Monday, August 19, 2019

How the SLIG Virtual Intermediate Foundations Course Kickstarted My In-Depth Learning

Are you trying to decide if Intermediate Foundations is the course for you? I'm sharing my experience with the course in hopes that it will help you know if you want to take it. 

Nicole Dyer

I took the SLIG Virtual Intermediate Foundations course earlier this year (Spring 2019). The virtual format of the Intermediate Foundations course worked perfectly with my schedule as a stay-at-home mother to young children. Every Tuesday, I blocked off three hours for the course and told my family that I would be busy learning from genealogy experts!

I signed up for Intermediate Foundations hoping to gain confidence that my skills as a professional genealogist were adequate. I had been taking clients for about a year and had done several peer study groups to learn the research process, but was mostly self-taught. I had also been to many genealogy workshops and conferences, but had never done an in-depth institute course. 

Just before I signed up for Intermediate Foundations, I made the decision to actively pursue a credential in genealogy. Becoming certified had been a distant goal for several years, but now I was ready to make it a reality. Attending a genealogy institute was recommended to those seeking a credential through the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG). I realized that to be sure I was prepared for the rigorous process of certification, I needed to gain additional learning through an institute. With young children at home, it is sometimes difficult to get away for an entire week. Weekend conferences are a bit easier. With many of the institutes being offered in the summer when my family is traveling, doing vacations and reunions, I couldn't see a convenient time to attend. I was thrilled when I found the online Intermediate Foundations course and signed up right away.

To prepare for the course, I reviewed the recommended books. The materials that are recommended for the course include Board for Certification of Genealogists Genealogy Standards, 2nd ed.; Val D. Greenwood The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy, Part Two; Thomas W. Jones, Mastering Genealogical Proof; and Elizabeth Shown Mills Evidence Explained. I already had Evidence Explained, which was very useful throughout the course as I worked on assignments. I purchased Val Greenwood's book, which I didn't use as much as I thought I would. The syllabus material from each instructor was lengthy and helpful and that is what I used the most as I worked on the homework.

The format of each session included two 75-minute lecture periods with a 15-minute break. At the beginning of the course, we received a welcome letter with instructions on how to access the sessions each week via Zoom Meetings. Webcams and noise-cancelling headphones were advised. I just used regular ear-buds, but found that I didn't need to wear them during the entire lecture, just during question and answer time. Zoom allows you to mute your microphone so feedback in from your speakers isn't a problem if you're muted. The sessions were recorded and I often went back and watched the lectures again.

Sara Scriber, CG, is the Intermediate Foundations course coordinator. She is an experienced instructor and knowledgeable about many subjects. I was lucky to meet her in person when I attended RootsTech. She truly cares about each student's learning experience. She worked hard to design this course in the best possible way and has made several updates and enhancements for the fall course. 

One of my favorite class sessions was about citations. Sara Scribner did a great job explaining each element of a citation and different ways to order the elements. She gave us some practice exercises to work on for a few minutes, then we came back together and she reviewed the answer. After the presentation, everyone who wanted to was able to ask questions. As this is a subject that many people are still learning, there were many questions. It was nice to be able to hear each others' questions and the answers Sara gave. 

The homework was given after each lecture. It was designed to take 2 1/2 hours to complete, so a total of 5 hours per week (since there are two lectures each Tuesday). I found that I could tailor the homework to my level. Some assignments were easy for me, and others were more difficult, based on my past experience. I did extra reading for the citations homework to study what I was interested in. The reading lists within the syllabus materials provide additional opportunities for learning. The Facebook group for the course was a fun way to connect with other students and get additional feedback and help as we worked on the homework. I enjoyed seeing others' questions and asking my own.

During the class on census research, I learned several new things. We talked about methods for extracting data from pre-1850 censuses and using non-population schedules to enhance our understanding of the locality and history. The census homework was about using the social statistics schedule, which I had never used before.

The military records lecture with Michael Strauss was very extensive. His syllabus materials were top-notch. We reviewed several types of records created due to military conflicts and how to access them. Angie Bush's DNA presentation, homework, and personalized feedback was incredibly helpful. My understanding and ability to use DNA evidence took a huge leap after learning from her. 

The lectures about land and tax records from Kimberly Powell were detailed and well organized. I was impressed with her knowledge and experience and learned much from her. She is clearly an expert in using these record sets. I appreciated Kimberly's homework assignment to find land and tax records about a certain problem and spent extra time studying the tax records to really understand how to use them in the future. It was a very valuable learning experience. Knowing that the instructors would be looking at my assignments and giving me feedback was motivational.

