Thursday, May 19, 2011

Boston University Genealogy Certificate course...yay or nay?

So with the NGS Home Course finished and my personal research kindof frozen right now, I was looking for something else that I can do to make good use of my genea-time when I got an email from Boston University announcing a 4-part payment plan for their Genealogy Certificate program. Considering the cost of the course is around $2600 bucks (not including a slight discount for NGS and APG members) a payment plan sounded pretty good. Good enough in fact, for me to revisit the website for the program and reassess things. Here's what I found:

~The next course starts on September 6th
~The 4-part payment plan is an automatically reoccurring payment made to your credit card in 4 monthly installments
~There are 6 modules; Foundations of Genealogical Research, Problem Solving Techniques and Technology, Evidence Evaluation and Documentation, Forensic Genealogical Research, Genealogical Research Ethnic and Geographic Specialties, and The Professional Genealogist
~It is an online program with short video clips from your instructors, interactive lessons, weekly assignments, and online chats with both your instructor and your other classmates
~There are 3 required texts; The BCG Standards Manual, Evidence Explained, and Professional Genealogy (many of you probably already own these titles)
~This is NOT a beginner course. Instead, it is more like an expansion of the NGS Home Study Course. (If you are looking for a more basic program to get grounded in fundamentals, BU will soon be starting a course on essentials. More info should be forthcoming within the next week or two)
~There is an orientation online prior to the the official start of the course

I was initially a little leery of this program, partially because of the whopping cost but also because I was concerned about overlap with material covered in the NGS course. But the payment plan helps ease the pain a little, as does the discount from being an NGS/APG member, and after speaking with an associate from the University about the course this afternoon, I feel pretty confident that this will go much further in-depth than the NGS course did. Just think of the NGS course as laying the groundwork and the BU course filling in the details. The associate from the University also claimed that their course was geared more towards people who had a goal of working in the field professionally and/or looking to get certified within the next couple years so this might be a good fit for me since that is definitely on my to-do list.

As I said earlier, the next course starts up on September 6th (that is when the online portal will open up and you will have access to your coursework and get your first assignment) so you have a bit of time to think about the pros and cons and learn more about the course itself. Just check out

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Yikes!! New one for me

I've been working with my Parke County indexing this month and came across a slightly scary new name that I haven't seen before, so I thought I'd share. Check this out:

It was in the probate file for a John S. Kesler. The Kesler part I get; from this indenture, I can read the surname here as Cassler so it's easy to see how that evolved into "Kesler". But the given name! Wow! That's the doozy for me. It looks like Chawntzenbach. If you shorten it to "Chawn" then it would sound like John so even that part makes sense. What surprised me was the given name as it is written here because it's something I've never seen before. I entered the name into both yahoo and google but got 0, yes 0 results. But in google, when I enter "Chawntzenbach" I did get an alternate which was included in the search, Schwarzenbach. For this, there were quite a few search results including a link to Wikipedia which states the name is used for several geographic locations in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Slovenia. There is also a river called Schwarzbach in Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany. All of these could be helpful clues for one so inclined to go digging for this individual.

No, I am not that least, not today :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

New course offered by NGS

The blog for the National Genealogical Society, UpFront with NGS, announced a new course offering a couple weeks ago. The focus will be on Civil War records and will make a great addition to their other courses which include a course on Transcribing, Extracting, and Abstracting, religious records, deeds, the census schedules, records relating to the Social Security Act, and of course, the Home Study Course (which I blogged about over several months). The Civil War records course was developed by Craig Robert Scott, CG who many of you will be familiar with from the military track at IGHR, as well as his various seminars at the national conferences. In fact, he will be holding lectures at this week's NGS conference in Charleston. Adding to his incredible resume, he is also the head of Heritage Books, where you can find tons of great titles including those that are often hard to find elsewhere. Oh, and he was also the CG mentor for my ProGen group (ProGen 3) as if all that wasn't enough. Convinced enough to take the course? I am!

I was waiting to post about it until it showed up on the Education Courses page of the NGS website but after reading more about the course on Angela McGhie's wonderful educational blog, I checked again and it's still not listed. The official press release states that it will debut at the conference which begins tomorrow, so hopefully it will appear on the NGS website for purchase soon after that. The release also states that it will be available as a CD-Rom or as a pdf and the cost will be $35 for NGS members (as I know all of you are, right......? :p ).

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Speaking of additional courses...

I've just come across yet another educational opportunity that you all might be interested in. It's called the Regional In-depth Genealogical Studies Alliance, Inc. and it's a week-long course covering a wide spectrum of the research process beginning with reading handwriting, then followed by transcribing and abstracting documents as well as instruction on citations and writing a research plan and utilizing online sources. The idea itself sounds like a pretty darned good idea to me as it is, but then you find out that the course is staffed by J. Mark Lowe and Linda Woodward Geiger, both are very well-known and accomplished Certified Genealogists and I have great respect for both of them. The course will be held in Texas in September this year and will be in Georgia in October next year. If you're interested in finding out more, see the RIGS Alliance website for details.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Have you heard about the new courses yet?

Yesterday, the web was abuzz over news that there will be a new week-long intensive course selection available through the newly established Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh. The courses will be held on the LaRoche College campus in July 2012 and the instructors are some pretty big names such as Thomas Jones, John Humphrey, Paula Stuart-Warren, D. Joshua Taylor, Claire Bettag, and Rick Sayre. You can read more about the courses here and more of a general overview about the week here .

The opening of another week-long set of courses is great news for those who have had trouble getting registered or have logistical conflicts with IGHR and/or SLIG. I've wanted to go to SLIG for a while now but since it's in January and I have a school-aged child, and of course, my Navy husband, it's a little complicated to make time for me to take a week off and fly to Utah. Summer tends to work better for me so having another summer option, in conjunction with IGHR in June, will work out great. Even better, the course at SLIG that I would most like to take now, Tom Jones' advanced course, appears to have a match at the Pittsburgh Institute. So if I can't get to Utah in January, as I suspect I won't, I can arrange to take it there instead now! That's great news!

No word on the cost yet, but I'm guessing it will be competitive with IGHR and SLIG. Registration opens in February and it might be a good idea to keep the page bookmarked and stay tuned for updates that may pop up between now and then.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Not to start a coup against Illinois records repositories or anything but....

Here's yet another example of why I have issues doing research in my home state (and try to avoid it at all costs), from a great genealogist over at Midwestern Microhistory