01 May 2013

A Challenge Awaits

In order to improve my skills, I know I must challenge myself. No one else will do it for me.

For that very reason, I have decided to take on the challenge of the ProGen Study Group, and will be a member of ProGen 20. This is something that I have wanted to do for some time, and finally the pieces have come together and it is my turn.

For those of you unfamiliar, ProGen is a program based on the text Professional Genealogy by Elizabeth Shown Mills, (Genealogical Publishing Company, 2001), a respected leader in the genealogy industry. This work has long been considered the standard for most professionals, and the study group was formed and designed to dig deep into the information provided in the text.

The sixteen month program takes students through a variety of topics, each with their associated assignment. Participants critique each other’s contributions and meet to virtually discuss the monthly chapter.
I have several peers that are either currently participating or have participated, and I know that the program is tough, demanding and incredibly rewarding. I am very much looking forward to learning from those in my group as well as our mentor and coordinator. I do see this as a step towards eventual certification, or at least a much better understanding of that that process may be like. I have not yet decided to pursue the BCG or the AG (both are appealing in their own way), but am fairly certain that one of those two processes lies in my future. Then of course, there is the newly developed study group based on Mastering Genealogical Proof by Thomas W. Jones (National Genealogical Society, 2013), which is also a text I intend to absorb as best I can.

One clear benefit is that I get to meet several of my group members as well as the program coordinator, Angela McGhie, at the quickly approaching NGS 2013 Family History Conference in Las Vegas; as most of us will be participating in the ProGen breakfast on Thursday morning. I think it will be great to have a mutual experience in the conference to get some of us going on our learning journey together!

If you are considering making the “transition” or “going pro” anytime in your near future, I strongly recommend you consider the ProGen program. I’ll be honest, I’ve read the entire book already, cover to cover, and I’ve learned a lot. But I know there is so much waiting for me as I turn the corner into ProGen 20.


  1. I'm so looking forward to doing the ProGen program with you!

  2. I really respect what you are doing, Jen. You are "moving up" in the genealogy world! The NGS 2013 Conference will be your next confirming experience. Sounds as if you will not only "go Pro" but also thoroughly enjoy the journey!

    I have Mills' Professional Genealogy in my book shelf, and it does look tough! It will be some time before I can extract myself from family pressures (and archiving pressures) to go any further. But I will follow your journey and wish you well. A big adventure lies before you!


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