BCG Education Fund
The 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.
The 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 lecturing.
Throughout 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.
Helen 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 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/.
2013 Leary Distinguished Lecturer
The 2013 Leary Distinguished Lecturer at the NGS Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, and at the FGS Conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana, is Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG, NGS, FUGA, who poses a provocative question: "Can Trousers, Beds, and Other 'Trivial Details' Solve Genealogical Problems?" Her answer is, Yes! All can create solutions to brickwall problems.
Elizabeth Mills, who has emphasized research methodology and evidence analysis throughout her long career, is a master at drawing clues from seemingly trivial details. In the 2013 Leary Distinguished Lecture, she presents a series of brick wall problems involving identity and parentage. For each, she demonstrates ways to develop solutions from minutiae found in everyday records, including black domestic and tacks, housekeeping bills, trousers, beds, and more.
Mills is a historical researcher and writer who has spent her life studying American culture and the relationships between people—emotional as well as genetic. A popular lecturer and past president of both the American Society of Genealogists and the international Board for Certification of Genealogists, Elizabeth is the author, editor, and translator of thirteen books and over 500 journal and magazine articles in genealogy, history, literature, and sociology. Aside from her 2004 reality-based historical novel, Isle of Canes (which Historical Novels Review called a “masterpiece” and other reviews dubbed “a cross between Roots and Gone with the Wind”), Mills is best known for Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace (a Library Journal “Best Reference 2007”) and the textbook Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers & Librarians. Interviews with Elizabeth Mills are featured in the National Genealogical Society’s popular video series “Paths To Your Past” at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
The roster of Helen F. M. Leary Distinguished Lecturers is:
- Laura 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.
- Ruth Ann Hager, CG, CGL, “Speaking of Genealogy”; 2008, NGS Conference.
- Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA, “Honesty, Courtesy, and Confidentiality: Ethics for Family Historians”; 2007 NGS Conference.
- Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA, ”The Genealogical Proof Standard: What It Is and What It Is Not.” 2011 NGS and FGS Conferences.
- Barbara Vines Little, CG, FVGS, FNGS, “Locating and Understanding the Law: An Essential Part of Good Research.” 2012 NGS Conference.
- Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA, “Okay, I ‘Got the Neighbors’—Now What Do I Do with Them?!!”; 2009 NGS Conference.
- David 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
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. The sessions are geared to intermediate and advanced practitioners and advocate professional standards.
Putting Skills To Work sessions occur the day prior to the opening of the National Genealogical Society Conference. It is not necessary to register for the entire NGS Conference to participate. The $110 registration fee includes two in-depth presentations, hands-on exercises, syllabus, handouts, and lunch. Sessions typically book to capacity before the NGS Conference registration deadline.
The 2013 Putting Skills To Work is scheduled for 8:00 to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, 7 May, at Las Vegas, Nevada. The theme of 2013 Putting Skills To Work is “Walk in Your Ancestor’s Footsteps” led by Beverly Rice, CG, and Connie Lenzen, CG. Standard 24 of the BCG Standards Manual will form the framework for the day.
Beverly Rice will lead a session on “The Path To Change And A Better Life—Migration.” Migration is more than a trail and the lives of a family; it is the growth of a country, the settling of a nation, and the creating of history. It is a whole package, not just one element. Without historical context, a life account is barren with only names, dates, and locations; the history is there for us to discover.
Beverly Rice is a teacher and lecturer in historical and genealogical topics with a special interest in western migration, women’s experiences in the West, and research methodology with an emphasis on breaking down brick walls by getting the most from each record. She received her bachelor’s degree from Portland State University in social science with an emphasis on women’s studies and United States history.
