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15 January 2010

Report #5: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy

Jeffrey Vaillant writes that he is pacing himself and the proof is another report, written after a full day of classes and research, at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy.

Thursday, 14 January 2010
Salt Lake City, Utah

Thursday and Friday are devoted to presentations by the folks from the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen) about their accreditation process. This morning began with Kory Meyerink talking about Research Focus and Analysis of Documents. As a minor reminder, the ICAPGen is interested in seeing people qualify based on a geographic specialty via written and oral exams. Kory explained abstracting versus extracting documents and handed out a document for all the students to prepare giving us five short minutes to do so. Nothing like a little early morning pressure. We were looking at a colonial last will and testament. Then he followed with a Document Recognition Exercise where he flashed documents on a screen allowing us 30 seconds to identify the type of record, title/kind/name of record and author/creator/publisher of the image. I got 7 of the 15 shown – ugh.

Next Karen Clifford’s (only two names!) topic was Report Writing Under Pressure; however, technical difficulties with the computer delayed her start. It was the first such case this week. ICAPGen has three reports they expect their candidates to complete. First is a four generation report that covers a family within one geographic region. The second is part of the exam process where students are sent to the Family History Library with a research problem to solve in three hours with a written report and third is the final written report is for supplemental work. There was a great deal of emphasis on telling the client what was done and how it was done.

Karen followed herself with another presentation on Research Planning and how it counts in the accreditation process. She spent time on how to do a plan rather than how the plan fits into the process. She got into detail on the plan.

The afternoon session was by Anne Roach on Digital Resources for Credentialing Researchers which she posted at the Family Search Research Wiki. Well, that sure gave me an excuse to cut class (confession time?) and go to the Family History Library to spend six hours viewing microfilm. My research goal is to find the earliest Pierson line to get to Iowa so I spent time looking at more land plat records for Des Moines, BLM plat maps for Township 77N and 23W as well as the 1846 Iowa census.

The evening was topped off with another Thomas W. Jones lecture on Organizing Evidence to Overcome Record Shortages. He used an Irish family example that resulted in three trips to Ireland for his client to conduct an exhaustive search for records when there are no censuses, deed, probate or vital documents available. The time period of his study was the 1700’s. Then he correlated the findings, established identities from the records available, grouped the identities into generations and proposed relationships using the genealogical proof standard to justify the conclusions. Another spell binding presentation.

Wikipedia Lesson: “Post-nominal letters, also called post-nominal initials or post-nominal titles, are letters placed after the name of a person to indicate that the individual holds a position, educational degree, accreditation, office, or honour. An individual may use several different sets of post-nominal letters.” The designation AG can be used when one becomes "accredited" or CG when one is "credentialed." A few individuals carry both designations. The longest string belongs to Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS!! He shows in his presentations that he has earned each designation. I am betting that he will pass his renewal for the CG designation!

- Jeffrey Vaillant

Read the entire series:
Report #1: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #2: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #3: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #4: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #5: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #6 and A Recap: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy