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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Researching English Ancestors: Beyond the Parish Register. Learn more with Apryl Cox!


Why would you recommend a student attend SLIG in general?

SLIG is an intense immersion program where you are instructed by experienced professionals during the day and have the opportunity to practice what you learned in the evening. The close proximity of the Family History Library is definitely a plus!

Will you tell us a little bit about what makes your SLIG course unique among genealogical education offerings?

Researching Your English Ancestors: Beyond the Parish Register course is a fantastic opportunity to learn about valuable lesser-used records of England from British research experts who actually use these records and lecture about them worldwide. 

Eventually, all British researchers who want to extend their ancestral lines beyond the 19th and 20th centuries will need to understand and employ a variety of England’s lesser-used records. What better time and place to learn about these records than in a SLIG immersion course.

When did you first start researching your family history? Was there a moment when you knew you were “hooked?”

I began researching my family history when I was 16 or 17 years old and dabbled with it over the next 20 years while pursuing college degrees and working full-time. Serious pursuit of my family history began in 1989. I soon became “hooked” as I learned about my ancestors’ lives and came to appreciate their history—my history. The more I learned about my ancestors, the more I understood myself. I started to feel connected to the universe in a way I hadn’t experienced previously. Family history wasn’t just an interest or a hobby anymore; it became a mission to fulfill. I felt compelled to discover not only my ancestry, but also my husband’s. Serious pursuit of family history as a business happened about 2004.

Do you have a pet ancestor? Can you tell us a little bit about what makes this person so special to you as a researcher?

How could I pick just one? I intensely respect and admire my Simpson and Wake lines from Northumberland and Durham counties in England. Some were entrepreneurs with keen business acumen. Others were coal miners and railway workers whose challenging lives I have come to admire due to my study of the social, economic, cultural, and political history of the   coal-mining areas of Durham County.

Of course, I have my favorite villains too—an illegal alien ancestor who associated with the mafia in New York City, a Civil War deserter who ended up in Sing Sing (a federal prison in New York) after being convicted for highway robbery, and so on.

I have learned from my ancestors that we all have strengths and weaknesses, and moments of brilliance and despair. Sometimes we make serious mistakes, but I believe our choices are usually based on what we believe is best for us at the time. This attitude helps me to accept what I learn about my ancestors, to better understand them, to appreciate them, and in turn, to better understand and accept myself.

What record set to you believe is the most under-utilized? What advice would you give students in using this record set?

Probate records! So many English research problems are resolved with probate! I’ve identified the parents of children who were never christened (or whose christenings weren’t recorded), linked generations by using properties described in wills, discovered previously unknown family members, and extended ancestral lines by several generations using probate.

My advice for students interested in using England’s pre-1858 probate records effectively is to learn how to deal with the hierarchical ecclesiastical court structure, take a paleography course, and look for little clues in the probate records that can bring large results.

What books and periodicals would you recommend for intermediate to advanced researchers? Are there any lesser-known texts you advise?

I would definitely recommend Mark Herber’s Ancestral Trails (Stroud, Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing Limited, 2004) for a general overview of England’s records.  Depending upon the topic, there are many more specific books I would recommend (you’ll have to attend this English course to construct a list!)  For example, if you want to learn more about British Army records, I would suggest two excellent well-written books—Simon Fowler’s Army Records for Family Historians (London: PRO Publications, 1992) and Michael J. Watts and Christopher T. Watts’  My Ancestor was in the British Army (London: Society of Genealogists, 1995). 

What is the most rewarding thing about being a genealogical educator? What advice would you give for those who would follow in your footsteps?

The most rewarding aspect of being a genealogical educator is “seeing the light go on” in students’ faces. It’s the “ah-hah!” moments when bits of scattered information come together in a meaningful way.

My advice for those who want to become genealogical educators is to begin right now. Develop lessons on topics that you are comfortable with and find a location where you can present them. Perhaps a local Family History Center will allow you to conduct classes if you make arrangements in advance. Experience is critical—so is student feedback.

Will you share something with us that students may not know about you? Perhaps a non-genealogical hobby?

I am a hiking fanatic! Saturdays and vacations are built around hiking adventures. This addiction is not only good exercise and a stress reducer, but it satisfies a need for solace and beauty.

Any parting thoughts or advice?