In her first career, Beverly was associated with the banking industry. She currently serves on the board of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), as the Director of American Studies and Director of Curriculum Development for the National Institute for Genealogical Studies, and as volunteer liaison and coordinator of the Mosher Award under the aegis of the BCG Education Fund. Beverly is a popular lecturer in the APG's webinar series Discussion Group Meetings. Additionally, she teaches genealogy and banking courses at a local community college on a part-time basis and beginning in 1981, continues to serve as a volunteer librarian for the Coos Bay Family History Center. She is a former trustee and treasurer for the Board for Certification of Genealogists. She qualified as a board-certified genealogist in 1998. In Beverly's shadow life, she and her husband, Gary Goodson, own and operate the Pancake Mill Restaurant on the beautiful Oregon Coast.
Connie Lenzen, CG, will lead the session on “Historical Context: More Than A Timeline.” The historical and geographical landscapes where ancestors resided shaped how they lived, where they went to market, whom they met and married, where they recorded land sales and marriages, and the location of their final resting place. When ancestors are put into historical context, the reasons behind their actions and solutions to kinship problems become clear. As an added bonus, they become real people rather than just names and dates. Putting Skills To Work participants will learn how to locate information about the historical events that shaped ancestors’ lives and to weave those events into a narrative.
Connie Lenzen's genealogical career began when her grandmother brought some old diaries down from the attic. The question, "Have you seen what is in Grandpa's diary?" opened up a world of mystery and intrigue as she pieced together the family stories. It led her to discover the fascination of placing ancestors in time and place. It made history into a real entity because her people were surrounded by that history.
Connie is certified by the Board for Certification of Genealogists and a past trustee and president of that organization. She is a member of the BCG Outreach Committee and list administrator for the BCG ACTION mail list.
Connie has served as a National Genealogical Society Director, and lead editor and writer of the NGS Home Study Course. She authored the NGS Research in the States guide, "Research in Oregon, " and has written articles for the award-winning NGS Quarterly. Her articles are analyzed and discussed by several online study groups who are in training to become board-certified genealogists.
Connie has served on the boards of local and state genealogical societies and has provided volunteer service for many other societies. She operates a genealogical research company, Lenzen Research. Her favorite projects are those where the people are placed in historical context.
Proposals and suggestions are welcome from any interested party for future Putting Skills To Work. The roster of Putting Skills To Work instructors is
- 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
- 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
- Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA, “Genealogical Documentation: What, Why, and How,” 2008; “Editing Your Own and Others’ Genealogical Writing,” 2012
- 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
- Sharon Tate Moody, CG, “In the Law Library,” 2011
- 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
Donald Mosher Memorial Award for Colonial Virginia Research
This competitive $500 Award was established in 2001 by Merrill Hill Mosher, CG, of Oregon, honoring her late husband. 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.
The roster of Mosher Award recipients is:
- 2010 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.
- 2009 Selena Mayes DuLac, Henrico County, Virginia, Land Patent Abstracts with Some Plat Maps, vol. III.
- 2006 James Lively of England for his study identifying the 16th and 17th century English origins of the Underwood family of Virginia.
- 2005 James Winter Petty, CGRS, AG, for his work extracting headrights from Virginia county records.
- 2002 Selena Mayes DuLac, Henrico County, Virginia, Land Patent Abstracts with Some Plat Maps, vol. I.
Trustees and Supporting Associates
The BCG Education Fund is administered by Trustees and Associates who dedicate their services without remuneration.
Stefani Evans, CG, Trustee
Barbara J. Mathews, CG, Trustee
Patricia O’Brien Shawker, CG, Trustee
Kathy Gunter Sullivan, CG, Trustee
Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, Trustee
Beverly Rice, CG, Donald Mosher Memorial Award Administrator
Donn Devine, JD, CG, CGL, Counsel
The BCG Education Fund has always been led by talented Board-certified associates. The roster of former Trustees and supporting Associates is:
Mary McCampbell Bell, CG
Bettie Cummings Cook, CG
Kay Haviland Freilich, CG, CGL
Marty Hiatt, CG
Kay Germain Ingalls, CG
Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA
Joy Reisinger, CG
Beth A. Stahr, CG
George B. Handran, JD, CG, Counsel