Saturday, March 15, 2014

Brief Overview of the Babinec project

So, you know how I mentioned that recently I've been focusing my efforts on getting my BCG portfolio prepared for submission? Well, I decided I would write about it on my blog.

One of the requirements for the BCG portfolio is that the work be completely your own; no critique, review, or help from others. The BCG wants to certify you for your own skills. It's not unlike a computer programming final exam where they expected us to not use the internet for help. In the real world, my computer programmer husband totally uses outside help. Crowd sourcing, forums, collaboration - these are just tools to solving a problem efficiently. They are also helpful in the real world of genealogy.

BUT...this isn't the "real world." This is the world of becoming certified by a world-class organization. Technically, I am allowed to publish posts on my blog that contain material that I would submit. However, when I do this, I get lots of feedback, lots of really great, helpful suggestions about what a word might actually mean, where to search next, etc. I don't want to do a ton of work and then have to not use it in my portfolio because somebody else gave me super helpful albeit unsolicited feedback. So, I've made a conscious choice to not blog the specific material that I want to submit in my portfolio.

Huh? I didn't I just say in my first paragraph that I want to write about my recent BCG portfolio efforts on this blog? Isn't that a contradiction?

Actually...no. Why? Because all that work I spent the past two months on, yeah...all that work...pretty much all of it...I decided I can't use it in my portfolio. Lots of reasons, mainly: it isn't the best display of my work. I don't have enough varied kinds of sources. I don't have enough solid evidence to "prove" my theories. It's good work, but it's not really portfolio-worthy, and sadly, it probably can't be because of the lack of available records for the village of Vlčovice. The parish registers start in 1720 and the land records start in 1764 - well, there are some Urbary records in the 1500-1650's, but they are too early. There's a 70 year gap of records.

I actually feel satisfied because I learned a lot from this experience. I was given the advice to never, never, never submit your first-ever client report in the portfolio; I suppose the same is true with the case study portion. And, even though it's not as strong as I would like, I have a case study. I gained a lot of experience with land records.

And now I have fodder for this blog for the next few weeks! So, that's good. The feedback I will get from these blog posts will help me with my BCG portfolio work.

The Babinec Project
Here's a brief summary of the project that I was working on. A friend and client's ancestors came from Mniší, Moravia. I found the marriage record for her direct line ancestor, Margaret Babinetz, in the neighboring village of Vlčovice. I wanted to trace her family back. I gathered all of the records of the Babinec/Babinetz's in that village, and figured out how they relate to each other. I gathered land records, transcribed and translated them, and was able to learn even more about the family.

Many questions and mysteries remain, and I intend to blog about them.

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