They said, “keep a Journal during this unprecedented “period.” I did not.
They said, “learn to play an instrument or learn another language”. I did not. They suggested, “Don’t spent all day on your devices.” I did.
Well not all my time but a good chunk.

Since 2014 I have worked remotely from my home office for one major client, recently I’ve only put in about 20 hours a week. 99% of my work is on the computer. My social groups were important because it got me out of the house. Then along comes the pandemic and now with the physical distancing recommendations and working from home, when I needed to meet with clients I call a Zoom Meeting. My social groups were not meeting in person they were meeting on Zoom. My Zumba class had to start meeting virtual. So now I’m exercising on Zoom. If I need to meet with committee members I called a Zoom Meeting. More professional providers were making presentations on Zoom or hosting webinars. Lunch and Learn meetings were now on Zoom.

Every morning I check my emails for projects that need to be worked on. When I had an opportunity to work on genealogy I was online, checking out websites and thinking about better ways of solving my family puzzles and staying organized.
So what have I learned during this pandemic so far.

Number 6Dogs need social time too..

My dog missed playing with other dogs. We had gone to the dog parks at least once a week. All the dog parks were closed until just recently. Over the weekend we went for a drive and our dog got more excited than usual when we got near the dog park. When we pulled in to park the car he was so excited to see the other dog he could hardly stand it.

Number 5 – Hosting a Zoom Meeting

How to host a Zoom1 meeting. When the “ lockdown” came Zoom was the #1 platform for hosting meetings online. Some others included:, Go to Meeting, Skype, and Adobe Connect. There are also means of doing a telephone conference calls for a large number of people. The Zoom platform really took off and quickly adjusted to the volume and issues that manifested in the first weeks of the stay at home recommendations. The ability to interact, see your client and share your screen virtually was the minimum initial requirements. There are now even more Platforms that will met your virtual connecting needs.

Number 4Facebook Groups

The local genealogy society’s resources center has been closed and have cancelled the monthly meeting and presentations. The end of May they started a private Facebook2 group to help members stay connected. Genealogy Facebook groups are a great resource for getting help, sharing knowledge, posting upcoming events, and other items of interest to genealogist. I followed several, but had not posted on any. Depending on the Facebook group, members in the group can answer questions or do look ups for other members. There are groups for geographical areas, DNA, Genealogical societies, RAOGK (random acts of genealogical kindness) genealogy tips and techniques, genealogy bloggers, and many more. If you are on Facebook at all you may enjoy joining one of these groups. You might choose a genealogy group from an area where your ancestors lived.

Number 3You Tube

There is a YouTube3 for everything. If you haven’t discovered this, the site has a diy Video on everything. They are probably at least a half a dozen different people who have posted a “how to” on just about anything imaginable. Need to learn how to use that Zoom platform? Check it out on YouTube. I wanted to start a garden during the coronavirus lockdown, I checked it out on YouTube and found some helpful tips on YouTube.

Number 2 – Research like a Pro

Started reading “ Research like a Pro”4 by Diana Elder and Nicole Dryer. A mother / daughter genealogy team. I went ahead and joined their Facebook group. Working through the tasks in “ Research like a Pro“, I learned how to write a source citation following their simplified outline.
1. Who (created the source)?

2. What (is the name of the source)?

3. When (was source created)

4. Where (citation location within source)

5. Where (is the location of the source)?

6. When ( source was accessed)?

7. Whom (accessed source)?

Number 1 – What it takes to become a Certified/Accredited genealogist.

I was enjoying “research like a pro” so much I was considering becoming certified. I discovered while researching the process online that you can become either a certified genealogist (CG) through the BCG (Board of Certified Genealogist)_or an accredited genealogist (AG) through ICAP Gen or both.
Their process is very similar. The main difference between a certified genealogist and an accredited genealogist is the certification process tests the methodology and the accredited process you choose the region (area) that you want to specialize in i.e. mid atlantic states, southern states, or Ireland.

Certified Genealogist

So what does it take to become a Certified Genealogist.. There are six categories that are to be included in portfolio you submit for judging. The Portfolio is limited to 150 pages.

  1. Genealogists Code – signed and included in portfolio.
  2. Development Activities- Description of genealogy courses, institutes and other activities that have prepared you for Certification.
  3. Document work
    1. Transcription
    2. Abstract
    3. Research question
    4. Analysis of Data
    5. Outline research plan
  4. Research Report
    1. Utilize wide range of sources
    2. Include authorization for Research from client ( may be Pro bono)
    3. Include permission to be submitted in portfolio for certification
    4. Report as submitted to Client.
    5. Include Documents
  5. Case Study
  6. Kinship Determination Project
    1. 3 couples in successive generations

Accredited Genealogist

The Accredited Genealogist is required to pass 3 levels of testing with a score of 90% or greater ea..

  • Level 1
    • Read guide of IcapGen requirements and guidelines for their accreditation process
    • Review “Regional Resources” for chosen region.
    • Take the Accreditation Readiness Assessment online.
    • A 4 generation project self-assessment online
    • Payment of level 1 fees and Contact information form
    • Submission of four-generation project
  • Level 2
    • Score of 90% or greater
    • 2 part test sections with each section allotted 2 hours ( at a testing location on facility computer.
      • Document Interpretation from your selected region.
      • General knowledge of your region
  • Level 3
    • written exam “Final Project”. Time alloted is 2 hours.
    • Oral review upon completion of Level 2 and Written Exam of Level 3 with a score of 90% or better. Time allotted 2 hours.


Both paths to certification or accreditation taken take well over a year. Both processes are well outlined on their respective platforms. You may visit BCG or ICAPGEN website pages to learn more. Which path you take of if you end up pursuing both is a decision each individual will need to determine. For me I need to do a lot more learning from the professionals before jumping into either pool.


4Research Like a Pro a Genealogist’s Guide by Diana Elder, AG with Nicole Dyer, published by Family Locket Books an imprint of Family Locket Genealogist LLc, Highland, Utah (purchased May 2020) their website is: Family





2 thoughts on “6 Things I Learned during the 2020 Pandemic!

  1. I started listening to the Research Like a Pro podcast and it has become my favorite! I also bought the book and belong to their private Facebook group. They definitely have a way of inspiring one to become either accredited or certified.

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