Tag Archives: Association of Professional Genealogists

Getting the Most From Your Memberships: Personal Responsibility

I am a member of a lot of societies, near and far, local, regional, and national. And I serve on several boards, locally and nationally. So this post comes from my personal experience from all of those realms, not any one group in particular. I hear colleagues, friends, and Facebook acquaintances say about their various memberships that they “just aren’t getting anything out of it.” And that statement always makes me pause.

I have always lived by the principle that you get what you give. If you don’t give time, effort, energy, or attention to something, you are going to get very little out of it in return. This goes for various memberships and subscriptions in all aspects of life, not just in the world of genealogy. (For example, have you checked the benefits for your Alumni Association lately? So when someone says they aren’t getting anything out of something, I truly believe they are probably putting little effort into it. If you don’t have time, or if it is not a priority for you to put time into that particular membership, then perhaps it is not the membership’s or the society’s failure, but rather the effect of your own priorities. There has to be a level of personal involvement and responsibility when it comes to what YOU are getting out of your memberships.

I am writing this series of blog entries to try to convince my friends and colleagues to be cognizant of what they are actually saying when they say “I’m not getting anything out of my membership.” If a particular membership is actually not offering anything of value, then by all means, don’t renew it. However, if it provides a long list of benefits that you are choosing to ignore (whether on purpose, or because you don’t have time, or you didn’t research it), and I mean this in the nicest possible way, but that is on you. If you ignore/delete/archive emails that provide important announcements about your membership benefits, again, that is your choice.

And I fall into this trap as well; I am not claiming to be innocent here. However, I’m also not blaming my lack of getting anything out of my memberships on the societies themselves. I realize that I am just too busy with X, Y, and Z to take full advantage of the benefits of a particular membership. This means that I have three choices: I decide to not renew; I decide to renew anyway, being supportive of the group, but knowing I won’t be getting full value out of that membership; or I decide to re-prioritize and make an effort to get everything I can out of my membership.

I hear this complaint again and again. I’m not singling out any particular person or group with this post. Like I said, I’ve been involved in many societies and I have heard this sentiment at all levels over many years. I’m not sure what else societies can do for their members if their members aren’t reading society communications or taking advantage of the benefits their membership already provides. Remember that most of these societies are volunteer run organizations and they are doing as much as they can with the resources they have. If you want to see changes or improvements, volunteer to help.

At the national-level, there are three “big” memberships (there could be more in this category, but these are where I am currently focusing): the National Genealogical Society, the Federation of Genealogical Societies, and the Association of Professional Genealogists. There are a host of local, state, regional, and topical societies as well (including lineage societies, geographical focus groups such as german genealogy, and others). Over my next few blog posts I am going to highlight benefits that are available at these national groups and at local levels to remind you of what you can get out of your memberships when you put some effort into them.

**Of course these statements may not reflect everyone’s experience. If you have had a different experience and/or a legitimate complaint, PLEASE take it up with the proper direct channels for that organization. I’m sure they want to know their members’ views and to try to make it right. This blog is only expressing my personal opinions and is not the place to vent your frustrations with a given society or organization.

APG Seeks Nominations

As a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, a board member, and a member of the Nominating Committee, I want to highlight the fact that the APG is seeking recommendations for eligible persons to serve on the board for 2019-2020 terms. I have served 1 1/2 terms and have learned so much, not just about APG or about serving on a national board, but also about being a professional genealogist and networking with others.

I believe that if you have ideas, opinions, and generally want to enact change in or support this community that we all interact in and benefit from, then perhaps serving a term (or more) is a great idea. (This applies beyond genealogy, of course!) And I can’t stress enough about the relationships I’ve formed and colleagues I’ve gained, as well as the work I’ve supported that the APG does to serve and make better the professionalism of our trade.

For recommendations please contact admin@apgen.org and read the details below.

The official release reads thusly:

Call for Recommendations for APG Board of Directors. Deadline: 31 Aug 2018

WHO WILL HELP RUN APG, THE WORLD’S LARGEST ORGANIZATION FOR PROFESSIONAL GENEALOGISTS? The APG Nominations Committee invites members to recommend candidates for the APG Board of Directors, and the Nominations Committee. Deadline for nominations to any of these positions is 31 August 2018.

Under our bylaws six persons will be elected to serve at-large to a two year term on the Board of Directors beginning on 1 January 2019. Two of the three-person Nominations Committee are elected to nominate candidates for the 2019 election.

