We’re just back from RootsTech 2018 and what a wonderful week it was! We chatted about Genlighten with many booth visitors, did a bit of personal research at the Family History Library, and topped things off by taking our college son to dinner on the way home. All three were a treat.
Booth neighbors are part of the conference experience and this year, as I talked with them during the slow times when attendees were in class, it struck me that each one has something to offer Genlighten providers or those who are thinking of becoming one.
So, let me introduce them.
The ResearchTies booth was directly across from us and president and CEO Jill N. Crandell spent many busy hours introducing the website–an online research log tool–to conference attendees. On the last day, I caught her in a free moment and asked her to demo the site for me. It’s perfect. Genius, in fact. And I mean that sincerely.
Earlier this year, I was able to move back three generations from a long-time end-of-line individual on our family tree simply because I was ready to apply a methodical research approach to solving the problem.
Research logs are important. Critical! We know that, right? But most of us also know from experience how easy it is to slack off on keeping them.
ResearchTies provides a simple, powerful, inviting, and I suspect painless, way to up the quality of our research logs. I signed up for the 14-day free trial, and I suspect I will be happily authorizing the $30/year payment to continue to use the service when it’s done.
It seems to me that this online tool could help professional genealogists work more efficiently and effectively which makes it relevant to those who market their research services on Genlighten.
The ICAPGen booth was next to ResearchTies. Their mission statement is “…to advance family history/genealogy work around the world by accrediting and promoting genealogy professionals who are competent, ethical, and reliable, and to work to promote the preservation of genealogical materials.” 
I will be finishing up ProGen in July of this year, and I am deciding where to go next. So, I had a chat with the folks at this booth. The accreditation process is rigorous, requiring, among other things, focused preparation, a four-generation project, and both oral and written exams.
We don’t require Genlighten providers to be accredited or certified, but we expect members of our network to strive for the standards that these credentials represent. It’s important to us that the researchers on our site to maintain a high level of professionalism.
The National Institute for Genealogical Studies booth was to our left and we had many an enjoyable chat over the curtain that divided our spaces. The Institute offers a broad range of courses that can lead to a certificate in a particular area of genealogy research–too many to mention here, so I won’t even try. But check out the course listing page to get an idea of the variety of study opportunities for researchers at all levels.
On-going education is important to genealogists. For those who are thinking of testing the professional waters by offering services on Genlighten, the National Institute for Genealogical Studies courses would offer a solid foundation from which to work. And for those who are already offering client research, they might open up new ways to serve clients’ needs.
Our next chance to exhibit will be at the National Genealogical Society conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, May 2-5, 2018. See you there!
 “Mission Statement,” The International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (https://www.icapgen.org/about-icapgen/mission-statement/ : 6 March 2018).