Come with an open, inquisitive mind and apply what you learn as soon as you can. Nothing substitutes for experience!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Josh Taylor on Research, SLIG, and Raquetball!

Josh Taylor will be coordinating "Bridging the 1780-1830 Gap: From New England to the Midwest (and points in between)" at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy in January of 2013. I had a chance to catch up with him and learn a little about what makes him tick:

When did you first start researching your family history? Was there a moment when you knew you were “hooked?”

My first taste of family history came when I was just eight years old, with my mother using a very early computer database. It wasn't until I was 10 that I was "hooked," when my grandmother showed me the 1850 Census for John W. Allison and his family in Gallia County, Ohio. Living above him was Thomas Allison, whom my grandmother was trying to prove was the father. I was instantly hooked on the mystery and the need to solve a puzzle. 

Do you have a pet ancestor? Can you tell us a little bit about what makes this person so special to you as a researcher?

A pet ancestor? Most certainly! Reason Shoup has sent me trolling through more records, courthouses, libraries, cemeteries, and other locations than I can count. Reason was born in 1816, most likely in Adams County, Ohio and died before 1850 somewhere between Ohio and Lee County, Iowa. He was my first true "brickwall," as his appearance in records (including the census) is almost non-existence. While I have since discovered his parents (or am at least 99% sure), Reason taught me how to research, how to make conclusions, and balance "negative evidence" against the few "document scarps" he and his family left behind.

What record set to you believe is the most under-utilized? What advice would you give students in using this record set?

By far, I think we all under-utilize land records (in all shapes and forms). So many questions and outstanding research problems have been solved by simply reading and analyzing land records. My best advice for using land records? Use them as a collective resource, take time to "read the deed," and trace each piece of property through the records.

What books and periodicals would you recommend for intermediate to advanced researchers? Are there any lesser-known texts you advise?

From my graduate school days, I became quite fond of After the Fact: The Art of Historical Detection by James West Davidson and a little little known gem, Dust: The Archive and Cultural History by Carolyn Kay Steedman.

As far as resources strictly for genealogists, I still use the Genealogical Research: Methods and Sources books published so many years ago by the American Society of Genealogists. Written before the Internet, they provide some key grounding in records and localities that you really cannot find anywhere else. 

What is the most rewarding thing about being a genealogical educator? What advice would you give for those who would follow in your footsteps?

One of the most rewarding aspects of being a genealogical educator is being able to watch students actually apply the sources and methods you share. With every application comes another lesson for how to use a particular record set, so you are yourself always in a state of learning. Watching someone discover a record set for the first time, and then find another link for their research makes it all worth it. As far as for someone who wants to become a genealogical educator, I think that we commonly underestimate our knowledge and our ability to share with others. Develop a teachable mindset as you are teaching, and you and your students will benefit. 

Why would you recommend a student attend SLIG in general?

 SLIG is a unique opportunity to expand your skills while in a classroom setting. The close proximity to the Family History Library enables you to immediate put your new skills to the test, which gives you the chance to learn and ask additional questions as needed throughout the week. In addition, selecting a course devoted to a particular topic is an excellent way to focus your research early in a new year. 

Will you tell us a little bit about what makes your SLIG course unique among genealogical education offerings?

Bridging the Gap will cover one of the most difficult time periods to research in the United States. The establishment of the United States of America, the War of 1812, and the rapid expansion of the United States can cause quite a few problems for researchers. One unique factor of this course is its setting within the background of migration from New England and New York into the Midwest. Each day focuses on using particular record types to solve genealogical problems between 1780 and 1830, and each of the major states will enjoy its own case study treatment, where an instructor will share a research project that is tied to a particular locality and time period. In addition, the course offers a group-project or individual research time at the Family History Library, to allow students with an opportunity to dive into the sources we discussing in class. 

Do you have a website where students can learn more about you?

You can visit www.djoshuataylor.com to find out a bit more about me, if you wish. 

Will you share something with us that students may not know about you? Perhaps a non-genealogical hobby?

Something that many might not know about me is my intense love of racquetball. I have found that Racquetball courts are an excellent place to think through complex genealogical problems or being composing outlines for lectures and articles. I certainly do not profess to be any "good" at racquetball, but I at least enjoy playing whenever I can.

Any parting thoughts or advice?