Send your recommendations (they can include yourself) to the Nominations Committee at admin@apgen.org. Please include each recommended person’s contact information and their consent to be recommended. A statement of qualifications would help but is not required. Deadline: 31 August 2018.

Board members must be APG members in good standing who joined before 1 August 2017. Board members should have some knowledge of the association’s goals and procedures and a strong interest in the welfare of APG and professional genealogists worldwide.

See https://www.apgen.org/contacts/index.html for a list of current board members. The Nominations Committee will prepare a list of candidates by September 15. The election will be held in late October. Board members should:

* be familiar with bylaws, policies, and procedures;
* make an effort to attend at least one of the two annual in-person board meetings plus the two or three virtual board meetings;
* come prepared to board meetings, having read all minutes and communications;
* respond in a timely fashion to email votes;
* serve in at least one capacity besides that of board member;
* when in attendance at a conference, volunteer at the APG booth; and
* communicate with the membership in some of the following ways: talk to members seeking out opinions, concerns, ideas; contribute to the APGQ or the APG eNews; participate in APG List discussions; join a chapter or Special Interest Group.

2018 Nominations Committee:
Cari Taplin, CG
Melanie Holtz, CG
Elizabeth O’Neal

Our Field is Full of Worthy People: APG Award Nominations Sought

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It is so important to recognize people who are working quietly behind the scenes, in the forefront of the genealogical field, or somewhere in-between, while they are still active and alive and able to appreciate being appreciated!

Several calls for nominations were sent out from the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG). Awards will be presented at the APG Professional Management Conference being held October 4-6 in Kansas City, Missouri. The nominations are due by 10 July 2017 and should be emailed in PDF format to Kathleen W. Hinckley, Executive Director, at admin@apgen.org. Please put the name of the award in the subject line of the email.

Two awards are described below as received from APG.

Laura G. Prescott Award for Exemplary Service to Professional Genealogy

The Laura G. Prescott Award for Exemplary Service to Professional Genealogy was unveiled at the 2017 Professional Management Conference. APG President Billie Fogarty presented the award to Laura G. Prescott, a past APG President and longtime active member. We are now accepting nominations for the award to be presented at the 2018 Professional Management Conference to be held October 4-6 in Kansas City, Missouri.

This award is in recognition of exemplary professionalism and continuing encouragement to other professional genealogists. It acknowledges those with a career devoted to uplifting fellow genealogists and improving their career circumstances and opportunities, and dedicated service to the field of professional genealogy. The award is open to any member or organization in the genealogical community.

Nominations should include a written statement describing the nominee’s contributions to professional genealogy. The Awards Committee will recommend a winner to the Executive Committee.

APG Professional Achievement Award

The award honors an APG member with a record of exceptional professional achievement and contributions to the field of genealogy through individual excellence and ethical behavior in published research, public presentations, innovative organization leadership, writing or editing, or successful business achievement by creating valuable products or services. The winner will be a professional who has demonstrated a commitment to advance and promote the highest standards in the field.

The nominee must have been an APG member in good standing for at least one year prior to the nomination and twenty years of professional advancement in the field of genealogy. Nominees cannot be current members of the APG Board of Directors or APG contractors. Nominees not selected in a previous year remain eligible for nomination. Past recipients are:

2007 – Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG
2008 – Sandra Luebking
2009 – Lou Szucs
2010 – Christine Rose, CG, CGL, FASG
2011 – Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG
2012 – Janet Robyn Worthington, JP, NZRN, Dip. FHS, FSAG
2013 – Helen F. M. Leary, CG (Emeritus), CGL, FASG, FNGS
2014 – Claire Mire Bettag, CG
2015 – David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FIGRS, FUGA
2016 – Eileen M. O’Duill, CG
2017 – Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL

Nominations should include a written statement describing the nominee’s contributions to genealogy and APG. The Awards Committee will recommend a winner to the Executive Committee.

