Friday, November 11, 2011

ProGen Study Group - Choosing a speciality

Last month I joined ProGen 14 and I think I am really going to enjoy it.  This is a great opportunity for genealogists hoping to move from advanced family historian to professional genealogist, something to which I do aspire. ProGen 14 has three groups of 8 members each.   Members come from all over the US and from a number of foreign countries. I've had several opportunities and have been putting it off because of the time commitment. Eighteen months with monthly assignments that can take up to 20 hours - A little off putting but I finally jumped in and I think it will be great.

The first question I am approaching is how will I manage a research specialty? My personal research is all east of the Mississippi.  That's a big area and between my family and my husband's we've covered a lot of it, but, I live in California.  On-site research is only possible here and I have much less experience in California research.  I'm also not sure how big a market there is for California research. Well, I'll have to see. 

To begin with, I'm increasing my experience with California research and records.  I've been working with the Orange County California Genealogical Society on their Civil War soldiers project. It's a great project and lets me research in California Records.  I've also started to do Family Search Indexing and am currently working on the California Great Voting Register 1866-1910.   I'm hoping that over time there will be a number of different California records to index. 

I want to talk to some other professional genealogists in California and see how they handle the distance if their specialty is not California. Most California families trace back to at least the mid-west by the beginning of the 19th century or later. My own family did not come to California until my parents who both came separately after World War II and met here. A lot to think about.

1 comment:

Amy Coffin, MLIS said...

I bill myself as a general US researcher, but make sure people know I live in Houston so they'll think of me when they need research assistance in the area.

I have a need for California research and believe there is a market for it.

If you ever want to practice your skills, let me know and I'll give you some of my real research issues. They're in LA, Riverside, San Bernardino and Imperial counties.