Just one, register early - SLIG fills up so fast!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Paula Stuart-Warren, SLIG Coordinator Extraordinaire


Why would you recommend a student attend SLIG in general?

That’s an easy question but it has multiple answers. Let me list some of those: camaraderie, knowledge, networking, sharing, the other students, the experience, fun, and advancing our own family research. It’s almost like learning in the midst of an enlarged family who truly understands you. Best of all, this is the one Institute that gives us such close proximity to the fabulous Family History Library so we can put our knowledge to research use immediately. 

Will you tell us a little bit about what makes your SLIG course unique among genealogical education offerings.

This is an intermediate course that takes the students beyond the basic census and vital records and focuses on 19th and 20th century United States resources. It offers a look at resources that are often not included in beginning genealogy guides. It brings together wonderful instructors who are unselfish in their sharing and who have brains that continually amaze me with their depth of knowledge and understanding. The class has a research project for the week that helps with analysis, research planning, the research and the networking that can solve research issues. Then there are the one-on-one consultations onsite in the Family History Library so that you can bring your own family research for a look by someone who hasn’t seen it before and who may give you some new research insights that you can research right there! It’s actually a two-part course that has different classes in the two year rotation that make up the full course. It offers more than the usual twenty hours for a SLIG course.
 
When did you first start researching your family history? Was there a moment when you knew you were “hooked?”

It all began with my oldest son’s school project. I was actually hooked two times. First was when my late father-in-law kept insisting his mother’s maiden name was Warren. I would say that’s her married name. He would insist it was her maiden name too. He was correct. His parents were first cousins, once removed. Then I took a history course about St. Paul, Minnesota. I learned about tracing business histories. Checking for the regular and business listings of my maiden great grandaunts in the city directory I saw that two men lived at the same address. Who were they? I wanted to know. I asked my maternal grandmother and she acted like I should have known who they were – her uncle and grandfather. I wanted to learn more about all these people and haven’t stopped yet.


Do you have a pet ancestor? Can you tell us a little bit about what makes this person so special to you as a researcher?

I really sat and thought about who would be my pet ancestor. There are many due to their stories or the stories I am trying to figure out. I have two who continually confound me. One is Georgiana Margaretta Reinhardt. She apparently died sometime between 1878 and 1885 in either the province of Quebec, or Wisconsin, or some point in-between. I cannot find her and the family in the 1880 Wisconsin census or the 1881 Canadian census. She is not buried with her husband or son in Superior, Wisconsin nor is there a burial record in the church where her last children were baptized in Montreal or the family church in Rawdon, Quebec, Canada. The other pet person is her mother Clarinda Copping Reinhardt Jones. She is said to have had a beautiful singing voice (not inherited by me) and I want to know why her father wrote in his journal in 1836 where they lived in Rawdon: “This is a fine day and I and some of the children were at Church and behold I saw my Daughter which surprised me that she should have a face to be in Church where she is known and knows the state she lives in.” I really want to know the story behind that statement. I need to research onsite in Canada to continue the quest on these ladies.

What record set do you believe is the most under-utilized? What advice would you give students in using this record set?

Many people ignore manuscript collections that are in libraries, historical societies, and archives all around the United States. The personal, business, and organizational papers hold family history details that are often not found since most are not online. Some personal papers include extensive genealogical research done by others, vital records, family relationships, and so much more. Learn how to access any indexes and finding aids and if you can, visit the place where some family details are held in the millions of manuscript collection that are waiting for us eager researchers.


What books and periodicals would you recommend for intermediate to advanced researchers? Are there any lesser-known texts you advise?

I suggest reading as many back issues of genealogy periodicals as you can for all your ancestral locations. The information found in these may not be described anywhere else. The cemetery or newspaper index may not be online or anywhere else. The first-hand account of researching in a specific library might only appear there. As for texts that are helpful I make great use of my guides to various repositories, the online guide to the National Archives (www.archves.gov), and guides that were published even ten or twenty years ago. The helpful information in these makes for good reading during breaks from research. I read several of the scholarly genealogical journals to be reminded of the research process in tough cases, of methodology to solve burning issues, and to gain insight into the minds of the authors. The footnotes often lead me to some exciting resource discoveries.

What is the most rewarding thing about being a genealogical educator? What advice would you give for those who would follow in your footsteps?