Future IGHR Courses and Scholarships

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I am attending the Institute for Genealogical and Historical Research in Athens, Georgia this week. They have announced their future courses. You can see the courses planned through 2022 and plan your genealogical education plan accordingly. The courses for 2019 are as follows:

  • Course One: Methods & Sources – coordinator Rebecca Whitman Koford, CG
  • Course Two: Intermediate Genealogy & Historical Studies – coordinator Angela Packer McGhie, CG
  • Course Three: Advanced Methodology & Evidence Analysis – coordinator Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL
  • Course Four: Writing & Publishing for Genealogists – coordinator Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA
  • Course Five: Genetics for Genealogists: Beginning DNA – coordinator Patricia Lee Hobbs, CG
  • Course Six: Military Records 2 – coordinator Michael L. Strauss, AG
  • Course Seven: Tracing Your English Ancestors – coordinator Paul Milner, MDiv, FUGA
  • Course Eight: Land Records: Using Maps – coordinator Melinda Kashuba, PhD
  • Course Nine: Research in the South: Colonial States – coordinator J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA
  • Course Ten: Building an African American Research Toolbox – coordinator Timothy Pinnick, BS
  • Course Eleven: Virginia’s Land and Military Conflicts – coordinator Victor S. Dunn, CG
  • Course Twelve: DNA as Genealogical Evidence (Advanced) – coordinator Blaine Bettinger, PhD, JD
  • Course Thirteen: The Five Civilized Tribes – coordinator Anita Finger-Smith

There are also some amazing opportunities to help fund your education. IGHR scholarships can be viewed in full on their website, they are:

  • Ancestry ProGenealogists Scholarship
  • Birdie Monk Holsclaw Memorial Scholarship
  • HomePLACE IGHR Travel Scholarship
  • Jean Thomason Scholarship

Take advantage of these excellent educational opportunities and potential funding sources!

APG PMC Registration Open

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The Association of Professional Genealogists opened registration for the Professional Management Conference taking place in Kansas City, Missouri from  October 4-6, 2018. You can register and reserve a hotel room by visiting the APG conference website.

APG also announced the dates and locations for the 2019 PMC which will be held in Salt Lake City at the Hotel RL from September 19-21, 2019. This is also APG’s 40th Anniversary and there’s sure to be plenty of celebrating so mark your calendars!

Genealogy Institutes – Part Four

In my continuing quest to describe institutes and ultimately convince you to attend one if you haven’t already, this post will highlight the last two of the five major genealogy institutes that I have identified. I have not personally attended either NIGR or SLIG so the following information is a summary from what I’ve learned from reading their websites and from various friends and colleagues who have attended.

2013-08-09 12.32.26 pmI am registered to attend the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, or SLIG, this coming January. This institute is hosted by the Utah Genealogical Association and is held annually in January at the Radisson in downtown Salt Lake City. It offers a wide range of topics for various skill levels through 10-12 different tracks. The courses for 2014 are:

  • “American Research and Records: Focus on Families” with Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FUGA
  • “New York Research” with Karen Mauer Green, CG
  • “Research in the South” with J. Mark Lowe, CG
  • “Advanced Research Tools: Land Records” with Richard G. Sayre, CG and Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL
  • “Credentialing: Accreditation, Certification, or Both?” with Apryl Cox, AG and Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL
  • “Producing a Quality Family Narrative” with John Philip Colletta Ph.D., FUGA
  • “Researching in Eastern Europe” with Kory Meyerink, AG
  • “Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum” with Angela McGhie and Kimberly Powell
  • “Advanced Genealogical Methods” with Thomas Jones Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS
  • “Problem Solving” with Judith Hansen, AG, MLS

I will be taking the “Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum” track and I am very excited for the experience. The benefit of this conference, like British Institute, is that it takes place in Salt Lake. Classes take place in the morning and research or homework in the Family History Library. This coming year, the Association of Professional Genealogists’ Professional Management Conference (PMC) is being held a few days before SLIG. I plan to attend that as well. At the writing of this post, their website had not been updated to reflect this yet, but the information was sent to members via email. Keep checking their website for more information.

2013-08-09 12.32.52 pmThe National Institute on Genealogical Research is held in Washington, D.C. annually in July (typically the week preceding GRIP). This institute stands out from the others in that it is very specific in scope. NIGR is not a beginning course and is aimed at a focused examination of federal records, there is only one track with everyone in the same course together. Most of the week is spent at the main branch of the National Archives with one day being spent at the Archives II in College Park, MD. There are optional evening sessions to spend at the Library of Congress and the DAR Library. This institute is different also by the registration format. This one is currently via regular postal mail only, no online registration at this time. You must go to their website and be added to their mailing list. Then, when registration time comes, you need to fill out the application and mail it back as soon as you get it. They have a limited number of spaces in the course so it is important to return the application promptly.

This institute also has two scholarship opportunities that help pay for tuition and some of the travel expenses. One scholarship is from the American Society of Genealogists, the other is the Richard S. Lackey Memorial Scholarship. The details are on their website.

That wraps up the details on the five major institutes. Up next, some tips on registering for institutes and later, what you might expect during your week.