Category Archives: ICAPGen member spotlights

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Meet Nicky Smith – Accredited in U.S. Great Lakes

We would like to introduce you to Nicky Smith, AG®, who recently earned her accreditation in the U.S. Great Lakes region.

We asked Nicky a few questions about her accreditation process, area of accreditation, and advice for those seeking accreditation. Here is what she shared with us.

What motivated you to pursue accreditation?

About ten years ago, I had the opportunity to attend the National Genealogical Society Conference in Salt Lake City.  I learned about the accreditation process and knew I wanted to challenge myself to work at those high standards. I knew I wasn’t at that level, and I dove into learning the proper way to research.  

What are some challenging or unique aspects of researching in your area of accreditation?

Choosing the Great Lakes Region was a no-brainer for me.  I love the history of the area–especially Ohio. Ohio is a major crossroad of pioneers early in the United States history.  With so many different groups moving into or through Ohio, there is always something wonderful to find.  

What advice do you have for those pursuing accreditation?

Many people who heard I was pursuing accreditation asked me which college program I attended.  Although I have a BA in English Literature, I have relied on webinars, conferences and institutes to prepare for accreditation.

Several years ago, I found a group of other individuals pursuing accreditation and they have been a wonderful support system.  For those looking into accreditation, I would suggest:

  • Participating in an ICAPGen Study Group!  The ICAPGen Study Group leaders and mentors give individualized attention and help you refine one generation of your Level 1 project and help you prepare for the Level 2 & 3 testing process.  
  • Finding at least two people to review your Level 1.  A researcher in your area of accreditation and a researcher outside your area of accreditation–both will help you identify areas you can improve your report from different perspectives.

When did you receive your accreditation? What research projects are you involved with now, or have planned for the future?

I received my AG on 11 February 2020.  Now that I am officially an Accredited Genealogist, I find myself in that strange transition stage.  For now, I will continue working with the ICAPGen Study Groups, and the BYU Family History Library Training Committee.  I also hope to volunteer more with ICAPGen, and would love to become a presenter at conferences like the BYU Family History Conference.  (I’ll dream bigger like RootsTech in a few years.)  

Is there anything else you want to let us know about your genealogy experience or activities?

Melody Diasson, AG (Southeastern Region of the United States) and I will be presenting a webinar on May 5th for the Utah Genealogical Society ProTalk series on “The Benefits of Participating in an ICAPGen Study Group.”  I’m really excited for this opportunity and all the other opportunities being an Accredited Genealogist will bring! 

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Meet Terri E. Lindquester – Accredited in Southeast U.S.

Terri E. Lindquester was accredited in the Southeast Region of the United States in September 2019.  Terri is a former Associate Professor of Mathematics at Rhodes College in Memphis.  She also served as Chair of the Department of Mathematics and was the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs while at Rhodes.  She was previously an Associate Fellow of the Institute of Combinatorics, a reviewer for grant proposals for the National Science Foundation and served as President of the Rhodes Phi Beta Kappa Chapter.  She holds a B.S. degree and Ph.D. in mathematics from Emory University. 

What motivated you to pursue accreditation?

I have always been awestruck by the passage of time and the history it leaves behind in its fascinating, carved-out path.  Even as a child I searched around my small town for antique collectibles and asked questions about people from the past.  The preservation of history through the discovery and analysis of old records particularly interests me.  I have been pursuing genealogy for about 20 years now, and I felt that accreditation with ICAPGenSM would help me become better at finding, interpreting, and preserving historical records.  I want to more clearly understand my family’s role in their snippet of history.

What are some challenging or unique aspects to researching in your area of accreditation?

Many records in the Southeastern states were destroyed or have been stored indefinitely in spaces where conditions are odious. There are several small towns and communities that do not have the resources to keep or restore historical documents.  Disorganization of some records makes them very difficult to find, and often sections or issues of records are missing.  For many years, large areas in the Southern United States were primarily agrarian, populated by farmers who did not keep precise records or who could not make the long trip to the courthouse to register an important event.  Much analysis is needed with these records to establish family relationships.

What advice do you have for those pursuing accreditation?

Study the advice provided by the professionals on the ICAPGenSM website and utilize their videos and other resources offered that support the accreditation process.  It is a long road, but building streamlined study guides and practicing testing in a strictly timed environment helps a great deal.

What research projects are you involved with now or have planned for the future?

My most immediate goal is to return to my own family history and use what I have learned from the accreditation process to reexamine and extend my work for those family lines.  I also want to refine my organization methods for the records and books in my collection.  (As Mary E.V. Hill, AG®, stated on her website, “Genealogy is fun when you can find things!”)

I am currently working for the American History Company conducting genealogical research to help the United States Army locate family members of our soldiers from past conflicts who are still considered unaccounted-for.  It is very rewarding work and an honor for me to be involved in this extensive, ongoing project of the United States Army. There is a quote attributed to Winston Churchill that resonates with me. Scholars have debated his actual words, but it is commonly stated as, “The further backward you can look, the further forward you can see.”