I love the looks on someone’s face as they hurriedly jot down a note based on what I just said. Or the moment when that lightbulb goes off in their head. That tells me I have just shared a great piece of information that makes sense to them. Having research knowledge in my head and not sharing it is selfish. Other people taught me and now I can share that and more that I have learned on my own. It is important to remember we are educating, not entertaining. That we are sharing but can also learn from our students. That our students don’t want to be lectured to, but talking to or with is better. That our adult students need visuals to help them learn. And lastly that our students still need to learn about records and repositories along with databases, websites, and social networking. It’s all part of the package.

Do you have a website where students can learn more about you?

I have blog, Paula’s Genealogical Eclectica, at www.paulastuartwarren.blogspot.com. My email address is PaulaStuartWarren@gmail.com and I am happy to respond to questions from folks trying to decide if this course is for them.

Will you share something with us that students may not know about you? Perhaps a non-genealogical hobby?

In addition to spending time with my four grandchildren, I love to drive in my car and not on the interstates. Seeing the many parts of this beautiful country is special for me. Though I don’t drive to Salt Lake City from Minnesota in the wintertime, I have done so at other times of the year. This summer I am taking my three youngest grandchildren on another driving trip in part of Minnesota that I call our history tours. This is being done by popular demand after last summer’s tour. Of course, there are hotel pools involved on some of the nights. All this will be done after I get to shed a few tears at my oldest granddaughter’s high school graduation.

Any parting thoughts or advice?

Don’t delay genealogy education. Keep up with continuing education. No one can know about all the resources, places, websites, databases, indexes, and more. Don’t neglect the books that are on library shelves. Much sage advice in those still is good in today’s world. Learn about the websites, digitized images, and finding aids that others put online. But read them, don’t just skim the information.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Interview with Judi Hansen, Problem Solving Coordinator


Will you tell us a little bit about what makes your SLIG course unique among genealogical education offerings?

Problem Solving is unique in that a student learns new skills and techniques by working on their own research problem during the week.

Their ultimate success depends upon the problem chosen, their preparatory work putting together their project submission, and availability of records easily available in the Family History Library or Internet resources.

The Problem Solving course is a directed practicum: the student, with the assistance of interested consultants and peers (fellow students in the group) enhances and applies specific methodology, analysis, and evaluation skills in research. The format of the problem-solving courses is designed for each student to receive specific help on his/her own project, and also to learn from study of the other student submissions and from the research and methodology discussion and suggestions given for the other projects. Brief discussion of specific records, analysis or evaluation techniques, or writing suggestions will be included as consultants see need.

Each problem solving student chooses his own curriculum – by focusing on one ancestor, ancestral couple, or particular genealogical question.

Choose a problem that is of personal interest and is not under constraints imposed by others. Research being done for hire or for possible submission for CG or AG should not be used, because of time/research constraints imposed by client or submission requirements of being only own work.

The Problem Solving course takes place in 3 parts: designing, working, and sharing.

Designing:  after registering and before Oct 30, each student submits a Problem Solving Project, with the following elements: a short 1 page summary of the Problem,  pertinent research logs, family groups, pedigree, maps, time line, and five page report about the research problem being submitted.
Working:  During SLIG, daily meetings held with assigned group reporting on progress of extensive research, analysis and evaluation of own project

Sharing: After SLIG: each student completes a new written summary of their research project, discussing sources used, new findings or lack of findings, conclusions and what to consider next in future research. 

IF at the end of SLIG week, the group consensus is that research possibilities have been exhausted for the problem, leaving no further avenues to pursue, the student is encouraged to put the project “on the shelf” – writing a final evaluation report which states final conclusions with supporting evidence, and details research steps, sources and analysis. The summary should be shared with those interested including fellow PS Group members and consultants.

When did you first start researching your family history? Was there a moment when you knew you were “hooked?”

I have always been interested in family stories, and even when very small would slip back into the room where grownups were talking to listen to their family stories. When I was eight I interviewed my great grandmother, asking her about her life, particularly when she was a little girl, and have been hooked ever since.

Do you have a pet ancestor? Can you tell us a little bit about what makes this person so special to you as a researcher?

