[APG Public List] Who Are We, Really?

Jeanette Daniels jeanettedaniels8667 at yahoo.com
Sat Oct 3 19:50:38 MDT 2009



Amy,

Thanks for your input.  I went to my first NGS conference based upon the titles of a couple of speeches and was really surprised.  My husband and I spent over $1,000 to attend because we wanted to see what was happening on the national level with genealogy.  We really enjoyed the exhibits and Paul (my husband) enjoyed some of the presentations but was really bored with most of them.  He expected a higher level rather than the presumption that he knew nothing.  

I went to the presentations I really thought would be interesting because I had done a great deal of research in those topics.  Long story made short - the first presentation was given by a woman who said that she had a Ph.D in psychology.  She claimed to have written a book about her topic but that her suitcase with the books in it had been sent on to another city.  Supposedly she only had her carry-on luggage.  I managed to get one of the 20 photocopies with the advertisement for the book that had only recently been published.  

As she gave her very entertaining presentation, it because obvious to me that she didn't know what she was taking about.  When I questioned her about sources, she could only say that the person who painted her house had told her where to find things.  Or that she had figure out relationships by looking at old photographs.  It was a very strange lecture to me.  There was a representative from NGS taking notes and evaluating the lecture - which by the way, was very entertaining and going over very well with the eager beginners in the audience who trusted everything she said.  I was so concerned at the end of that lecture that I went to a book company in the vendor hall to find out if she had a copy of the newly published book.  She looked up the ISBN on the flyier and told me that her computer brought up another book with a different author that had newly been published.  The title was off by one word.  Maybe a mix up had happened.  However, I
 was told that the publisher of the book that couldn't be found was Betterway Books and that Betterway had its own booth and probably could straighten out the problem.

I went to Betterway Books and presented the flyier.  There was more than one person manning the booth and when the first person couldn't find that Betterway had published anything with that title or by that author, she called over another person at the booth that had more knowledge about the company.  The second woman was shocked to see the flyier and wanted to know immediately where it came from.  I told her that I got it from the author and that she had presented a lecture at the conference just 20 minutes earlier about her book.  I was informed that the presenter's book idea had been turned down by Betterway because it was not up to the standard that Betterway expected.  

I then asked to find out who was responsible for screening presenters at the NGS conference and was referred to that person.  I told her what Betterway had told me.  She was shocked and I took her to the Betterway booth to confirm what I was saying.  I then asked how she screened the presenters.  It came down to being impressed with the PhD credential and the phony flyier.   The information on the flyier was never checked and never was the PhD credential.

The next speaker that I wanted to see also presented information on a similar topic.  At least that is what I thought from the title of the lecture.  The lecture was very entertaining and was more of an historical narrative rather anything genealogical.  At the very end, that presenter showed a document showing an important moment in his ancestry.  

I visited with the second present to find out why he had not gone further back or explained the genealogy involved.  He did not know what to do with the document as far as using the information to go further back.  

My point is that I can't tell anything about the presentation from the title.  My personal experience was quite negative and I wouldn't pay the money to go to another national conference based upon titles alone.

Jeanette  


________________________________
From: Amy Crow <amy at amyjohnsoncrow.com>
To: Jeanette Daniels <jeanettedaniels8667 at yahoo.com>
Cc: apgpubliclist at apgen.org
Sent: Sat, October 3, 2009 8:14:36 AM
Subject: Re: [APG Public List] Who Are We, Really?

How any one judges a particular presentation is, of course, up to the individual. However, those *topics* -- regardless of how they are presented -- are *not* for those at the "basic elementary level." Would you tell a rank beginner to start with something beyond the Dawes Rolls, or to take a stab at Congressional hearings? Would you expect someone at the basic elementary level to listen to (let alone understand) a lecture on inferential genealogy? 

This isn't to say that there are some who would like to see even more in-depth/advanced presentations at national conferences. What I'm trying to point out is that there are some already there and that national conferences are not just for those at the "basic elementary level."

Amy



On Oct 3, 2009, at 10:02 AM, Jeanette Daniels wrote:

