Category Archives: Speaker

TGP 14 Carol Baxter – Writing for a Wide Audience

Featured Guest

Carol Baxter

Pursuing thieves and murderers through the ages is just an average day for the history Carol Baxter, author and genealogistdetective, Carol Baxter. Like Dr Who, she hunts ordinary individuals who unwittingly had such an extraordinary impact on their world that the consequences changed the course of history; then she brings their stories to life as ‘true-crime thrillers’. She is the internationally-acclaimed, award-winning author of An Irresistible Temptation, Breaking the Bank, Captain Thunderbolt and his Lady, and The Peculiar Case of the Electric Constable. She is also the author of Writing Interesting Family Histories, with more genealogy ‘how to’ books in the pipeline, a speaker at genealogy conferences and cruises, a Fellow of the Society of Australian Genealogists and an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of New England.

Contact Links

Carol’s website – www.CarolBaxter.com

Bushranger Thunderbolt website

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

Listen to podcasts!”

Recommended Book

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

Productivity Tool

Microsoft Word – a great software program for writers

Advice

“Broaden your market by monetizing your knowledge. Become a speaker and then you can turn talks into books and sell them from the back of the room. That increases your exposure and your income.”

Action Item

Carol and I talked an awful lot about writing. This is a good time to stop and assess where you are with your own writing.  Do you like writing, does your writing skills need improvement, or are you terrified of writing and avoid it at all costs?

ACTION: Commit to writing every day for the next 7 days. Either choose an area that you need to work on or an area that you have no experience at all. Some types of writing you can choose from include writing client reports, writing an article for a magazine or writing blog posts. Remember you are doing this for yourself! You don’t have to show anyone the writing if you don’t want to. Commit to writing each day, one full item (article, blog post etc) each day for seven days.

At the end of the seven days you will have more practice, more experience and hopefully will feel more comfortable with writing. If we’re lucky you’ll decide that you want to continue writing past the seven days. Give it a try!

 

 

Direct Link to this post: http://www.TheGenealogyProfessional.com/carol-baxter

 

 

TGP 13 Leslie Brinkley Lawson – Forensic Genealogist

Featured Guest

Leslie Brinkley Lawson

Leslie Brinkley Lawson, full-time professional genealogist, specializes in forensic genealogy (missing & unknown heirs, probate research), providing due diligence and kinship determinations. Clients include attorneys, executors, guardians, banks, probate firms, private clients. She is a regional and national speaker.Leslie Brinkley Lawson - Forensic Genealogist

As a forensic genealogist Leslie Lawson has completed genealogy research for attorneys across the United States. She has a range of experience from proving family lines to reuniting family members as well as proving parentage for those unable to speak due to injury or disability [dementia, Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia].

Leslie currently serves as the President of the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy (CAFG) and President of the Oregon Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists. Visit her website: www.LawsonResearch.net.

Contact Links

Leslie’s website – Lawson Research Services

Facebook – Lawson Research Services

Leslie on Twitter – @llawson3967

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

  1. Join APG and fully investigate that website.”
  2. “Set goals for the month, the quarter and the year and have a close friend who is going to keep you accountable to those goals.

Recommended Book

Professional Genealogy edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills

Mastering Genealogical Proof by Dr. Thomas W. Jones

The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy by Val D. Greenwood

Productivity Tool

Drop Box – Tool for sharing large files

Mozy – Backup service for computer files

Snag It (by TechSmith) – screen capture software

Sunrise – Calendar App

Advice

“Create templates for everything. Create a template for your report form, for your citations using Evidence Explained. Make yourself a template of every citation you use on a regular basis.”

Genealogy Idol Competition video where Michael Hait describes creating macros for citations. (free to watch)

Action Item

Leslie talked about networking and finding cients. Are you doing everything you can to find new clients? Here’s a check list of active and passive ways to make yourself visible to potential clients.