Cari Taplin's lecture and assignment about newspapers was interesting. She showed how various types of newspapers articles can be for genealogical evidence and where to find them. I enjoyed studying about constructing proof statements and proof summaries. As I did the assignment for that lecture, I realized that I had little experience with proof summaries and arguments and decided to devote additional time learning about that in the future. 

Since the course ended, I have continued my genealogy education in several ways. I joined the Certification Discussion group with Cari Taplin, CG, and Jill Morelli, CG, to learn about what is required for certification. After that ended, I invited several of my peers to join me in a study group about Mastering Genealogical Proof by Tom Jones. I feel that my genealogical toolbox has expanded significantly because I took Intermediate Foundations. My in-depth learning was kickstarted by the Intermediate Foundations course, and I'm grateful I was able to participate!

Saturday, August 17, 2019

SLIG Instructors on Saturday, August 24th!

FGS opens on Wednesday, August 21st in Washington, DC.

For those attending SLIG in 2020, you can get a preview of what you will experience, since many SLIG instructors and coordinators will be sharing their expertise throughout the conference. If you are still undecided about whether a week-long institute with expert instructors is for you and you are attending FGS, take this opportunity to see why attending SLIG in January 2020 would elevate your genealogical education!

If you have questions regarding the Institute or just want to see what we are all about, pay us a visit at Booth 704. There is an Exhibit Hall map found here.

On Saturday, the following SLIG instructors and coordinators will be presenting the 

following lectures:

8:00–9:00 AM

Churches in the Potomac/Chesapeake Region Before 1800
David McDonald, DMin, CG

Beyond Population: Researching in the Special Census Schedules
Angela Packer McGhie, CG

An Overview of Researching Hispanic Ancestry
Colleen Robledo Greene, MLIS

Irish Estate, Land & Property Records
David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FIGRS, FUGA

9:30–10:30 PM

The Advance of Research Habits over Recent Decades—And the Downside
Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA

A Vermont Home for a Maryland Man: Assembling Indirect Evidence
Catherine B. W. Desmarais, CG

Federal Land Laws and the Settlement of Early America
Rick Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA

Key Player, Participant, or Partisan Follower: Discovering An Ancestor’s Political Leanings
D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS

11:00–12:00 PM

The Second Great Awakening: Thawing the Frozen Chosen in The Early Nineteenth Century
David McDonald, DMin, CG

12:15–1:45 PM ($)

BCG Luncheon: Into the Brave New World of DNA
LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG, CGL

2:30–3:30 PM

Resolving Conflicting Evidence to Identify the Mother of William Dalton—Part I
Angela Packer McGhie, CG

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Land Records—Advanced
Gerald "Jerry" H. Smith, CG

Vignettes of Immigrant Military Service
Rick Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA

4:00–5:00 PM

Using DNA to Confirm the Ancestral Line for William Dalton—Part 2
Karen Stanbary, LCSW, MA, CG

Research in Virginia’s Burned Counties
Barbara Vines Little, CG, FNGS, FUGA, FVGS
For complete FGS conference listings and updates, please visit the FGS conference website at

Registration is open right now for SLIG 2020, both the Institute and the Academy! Visit for more information.

So much to learn! So many great educators!

Friday, August 16, 2019

SLIG Instructors at FGS on Friday, August 23rd!

FGS opens on Wednesday, August 21st in Washington, DC.

For those attending SLIG in 2020, you can get a preview of what you will experience, since many SLIG instructors and coordinators will be sharing their expertise throughout the conference. If you are still undecided about whether a week-long institute with expert instructors is for you and you are attending FGS, take this opportunity to see why attending SLIG in January 2020 would elevate your genealogical education!

If you have questions regarding the Institute or just want to see what we are all about, pay us a visit at Booth 704. There is an Exhibit Hall map found here.

