Tuesday, June 27, 2017

FTDNA Joins SLIG as Sponsor of DNA Course

We are pleased to announce that Family Tree DNA has joined SLIG as sponsor of the DNA course for SLIG 2018.

Course 13: "A Practical Approach: Establishing Genealogical Proof with DNA," coordinated by Karen Stanbary, incorporates hands-on exercises, case studies, and analytical software in a lab-type setting throughout the course.

This sponsorship makes it possible for SLIG to provide additional staffing during those labs, as well as key reference documents for ongoing use, enhancing the student experience without the cost of additional tuition.

"Founded in 2000, Family Tree DNA pioneered the field of genetic genealogy and is the first company to offer direct-to-consumer DNA testing for genealogical purposes. Family Tree DNA offers the world’s most comprehensive matching database, helping to unlock family history and find DNA matches across the globe. 

"With a simple cheek swab, our advanced suite of tests provides interactive tools for users to further their research, determine ethnic and geographic origins, and discover shared ancestry across all lines. Testing through Family Tree DNA will help you break through brick walls and connect more dots on your family tree! 

"We also offer free-to-join volunteer led group projects covering genealogical topics from surnames, geographical regions, haplogroups and more. Family Tree DNA strives to continue bringing genealogy to life with innovation and exceptional user experiences."

Thank you FamilyTree DNA!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Two Practicum Formats: SLIG and SLIG Virtual

Prefer to lounge in your pajamas while solving difficult genealogical problems? Need to coordinate your study and research around a busy schedule? Or do you prefer to test your mettle in a formal classroom setting? Or perhaps a combination of both? The Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum offers two formats to choose from.

Last year (2016), SLIG introduced its first annual Virtual Practicum. To say it was popular would be an understatement. We ending up running two sections, and even then carried a waiting list. Needless to say, it is back by popular demand. But it did not replace SLIG's unique and ever-popular course, the on-site Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum. That course also filled with a waiting list. Both courses are coordinated by course developer, Angela Packer, McGhie, CG.

SLIG 2017 fall Virtual Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum case instructors (left to right): Bethany Waterbury, Eric Stroschein, Jean Wilcox Hibben, Cari Taplin, and the course coordinator, Angela Packer McGhie.

So, which to choose? Both offer a hands-on experience working on five complex cases, one per day (on-site), or one per week (virtual). Both give students experience in researching complex problems, analyzing and correlating information, and reaching conclusions. Both provide a guided discussion with the case instructors and interaction with other students in the course - one in a classroom and one online. 

To clarify the difference, I quote from a blog post written by Debra Hoffman on 7/2/16, "One Great Course: Two Great Formats":

"The virtual format offers the ability to participate in this course from the comfort of your own home while still being able to interact with fellow classmates and the instructor in a virtual environment. Additionally, there are no travel, food or lodging costs and working students do not need to take time from their job to participate.

"The on-site format provides students to interact with other advanced genealogists in person, not just just those in their class. One of the best benefits is the opportunity to research at the Family History Library, which is within walking distance from the institute. 

"The week-long course also provides the benefit of dedicated time to focus on the case studies without the distractions of daily life. . .

"Participating in either format, or in both, provide an excellent opportunity to elevate your genealogical education to new heights! And one you can only get through SLIG."

The Fall 2017 SLIG Virtual Practicum showcases four of the five case studies presented at SLIG 2017 in January, along with one new, previously un-presented case.

Registration for the 2017 fall Virtual Practicum opens on 1 July 2017, at 9:00 am MDT for SLIG 2017 participants, and at 12:00 noon for all.  Full details at:

Registration for SLIG 2018 opens on 8 July 2017 at 9:00 am MDT. Full details at:

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

SLIG 2018 Course Highlight: Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum

Course 14:

 Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum


Angela Packer McGhie, CG

This hands-on experience is an opportunity for advanced genealogists to challenge themselves and put their research skills into practice. Participants work on five complex genealogical research problems — a new one each day. The objective is to give students experience in conducting research on complex problems, analyzing and correlating information, and reaching conclusions.

