The Genealogy Professional Podcast – Blog Challenge

In the latest podcast episode of The Genealogy Professional (TGP) Podcast, Marian Pierre-Louis interviewed genealogy blogger Lisa Lisson. You can listen to the episode and read the show notes here:

At the end of the episode, Marian mentioned a TGP Action Group that she created on Facebook. I requested to join and she accepted me! Her challenge to go along with Lisa Lisson’s episode was to write a 1200 word blog post. It was discussed that a post of that length demonstrated authority and topic expertise to the Google Search engines.

Marian gave some suggestions for topic ideas such as featuring a service that you provide for your genealogy business or to write about a case study. As I do not yet have a business (and do not plan to begin work as a professional until I retire from teaching in 2033), I cannot feature a service that I provide.

I thought about writing a case study, but I have found that trying to complete upper-lever tasks is difficult right now. My brain cannot seem to focus on much for longer periods of time. When I try to read, I find my thoughts wondering. Things have not been easy during the stay-at-home due to the Corona Virus outbreak: I have found that the weight of the uncertainty of the situation weighs very heavily on me. I try to vary up my daily routine, but I have been home for one month and will remain home for at least another month.

So I decided to write about my short-term genealogical education plan and opportunities that I am going to take part of during these next months. I have never counted how many words are in one of my blog posts, so this will be a fun task. Plus, the variety of opportunities I am partaking in will help be meet the word count goal while breaking it up into smaller pieces.

The first opportunity that I am going to talk about is I was approached by the Buffalo Public Library’s Grosvenor Room Librarian, my friend Rhonda Hoffman, to be part of a panel of expert Western New York genealogists to provide family history research advice this week on Wednesday, April 22nd via Zoom.

Screenshot from the Buffalo Public Library’s website.

Some of the participants that signed up have sent in their genealogical questions. The questions the participants are posing are quite advanced and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to offer much advice but then a question came in about needed help to prove a DAR line. I spent an evening (probably 4-5 hours) researching and found some avenues that I’m not sure the participant may have thought of.

It was an interesting taste of being a DAR Chapter Registrar might be like. Which brings me to my second educational opportunity as I was voted in as my DAR Niagara Falls Chapter’s Registrar effective June 2020.

The DAR has online Genealogy Education Programs (GEP) which help to educate Chapter Registrars and other members that would like to learn. There are four courses:
1. GEP 1 – Introduction to Genealogy Research for DAR Applications
2. GEP 2 – Applying Genealogy Research Techniques to DAR Applications
3. GEP 3 – Advanced Techniques for Resolving Problems with Lineage or Service on DAR Records
4. Special GEP Course – DNA and the DAR

These course cost money to take, but I was told that when once I am listed as the Chapter Registrar in June, that the courses would then be made free for me. I look forward to taking them and learning how to help potential members prove their lineages.

The DAR website also indicates that these courses will be hosted on a new platform beginning May 1st, 2020 so it sounds like me starting the courses in June would be good timing. June is also the month that the DAR is launching their own Insignia Store. This launch is meant to coincide with the Continental Congress on Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020. Maybe by the 23rd of June I may have finished the first GEP course and could purchase the corresponding GEP pin to wear.

Another new opportunity that I just started participating in is the Virtual Genealogical Association’s (VGA) Speaker Prep Group. Those that wanted to participate were divided into two separate groups: Wednesday afternoon and Saturday evenings. I am involved with the Saturday evening group. The first session was just a get to know you and the second session we had to present for 5 minutes (without slides) on any topic.

I misunderstood the assignment instructions and tried to talk for 5 minutes by memory without an outline and I got very nervous which was embarrassing. This Saturday we need to present for 10 minutes on a genealogy topic. We still cannot show slides, but we can use them ourselves as notes/an outline to follow. I plan to talk about my experiences joining various Lineage Societies. I hope that I do better this time and do not get so nervous.

I am still slowly trucking along in the National Genealogical Society’s American Genealogical Studies course. There is no reason except for my corona virus melancholy as to why I’m not getting this done. My current report is nearly finished. I just need to finish it up and submit. I will do this in the next few days.

My distant cousin, Cari Taplin, CG, is hosting a Beginning Principles class to study the book Mastering Genealogy Proof by Tom Jones. The group is going to meet virtually on Wednesday nights starting June 3rd and running through July 15th. I just finished my first read though of this book but I did not complete the workbook examples. Cari is a Certified Genealogist and I am looking forward to this class! Cari’s website can be found here:

One of the uncertain educational items that we are all waiting to hear on is whether or not the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) will be happening this summer. I had signed up for the Foundations of German Research being taught by Warren Bittner, CG. GRIP posted that they are working on it and we will be notified this week about their plans. I would understand if they decide to go virtual, but I would be sad as half of the fun is all of the networking that happens. Here is the course description of the German Research class:

As Program Chair for the Niagara County Genealogical Society (NCGS), I am trying to schedule some extra Special Interest Groups (SIG) to meet virtually. The first one that I scheduled is a webinar discussion to talk about the RootsTech presentation by Leah Larking called Introduction to What Are the Odds (WATO). The direct link is here:

I tend to not delve into DNA research too much as I feel that I would soon be over my head. I am comfortable with the Shared Centimorgan (cM) Project chart and how to group my shared matches, but I don’t do much beyond that so this presentation will be good for me. I am also looking forward to reading the 2nd edition of The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy which is our SIG book discussion scheduled for June. I think I am ready to take these next steps in learning how to dive deeper and start using DNA tools that are out there and available to me.

I realize that me writing about my various short-term educational opportunities is not going to “wow” Google and declare me any topic expertise, but I enjoyed the exercise and learned about word counts, why they are important, and how to find them in Word Press.

1275 Words – I did it!