My 2022 year in review post included my goals for 2023. It is always a good idea to take time to evaluate or re-evaluate goals, and the progression to those goals. So far, I’m on track here in 2023, and have a couple of new long-term goals in mind.

The NGSQ Study Group with Cyndi Ingle started in January. I am not always diligent about reading the current version of the Quarterly, so this is a great opportunity to read and and analyze articles, and discuss them with others. I am always amazed at the ideas that other members come up with that I didn’t even consider.

We are about four months in to ProGen65 and I am loving it! My cohort is a collection of wonderful genealogists, and their feedback has been invaluable. Much, but not all, of what we work on this study group relates to the certification process. My initial intention was to go “on the clock” sometime in 2023. That may still happen, but I need to consider whether it makes more sense to wait until ProGen is over.

In the spring, I completed Fundamentals of Forensic Genealogy through the SLIG Academy. I was intrigued by the description and am so glad that I registered. Forensic genealogy encompasses anything that involves the court system: heir searches, land ownership disputes or ownership searches; adoption research; and, of course, unsolved crimes. The SLIG instructors – Catherine B.W. Desmarais, CG, Michael Ramage, JD, CG, Kelvin L. Meyers, Angie Bush, MA, and Cece Moore – were fantastic and so willing to answer our questions. My background as a paralegal has given me the necessary skill set to work in forensic genealogy. To that end, I am looking to offer forensic genealogy services in the areas of heir searches and land ownership research (including issues involving mineral rights).

In July, I will be attending the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh to take Beyond Fundamentals – Hands On Forensic Genealogy. This course is also being taught by Catherine Wiest Desmarais, CG, Michael Ramage, JD, CG, Kelvin Meyers, along with Linda Hunter and Franchesca Werden. I am looking forward to meeting in person those students who were in the same SLIG course!

At the end of 2022, I joined the Association of Professional Genealogists. The APG also has local chapters, and the closest one to me is the Greater Philadelphia Area Chapter. I hesitated to join until I met another Pennsylvania APG member in SLIG. She convinced me to join, and the benefits have been worth it! There is a weekly Zoom chat on Wednesdays to talk about anything genealogy related. There are events held in various locations, including one here in Lancaster in the archives of LancasterHistory.

Finally, I had the opportunity to attend the 2023 National Genealogical Society Conference in Richmond, Virginia. What an amazing experience! The sessions were spectacular and I felt like such a “fan girl” getting to see Judy Russell, JD, CG, CGL, Diana Elder, AG, Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D, JD, Barbara Vines-Little, CG, FNGS, FUGA, FVGS, and Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, FASG, FNGS, FUGA in person! I also got to meet people in person that I’ve only met via Zoom. There really is an important social component to in-person meetings that is lacking on Zoom. And I’m saying this as a serious introvert! The icing on the cake, of course, was to be able to research at the Library of Virginia.

What’s Next?

ProGen and the July GRIP classes are my main focus moving forward. I will also once again be a peer group leader for Research Like a Pro (starting at the end of August – there’s still time to sign up!).

There are couple of new goals I have been pondering. One is dual certification through BCG and ICAPGen. They are similar, but the certification process is a lot different. I see the benefits to both; however, my plan is still to start with BCG.

I have also been thinking about the master’s program through the University of Strathclyde. I talked to several people at the NGS Conference who are either currently enrolled or have just recently finished. All of their comments about the program were positive. My husband is half Scottish, so that should be a good enough reason to pursue it, right?

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