NIGS & “Google for the Wise Genealogist”

It has been a busy week.  Among many other things, I’ve been catching up on my genealogical education and training. I finished up and tested in the National Institute for Genealogical Studies (NIGSonlinene course, “Google for the Wise Genealogist.” (Got a 97.5%) It was a free course, apparently intended to have potential students learn what lessons with them might be like.

The sample offering was on a topic that I already know much about – Google.  I use Google in so many ways in my genealogy. Besides the obvious uses of Google Search and Google Maps, I use Google Drive and often create documents, spreadsheets, and other items in Google Docs, Google Sheets, etc. Basically, if I am planning on sharing a document, I use Google. I don’t use Google Scholar as much as I probably should. I have a Google Blog (Blogger web site), D. Taylor’s Food & Travel. Additionally, my genealogy blog (Don Taylor Genealogy) began life as a Blogger blog until I migrated the information to a WordPress site. I don’t use Google Patents Search as much as I should. I did find where my wife’s father patented several things but didn’t find where my grandfather supposedly patented some fishing items. (Family Oral History indicates that he patented a fishing lure.)  Anyway, I think I use Google Patents when I should as the need arises.

I think NIGS did a good job going over all of the Google tools that exist and highlighted uses that genealogists would actually find Google useful for.  The course had assignments and a final test to show understanding and competency in the material presented.

The “Google for the Wise Genealogist” course is one of the elective courses that can be used in pursuit of a Certificate in Genealogical Studies. Such a certificate requires nine compulsory basic courses, nine compulsory intermediate courses, ten required advanced courses, plus 12 elective courses. Receiving their top (American) certificate takes 40 classes.  At between $71.25 (one-time payment for all) to $89.00 per class (one at a time), the total cost to receive the “American Certificate in Genealogical Studies” runs between $2,850 and $3,560.

That said, NIGS has many other certificates, such as “Librarianship” and “Methodology” you can achieve along the way.  The real key to NIGS Courses is to know what you want. Are you looking for a certificate?  If so, this might be a way to receive one.  On the other hand, if you are looking for training and experience in a particular area of study, such as Probate Records or Military Records, taking individual, specific classes might be useful in your studies.

Logo of the New England Regional Genealogical Consortium I’m still behind in my genealogy training goal, but I should catch up in April when I attend the New England Regional Genealogical Consortium (NERGC) conference.  I’m signed up for sessions every period of the conference from the time I arrive to when I expect to leave. Also, I’m an “official blogger,” so I’ll be blogging about my experiences, doing a couple interviews, and taking some pictures. It should be grand.

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