Participants will practice using indirect evidence, broadening research to include the FAN club, resolving conflicts, and organizing evidence into a written summary. The research problems are varied, offering students the challenge of stretching their mind and skills in directions that their research may not normally take them. Participants will work individually on the each of the cases and then gather to discuss their progress with fellow classmates and the instructor. They will compare sources, strategies and methodologies, discuss difficulties encountered, and receive guidance from the case study author. This course is designed for advanced genealogists who have sufficient experience and education to work on complex genealogical problems.

Level of Instruction


Special Note!

This course will hold its first meeting on Sunday, 21 Jan 2018, and meets each afternoon thereafter; the remainder of the time is spent individually researching the cases.

Case Instructors:

Kimberly Powell

Kimberly T. Powell is a professional genealogist, author, editor, educator, and volunteer. She is past president of the Association of Professional Genealogists and chairs its Professional Development Committee. She is a coordinator and instructor at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, and also teaches at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy.

Kimberly was the genealogy expert for from 2000 - 2016, and is the author of several books, including The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy, 3rd edition (Adams Media, 2014). She has had articles published in BBC's Who Do You Think You Are? magazine, Family Tree Magazine, and the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly. She is the proud recipient of IGHR's Walter Lee Sheppard Jr. prize (2010), the Utah Genealogical Association's Silver Tray award for genealogical publishing (2012), and a Certificate of Appreciation from the Association of Professional Genealogists (2016) for her service and dedication to the association.

Karen Stanbary

Karen Stanbary is a professional genetic genealogist. She is a regular instructor in Beginning Genetic Genealogy, Advanced Genetic Genealogy and Proving Your Pedigree (Genealogical Proof Standard) for the Newberry Library in Chicago. She lectures on a variety of DNA topics in institutes and local and national venues. She specializes in Midwestern U.S. research, Chicago-based research, Mexican research, complex problem-solving and DNA analysis.

Paul Woodbury

Paul Woodbury is a recent graduate of Brigham Young University where he studied Genetics and Family History. Paul fell in love with genealogy when he was eight years old. Since he was sixteen he knew he wanted to be a genetic genealogist, so he is particularly pleased to work in the field full-time. He currently works as a senior researcher and DNA specialist for Legacy Tree Genealogists. He is also actively pursuing a graduate degree in Instructional Design and Educational Technology. In addition to genetic genealogy, Paul specializes in French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Scandinavian research and regularly presents on research topics related to these fields.

Karen Matheson

Karen Matheson has been doing genealogical and family history research for 25 years and currently works as a professional genealogist. She served five years as the Director of the Round Rock Family History Center, and is the immediate Past-President of the Williamson County (Texas) Genealogical Society, and currently serves as the Editor of their quarterly publication, The Chisholm Trail.

Karen has served as Chapter Rep for the Lone Star Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists, as Secretary of the Texas State Genealogical Society, and as the 2013 Conference Chair for the Texas State Genealogical Society. Karen was a committee member and a presenter at the FGS 2014 Conference in San Antonio, Texas. In February 2012, Karen was a featured guest on the morning show for Austin's local FOX TV station. Karen had the opportunity to assist a Williamson County cold case detective with a missing person's case, and was an on-site genealogist in Austin, Texas for the taping of Genealogy Roadshow.

Karen moved to Northern California in 2014, where she is a member of the Santa Clara County Historical and Genealogical Society. In January 2016 Karen became the administrator of the Gen Proof Study Groups, the study of Thomas W. Jones' book, Mastering Genealogical Proof.

Angela Packer-McGhie, CG

Angela Packer McGhie is a professional genealogist, lecturer and instructor. She is a course coordinator at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR), and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), as well as an instructor at the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records in Washington, D.C., the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), and the Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research.

Angela has served on the education committee for the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), as past president of the National Capital Area Chapter of APG, and as the administrator of the ProGen Study Program. She presently serves as a trustee for the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) Education Fund and on the ProGen board of directors.

Please visit our web page for complete course description and bio at
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