ACTION: Go through the list and rate how you are doing in each area. Commit to making improvements in your weaker areas.

Passive

  • Do you have a full and complete profile on a Professional Organization Website? (such as APG, BCG, ICAPGEN)Do you have a website?
  • Do you have a social media presence? (Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+)
  • Do you have a business card (try VistaPrint for inexpensive business cards

Active

  • Do you respond to discussions on a professional association list?
  • Do you respond to queries on general genealogy lists? (such as surname or geographic specific lists)
  • Do you participate in groups on LinkedIn where you’re target clients are active?
  • Have you joined societies related to your niche and volunteered so that you get to know other members?
  • Have you advertised online or in print magazines where your target clients are known to spend their time?
  • Do you write a blog related to your expertise?
  • Do you network?

What other ideas can you come up with that I’ve left off the list?

 

Direct Link to this post: http://www.TheGenealogyProfessional.com/leslie-lawson

 

 

TGP 12 LaDonna Garner – Reaching Out to Clients

Featured Guest

LaDonna Garner, CG

LaDonna Garner, CG is a historic preservationist, researcher, and volunteer focusing in the Southeastern Missouri area. She is the St. Louis Genealogical Society’s African American Special LaDonna Garner, CG - Genealogy and Historic PreservationInterest Group Leader, and a member of several organizations including the Association of Professional Genealogists, the Association for Gravestone Studies and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Board-Certified in Genealogy in 2006, Garner has been researching her family history for nearly 30 years. Her current focus surround projects of recording the history of cemeteries in Missouri African-American communities, client assistance in genealogical brickwalls and consultations in historic landscape preservation. Her passion for cemetery preservation was inspired by her interest in family lineage and role as Founder/Secretary of the Mt. Zion Cemetery Board to preserve Mount Zion Cemetery, Festus, Missouri which was established by African American settlers in the circa 1880s and closed in circa 1973.

She  is former vice president and editor of Jefferson County (Missouri) Genealogical Society and a member of St. Louis (Louisiana) Genealogical Society. She is a graduate of the National Genealogical Society (NGS) course – American Genealogy, the National Institute on Genealogical Research (NIGR), 2009 and attendee of the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR).

Contact Links

LaDonna’s website – Leafseeker Consulting

Leafseeker blog – blog.leafseeker.com

Leafseeker Consulting on Facebook

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

Take advantage of local or state or even online business management courses.

Recommended Book

A Graveyard Preservation Primer by Lynette Strangstad

Productivity Tool

Adobe PDF – For sending clients files and reports in a printable format

Advice

“Overall, whatever level of genealogy you want to do and whatever aspect you want to focus on for your business, I say you go for it no matter who tells you you can’t and not matter who looks at you like you’re crazy because it all works out.”

Action Item

LaDonna talked about several obstacles she has encountered during her career such as working in isolation and helping her local community become comfortable with her genealogy services.  There are many obstacles that we face both when we are starting and growing our genealogy business. They vary from the voice in your head that says you can’t do this to the voice of friends and family that say you shouldn’t embark on a career in genealogy. Other times obstacles can include your desire to become certified before opening up shop or a mismatch in services to local needs. It’s time to tackle these obstacles head on!

ACTION: Make a list on paper of all the obstacles that are preventing you from starting your genealogy business or keeping you from moving forward. Next take each obstacle one by one and determine how you are going to work around it. Will it be by creating a plan to get certification? Or perhaps by finding a mentor who can guide you through the bumps? Or perhaps you will focus on how you can explain to your loved ones why this is important for you and then show them your business plan! By writing down your obstacles you can clearly identify them and then you can specifically determine how to remove them so they won’t hold you back.

