Taking the first steps on the road to certification...

"Why don't you do this for a living? What do you have to do to become a professional genealogist?"

That's what the ever-persistant Samuel has been asking me the past couple of months and I finally relented and sent away for the application packet for the Board for Certification of Genealogists because the truth is, I love doing this. It goes beyond a hobby for me. When I don't have anything to research on my own family line, I trace my friends' families. When I get stuck on theirs, I pick a celebrity or some famous figure to look into. I love doing it, and even though I'm still learning new things every day about how to do it better, I think I have a knack for it. I have good instincts about leads. I get feelings about information I can't yet prove, but when I do prove it, I was usually right. (Not to brag! Lol...)

Anyway, where was I going with this? Oh right, Sam was being annoying, but supportive and probably right. If you can make money doing something you love, you should. And beyond that, if you have a gift, which I believe I do, what a waste to not share it with the world and use it to help other people. When I was able to show Sam's mom ship passenger lists with her grandfather on it, it backed up pretty much all the stories her family had ever told her about the man, who left the family before her father was even born, and also shed light on new information about him she had never known - what he looked like, who he worked for, what town in Sicily he came from. But their reaction to my "finding" him again just makes me want to do this even more, and validates my feelings about what I do.

Board for Certification of Genealogists website: http://www.bcgcertification.org/