BCG Adds to Skillbuilding Section of Website

BCG Press Release
9 February 2007
BCG Website
For immediate release
For additional information contact:
Laura DeGrazia, CG, at

The Board for Certification of Genealogists® has added to the Skillbuilding section of its website ( example of a narrative lineage with embedded proof summaries. This example, written by BCG President Connie Lenzen, CG, illustrates how an applicant for CG might address Requirement 7, the Kinship-Determination Project.

President Lenzen’s narrative lineage joins a collection of several other work samples already on the BCG website. These examples, written by well-known experts in the field, serve as points of reference for all genealogists who aspire to work to BCG’s standards as defined in The Genealogical Standards Manual. BCG judges measure the work of all applicants against those standards. Continue reading

Medal of Honor to Be Returned to Family

Those of you who read the Ancestry Weekly Journal on a regular basis have probably read one of Megan’s “orphan heirloom rescue” articles, where she researches heirlooms found in flea markets, antique shops, and other venues, and by researching the family, returns the items to the rightful family. Well, she’s done it again, and this time a Medal of Honor will be returned to a descendant of the recipient. You can read the story in the Indianapolis Star.  Great job, Megan! 

Weekly Planner: Preserve a Romantic Family Story

Happy Valentine.jpgDid your spouse, father, or grandfather propose marriage in a romantic location or in a unique way? Is there a funny story of how grandpa finally won grandma’s heart? Or vice versa? How did you meet your sweetheart? These are the stories that typically can’t be found in records. Take a few moments to record them so that future generations will know the story too. Have a happy Valentine’s Day!

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Love and Marriage, by Juliana Smith

Chouanniere mge 1.jpgIf we’re lucky, we have photographs of the happy couple on their wedding day–the smiling faces, the beautiful dress, the dapper suit. As they peer out at us from faded old photographs, we can’t help but wonder what was going through their heads at that moment. As the curious descendants who are tracing their lives back in history, we know more about the course their lives were to take from that day forward. As they stood and posed for the photographs they probably hadn’t a clue as to what life would have in store for them.

Learning more about our ancestors at this pivotal time in their lives adds romance and can really enrich our family histories. And information found in records created around the event can generate great leads in our family history. Continue reading

Stirring the Family’s Genealogical Interest, by George G. Morgan

Our Name in History.jpgOne of the things I enjoy about genealogical research is sharing my findings with others. That includes people on mailing lists, on the message boards, and with members of my family. That doesn’t mean that I normally tie my relatives to straight-back chairs nailed to the floor, gag them, and make the listen to the entire family story. While I might enjoy sharing all that information, I realize that a more subtle approach is needed.

This past Thanksgiving, we hosted my brother and his third ex-wife, and three first cousins and two spouses for the holiday week. One cousin and his wife couldn’t make it but they were with us in spirit, I know. My brother and I, and these cousins are all descended from my mother’s parents, Walton Carey Weatherly and Elizabeth Holder. Throughout their visit, they examined photographs on my “ancestor wall” in the living room; they looked at the genealogy binders at the documentary evidence I’ve compiled; and we talked about our families’ backgrounds on all sides. We raised a number of toasts to our ancestors and relatives, we ate well, and we reinforced our family ties, and we became closer still.

Just before Christmas, I found what I knew would be the perfect gift for everyone. The Ancestry Store at sells customized books about anyone’s surname. Our Name in History contains a great deal of information taken from census records, immigration records, maps, military service and pension records, and more. The book presents the points of origin of immigrants by that surname, the geographical distribution of persons by that surname, numbers who fought in the Union and Confederate armies, and so much more. These surname-specific articles are interspersed with articles about tracing one’s ancestry, following migrations, examining different types of records, and how to get started. Inside the back cover is a copy of Family Tree Maker software. Best of all, each book can be personalized from you to another person, making it a wonderful gift. Since this batch of cousins don’t exchange gifts, I knew that this would make the perfect “after New Year’s Day” gift. I ordered six copies of Our Name in History for the surname HOLDER. The books arrived in about three weeks and they are stunning. Continue reading

Tips from the Pros: The Best Laid Plans… from Paula Stuart Warren

row of books.jpgYou finally have a day when you can do some research at an historical society or other library. You checked the repository hours and have your research plan laid out. You don’t know that when you get to the place, you will find that the person who usually retrieves the materials from the closed stacks called in sick. It might be a large repository where a fork-lift is needed to retrieve materials and that day the fork-lift is broken. The photocopier is jamming. And I don’t mean jamming to music. Maybe you forgot to ask if there were any large groups expected that day and arrive to find that all the microfilm readers are taken. You have already paid to park in the lot for the full day. Your day doesn’t have to be a total loss:

  • Check for a new books section and do some reading.
  • Check to see if there is a periodicals rack with the newer historical and genealogical publications. Do some more reading.
  • Are there finding aids on open shelves? Browse through these to learn more about different collections. You may find some new things to check. Begin a new future research list. Maybe you will receive a better understanding of the variety of records available for research.
  • What else is on open shelves? General reference books, local histories, a card index to some records–browse through these.
  • Check for bulletin boards and freebie racks and read what is there.

You may not find the family details you were seeking but you will add to your genealogical and historical knowledge. Keep your ears open too. While you’re reading you might overhear a conversation or two that also adds to your knowledge.
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Your Quick Tips, 12 February 2007

urn headstonejpg.jpgA Delayed Burial
Just want to let others know what I learned out of thirty years of research! My great-grandfather died and was cremated in 1948. No one in the family ever talked about him as it was years before I was born. As I got involved in genealogy, I decided to ask where he was buried. No one seemed to remember. I started checking around where I knew some of the family had been buried, but his name never showed up in any records.

One night as I was looking at his death certificate and his wife’s, I did notice the same mortuary handled both of them. But no mention of what happened to his ashes. After years of writing to different cemeteries, why hadn’t I noticed this bit of information sooner? I tried to contact the mortuary; they’d gone out of business. Where or who would have their records? I checked a little further and found a wonderful lady who took the time to check with another company. She was referred back to the cemetery.

As it turned out, right there in the cemetery records they found a goldmine for me. Seems Grandpa Roy was cremated in 1948, but his ashes were not buried until 1962 when his wife died! She’d had the ashes all those years. They were buried in her casket to be “laid to rest together.” The love they must have shared.

You would have thought I’d won the lottery! It was no wonder I couldn’t find him buried anywhere. I was so insistent that the event took place in 1948 (according to his death certificate), that it took me thirty years to find him! My point is to NEVER give up hope; they will let you know where to look to find them.

Jackie Beidler Continue reading

The Year Was 1952

The year was 1952 and military forces from twenty nations were fighting in the Korean War. Over the course of that conflict, more than 1.5 million U.S. troops would serve and “33,629 Americans, numberless Koreans, 717 Turkish soldiers, and 1,109 soldiers of the United Kingdom gave lives during the struggle.” 

A blizzard lasting from January 10 through January 17 buried the Truckee-Donner area (California) in forty-foot drifts driven by eighty-mile-an-hour winds.

In one of the worst disasters in Arkansas history, on March 21, tornadoes that hit Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky, Alabama, and Mississippi took the lives of more than 200 persons. Hardest hit was the town of Judsonia in White County, Arkansas.  Continue reading