Direct Link to this post: http://www.TheGenealogyProfessional.com/ladonna-garner/

 

 

TGP 11 Israel Pickholtz – Jewish Genealogy in Israel

Featured Guest

Israel Pickholtz

Israel Pickholtz – A Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-born genealogist who has been living in
Israel since 1973. His personal research includes single-surname research in Galicia (formerly Austria, now Ukraine) as well as families from Slovakia, Poland, Belarus, Hungary and later in the US, UK and Israel. From there he developed skills relating to more general Jewish genealogy, including Holocaust research.

Israel  has participated in grave translation projects, searches for missing relatives and Genealogist Israel PickholtzHolocaust-era insurance claims, as well as traditional genealogy research using European, American and Israeli sources.

His most frequent assignments from Israeli sources involve locating and photographing graves, locating living people, Mandatory Citizenship records, records for Galician residents in the 1920s and 1930s, inheritance matters and Holocaust research.

He has lectured at the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) conferences on Jewish Genealogy in the United States, as well as other subjects in Israel.

Israel has served on the Board of the Israel Genealogical Society, as Secretary of Gesher Galicia and as Town Leader for Jewish Records Indexing-Poland (JRI-Poland). He currently serves as Secretary of the Professional Jewish Genealogists Group.

Contact Links

Israel Pickholtz on Twitter – @allmy4parents

Israel’s blog – allmyforeparents.blogspot.com

Israel Pickholtz on the Association of Professional Genealogist’s website

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

Comment on other people’s blogs. Put your name out in any way you can that doesn’t make you look like a fool.

Recommended Book

My 15 Grandmothers by Genie Milgrom

Productivity Tool

Drop Box – File Sharing
Gmail – Israel uses Gmail as a spam filter

Advice

“Write and write and write and get your name out there. If you can do a blog, do a blog.”

Action Item

Israel mentioned in the interview that he contacted me by leaving a comment on this blog.  This is a great idea to get started interacting with the genealogical community, both before and after you become a professional.

ACTION: Your action item this week is to start interacting with the genealogical community by leaving comments on other people’s blogs. First, target a type of blog that is of interest to you. Perhaps that would be an ethnic blog like an Italian genealogy blog or location focused such as one on the state of Nebraska.  Then go to  Geneabloggers.com, a blog directory site founded by Thomas MacEntee, to find blogs on your topic.

Next start to “follow” (read them regularly) those blogs. Notice how frequently they publish new posts.  Lastly, provide thoughtful responses in the comments to what you have read in the blog post.  You are now on your way to building relationships with others in the genealogical community!

Direct Link to this post: http://www.TheGenealogyProfessional.com/israel-pickholtz

 

 

TGP 10 Michael Strauss – Diversifying Services

Featured Guest

Michael Strauss, AG

Michael L. Strauss, AG – Professional Genealogist, Author, and Lecturer — is an Accredited Michael Strauss, AGGenealogist for the Eastern States Region with the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGEN). A native of Pennsylvania and a resident of Virginia, he has been an avid genealogist for more than 30 years.

Strauss holds a BA in History and is a U.S. Coast Guard veteran. He is a recipient of a grant from the Foundation for Coast Guard History in Spokane, WA and received a research scholarship from the General George C. Marshall Foundation in Lexington, VA.

He currently serves as President of the Virginia Beach Genealogical Society since 2012. In addition he is a published author and is currently an expert witness in kinship estate matters in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Strauss is an approved genealogist for the United States Army to locate DNA-qualified family members of MIAs from WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam and is a licensed Private Investigator in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

He is a Civil War re-enactor with the 99th New York Infantry. He also likes to appear at lectures in uniform and with real artifacts in order to give the audience the most realistic experience possible.

Contact Links

Michael’s website – www.genealogyresearchnetwork.com

Frederickburg, Pennslyvania History website –  www.fredpah.com

Information on Civil War Re-enacting – Camp Chase Gazette

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

Look at different records that you haven’t been exposed to before.

Productivity Tool

Drop Box – File Sharing

Google Drive– Collaborative File Sharing

Advice

“Genealogy is full of serendipitous moments. Let your ancestors find you because they will.”

