Genealogy/History Achievement Award Sponsored by ProQuest

ProQuest is awarding a citation and $1,500 to a librarian, library or publisher for professional achievement in historical or genealogical reference.

[Editor’s Note: this past weekend, while attending the Illinois State Genealogical Society‘s Fall 2015 Conference, we had the pleasure of sharing lunch with Helen Gbala who mentioned this great opportunity via ProQuest.]

Established in 1992, the Genealogy / History Achievement Award, Sponsored by ProQuest, presents a citation and $1,500* to a librarian, library or publisher, in recognition of professional achievement in historical or genealogical reference, service, or research librarianship. The recipient shall be selected for exceptional accomplishment in one or more of the following areas: leadership; service; training; reference; or publication of recent, significant print or digital reference works/projects that offer access to genealogical or historical sources. Preference shall be given to members of RUSA.

Submission Guidelines

Nomination materials should include the following:

  • A completed copy of the nomination form
  • Complete contact information for both the nominee and the nominator
  • Previous work experience (titles and employers)
  • An outline of service to ALA, RUSA and the History Section Service to allied organizations
  • Awards received
  • Publication credits
  • A narrative outlining why the nominee deserves the award; must go beyond a listing of the nominee’s credentials.
  • Any other information relevant to the nominee’s qualifications for this award

Questions may be directed to the committee chair, Helen Gbala,

Submissions must be received by December 4, 2015.

Questions should be directed to the committee chair, Helen Gbala,

*Monetary award amounts are subject to change without notice and are contingent upon donor funding supplied at the time the award is presented. Questions about these awards should be directed to the committee chairperson or to Leighann Wood, RUSA awards program coordinator, at

New Genealogy Software to Save Thousands of Man Hours

Ged-I is an innovative genealogy software that automates the extraction of ancestral information from genealogical texts.

[Editor’s Note: we received the following press release from Logique this morning – this new genealogy software product looks interesting!]

We live in an age of technology and information. Yet genealogy is still behind the times. It can take months, even years, for a genealogist to track down a single person. Many of them long to learn their family’s story, but can’t go forward until they find out who that person is.

Lorne Redmond is all too familiar with this problem. He has been doing genealogy work for decades and estimates that even the names and information he has on hand today could take him up to ten years to catalogue. That’s an entire decade of work.

Lorne just doesn’t have that kind of time. With his programming background, he decided to come up with a different approach to the problem: Ged-I.

Ged-I (which stands for GEDCOM Interpreter) is an innovative genealogy software that automates the extraction of ancestral information from genealogical texts. It takes a process that currently takes months, even years, and condenses it into a matter of hours.

Nothing like this currently exists. Ged-I is the first of its kind.

Ged-I is still in the development phase.   Logique LLC, the creators of Ged-I, is running a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo starting October 23, 2015, to accelerate development and get the product out to the people who need it.  You can find more info here:

And there are some great rewards available as well. As a backer, you can get access to the software before it is available to the general public, or become affiliated with the software. And, for a limited number of high-tier backers,  you can even get help writing your own family story!

For as little as $5 you can help Ged-I become a standard part of genealogical research.

Ged-I: Where will your family’s story lead?

©2015, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.

Genealogy Do-Over – Week 3, Cycle 4: 16-22 October 2015

National Archives UK researcher

Click here to download this article in PDF format.

Previous topics in the Genealogy Do-Over:


[Editor’s note: Much of the text below is unchanged from the original Week 3 posting on January 16, 2015 except for my personal updates.]

Topics: 1) Tracking Research and 2) Conducting Research

With the third week of the Genealogy Do-Over, this is where, as genealogists, we “come home” to our favorite place: research. We get to actually take the information from our self interviews and family group sheets and use it to find evidence to prove or disprove relationships and what I call “data points.”

Do you remember returning home for the first time after a long absence, such as your first semester of college or on your first military leave? Things changed, didn’t they? Maybe your mother converted your room in to a sewing room or your father claimed it as his den or “man cave?” I hate to tell you this . . . but with the Genealogy Do-Over, coming back to research will never be the same. Now you’ll be asked to set up a To Do List (your research goals), track your research, and more. There will be data to enter, items to transcribe and eventually, thinking and analysis required!

This is how genealogy success is made. Most of you are part of the Genealogy Do-Over to change old research habits and to improve skills. What was is gone; long live the new research methods. And long live success.

Besides, haven’t you heard that you can never go home again?

* * *

Tracking Research

One of the main issues I’ve had with my OLD genealogy research method: I would not track data when I found it. I would simply enter it in my database, perhaps mark it as UNSOURCED and then tell myself I’d clean it up later.

NO MORE! With the Genealogy Do-Over, the goal is to track your goals, what you want to prove and then – after collecting as much related evidence as possible – evaluate that evidence and prove a fact. Once proven, then it is entered into a genealogy database software program or an online tree. Solid information with solid source citations make for solid trees that don’t fall over.

Genealogy Research Log

I have a genealogy research log that I use and that I recommend. It is an multi-sheet Excel file that can be imported into Google Drive as well as Numbers for Mac users. Past participants in the Genealogy Do-Over have stated that the file converts cleanly in many programs, even Open Office.

Some genealogists have asked if I could create a similar research log in another program such as Microsoft Word since some people find spreadsheets difficult to use. Due to the nature of tracking information and the need for a very wide table, Word just doesn’t lend itself to a good genealogy research log format. Another option is to place all the fields in a “fillable form;” however, you would then have to create a new document for each record located. And then, how can you quickly see what you’ve found? Open and close a series of documents?

What you decide to use for a genealogy research log is up to you. If you’ve been opposed to using spreadsheets in the past, I just ask you to give the research log above a try.

  • What I Plan to Do: For Cycle 4, I am continuing my research on my grandparents and great-grandparents, tracking To Do items, searches and results.
  • “All-In” Participant Options: Review the research log above including all the worksheet tabs. Decide if you want to use this research log format or create your own. If using your own, include the fields you think are most important to track when doing genealogy research.
  • Modified Participant Options: If you have never used a research log before, consider using the format above or creating your own. Another option is to see if your preferred genealogy database software has a way of tracking research; some have a To Do List option, others have something similar to a Research Log.

Conducting Research

Once you have your research goals and a way to track them, then you’re ready to research. This means both offline research at archives, libraries and repositories as well as online using various free and fee-based resources.

  • What I Plan to Do: I am continuing to track down documents and evidence for each proof point on my To Do List. Right now the focus is on gathering the information, making sure I can remember where it came from and working on source citations and evidence evaluation at a later time.
  • All-In Participant Options: Using whatever tracking form you’ve selected, make sure you enter your research goals. Then start your research (with yourself and your birth date, birth location, etc.) and for each record found, make sure each one is entered and tracked. Copy a link to the record if it is online – you will want an easy way of returning to the record without having to do a search again. Make sure you extract as much information as possible from the record.
  • Modified Participant Options: With your current research, start with yourself. Check to see that all information is accurate, based on your self interview, and make sure each point of data can be tied to at least one record. If something is missing a corresponding record – like a birth location – then mark it as “unsourced” and add it to your To Do List for further research.

* * *

I’ve also added the Genealogy Research Log file over at the Genealogy Do-Over Facebook group. Early next week, I’ll post about my progress and share my actual research log for you to see how I set up research goals and track my research.

Next Week: Week 4, Cycle 4 – 23-29 October 2015

  • Managing Projects and Tasks
  • Tracking Searches

Thanks for being a part of the Genealogy Do-Over and your feedback is always appreciated. You can email me at or post at the Genealogy Do-Over Facebook Group.

©2015, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.