BCG Education Fund
BCG Education Fund, founded in 2000 as an independent non-profit
charitable trust, advances the educational aims of the Board for
Certification of Genealogists® by funding learning programs consistent
with standards promulgated by the Board and by providing incentives for
study and scholarly research in accordance with the Board's standards.
Current activities are the Helen F. M. Leary Distinguished Lecture Series presented semi-annually, Putting Skills To Work presented annually, and the annual competition for the Donald Mosher Memorial Award.
The Education Fund is always considering avenues for extending its
educational offerings, and suggestions are heartily welcomed.
Education Fund relies upon the generosity of contributors to support
its educational outreach to current and future genealogists. The
programs exist only because of that on-going generosity. Contributions
are tax-deductible, and may be mailed to:
BCG Education Fund
P. O. Box 14291
Washington, DC 20044
Helen F. M. Leary Distinguished Lecture Series
The series, initiated in 2007, honors Helen F. M. Leary of North
Carolina, Certified Genealogist Emeritus and a Fellow of the American
Society of Genealogists, known for her richly informative and
entertaining lectures on methodology, law, writing, and the art of
her distinguished career, Helen F. M. Leary has worked to educate all
serious genealogists. Helen embodies personal and professional work
standards that the BCG Education Fund seeks to emulate and to instill
in those practicing the art and science of genealogy.
served twenty-three years as a Trustee of the Board for Certification
of Genealogists. She served as President from October 1989 to October
1994 and again from October 1998 to October 1999. She designed the
certification logos used today by Board-certified associates. With
Thomas W. Jones, Helen edited the BCG Genealogical Standards Manual.
She developed and coordinated the Professional Genealogy Track at
Samford University Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research. She
was editor and contributing author of North Carolina Research,
a unique publication existing only for the state of North Carolina,
which provides genealogical research guidance transcending geographical
boundaries. Helen wrote several chapters of Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians including the chapter on lecturing. Her extensive scholarly publications include the seminal National Genealogical Society Quarterly
study “Sally Heming’s Children: A Genealogical Analysis of the
Evidence.” Interviews with Helen are featured in the National
Genealogical Society’s popular video series “Paths To Your Past” at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/.
2015 Leary Distinguished Lecturer
J. Mark Lowe, CG, CGL, FUGA, is the 2015 Leary Distinguished Lecturer at the National Genealogical Society Conference at St. Charles,
Missouri. His topic is “Who Owned the Cow? and Other Common Conundrums:
A Reasoning From Evidence Example.” Using genealogical research skills
and plans, see how a simple question and reasonable search leads to
real answers and opens new barn doors for more.
is a full-time professional genealogist, author, and lecturer,
specializing in original records of Kentucky and Tennessee and
manuscripts throughout the South. He serves as course coordinator of
Research in the South for the Institute of Genealogy and Historic
Research at Samford University and for the Salt Lake Institute of
Genealogy. He is director of the Regional In-depth Genealogical Studies
Alliance. Mark has worked on several genealogical television series,
including African American Lives 2, UnXplained Events, and Who Do You Think You Are?
He is a former President of the Association of Professional
Genealogists (APG) and the Federation of Genealogical Societies. Mark
received the 2007 Grahame T. Smallwood Jr. Award for his outstanding
service to the APG.
Roster of Helen F. M. Leary Distinguished Lecturers
Murphy DeGrazia, CG. “Why Is ‘Reasonably Exhaustive Research’ so
Important to the Genealogical Proof Standard?” 2010 FGS Conference.
Donn Devine, JD, CG, CGL. “Case Studies on Applying DNA to Family History Research.” 2008 FGS Conference.
Kay Haviland Freilich, CG, CGL, FNGS. “Research Strategies That Work.” 2014 NGS Conference.
Ruth Ann Hager, CG, CGL. “Speaking of Genealogy.” 2008 NGS Conference.
W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA. “Honesty, Courtesy, and
Confidentiality: Ethics for Family Historians.” 2007 NGS
Conference.”The Genealogical Proof Standard: What It Is and What It Is
Not.” 2011 NGS and FGS Conferences.
Vines Little, CG, FVGS, FNGS. “Locating and Understanding the Law: An
Essential Part of Good Research.” 2012 NGS Conference.
Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA. “Okay, I ‘Got the
Neighbors’—Now What Do I Do with Them?!!” 2009 NGS Conference.“Can
Trousers, Beds, and Other ‘Trivial Details’ Solve Genealogical
Problems?” 2013 NGS and FGS Conferences.
E. Rencher, AG, CG, FIGRS, FUGA. “Proven Research Strategies that
Transcend Geo-Political Boundaries.” 2009 FGS Conference.
Patricia Walls Stamm, CG, CGL. “Expanding Your Genealogical Skills Through Education!” 2010 NGS Conference.
Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA. "Is There a Professional in the House?" 2012 FGS Conference.
