The series, initiated in 2007, honors Helen F. M. Leary of North Carolina, Certified Genealogist Emeritus and a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists, known for her richly informative and entertaining lectures on methodology, law, writing, and the art of lecturing.
Throughout her distinguished career, Helen F. M. Leary has worked to educate all serious genealogists. Helen embodies personal and professional work standards that the BCG Education Fund seeks to emulate and to instill in those practicing the art and science of genealogy.
Helen served twenty-three years as a Trustee of the Board for Certification of Genealogists. She served as President from October 1989 to October 1994 and again from October 1998 to October 1999. She designed the certification logos used today by Board-certified associates. With Thomas W. Jones, Helen edited the BCG Genealogical Standards Manual. She developed and coordinated the Professional Genealogy Track at Samford University Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research. She was editor and contributing author of North Carolina Research, a unique publication existing only for the state of North Carolina, which provides genealogical research guidance transcending geographical boundaries. Helen wrote several chapters of Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians including the chapter on lecturing. Her extensive scholarly publications include the seminal National Genealogical Society Quarterly study “Sally Heming’s Children: A Genealogical Analysis of the Evidence.” Interviews with Helen are featured in the National Genealogical Society’s popular video series “Paths To Your Past” at https://www.ngsgenealogy.org/.
The 2019 Leary Lecture at the National Genealogical Society (NGS) Family History Conference in St. Charles, Missouri, 8–11 May 2019 will feature Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FGNS.
The Advance of Research Habits over Recent Decades—And the Downside
The Internet, other technological advances, indexing projects, and DNA testing have revolutionized how genealogists conduct research. Have they also have promoted counterproductive research habits?
Tom has been pursuing his ancestry since 1963. For the first twenty-five years he was clueless about what he was trying to accomplish and how to do it. When he started climbing the genealogy learning curve he repeatedly experienced the challenges, joys, and rewards of tracing ancestors reliably and of fully understanding their lives. Tom eventually became an award-winning writer, board-certified genealogist, editor of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, recipient of honors from genealogical organizations, and author of the textbooks Mastering Genealogical Documentation and Mastering Genealogical Proof. Using his nearly lifelong teaching career as a springboard, he enjoys teaching at weeklong genealogy institutes, weekend seminars, and local, national, and international genealogy conferences.
Photo credit: Shelley Lewis
Roster of Helen F. M. Leary Distinguished Lecturers
Laura Murphy DeGrazia, CG. “Why Is ‘Reasonably Exhaustive Research’ so Important to the Genealogical Proof Standard?” 2010 FGS Conference.
Donn Devine, JD, CG, CGL. “Case Studies on Applying DNA to Family History Research.” 2008 FGS Conference.
Kay Haviland Freilich, CG, CGL, FNGS. “Research Strategies That Work.” 2014 NGS Conference.
Ruth Ann Hager, CG, CGL. “Speaking of Genealogy.” 2008 NGS Conference.
Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA. “Honesty, Courtesy, and Confidentiality: Ethics for Family Historians.” 2007 NGS Conference.”The Genealogical Proof Standard: What It Is and What It Is Not.” 2011 NGS and FGS Conferences.
Barbara Vines Little, CG, FVGS, FNGS. “Locating and Understanding the Law: An Essential Part of Good Research.” 2012 NGS Conference.
J. Mark Lowe, CG, CGL, FUGA. “Who Owned the Cow? and Other Common Conundrums: A Reasoning From Evidence Example.” 2015 NGS Conference.
Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA. “Okay, I ‘Got the Neighbors’—Now What Do I Do with Them?!!” 2009 NGS Conference.“Can Trousers, Beds, and Other ‘Trivial Details’ Solve Genealogical Problems?” 2013 NGS and FGS Conferences
David Ouimette, CG, CGL. "Growing Trees with Good DNA-Case Studies in Genetic Genealogy." 2018 NGS Conference.
David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FIGRS, FUGA. “Proven Research Strategies that Transcend Geo-Political Boundaries.” 2009 FGS Conference. “Ethics in Genealogy – Professional and Personal,” 2016 NGS Conference. “Ethics in Genealogy – Commercial Products and Services,” 2016 FGS Conference.
Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL. “Rainbows and Kaleidoscopes: Inclusion as a Professional and Personal Genealogical Standard,” 2017 NGS Conference. “Rainbows and Kaleidoscopes: Inclusion as a Society and Corporate Genealogical Standard,” 2017 FGS Conference.
Patricia Walls Stamm, CG, CGL. “Expanding Your Genealogical Skills Through Education!” 2010 NGS Conference.
Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA. “Is There a Professional in the House?” 2012 FGS Conference.