Monthly Archives: January 2014

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 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 –

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”


“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.

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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 –

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”


“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 7 Sheri Fenley – Genealogy California Style

Featured Guest

Sheri Fenley

Sheri Fenley is a professional genealogist from Stockton, California who specializes in the genealogical research of North Central California with an emphasis on San Joaquin County. She also focuses on lineage society applications.

She is a member of numerous organizations including

Sheri Fenley, the Educated Genealogist

Sheri is an alumni of the ProGen 1 class completing the course in 2009.  As well, she did two years of coursework at the Institute for Genealogical and Historical Research  (IGHR) at Samford University.

She is the editor of the San Joaquin Genealogical Society newsletter and author of the popular blog “The Educated Genealogist” which was voted as one of Family Tree Magazine’s Top 40 Blogs.

More Alphabet Soup

SLIG – Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (sponsored by the Utah Genealogical Association)

GRIP – Genealogy Research Institute of Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania)

 Contact Links

Sheri’s website –

Sheri’s blog – The Educated Genealogist

Follow Sheri on Twitter – @sherifenley

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

Start a blog.

Recommended Book

Genealogy as a Pastime and Profession by Donald Lines Jacobus and

Pittfalls in Genealogical Research by Milton Rubincam

Productivity Tool

Google Hangouts – Google Hangouts allow you to have a video conference with up to 10 other people (for free).


“Jump in with Both Feet”

Action Item

This week’s action item is about getting to know an archive and its staff. Sheri Fenley talked about the importance of getting to know the staff at local archives.

For this action item first choose a local archives or research library in your local area. Next schedule to visit the archives daily for a week. If you can’t go during the week then go on consecutive Saturdays.  You will make progress just having the staff see you return multiple times. You will make more progress if you introduce yourself to the staff, ask them for a brief tour or ask for their procedures and policies.  These will all act as ways to help you interact with the staff.  After your week of visits or multiple Saturdays you should be well on your well to getting to know the staff at one of your local archives or libraries!

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: 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


“Got for it.”