Sunday, August 29, 2010

Love genealogy but looking for something more?

Do you love genealogy?  The hunt is addicting and success is even more exhilarating. But sometimes it can be frustrating too.  There reaches a point when genealogists need something more.

For me that came in the form of the ProGen Study group.  This study group allows genealogists to work in small groups to expand their knowledge, thus sharing and growing with their peers, all the while learning about genealogy from the "master source" - Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers and Librarians, edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills.  The project is coordinated with the very able leadership of genealogist Angela Packer McGhie.

Now don't get scared away that it says Professional Genealogy.  You can participate even you don't want to take clients.  Perhaps you'd just like to higher level skills to track your ancestors.

When I participated in ProGen I believe it was ProGen 5.  Each group session is numbered based on which "generation" of the group it is.

So what makes ProGen so great?

Well, it's the people.  Each group is small, say around 6 people. Each group also has a leader and there is a moderator who is typically a Certified Genealogist.  Every month the group reads a chapter from the book Professional Genealogy and then there is an assignment to complete based on the chapter.  Later in the month the participants get together online for a discussion of the chapter and the assignment.  Since this is a peer-based program assignments are shared with each group member so that they can comment and learn from each other.

I found the interactions with the other group members to be one of the most satisfactory parts of the program.  I developed a wonderful group of colleagues. And the discipline of reading and completing an assignment each month enriched my genealogical skills.

So if you are looking for something more head over to the ProGen website to find out further information.  When I took the class it was free.  I have heard that they are now charging $38 but there is no indication of that on the website.


  1. I was in ProGen1 and I can second everything Marian said about it. Angela has provided a great opportunity. I really miss it.

  2. Hope to be able to do this after life settles down some.

  3. I will definately check it out. I'm interested in pursuing the genealogy certificate at BU, but the course is very expensive. Plus I have an MLS, almost 20 years of library experience, and have been at genealogy for a while now. I hate to spend all that money if I'm already sort of ahead of the curve. The ProGen Study Group sound like it would be PERFECT for me. Thanks so much for your interesting post.

    By the way, I heard you speak at the WPL Genealogy Conference back in the spring. I really enjoyed your talk about poverty records. Very interesting...

  4. I'm in the group right now, and I'm learning so much and loving every bit of it. It has already helped me in so many ways to improve so that I am able to conduct my research and finish my reports quicker. It has been a fabulous group!