Action Item

Michael is both an Accredited Genealogist and a licensed private investigator. He would like to obtain his CG as well because he believes strongly in furthering his education.

ACTION: Explore educational opportunities and licensing that could diversify and further your career.  Would you benefit from obtaining a CG or an AG? Are you interested in discovering what’s involved in becoming a licensed private investigator?

Determine what certifications and/or licenses might fit in with your business and future business goals.  Next, find out what is involved in achieving these goals. Then plan a time line for when you might realistically achieve these goals. It could be now, in three years or even in ten years. Determine what works best for you.

Direct Link to this post: http://www.TheGenealogyProfessional.com/michael-strauss/

TGP 9 Shauna Hicks – Genealogy Down Under

Featured Guest

Shauna Hicks

Shauna Hicks has been tracing her own family history since 1977 and worked in government for over 35 years in libraries and archives in Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne. Since retiring, she has written a number of family history guides and is a Shauna Hicks on the Genealogy Professional podcastregular speaker at genealogy cruises, conferences and seminars. She now operates a small part time research and consultancy business Shauna Hicks History Enterprises at www.shaunahicks.com.au and is the author of the blog, Diary of an Australian Genealogist.

Shauna has a number of tertiary qualifications from Queensland universities including a Master of Arts in Australian Studies, a Graduate Diploma in Library Science and a Diploma in Family Historical Studies from the Society of Australian Genealogists. She is a Fellow of the Queensland Family History Society; a recipient of the Australian Society of Archivists Distinguished Achievement Award and the Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations’ Services to Family History Award.

Contact Links

Shauna’s website – www.shaunahicks.com.au

Shauna’s blog – Diary of an Australian Genealogist

Shauna on Twitter – @HicksShauna

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

“Buy a good book that gives you a base knowledge of what you intend to build your business on.”

For example in Australia this book would be the book Family History for Beginners and Beyond by Heraldry and Genealogical Society of Canberra.

Productivity Tool

Drop Box – File Sharing

Evernote – “Remember Everything with Evernote”

Advice

“Just Do It. But don’t do it in isolation.”

Action Item

Shauna talks about the isolation of working as an independent genealogist.  Also lacking is the support team that comes from working in a regular office environment. This week’s action launches from Shauna’s suggestion to build an online network.

ACTION: Get yourself a free online account if you are not online already. Some of the online social networking sites that have a community of genealogists include Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Once you have an account check with some other genealogists you know from your local genealogical society or historical society and see if they are on the site as well. Then send them a request to connect.  From there start building your online network.

If you really don’t want to get onto social media you can complete this task by arranging to meet some genealogy friends or colleagues weekly, face to face, for coffee, tea, lunch or whatever you like. But the frequency has to be enough that you build a support network. Quarterly is too infrequent to build a strong network.

Direct Link to this post: http://www.TheGenealogyProfessional.com/shauna-hicks/

TGP 8 Linda Woodward Geiger – New England Roots

Featured Guest

Linda Woodward Geiger, CG, CGL

Linda Woodward Geiger is an associate of the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG), Linda Woodward Geiger, CG, CGLholding credentials as a Certified Genealogist (sm) and as a Certified Genealogical Lecturer (sm). She is a nationally known speaker, author, and historical researcher. She has spoken at genealogy conferences and seminars in over twenty-five states, and has served as a coordinator and staff member of a variety of courses at the Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research (IGHR).

She currently serves as president of Friends of the National Archives Southeast Region (FNAS); as hostess for webinars sponsored by FNAS and serves as their webmaster.

Linda specializes in federal records; Georgia’s state and county records; and training researcher’s in methodology standards. She is also recognized for her work documenting Cherokee Heritage.

Contact Links

Linda’s website – www.woodward-geiger.com

Linda’s blog – Woodwards WeSearch Blog

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

“Make sure you join a local genealogical society and it doesn’t matter if you have ancestors there or not!”

