ProGen and Continuing Education


I am very excited that I was invited in to the next ProGen study group, ProGen 25. It officially starts this month but we’ve had a month to kind of get to know each other. I was excited to see many of my BU classmates on the list too!

So what is ProGen? ProGen is a study group that works with the book Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers and Librarians, edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills. Now, I actually bought this book when looking into becoming a professional, before I started the blog My People in History even. This was the FIRST step I took to becoming a professional. This book is what brought me to blogging, the NGS Home Study Course, the Boston University course I mentioned above, and the NGS Conference. Really, it helped to bring me to where I am right now. Which, funny enough, brought me back to studying and re-reading this book with other genealogists. It must be kismet!

So what does ProGen entail? Each month we read one or two chapters from the book and complete writing assignments that go along with what we read. We submit these to our peer group who then read and review them each month. This conversation and peer review is what makes ProGen the fantastic opportunity that it is! Out of everything recommended to me in my path to certification, ProGen is probably mentioned the most as being the most beneficial opportunity.

Our goal this month is to create an educational plan. Here are some of my educational goals with a rough time line:

Institutes Wish-List

  • GRIP: Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh – I am hoping to take this next year and will probably focus on genetic genealogy.
  • NIGR – National Institute on Genealogical Research – I would love to take courses here on land records research. This may happen in 2017 since both NIGR and GRIP take place in July.
  • IGHR – Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research; SLIG – Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy: both of these are a “one day” kind of thing at the moment. They both have wonderful courses and a lot of benefit to me, but as institutes are expensive, right now I am just focusing on the first two that I mentioned.


Genealogy Journals

I have several subscriptions and my goal is to sit down with them and then study a case study like the NGS Monthly discusses. I plan on working on one a month right now and may up that as time goes on. This will help me with my genealogy writing and research process!


Have any of you taken an institute or participated in a conference that you feel is a must? Comment below with what and why!



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  1. Ann

    I’ll be at this year’s IGS conference and NGS conference, and the July GRIP on genetic genealogy. All will be firsts for me–and I share your wish list for the future!

    • NikiMarie

      You’ll have to tell me how you liked the genetic genealogy at GRIP! That’s my plan for next year 🙂

  2. My genealogy, could-be-a-student-forever heart is singing at the things you have planned! How exciting. I hope to follow in your footsteps one day.

    • NikiMarie

      That is sweet of you to say! I could easily rationalize becoming a professional student so this is also exciting to me. 🙂 I am looking to be certified so I’m hoping I’m on my way. Good luck to you in your endeavors!

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