Stepping Into the Dark – Growing Genealogically

Stepping Into the Dark – Growing Genealogically

My last post I announced my rather ludicrous  ambitious plan to pass both the CG and AG next year. Realistic, maybe not – but it is motivating me to move forward, much like the quote:

“Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood.”  Daniel H. Burham

Looking at the mountain ahead of me is freaking me out, so I am only concentrating on the first step.

Step 1 – Becoming a Certified Genealogist:

  • Read by the end of December, all the recommended books and articles in Elizabeth Shown Mills “Ten-Point Study Blueprint” as posted in Angela McGhie’s blog here. (Many I have already read, so it isn’t as overwhelming as that sounds).
  • Choose families and problems for the kinship-determination project and case study.
  • Select a document for the applicant-supplied document work.
  • Send in the Preliminary Application and “start the clock” by Dec. 31,2013 – as I just learned that the price goes up from $50 to $75 on Jan 1, 2013.

I’m not as worried about the CG as the AG, not because one is easier than the other, but because I have been preparing for the CG longer. 

I may have to revise my plans later to just preparing for the AG all next year and apply for accreditation in 2014, but I will cross that bridge later – right now it is full steam ahead!

Step 2 – Becoming an Accredited Genealogist

  • Watch all the Mentoring class videos on the ICAPGEN website.
  • Read the Mentoring Class syllabus.
  • Attend the monthly Mentoring Class at the FHL.
  • Join the ICAPGEN Mentoring group on GenealogyWise,com
  • Read ICAPGEN’s new book: “Becoming an Excellent Genealogist” 
  • Begin log of research time, go through old conference syllabus and record classes taken, books read, etc.
  • Begin my Research Notebook. Since the written test portion is opened book, you want to create a very thorough and comprehensive research notebook. Since it is also a timed test, you want the notes to be short and concise. I need to see someone’s notebook. Note to self: Find that someone.
  • Select the 4 generation family to research and document.

My target date is to have these things done by the end of January 2013, preferably before SLIG, where I will be attending the Principles of Forensic Genealogy Course. 

Yes, I know it is holiday season. Yes, I know this is a lot of work. But, I chose this instead of returning back to school – this is my own personal graduate degree program.   

Not a lot of time for TV or messing around…but, I signed a contract right?
I’m sure I don’t know what I am getting myself into, which may be that my naiveté is a blessing here. Wish me luck, say a prayer, here I go into the dark.


  1. Good for you, Valerie! I’m seriously impressed. As much as I would love to join you, I have decided to put off both until I can commit more time (as in, after my daughter starts attending pre-school and is out of the house more). I’m very excited for you, though, and I wish you the best of luck. Keep us posted on how this is all going, if you have time! ~ Jen

  2. Jen, there is no way I could have done this when my children were that young. A time and season in all things right? I will keep everyone posted. I’d wait to be impressed!lol

  3. Good luck! I am sure you will meet your goals. And I LOVE the saying about growing into the person…..

  4. You go, Valerie! Going for both designations at once IS an ambitious goal, but breaking it down into steps like you’ve done here makes it seem more approachable. Good luck–we’ll be cheering you on!

  5. Thanks Jen and Shelley! I will need all the luck I can get.

  6. I love your site and how well it communicates. It immediately tells me I couldn’t qualify for AG even though I probably have a thousand hours. It’s undocumented. I wonder if a person could estimate it based upon results? I love your little twitter bird. How did you do that? I hope you pass your AG & CG. Good luck!!

  7. Ralph, I am going through all my old conference agendas that fortunately I had circled the classes I attended and saved and am adding them to my research hours. But, for each state in the region you need 80 hours, so I will document the hours it takes to put together my research notebook. I recently looked at some friends notebooks, they had 2 notebooks about 6 inches wide and weighted about 30 pounds! These are serious research notebooks, so putting those together will give you a good start on accumulating the hours needed.

    My cute twitter bird I got off some site, can’t remember where, but Google ‘twitter buttons’ and you will find some good ones.

    Thanks so much for your encouragement and nice words! Meet the nicest people through genealogy. Good luck on your own genealogical educational goals!

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