Putting Skills To Work
Tuesday, 12 May 2015, 8:30 AM–4:30 PM
St. Charles, Missouri
Putting Skills To Work is a unique full-day, hands-on workshop limited to sixty participants. The focus is skills needed by anyone
practicing serious genealogical research whether as a family historian,
librarian, dedicated hobbyist, or writer. Materials are geared to
intermediate and advanced practitioners and advocate established
The $110 registration
fee includes lunch, two in-depth presentations, hands-on exercises,
syllabus, handouts, and active class participation. NGS Conference
registration is not required. Sessions typically book to capacity
before the NGS Conference registration deadline.
Barbara J. Mathews, CG,
will lead the session “Evidence Analysis, Correlation, and Resolution:
The Heart of the Genealogical Proof Standard.” Focusing on only direct
evidence creates unnecessary research dead ends. This session addresses
weighing and correlating sources, evidence, and information in their many diverse forms for successful resolution of investigations.
Mathews is a lineage genealogist specializing in colonial Connecticut
and Massachusetts. She represents the Board for Certification of
Genealogists on the Records Access and Preservation Committee, and is
Civil Records Co-Director for the Massachusetts Genealogical Council
(MGC). Her white paper co-written for MGC, “Framing a Discussion on
Vital Records Access,” provides an historic look at government policies
involving ID theft, financial fraud, and vital records. She is
currently working on a book about the descendants of the fourth
colonial governor of Connecticut for the Welles Family Association.
Barbara mentored ProGen Studies Group 7, GenProof Studies Group 6, and
currently mentors ProGen Studies Group 21. She is a substitute
instructor for the Boston University genealogical certificate program.
She is a contributor to the BCG blog SpringBoard. Barbara is a former BCG Board member and former Education Fund Trustee.
Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL, will lead the session “Tested Strategies for Efficient Research Reports.” Many researchers assume
committing research findings to paper is separate from the research
process; however, Elissa will share her methodology for using available
time efficiently during the research process, resulting in a sharable
Elissa Powell, a western Pennsylvania
researcher, is President of the Board for Certification of
Genealogists. She is co-director of the Genealogical Research Institute
of Pittsburgh (GRIP), instructs for Boston University’s Genealogical
Research Certificate course and at the Salt Like Institute of
Genealogy. She is coordinator of the Professional Genealogy course for
the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at Samford
University. Elissa is a frequent lecturer at national conferences as
well as at venues across the United States. In 2010, she was the
recipient of the National Genealogical Society’s President’s Citation
for her broad support of the genealogical community.
Roster of Putting Skills To Work Instructors
Mary McCampbell Bell, CG. “Abstracting Records: Land Records,” 2003, 2004. “Abstracting Documents,” 2007.
Melinde Lutz Byrne, CG, FASG. “Editor’s Ink: Writing for Genealogical Journals,” 2012.
Victor S. Dunn, CG. “I Rest My Case: Constructing a Convincing Proof Argument,” 2014.
Ann Carter Fleming, CG, CGL. “Writing Family History: Style, Index, and More,” 2009.
Kay Haviland Freilich, CG, CGL, FNGS. “Planning Research,” 2006. “Writing the Ancestral Story,” 2009.
Marty Hiatt, CG. “Writing Reports,” 2006. “Arguing: Writing Proof Summaries,” 2007.
W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA. “Genealogical
Documentation: What, Why, and How,” 2008. “Editing Your Own and Others’
Genealogical Writing,” 2012.
Connie Lenzen, CG. “Historical Context: More Than A Timeline,” 2013.
Barbara Vines Little, CG, FNGS; FVGS. “Working with Documents: From Discovery to What Comes Next,” 2011.
Barbara J. Mathews, CG. “Writing Genealogical Narratives,” 2006. “Evidence Evaluation,” 2008.
Tate Moody, CG. “In the Law Library: A Workshop on Legal Research for
Genealogists,” 2011. “Passing Out The Property: A Workshop on the
Probate Process,” 2014.
Beverly Rice, CG. “The Path To Change And A Better Life—Migration,” 2013.
Christine Rose, CG, CGL, FASG. “Abstracting Records for Accuracy and Success,” 2004, 2005.
Kip Sperry, CG. “Reading Early Handwriting,” 2010.
Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL. “Synchronized Research and Reporting,” 2010.
Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA. "Planning Research,” 2006.
