Well it is official!! Today I received my certificate of completion from Boston University’s Genealogical Research program. I am now officially a member of OL10, the tenth group of students to complete the online program in December 2012. There is also a resident program that can be taken in Boston.

Continuing education in any profession is vital to staying up to date with current research in the field and to refreshing and expanding one’s skill sets.  Professional genealogy is no different and there is a wealth of educational opportunities available.

Boston University’s program is the first one that I have completed and was amazing.  It was a challenging and intense 15 week program.  The faculty that teaches the program were equally fantastic.  The faculty included Melinde Lutz Byrne, Thomas W. Jones, Elissa Scalise Powell and Allison Ryall along with a great group of TAs.

The program hits the ground running and never looks back.  Weekly assignments and message board posting requirements kept us busy, this is definitely not a beginners course (there is an Essentials Course offered by BU for beginners).  Through the postings, students got to know each other and learn from each other’s areas of expertise.

I highly recommend the program to anyone who is looking to learn or advance your research skills. Regardless of whether you consider yourself a professional genealogist or you are simply looking to apply professional methodologies to your family’s history, the Genealogical Research certificate program at BU will not disappoint.

Currently I am enrolled in the NGS Home Study program, which is a home study course on three CDROMs which can be completed at your own pace. I am also a member of a PROGEN study group, which is a small group of individuals who over a nineteen month period, with the guidance of a mentor and coordinator, work their way through Elizabeth Shown Mill’s Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers and Librarians.     

The NGS and PROGEN courses have different feels (and experience levels – the NGS program begins at more of a beginners’ level whereas the PROGEN course assumes a certain mastery of basic research skills), but both strive toward the same goal … furthering a participant’s knowledge, expertise, and proficiency in genealogical research so that work produced for clients, publication or for our families stands up to professional standards.

The NGS and PROGEN programs will be the topic of a future posting … for tonight … I am enjoying the feeling of having officially completed the BU program.  Now where am I going to hang this certificate?!


  1. Genealogical Appointments

    Dear Barry,
    Congrats to you on this accomplishment. It is wonderful and you should be proud. I do hope that you are enjoying and learning from the ProGen Group as I am in it also.
    Always, Debbie F

  2. Colleen G. Brown Pasquale

    Barry, Congratulations! Our daughter graduated from BU. A great place. I think I should learn more about the genealogy program there. Colleen

  3. Sharon

    Well Done Barry. I want to do some type of study in Genealogy but haven't decided which course to undertake and of course the time factor is important too! Thank you for the links.