township, p. 32, dwelling 245, family 238, Henry Bode; digital image, ( : accessed 15 November 2012); citing NARA microfilm publication  M593, roll 275.c. 1870 U.S. census, Stephenson County, Illinois, population schedule, Ridott township, p. 29, dwelling 224, family 217, Henry Bode; digital image, ( : accessed 15 November 2012); citing NARA microfilm publication M593, roll 275.d. 1880 U.S. census, Kent County, Michigan, population schedule, 32nd Ward, Grand Rapids, p. 6, dwelling 49, family 59, Henry H. Bode; digital image, ( : accessed 16 November 2012); citing NARA microfilm publication T9, roll 588.

e. 1900 U.S. census, Mahaska County, Iowa, population schedule, Black Oak township, p. 9B, dwelling 151, family 153, Gertrude Bode; digital image, ( : accessed 15 November 2012); citing NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 446.

f. 1910 U.S. census, Butler County, Iowa, population schedule, Parkersburg, Albion Township, p. 5A, dwelling 113, family 115, Tamme R. Tammen; digital image, ( : accessed 16 November 2012); citing NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 394.

g. 1920 U.S. census, Butler County, Iowa, population schedule, Parkersburg, Albion Township, p. 1A, dwelling 7, dwelling 7, Gertrude Bode; digital image, ( : accessed 16 November 2012); citing NARA microfilm publication  T625, roll 480.

a. Iowa Department of Public Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, death certificate 38-132 (1922) Eda Eckhoff; State Registrar, Des Moines.b.1880 U.S. census, Stephenson County, Illinois, population schedule, Ridott township, p.26, dwelling 243, family 243, Peter Eckhoff;  digital image, ( : accessed 15 November 2012); citing NARA microfilm publication T9, roll 259..c. 1900 U.S. census, Grundy County, Iowa, population schedule, Shiloh township, p. 6B, dwelling 101, family 105, Peter P. Eckhoff; digital image, ( : accessed 15 November 2012); citing NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 434.d.1910 U.S. Census, Grundy County, Iowa, population schedule Shiloh township, p. 7A, dwelling 137, family 137, Peter Peters Eeckhoff; digital image, ( : accessed 15 November 2012); citing NARA microfilm publication T624 roll 403.

e.1920 U.S. census, Grundy County, Iowa, population schedule, Shiloh township, p. 5A, dwelling 118, family 112, Peter P. Eckhoff; digital image, ( : accessed 15 November 2012); citing NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 489.

WordPress changes it a bit when I insert it into this blog post, so here is the link to a PDF as I see it in the document:

2012 1130 blog table example

A good example is found in a recent NGSQ article by Thomas W. Jones, “Misleading Records Debunked: The Surprising Case of George Wellington Edison Jr.”  In this article, probably created in Word, Dr. Jones has manually placed the citations at the end of the table but outside, and then placed a box around that.  The citation can then stay associated with the table.  He also used letters to differentiate from the superscript numbers of the citations of the text.  I took a PDF of that table and placed it here to show you:

2012 1202 table example Jones

I also wanted to check the flexibility of the major word processing software programs.   I tested two different word processing programs, Pages for MAC and Word for PC.

On a MAC with Pages:  you cannot link an event in a table to a source using the footnote feature, neither inside the table or out.  Not possible.  Option is greyed out.  Your only choice is to manually insert the superscript letter into the table and then cite the source by adding the extra row.  Manually, insert your letter and the source there.  The good news is that this works.  For you MAC users, I also tested the export feature and Word handled the table the same way as I had imputed it into Pages with no loss of format.

Using Word for MAC (which I admit might not be the same as Word on a PC):  You can cite an event in a table with a source in two locations, immediately under the table (but not in) or at the bottom of the page.  So, the option is to manually “force fit” them, like the MAC.  Also, I noticed that you cannot place some citations at the end of the table AND some at the end of the page.  You have to pick one location over another.

Comments and thoughts are always welcomed!

Happy Hunting!


What I have done since my last post:  recruited another writer for the SGS Bulletin, re-read the NGSQ Family History Writing Award winner (it’s an outstanding article for both content and style); went to my public library and browsed various genealogical magazines (very interesting…if you haven’t done that, you should), worked on my genealogical summary of the article I am writing for the Bulletin, and met with the SGS Librarian to work on a draft of writing guidelines that incorporates copyright protections for writers and SGS. I also have spent a fair amount of time working on this blog posting, reading EE, and working on putting together a trip with friends to SLC in February.

Source List

  1. Jones, Thomas W. “Misleading Records Debunked: The Surprising Case of George Wellington Edison Jr.” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 100 (June 2012). National Genealogical Society.  : 2012.
  2. Mills, Elizabeth Shown. Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2007.
  3. Mills, Elizabeth Shown. Evidence Explained : 2012.
  4. University of Chicago. The Chicago Manual of Style Online : 2010.

Am I ready to apply for BCG certification?


I spent last night reviewing a number of the subsites at the BCG site.  They have a quiz there that you are to take to determine whether you are skilled/knowledgeable enough to do the work at a level that is necessary to have a credible application.  It was interesting.  You are “supposed” to score 20 of 23 points on all questions or you should reconsider whether you are ready to apply.  The one I lost the most points on was the question pertaining to reading five peer-reviewed journals (NGSQ, TAG, NEHGR, NYGBR, The Genealogist. I subscribe and read only one–NGSQ) for two years minimum.  I would be interested in your opinion of the relative value of subscribing vs. just taking a trip to my local library regularly and copying/reading a few of the articles. And, which ones?  Is there value for a person from the NW and who works in the Midwest to subscribing to either NEHGR or NYGBR?  if so which one makes for a better illustration of scholarly writing?

Here is the link for the quiz: 

I do think that the rigor of my education is lacking and so last night I put myself on the waiting list for ProGen.  I am very interested in its structure.  It’s an 18 month program and uses Professional Genealogist by ESM as its text.  It meets virtually with a mentor to discuss the assignments that have already been shared and reviewed by the class.  Since much of the class is oriented towards serving clients, I think that I have enough experience to find a professional mentor helpful.  And you would have the camaraderie of a group of like minded genealogists.

Here is the link for the ProGen Study Group:

My next post (probably) will cover the analysis related to the last question on the quiz: assess five of your reports against the rubrics of the BCG Certification.  I think this will not only re-acquaint me with the standards against which you are measured but also show me if I am consistently missing any particular area and be a terribly humbling experience!  Stay tuned for this one.

The rubrics are in PDF format so you will have to click on the link after getting to the site via:

Happy Hunting!


What I have done since the last post:  made an appt. to meet with my client, Stephanie, to review the draft of the book; did some research on the paternal side for her report.  I am gaining experience working in the southern states but it is harder for this “northerner” than I was expecting.  You really do have to live in any area to do genealogy in the area well.  It seems like there are far fewer documents than in the north.  (of course, being from Iowa which has an enormous amounts of on-line records, I admit to being spoiled! I signed up for ProGen (they place you on a waiting list until they have 24). I finished up my reimbursibles for the conference and submitted them to the association’s Treasurer.