Special Genetic Genealogy Workshop
National Genealogical Society Conference
St. Charles, Missouri
Friday, 15 May 2015
Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL,
is presenting "Genetic Genealogy: Effective Analysis and Correlation of
DNA Test Results." This full day intermediate-level workshop is for
those who understand DNA basics and want to effectively correlate DNA
test results with documentary research to answer a genealogical
The $40 registration fee includes hands-on exercises, syllabus, and handouts; lunch is not included. Please note
that syllabus material will be provided electronically prior to the
workshop. Attendees should print the material and bring it with them to
the workshop. Internet access will not be available in the classroom.
genealogists today have attended lectures on genetic genealogy, but
putting those principles to practical use is seldom demonstrated in
one-hour lectures due to time constraints. As with analysis and
correlation of any type of genealogical evidence, in-depth
understanding comes with experience and practice. This workshop
provides that "next step" beyond what is provided in introductory
The workshop will address
analysis techniques and tools for Y-DNA, mitochondrial DNA, autosomal
DNA, and X-DNA. Attendees should already understand the basic
theoretical underpinnings in order to successfully complete hands-on
exercises. There will be active class participation with examples from
real DNA projects and one-on-one assistance with the exercises. While
there will not be time for consultations on your personal DNA test
results, you will be able to apply the techniques learned to your own
Debbie Parker Wayne is a
board-certified genealogist and genealogical lecturer experienced in
DNA analysis, as well as traditional techniques. Her traditional
research focuses on Texas, the Southwest, and the Southern U.S. She
coordinates and teaches week-long, comprehensive, interactive genetic
genealogy courses at several genealogical institutes. She has performed
research for genealogical television series such as the Canadian series Ancestors in the Attic, the PBS series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr., and The Learning Channel's Who Do You Think You Are? Debbie is a Trustee of the BCG Education Fund and the DNA Project Director for Texas State Genealogical Society.
Donald Mosher Memorial Award for Colonial Virginia Research
competitive $500 Award, established in 2001 by Merrill Hill Mosher, CG,
of Oregon, honoring her late husband, is administered by the BCG
Education Fund. The Award funds scholarly research on colonial Virginia
topics in the following categories: family genealogy, immigrant place
or family origin, and publication of obscure or difficult Virginia
resources. The annual deadline is 31 December. Award criteria is
available here. It is not too soon for interested genealogists to consider preparing a submission.
Victor S. Dunn, CG,
is the recipient of the 2014 Donald Mosher Memorial Award for his
database “Virginia Business Records and Manuscript Index” hosted by the
Virginia Genealogical Society at (http://www.vgs.org/). Dunn’s index facilitates access to obscure or difficult unpublished Virginia resources.
business records will include merchant journals, ledgers, daybooks, and
memorandums, along with account books and documents kept by individual
farmers, plantation managers, physicians, and attorneys. A number of
these records survive for the colonial period as early as the first
half of the eighteenth century, including locations in a number of
eastern Virginia burned counties. When possible, the database will
include links to online resources.
Dunn is a board-certified genealogist and a full-time professional
researcher. He coordinates the Virginia track at the Institute of
Genealogy and Historical Research at Samford University in Alabama and
publishes frequently in major genealogical publications, including the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, NGS Magazine, BCG OnBoard, Magazine of Virginia Genealogy, and Virginia Genealogical Society Newsletter.
Vic currently serves as a governor of the Virginia Genealogical
Society. He is a past trustee of the Board for Certification of
Genealogists and past treasurer and board member of the National
Roster of Mosher Award Recipients
Selena Mayes DuLac, Henrico County, Virginia, Land Patent Abstracts with Some Plat Maps, vol. I, 2002; and vol. III, 2009.
Eric Hedrick, Historical Documents from Augusta County, Virginia: Volume 6—Judgments, http://www.erichedrick.com/research/, 2013.
James Lively of England for his study identifying the 16th and 17th
century English origins of the Underwood family of Virginia, 2006.
Nathan W. Murphy, MA, AG, “The Devon Seafaring Origins of William
Byrd’s Mother’s Family: Grace (Stegge) Byrd of London, England, Thomas
Stegge of Westover Parish, Charles City County, Virginia, and Captain
Abraham Reed of Charles City County, Virginia; Including Additional
Details about His Father John Byrd’s Career as a London Goldsmith,” The American Genealogist, Vol. 84, No. 4 (October 2010): 241-256; 2010.
James Winter Petty, CGRS, AG, for his work extracting headrights from Virginia county records, 2005.
Trustees and Supporting Associates
The BCG Education Fund is administered by Trustees and Associates who
dedicate their services without remuneration.
Stefani Evans, CG, Trustee
J.H. Fonkert, CG, Trustee
Patricia O’Brien Shawker, CG, Trustee
Kathy Gunter Sullivan, CG, Trustee
Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL, Trustee
Donn Devine, JD, CG, Counsel
Former Trustees and Supporting Associates
Mary McCampbell Bell, CG
Bettie Cummings Cook, CG
Kay Haviland Freilich, CG, CGL, FNGS
Marty Hiatt, CG
Kay Germain Ingalls, CG
Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA
Barbara J. Mathews, CG
Joy Reisinger, CG
Beth A. Stahr, CG
George B. Handran, JD, CG, Counsel
Beverly Rice, CG, Donald Mosher Memorial Award Administrator