The Advancing Genealogist: Research Standards, Tools, and Record

Course Description:

The Advancing Genealogist: Research Standards, Tools, and Records guides transitioning genealogists from a beginning research and analysis skill level to a more advanced level. The course examines a variety of record types, and moves the learner to another level by introducing research methodology and analysis. Sessions on the influence of law and techniques for researching women elevate concepts taught beyond a records-based learning environment. Historical context, critical thinking skills, organizational tools, compilation and evaluation skills, evidence analysis and correlation, and the Genealogical Proof Standard are introduced. The course provides a good foundation for advanced work and potential transition into the advanced methodology course.  A hands-on approach to homework assignments reinforces the methods and concepts introduced. This allows learners to construct, develop, and internalize new skills into their growing knowledge base.

What students should bring to the course:

Students might wish to bring a laptop or tablet for personal use. Those who own the following book may bring it or a digital edition for use in class.

·         Mills, Elizabeth Shown. Evidence Explained! Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2007)

No texts are required, however some works that students might wish to become familiar with before or after the course are listed below.

·         The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual (Turner Publishing Co., 2014)
·         Jones, Thomas W. Mastering Genealogical Proof (Arlington, VA: NGS, 2013)
·         Mills, Elizabeth Shown, ed. Professional Genealogy (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2001)   --   Note the chapter on transcriptions and abstracts.

Lecture Unit or Topic

Genealogy Standards and the Genealogical Proof Standard
Source Citations, Transcriptions, and Abstracts
Document Analysis and Research Plans
Tools for Correlating Information: Spreadsheets and Timelines
Correlation and Analysis
Passenger Ship Records
Naturalization Records
Migration Routes
Religious Records in Genealogical Research
Researching Women
Military Pension Application Files
Laws: An Overview
Courthouses and their Records
Online Research
Newspaper Research
The Write Stuff: Genealogical Writing with Substance and Appeal
Participant Presentations/Project  
Course Wrap-up and Certificates

Course Instructors:

Debra Mieszala, CGSM
Debbie Mieszala has taught at IGHR, SLIG, and GRIP. Debbie specializes in forensic genealogy, 20th century research, and the Midwest. She conducts genealogical research for the military to locate relatives of service members missing in past wars, and formerly did adoption-related research as a Confidential Intermediary in Illinois. A national-level lecturer and author, Debbie’s work has been published in NGS Magazine, The Digital Genealogist, and OnBoard! She is a Trustee for the Board for Certification of Genealogists. Debbie is an alumnus of IGHR, NIGR, and GRIP. CG 438 (18 Jan 2002).    

Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CGSM
Jeanne Larzalere Bloom is an IGHR and NIGR alumnus, and has taught at SLIG. She earned a BA (History) and a second year certificate in publishing. Jeanne is an expert in several areas including Chicago, forensic, problem–solving, and African American research. Jeanne appeared on Who Do You Think You Are?  She is a Trustee and Treasurer for the Board for Certification of Genealogists.

Rev. David McDonald, D. Min., CGSM
David is an IGHR and NIGR alumnus. He taught in Course 9 (Government Documents) at IGHR in 2014. A practicing minister with graduate and post-graduate degrees in theology, Dave is well-versed in the topic of church records. He has lectured on and written about religious records and denominations, and has specifically geared those sessions toward genealogists. Board-certified genealogist since 2004; current trustee (since 2008) and past president (2010-12).

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