One of my favorite parts of the BYU family history conference is getting to know Accredited Genealogists and professors from the BYU family history department. This year as we attended, we reflected about the difference this conference has made in our lives. Two years ago Diana attended for the fist time and took the ICAPGen classes about becoming an accredited genealogist. She made a friend who then became a study buddy throughout the process. Later that year, the conference planners contacted us to come to the conference as official bloggers. We were thrilled at the opportunity of reporting on the conference and going to the ICAPGen classes again, learning about methodology, and attending the ICAPGen networking luncheon. We talked to so many AGs, went to their classes and learned at their feet. The conference is small, giving you chance to talk to the presenters.
This year at the conference, Diana gave five lectures. She completed the oral review and was awarded the Accredited Genealogist credential just two weeks ago. In each class, she shared with the audience that she finished the process, and they cheered for her! It’s incredible to think about her journey and how influential the BYU conference has been. If you are at all interested in becoming an AG, make sure you come next year!
This year at the ICAPGen networking luncheon again, we recognized many of the AGs. It’s a rare opportunity to sit at the table with professionals who have been awarded the AG credential in the same region that you are interested in. I’d like to become accredited in the mid-south region (someday) and I was delighted to learn from friends Melissa Finlay and Lisa about their research in the same region. Melissa has worked extensively in Kentucky and we discovered that our research overlaps counties that was fun to discover. Also at our table was Kelly Summers, former testing committee chair and Michael McCormick, coordinator of the study group committee. (You can view all the volunteer positions with ICAPGen here.) We talked about Michael’s forensic genealogy business and Kelly’s transition to the UGA board.
After the last lecture of the conference, I had the privilege to meet Kip Sperry, emeritus professor of family history. He formerly served as supervisor of the BYU student Family History Lab and was the family history area coordinator for Religious Education from 1991 to 2016. Kip has recently published a book about family history in Hancock County, Illinois. His book is called Nauvoo and Hancock County, Illinois: A Guide to Family History and Historical Sources and has published many other books and articles as well.
You can read more about Kip at his website: www.kipsperry.com. He is accredited in the midwest region with ICAPGen and can still be found lecturing at genealogy and family history conferences. Talking with him was a delight. One friend that I was chatting with said that about 30 years ago, she was 15 years old and saved up $10 from babysitting jobs to attend one of Kip Sperry’s lectures in Florida about Ohio genealogy research. She saw him again for the first time at this conference and had fun reminiscing.
If you would like to meet wonderful genealogy professionals and professors, the BYU conference is a great place to be.