About ProGen Study Groups

The History of ProGen

2007 to 2008 . . .  The Beginning

In 2007, a study group was formed to review articles published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. That initial NGSQ study group experience led Lee Anders to the idea of a peer study group using the first edition of Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians, edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills, as the study focus.
The core group began by studying a chapter or two each month and discussing it. About six months in, Lee Anders had some health issues and Angela Packer McGhie stepped up to create assignments and manage the group. Word spread about the popularity of this first group, and others wanted to join. A new group was started and named ProGen 2.

Technology Using Basecamp

By the time ProGen 3 was formed, participants realized that something exciting was taking place, and that technology could support their efforts. The Basecamp communication platform was adopted at that point as a way to submit assignments, share information, administer the program, and facilitate the monthly text-based chats.
Each month's assignment was distributed through Basecamp. To prepare for monthly “chats,” study group members wrote up their answers to each of the assigned chapter discussion questions. Group members would then meet each month in a designated “chat room” and as each question was asked "live" during the monthly hour chat, participants posted their answers in a group text meeting. Subsequent discussion ensued via text chat.
Interest continued to grow among those who wanted to study from the book Professional Genealogy and 3-5 new groups were organized each year. They are managed by a team of dedicated volunteers including Angela McGhie and then Rebecca Koford as the administrator, over 30 Certified Genealogists®  and Accredited Genealogists® that serve as mentors, ProGen alumni that serve a new group as coordinators, and many who have stepped up to be their discussion group leaders.

Angela's Vision

Over the years, some suggested that Angela convert ProGen into a profitable venture by charging higher fees, but the program is built on volunteers and colleagues helping each other to learn and develop business and writing skills. The fee has always been (and remains) nominal, covering only the costs of administering the program. At less than $100, ProGen is the most accessible virtual genealogy education available. Angela has steadfastly stood by what this independent education opportunity means to the aspiring genealogist.
As technology developed, the ProGen groups converted to live video meetings instead of text chats. This has helped participants get to know each other better and feel more comfortable offering monthly peer feedback on assignments. ProGen participants enjoy the advantage of interacting and getting to know each other “in person.” The opportunity to network and build relationships is often cited by ProGen alumni as a core benefit of the ProGen study program.

ProGen Alumni

Ashley Gonzalez

ProGen Study Groups, Inc.

Organizational Structure

ProGen is run by a group of volunteers at every level of the organization. The board of directors serve voluntarily, as do the other ongoing volunteers. Each group's administration - comprised of the mentor and coordinator - are also volunteers who generously donate their time to the education process so embraced by the ProGen heredity.

Legal Structure

ProGen is a non-profit entity registered in the state of Maryland as ProGen Study Groups, Inc. It was formally incorporated on 15 May 2020.

Connect With ProGen Study Groups

Our alumni, current students and fans stay connected with ProGen through our Facebook Page. You can too!  Check us out HERE




  • 2020 Logo Design – Samantha Koford
  • 2020 Website Design - DesignCrowd by pb - tanand79@gmail.com
  • 2020 Curriculum Review Team:  Pamela Anderson, Shannon Green & Cyndy Richardson
  • Website Development – Reed Powell
  • 2021 Locality Guide Procurement Team - Carolyn Williams, Barb Bombaci & Peggy Jude
  • 2021 Coordinator Tracking Sheet Development - Katie Crichton
  • 2021 Source Citation Updates - Shari Crandell



  • Suzanne Hoffman in honor of her ProGen 46 group, mentor Shannon Green and coordinator Kristine Smets

ProGen Alumni

Peggy Lauritzen
Peggy Lauritzen

Board of Directors

Angela Packer McGhie, CG®

Founder, Director and Past Administrator

Click on video to the right to watch Angela talk about the history of the ProGen program.

Rebecca Whitman Koford, CG®, CGL(SM)

Director and Past Administrator

Click on video to the right to watch Rebecca talk about the history of the ProGen program.

Jan Joyce, DBA, CG®, CGL(SM), AG®

Director and Administrator



Lynn Parent

Events Coordinator

Lynn Parent
Austin, TX
ProGen 31
Robbie Johnson


Robbie Johnson, CG®
Sedro Woolley, WA
ProGen 31
ProGen 37 Coordinator
Nicole LaRue

Registration Coordinator

Nicole LaRue, CG®
Arnold, MD
ProGen 3
ProGen 11 Coordinator
ProGen 43 & 52 Mentor

Email Coordinator

Open Position
If interested contact
Allison Bowers

Zoom Coordinator

Allison Bowers
Qualicum Beach, BC, Canada
ProGen 45


Open Position
If interested contact

Description of ProGen Volunteer Roles

ProGen Mentor

Each ProGen group has a mentor who is either a Certified Genealogist® or an Accredited Genealogist®. The mentor guides a ProGen study group by participating in monthly group discussions, providing expert guidance, and sharing comments on each topic. Each mentor is certified by the Board for Certification of Genealogists or the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists.

ProGen Coordinator

Every ProGen group also has a coordinator. The coordinator manages a ProGen study group of about 24 members who are divided into three discussion groups. The Coordinator monitors participation and reviews assignments to ensure engagement levels are met. Each coordinator is an alumnus of ProGen Study Groups.

ProGen Discussion Leader

A ProGen Discussion Leader is a student enrolled in a ProGen Study Group. Typically, two Discussion Leaders are needed for each discussion group. The Discussion Leader moderates monthly discussions in a his/her own group of approximately eight study group members.

Past Mentors & Coordinators


ProGen alumni, mentors, and coordinators may use the appropriate ProGen Study Group logo on their website or other appropriate material. This logo is in no way construed as an accreditation or certification, only evidence of participation and completion of the ProGen Study Group program.

The logos available for download here are the intellectual property of the ProGen Study Groups, Inc., and protected by copyright. They are not to be used by current ProGen students, students who did not complete the program, or others who have had no participation.

Interested parties can check the status of ProGen alumni at https://www.progenstudystudygroups.com/progendirectory. This directory may also be used when referring clients to colleagues. If you have further questions about the appropriate use of the ProGen logo, contact the administrator at admin@progenstudy.com.

Instructions for Use

To use any of these images on your website, please click on the image to open it in a new window, then save it to your device for later uploading to your server. Please include a link back to the ProGen Study website: https://www.ProGenStudyGroups.com.


ProGen Study Groups Logo

ProGen Study Groups Alumni Logo

ProGen Study Groups Coordinator Logo

ProGen Study Groups Mentor Logo