03 December


Recapping 2012: Genealogy Education

By Stephanie Pitcher Fishman education 8 Comments

It’s that time of year! Time for goals, resolutions, motivations, and reflections.


Jennifer Holik, my colleague and one of my fellow co-founders at The In-Depth Genealogist, started her first week of December with a recap of her 2012 genealogy and business goals. It’s a great reminder that to see how far we’ve come we need to remember where we started.


I’ve decided to take a quick recap of a few areas of interest starting with genealogy education.


My 2012 Genealogy Education Goals:

ProGen Study Group: My original goal was to begin ProGen. I am so very thankful that I joined a ProGen Study Group in 2012! We are officially past the half-way mark, and the steam hasn’t faded from this train. We’re gelling as a group, and it is wonderful to see each person reaching out to help the other. We’ve built our own community of support. I’m looking forward to working with all of these great researchers throughout my career.


Certificate in Genealogical Studies – American Records from the National Institute for Genealogical Studies: My original goal was to finish all of my required courses towards my certificate during 2012. However, my schedule changed a bit. I’ve found that it is best to schedule my courses through NIGS based partially on my ProGen assignment schedule for the month. This has meant that I’ve taken some electives, some required courses, and a lot of chances to learn wonderful things. I’ve crossed my half-way mark, and the goal is in sight!


Webinars: My original goal was to attend as many webinars as I could throughout the month. I wasn’t very specific, was I? I attend as many as I can, though admittedly not nearly what I could. I have fallen into the habit of using them as a form of “talk radio” thanks to the many sources of recorded webinars, mostly through my various society memberships. Do check out Legacy Family Tree’s offerings as well as the schedule listed at GeneaWebinars.


Conferences and Events: My original goal was to attend four specific events throughout 2012: Family History Jamboree (Dayton, Ohio), NGS’s 2012 Family History Conference (Cincinnati, Ohio), Ohio Genealogical Society’s Conference (Cleveland, Ohio), and Midwestern Roots Family History and Genealogy Conference (Indianapolis, Indiana.) Did I? Yes, and no. I attended some. I did not make it to Dayton due to illness or to Cleveland or Indianapolis due to a combination of factors including my schedule and educational goals. I was able to attend several smaller events, and I found a balance that fit my needs for the year. I benefited all year from the week spent in Cincinnati for the NGS conference. I can’t wait to attend it again in 2013!


My 2013 Genealogy Education Goals:

  • Finish ProGen 15 Study Group – Our last meeting will take place in August 2013.
  • Finish my Certificate in Genealogical Studies: American Records – My goal is to finish this alongside ProGen, and so far I’m on track to do so.
  • Attend two national conferences – I’ll be attending the National Genealogical Society’s 2013 Family History Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. I will also be attending the 2013 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  • Decide on pursuing an AG or CG – I’d like to put legs on this goal by means of a schedule for attaining it. Yes, it will be a (very) long-term goal that will not be completed in 2013. However, I can complete background research and preliminary scheduling and planning to go along with this goal. Let the journey begin!


My Recommendations for You:

If you are interested in furthering your business skills and strengthening your research skills as a professional genealogist, make sure you look into the ProGen Study Group. Yes, it’s time consuming. Yes, it is a long-term commitment. And, yes, it’s worth it. You can’t underestimate the power behind a mentored, peer-reviewed experience. Sure, you can read the book, Professional Genealogy. You’ll gather so much more from the group dynamic and discussion.


Along these lines, I also recommend that you attend a local, state, or national conference if you are able. Whether you are looking at genealogy as a hobby, a way to educate your children with interesting projects, or as a potential career, you will benefit from the training and conversation that you will receive at an event such as the National Genealogical Society’s annual conference. Take a leap, and invest in yourself. A little education goes a long way!


To learn more about genealogy education and the options available, read Shelley Bishop’s monthly column, Gen Ed, at The In-Depth Genealogist.


Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians


What’s on your genealogy education goal list for 2013?

You can do it! If you need some motivation, just let me know. And, make sure you check out my main MOJO motivator, Margie Analise!



*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links were used in this post. I am disclosing this so you understand should you decide to purchase this or any other item using the link above I will earn a (very) small affiliate commission on the sale. Thanks for supporting Corn and Cotton Genealogy through the use of these links!

© 2012, Stephanie Pitcher Fishman. All rights reserved.


  • Mariann Regan

    3 December 2012 Reply

    What a lot of substantial and ambitious goals! The ProGen 15 Study Group and the CGS: American Records alone sound like a full-time job to me. I like your ending with the cover of Elizabeth Shown Mills’s book — which I just received in the mail a few weeks ago! I don’t even know how you even fit in blogging and connections on Twitter. I try to do one webinar a month, if I can — this week it’s Researching Your Irish Ancestors. Your jam-packed schedule is something I aspire to, but I know I’ll never make it!
    Mariann Regan recently posted..First Names of Slaves: Can You Locate Your Ancestors By Using My Ancestor’s Will?My Profile

    • Stephanie Pitcher Fishman

      3 December 2012 Reply

      That’s why it’s taking me so long, Mariann. lol I have been working on my certificate since February of 2011. It will take me about 2.5 years. It isn’t exactly quick, but it’s worth it!

  • Jennifer Holik

    3 December 2012 Reply

    Way to go on your goals this year! I know 2013 is going to be GIGANTIC for you as well! :)

  • Shelley Bishop

    4 December 2012 Reply

    Congratulations on everything you’ve achieved this year, Stephanie! Sounds like you’re in position for a great 2013. And thanks for mentioning my column!

  • Angela McGhie

    8 December 2012 Reply

    Message *I am glad you are enjoying the ProGen Study Program! I love to hear about groups that are becoming very supportive colleagues.

    • Stephanie Pitcher Fishman

      8 December 2012 Reply

      Thanks, Angela! We definitely are becoming that. I can see several of us working together for years to come. I love our group!


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