I think my “pet” ancestor is the one I am currently working on so I have had many “pet” ancestors. I will share one example, my great great grandmother, Karen Marie Sorensen Lewis. I had known brief stories about her and where she was buried, but did not learn to appreciate her life until I looked for documentation. To me she was an example of surviving adversity. Karen was the eldest in a poor family in Denmark, and, like many, left home to work for others after her confirmation, returning to her parent’s home a few years later to have a child.  Her parents were scraping together means to emigrate to Utah, sending the family piecemeal. In 1864, with a young baby and her brother, Karen went to Copenhagen, took a ship to Hull, train to Liverpool, ship to New York (her baby was buried 3 days before landing), train to near Wyoming, Nebraska, where they joined a wagon train to Utah. Karen later married Daniel Lewis and had 9 children, 3 died of childhood diseases. 

After her husband died in 1905 as a result of a runaway team, Karen followed some of her children to eastern Idaho. Her youngest daughter’s husband was killed in a fight over water rights leaving her a widow with small children, and her second daughter died of illness, leaving a large family. Karen was on hand to be of assistance to both families. I probably felt most connected to her when I learned via family tradition that she was extremely ill the whole crossing of the Atlantic, suggesting that she, like me, had a severe problem with motion sickness, making most travel difficult.

What record set to you believe is the most under-utilized? What advice would you give students in using this record set?

As a southern states researcher, I have had great success in finding answers in court minutes and tax records. I feel both are under-utilized, especially court minutes. Unless someone has transcribed them, and provided an index, they are very time consuming to use. Often answers are found reading page by page. If abstracts for minutes are located, it is critical to determine if the abstracter included all entries or only selected specific types of entries. If a researcher has an approximate date when an event may have occurred one can read just for that time period, but may miss ancestral entries for other events not yet known to the researcher.  In using court records, the first issue is determining if minutes were kept, if they still exist, and where one can obtain access. Next, is determining what types of information were included and specific issues to search for. Then, having the time to read to locate ancestral information, understanding the laws of the time period is critical to being able to analyze the information found.

What books and periodicals would you recommend for intermediate to advanced researchers? Are there any lesser-known texts you advise?

A researcher should have some texts specific to the area or record type they are searching as well as general genealogical texts. For example, if you are interested in North Carolina (my current focus in personal research), use North Carolina Research, Genealogy & Local History, by Helen F Leary, It is invaluable for understanding North Carolina Records, and a good source for understanding records in general.

There are many good reference books. I recommend using wiki.familysearch.org for specific suggestions for texts as well as research strategies, records, and brief history for the areas of interest. To be effective in Problem solving a student should have both a general knowledge of records and sources as well as those specific to the time and locality of the specific project. Consultants and group members often are aware of lesser known or local resources that are helpful. The more widely you read the more likely you will find information helpful to your research.

Currently, I have The National Genealogical Society Quarterly, The American Genealogist, The North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, and Crossroads, and read others as I have time, opportunity, or need. All serve to provide examples of treatment of families, and analysis of records and sources.

What is the most rewarding thing about being a genealogical educator? What advice would you give for those who would follow in your footsteps?

Helping others become more adept in their genealogical pursuits, and seeing their enthusiasm and excitement as research strategies bring success.

Those who wish to become genealogical educators need to bring a passion for genealogy, a genuine caring for people, and a willingness to share to knowledge to lift up others and help them succeed.  They should develop presentation skills that enhance their message, and be able to convey a depth of knowledge in simple terms for others to easily follow. Genealogy is a fast growing hobby and profession and good educators are needed at all levels.

Why would you recommend a student attend SLIG in general?

They are able to focus on genealogy and genealogical endeavors for a week away from family, work, and other distractions. They gain skills and understanding they can use personally and professionally and will make new friends who share a passion for genealogy and could provide a network when assistance may be needed outside their local area. Above all, SLIG can be a week of fun, while enhancing skills.

Will you share something with us that students may not know about you? Perhaps a non-genealogical hobby?

I have spent over 30 years in scouting, sometimes as den leader or 11 yr old leader, but mostly in support roles, particularly with responsibility for advancement. Besides being “leader specific” trained in all families of scouting, I am Woodbadge trained, EDGE trained, and am attending Philmont training this summer. I currently serve on the Eagle Committee as mentor, project approval and Eagle Boards, as well as chair for Adult Recognition in my district. In the council I serve on the Commissioner College Committee and the Council Registrar for Commission College. In our very large far-flung council we are holding 5 colleges a year to meet commissioner needs. I have received a Silver Beaver, and am finishing my Thesis for my College of Commissioner Science Doctoral Degree. It is a joy to meet outstanding young men during the Eagle process, and dedicated adult scouters working to provide a scouting program and support system to give young men opportunities and experiences for character development, citizenship training, and personal fitness, and role models as they learn to become men.