Amy,
>
>We are all at different levels of research experience, and what seems like a more advanced presentation to one, isn't to another.  I can't tell anything from the titles as to whether the presenter will be presenting his topic in depth enough for me to be more than entertained. 
>
>The suggestions yesterday were for more in depth presentations that if needed would last more than 50 minutes.  Or that these presentations cover material in more specific ways than usually happens in the national conference format.  National conferences can stay the way that they are and be there for the general public, beginners and those who think that the conference presentations are at a higher level.  Obviously, not everyone feels this way.  Those who need something beyond should be allowed to explain their thoughts and desires.
>
>Jeanette
>
> 
>
>
>
________________________________
From: Amy Crow <amy at amyjohnsoncrow.com>
>To: Jeanette Daniels <jeanettedaniels8667 at yahoo.com>
>Cc: Rolgeiger at aol.comapgpubliclist at apgen.org
>Sent: Sat, October 3, 2009 7:47:17 AM
>Subject: Re: [APG Public List] Who Are We, Really?
>
>I don't think it is accurate to say that the national conferences "want to keep them at the basic elementary level for the benefit of those just starting in genealogy." In looking over the program for last month's FGS conference in Little Rock, for example, I found these topics: "Murder and Mayhem on the River: The Life of the Harpes," "Beyond the Dawes Rolls," "Congressional Hearings: A Primer on This Valuable Resource," "Genealogical Application of Historical GIS," "Women and the Law," "Researching the Family Business," "Inferential Genealogy," "Negro Soldiers of Antebellum Louisiana".  
>
>
>I don't think you can classify any of those as being at the "basic elementary level for the benefit of those just starting genealogy."  (There were several other such topics, but I didn't think anyone wanted me to enumerate all of them.) 
>
>
>The difficulty in planning the program for a national (or even a state) conference, as has been mentioned before, is that there is a **wide** variety of attendees. Some are novices; others are professionals. Most fall somewhere in between at any point on spectrum. 
>
>
>Amy Crow
>
>
>
>
>On Oct 2, 2009, at 10:52 PM, Jeanette Daniels wrote:
>
>Dear APG Public list,
>>
>>I have truly enjoyed reading all the comments by everyone about Who Are We, Really? as well as the National Conferences.  It is great to have this type of dialogue.  It appears that those involved with the National Conferences want to keep them at the basic elementary level for the benefit of those just starting in genealogy.  Others would like a more what I call a "Continuing Education" type of conference where detailed studies are presented in methology or research.  I believe that both are beneficial.  I've been thinking how everyone that wants to be included could without a lot of expense and ways that those who want to share can without again a lot of expense. 
>>
>>I'm thinking of Roland in Germany and Larry in Canada as well as the fact that in the US we live in at least 4 different time zones.  How can we all contribute to a presentation that we feel would benefit others and avoid having all interested from spending a lot money to attend?  The Internet is my answer and I believe that Internet Continuing Education type conferences can be created cheaply.  I work with Heritage Genealogical College and it would be possible to create an APG or independent conference online through its website.  HGC could donate space and create conference presentation locations on its site.  Or if APG wanted to create something on its website that would be great as well.  But I'm not sure that APG is willing or able to do something like this.
>>
>>If anyone is interested in something like this and in coming up with topics and presentations, please respond.  I believe that everyone that wants more detailed presentations can be included.  Below are some suggested general topics that might be interested to explore with such online conference presentations. 
>>
>>Cemetery plot research
>>
>>Land title disputes
>>
>>Missing heir research cases
>>
>>Forensic and anthropological research
>>
>>Medical DNA research
>>
>>Historical research
>>
>>Specific genealogical research projects
>>
>>Improving the Genealogical Proof Standard
>>
>>Thanks,
>>
>>Jeanette
>>
>>
>> 
>>
>>
>>
________________________________
From: "Rolgeiger at aol.com" <Rolgeiger at aol.com>
>>To: apgpubliclist at apgen.org
>>Sent: Fri, October 2, 2009 4:58:05 PM
>>Subject: Re: [APG Public List] Who Are We, Really?
>>
>>In einer eMail vom 03.10.2009 00:33:42 Westeuropäische Normalzeit schreibt mary at heirlines.com:
>>Is genealogy a viable occupation?  Should we have a profession for the practitioner? Why is there no profession in genealogy?   Who would benefit from having a real profession in genealogy?  What is stopping us from starting now and organizing a real profession in genealogy?  Why shouldn’t we organize a profession so we can have the authority in Professional Genealogy  to establish best practices, standards, ethics, education degree programs, competency testing and verifiable maintenance, continuing-education, verifiable practitioner credentialing, members-only profession practitioner and trade organizations?  With a real profession in genealogy, what would be the exclusive practitioner title?  
>>Yeah, and once you have all that, what about us on the other side of an U.S. border? Why should we care about what you consider or what you arrange?
>>
>>Here in Germany genealogy is more or a less a hobby. There are some very few of us who do it for money and there are a majority of others who look at us with ravaging eyes stating on every opportunity they have how much they don't like what we do. To be a professional may be a reason to be excluded from one of the many German genealogical forums.
>>
>>But like in the States everyone of us professionals has never passed an examination or something like that. There is a group of professionals who joined in a specific associtiation with its own "Code of Honor". I got an invitation to join them but had no opportunity yet to visit one of the conferences during which the accept new members. But there would be no need to join them to work as a professional researcher. I've been working in the matter for at least 15 years, specialising in emigration to the US (because I speak English :-) and other stuff. So - when the company I worked for - fired me five years ago, I became a professional researcher. Among other things. I went to our Public Record Office, told them about the company I would like to found (you need a company to be able to sell your own written products), payed the fee of 30 Euros - and there was I facing the world through my computer and said: "Hello, here I am!" Well, some came, other
 didn't or haven't yet. :-)
>>
>>You are lucky in the States. Genealogy is a common thing overthere on high level. Here it's not much more than just another part of historic research (I know a lady here in our county, historian by trade, who would never to genealogy, oh my goodness, no such things - but that's less arrogance but ignorance - in case there is a difference). People are not used to spend more money in that subject than necessary - necessary would be fees for the Public Record Office or the dioces archives or national or city archives. Costs you cannot avoid. They pay without hesitation. But if you (or I) offer the same service - maybe cheaper - well, that's not the same.
>>
>>Oops, it's getting late (one in the monring).
>>
>>Good night.
>>
>>Roland Geiger
>>
>>Roland Geiger
>>Historical and Genalogical Research
>>Alsfassener Strasse 17
>>66606 St. Wendel
>>Germany
>>phone ++49 - 6851-3166
>>email rolgeiger at aol.com
>>www.geiger-roland.de
>>
>>=> genealogy
>>=> local history
>>=> transcriptions (f.e. old German into modern)
>>=> guided tours through St. Wendel County (uhm, St. Wendel, Germany!)
>>
>>_______________________________________________
>>APG Public Mailing List
>>http://apgen.org/publications/publiclist/
>>
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