I graduated from BYU with a degree in Family History-Genealogy in 2000, with the goal of accrediting shortly thereafter. However, my husband was still finishing his degree, and we had a toddler and another baby on the way at that time. So, while never leaving genealogy research and projects behind, I did put my professional goals on pause for the next 17 years. At the beginning of 2017, the time seemed right for me to dust off those goals and pursue accreditation again.
The Mid-South region of the US is challenging for researchers because records were inconsistently kept, and folks were migrating often to find the perfect land to settle on. The Civil War and natural disasters have had a significant effect on records in certain portions of this region as well. That being said, discovering family trees in this region is like a great, challenging puzzle and I find it immensely rewarding to fit the puzzle pieces together.
If you would like to pursue accreditation, I highly recommend that you begin writing reports every time you sit down for a research session. Act like you are your own client, if it is personal research on your own family lines. As part of that report writing, add footnotes with complete source citations for the documents you find, discuss and examine in your report. These two things, report writing and source citations, will help you immensely in the accreditation process.
I really enjoy teaching intermediate genealogy methodology classes and have taught at several conferences over the past two years. I plan to continue, and expand my teaching opportunities.
Now that I have an open block of time each week (that was spent on accreditation work), I plan to fill that with more genealogy research and book writing.
My great-great-grandmother, Bertha Ruschek Wesler Barton, is my brick wall ancestor. I have not yet been able to locate her before her second marriage to my great-great-grandfather, William Coleman Barton, in Missouri in the 1860s. I am now expanding my research to include associates and neighbors to determine her first marriage and origins.
As a recipient of many family history treasures over the past 27 years, I have several books I wish to write about various families and individuals in my tree as a way to preserve all of this information. I am currently organizing materials and deciding which project to take on first!
I write at two genealogy-related blogs:
I share tips, methods, news, events, and general encouragement for fellow genealogists at: http://boundlessgenealogy.com/
I share mine, and my husband’s personal family history tree, stories, photos and videos at: http://finlayfamily.org
I completed accreditation in January 2018.