Any parting thoughts or advice?

Genealogy and family history is both fun and addictive. The more you learn about research techniques and analysis strategies the more successful you will be. The more you learn about ancestors and their lives and how they faced their problems the more you learn about yourself. Embrace all on your family and learn from each. Enjoy their successes and sorrow for their disappointments and failures.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Dr. Thomas W. Jones on Research, Teaching, and SLIG

We are gearing up for registration opening on June 2, 2012 at 9:00 AM. To get you excited about all of the great offerings this year we've asked each of our coordinators to either be a guest blogger or participate in an interview on our blog. For more information on the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy please visit www.slig.ugagenealogy.org. 

Without further ado I give you Dr. Jones:


Most family historians have a favorite ancestor, and I’m no exception. Mine keep changing, though. One will grip me and not let me go until I figure out his or her life story, write it up, and share it with others. Then another comes along.

One of these was Ellender Crow, a Virginian who became the second most important woman in my life (after my wife) for a couple of years. Only Ellender’s third marriage was recorded, but she wanted me to document her first two husbands, offspring of all three marriages, and her unrecorded parentage and to tell her life story. This took hours and hours of in-depth research, reading between the lines, piecing evidence together, testing hypotheses, correcting other researchers’ errors, and making inferences about what “really happened” in the 1700s and early 1800s. I learned that I descend from two of Ellender’s husbands, not just the one I knew about, but also through another husband’s prior wife.

After Ellender loosened her grip, Charles McLain grabbed me. Charles seemed to have appeared out of nowhere to marry my great-grandmother in Muskegon, Michigan, in 1873. She divorced him a few years later, and he disappeared. Figuring out what happened to him was the easy part, though the key record dates almost three decades after the divorce, and only indirect evidence shows that another woman’s husband was “my” Charles. Records before his first marriage appear under three names. These complications, along with strained and unconventional relationships within his parental family, offered intriguing challenges. Eventually I was able to assemble his life story, including his motives.

Once I wrote about Charles McLain and his parents from birth to death, George Edison came along. He left records under four names in five Midwestern states between 1861 and 1940, married five times (including twice to the same woman with no intervening divorce), committed bigamy, and was tried for adultery and fornication—of which a jury found him not guilty. His first three wives were ages 14, 15, and 19, but the last was 75—twenty years his senior. As a union leader George shut down two major American cities with electricians’ strikes. I had great fun figuring out that records under different names with different wives in different states referred to the same man. In the process I learned about George’s good and bad traits. George probably didn’t want his story told, but his eldest child (of twelve) seemed to have different ideas.

For me, family history research is at its best when I study my subjects’ lives thoroughly enough to understand their personalities. This was true of my experiences with Ellender Crow, Charles McLain, and George Edison. For all three cases I used many kinds of records—online and off—and milked them for all they were worth, noting details and reading between the lines. The effort paid off in the insights I acquired—not just about these subjects’ vital statistics and relatives, but their activities, the contexts of those activities, how they responded to those contexts, and why they responded the way they did.

Every one of these cases taught me new skills. I learned about more kinds of records, and I learned how to get more out of record types I had used before. Experiences like these keep my enthusiasm for genealogy at a high level.  

The course I coordinate at SLIG, Advanced Genealogical Methods, includes the knowledge and skills I acquired and executed in my research on Ellender, Charles, and George, and much, much more. It’s an intense course, definitely not for beginners, not even “early intermediate” researchers. Experienced researchers who want to acquire more advanced skills might consider taking it in 2013 or beyond. SLIG also offers other advanced and in-depth courses. 

I’ve just sent George Edison’s story to a journal editor. Now other ancestorsthe pre-Civil War Buss family, early New Yorker Julia Greenfield and her absent grandfather, and othersdemand my research attention. Researching their families promises steep genealogical challenges, but I’ll enjoy surmounting the barriers and getting to know the families.
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