Building Advanced Skills

Building Advanced Skills

For those of us looking for greater knowledge in genealogy and family history, “Building Advanced Skills” is a lifelong pursuit. In the twenty-first century, we are challenged everyday to keep up with all the new developments in the genealogical field at a rapid-fire pace. These include start-ups and existing companies developing new products; greater and ever-widening access to new records and databases through digitization; and more open doors to manuscripts, archives, and libraries as they become aware that treasures they hold are of use to family historians.

Building Advanced Skills will challenge many of us, but if we approach this stage having prepared ourselves with a solid foundation in genealogical techniques and principals, we will enjoy the new challenges. Among the important skills outlined in this section, family history researchers will learn techniques for solving difficult problems of identity. A good place to start is by referencing Tom Jones’s workbook Mastering Genealogical Proof and using Aaron Goodwin’s recommendation on analyzing complex problems of identity with spreadsheets.

Genetic Genealogy in Practice is an excellent guide through the DNA maze of information and offers analytical approaches on how to find potential relatives with our test results. And if you are thinking of becoming a professional genealogist, we have provided a blueprint to help you evaluate if you are ready.

The suggested educational elements below are just the beginning. NGS will continue to add to its product offerings and the Free Genealogy Resources, which we make available for everyone.

NGS’s pathways Getting Started, Going to the Next Level, and Building Advanced Skills are flexible so each researcher may review the suggestions and follow them exactly, or move between the lists to build genealogical skills—choosing where you need to learn more, to personalize your learning plan.

Building Advanced Skills:

  1. Mastering Genealogical Proof 
  2. “Using Spreadsheets as Research Tools” by Aaron Goodwin in NGS Monthly
  3. Genetic Genealogy in Practice
  4. Indirect Evidence for the Identity of Richard Andrews” by Jean Andrews in NGS Quarterly.
  5. Becoming a Professional Genealogist. Are You Ready?
  6. CGS: Federal Land Records (NGS online course)
  7. Evidence Explained
  8. Calculating Dates and Date Ranges” by Laura Murphy DeGrazia in NGS Monthly.
  9. Numbering Your Genealogy
  10. Surname Shapes and Sounds: Circumnavigating Spelling Variations, Mistranscriptions, and Clerical Errors in Electronic Indexes” by Aaron Goodwin in NGS Monthly
  11. The Perils of Accepting Copies of Original Records at Face Value” by Julie Miller in NGS Magazine.
  12. Genealogy Standards 50th Anniversary Edition, 2014 from the Board for Certification of Genealogists.
  13. Which Marie Louise is Mariotta? Sorting Slaves of Common Names” by Elizabeth Shown Mills in NGS Quarterly.
  14. Genealogy and the Law
  15. Attend the annual NGS Family History Conference in St. Charles, Missouri, 8-11 May 2019 where you can choose from more than 150 lectures in four days. Bernadette Casey from Colorado, who attended the 2018 conference in Grand Rapids, said “The NGS Conference offers an incredible opportunity to learn from so many experts, I want to attend every year!”