Recommended Book

Tracing Ancestors Among the Five Civilized Tribes  by Rachal Mills Lennon 

Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (volumes 1 & 2) by NARA

The Preliminary Inventories for Federal Records of what’s available at the National Archives – Here is an example from Heritage Books

Productivity Tool

Drop Box – File Sharing

Evernote – “Remember  Everything with Evernote”

Advice

“Don’t ever take down any information without having the source citation. Keep a research log.”

Action Item

This week’s action item stems from Linda Woodward Geiger’s last piece of advice where she advises not to take down any information without having a source citation.

This week your action item, if you choose to accept it, is to practice gathering the citation information before you study original documents or images of original documents.  This is for online and offline research. As well, when you check a source but do not find anything you need to write that down too!  See if you can consistently do this for an entire week and you will be well on your way to great genealogical research habits!

TGP 6: Kathryn Lake Hogan – The Canadian Genealogist

Featured Guest

Kathryn Lake Hogan

Kathryn Lake Hogan is the professional genealogist, author and educator behind LOOKING4ANCESTORS, the research business she started in 2007.Kathryn Lake Hogan

A graduate of the National Institute of Genealogical Studies where she studied Canadian and English genealogy, Kathryn has earned the Professional Learning Certificate in Genealogical Studies. She has completed the ProGen Study Group, and has attended the Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research annually since 2011.

Starting with her own family history research over 10 years ago, Kathryn has not only made genealogy her passion, she has also committed herself to helping others discover the joys of family history and how to locate their own ancestors.

Kathryn enjoys speaking both nationally and internationally at local, and provincial/state Digging Your Canadian Roots by Kathryn Lake Hogansocieties, and regional conferences. Her webinars featuring Canadian family history topics appeal to family historians from around the world.

Kathryn is the author of Digging Your Canadian Roots, as well as having written fifteen guides featuring Canadian research topics for Legacy Family Tree.

Giving back to the genealogy community is important to Kathryn. She was the branch genealogist for the Bicentennial Branch of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada for six years. Currently, she is involved with the Ontario Genealogical Society as a member and as the webinar coordinator.

You can check out Kathryn’s website at: www.looking4ancestors.com or follow her on Twitter: @Look4Ancestors.

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

Contact a professional genealogist and ask them a question.

Recommended Book

Finding Your Canadian Ancestors: A Beginner’s Guide by Sherry Irvine and Dave Obee

Productivity Tool

Dropbox and Google Drive

Advice

“Got for it.”

 

TGP 1: Lisa Alzo – Genealogy Speaker and Writer

Featured Guest

Lisa Alzo

Lisa A. Alzo, M.F.A., is a freelance writer, instructor, and internationally recognized lecturer, specializing in Slovak/Eastern European genealogical research, writing your family history, Lisa Alzo, genealogistand using the Internet to trace female and immigrant ancestors.

She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition from West Virginia Wesleyan College in 1987 and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Pittsburgh in 1997. Lisa is the author of nine books, including the award-winning Three Slovak Women, and hundreds of magazine articles. She has been published in Ancestry Magazine, Discovering Family History Magazine, Family Chronicle, Family Tree Magazine, Reunions Magazine, NGSNews Magazine, Western Pennsylvania History Magazine, and The Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly. Lisa is a contributing editor for Family Baba's Kitchen by Lisa AlzoTree Magazine, and teaches online courses for Family Tree University and The National Institute for Genealogical Studies.

She is frequently invited speaker for national conferences, genealogical and historical societies, and webinars, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Federation of Genealogical Societies. An avid genealogist for more than 23 years, Lisa also chronicles her family history adventures on her blog, The Accidental Genealogist . Visit www.lisaalzo.com for more information.

Recommended Book

2014 Writer’s Marketplace by Robert Lee Brewer

Productivity Tool

Scrivener and Scapple both by Literature and Latte

Advice

“Follow your heart and work hard”