On Friday, the following SLIG instructors and coordinators will be presenting the following lectures:

8:00–9:00 AM

Spit and You Shall Find: atDNA Identifies a Charming Scoundrel
Karen Stanbary, LCSW, MA, CG

Patents, Surveys, and Indexes: Land Resources for Genealogists at BLM
Angela Packer McGhie, CG

9:30–10:30 AM

New York Land: Patroonships, Manors, Patents, Rent Wars, and Land Companies 
Karen Mauer Jones, CG, FGBS, FUGA

Finding Families: The Genealogist’s Role in MIA/POW Repatriation
Catherine B. W. Desmarais, CG

Identifying Woman: The Ultimate Brick Wall
Barbara Vines Little, CG, FNGS, FUGA, FVGS

Reverse Migration: Colonial Settlers Who Returned “Home”
D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS

10:00–12:00 PM

Genealogy Inclusion: Creating Accessible Digital Content for Your Members, Researchers, and Clients
F-380 (Workshop)
Colleen Robledo Greene, MLIS

11:00–12:00 PM

Third Party Tools the Pros Use
Angie Bush

History & Records of the German Aid Societies (PA, SC, MD, NY)
Debra A. Hoffman

Court of Quarter Sessions Research
Gerald "Jerry" H. Smith, CG

Philip Reid, Enslaved and Free: Tracing Families of Color in the District of Columbia
John Philip Colletta, PhD, FUGA

2:30–3:30 PM

The Jones Jinx: Tracing Common Surnames
Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA

Strategies for Using Pre-1850 Census Records
Angela Packer McGhie, CG

Blasting Brick Walls with Legislative Records
Rick Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA

The Georgetown Memory Project: The Genealogical Pursuit of Truth, Reconciliation & Reunion
Malissa Ruffner, JD, MLS, CG

Irish Census and Census Substitutes
David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FIGRS, FUGA

4:00–5:00 PM

From the 18th to the 21st: The Records of Prohibition
Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL

For complete FGS conference listings and updates, please visit the FGS conference website at

Registration is open right now for SLIG 2020, both the Institute and the Academy! Visit for more information.

So much to learn! So many great educators!

SLIG Instructors at FGS on Thursday, August 22nd!

FGS opens on Wednesday, August 21st in Washington, DC.

For those attending SLIG in 2020, you can get a preview of what you will experience, since many SLIG instructors and coordinators will be sharing their expertise throughout the conference. If you are still undecided about whether a week-long institute with expert instructors is for you and you are attending FGS, take this opportunity to see why attending SLIG in January 2020 would elevate your genealogical education!

If you have questions regarding the Institute or just want to see what we are all about, pay us a visit at Booth 704. There is an Exhibit Hall map found here.

On Thursday, the following SLIG instructors and coordinators will be presenting the following lectures:

8:00–9:00 AM

Columbia Institution: Its History & Records
Debra A. Hoffman

Who Fathered Jacob and William Northamer? Pennsylvania Tax Records Help Determine Kinship
Catherine B. W. Desmarais, CG

Proving a Negative, Genealogically Speaking
Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA

9:30–10:30 AM

Indirect Evidence: Finding What Was Not Written
Rebecca Whitman Koford, CG, CGL

11:00–12:00 PM

Carl Ludwig Richter: “Non-Genealogical” Records Portray a Nineteenth-Century Immigrant to Washington, DC
John Philip Colletta, PhD, FUGA

Direct-Line DNA Tests for Genealogy
Angie Bush

Genealogy Standards, Second Edition—Overview of the Changes
Karen Stanbary, LCSW, MA, CG
Rick Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA
Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA

12:15–1:45 PM ($)

APG Luncheon: Forty Years of APG: Glancing Back, Looking Forward
Billie Stone Fogarty, MEd
David McDonald, DMin, CG

2:30–3:30 PM

From Ulster to Virginia and the Carolinas
David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FIGRS, FUGA

“Death by Undue Means”: Coroners’ Records
Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL

“Dutch” New Netherland and New York: A Lesson in Flexibility
Karen Mauer Jones, CG, FGBS, FUGA

2:30–4:30 PM

BCG Certification Seminar
Angela Packer McGhie, CG
LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG, CGL
Rick Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA

Transcription & Record Analysis: Extracting Data from Handwritten Materials
T-270 (Workshop)
David McDonald, DMin, CG

For complete FGS conference listings and updates, please visit the FGS conference website at

Registration is open right now for SLIG 2020, both the Institute and the Academy! Visit for more information.

So much to learn! So many great educators!

SLIG Instructors at FGS on Wednesday, August 21st!

FGS opens on Wednesday, August 21st in Washington, DC.

For those attending SLIG in 2020, you can get a preview of what you will experience, since many SLIG instructors and coordinators will be sharing their expertise throughout the conference. If you are still undecided about whether a week-long institute with expert instructors is for you and you are attending FGS, take this opportunity to see why attending SLIG in January 2020 would elevate your genealogical education!

If you have questions regarding the Institute or just want to see what we are all about, pay us a visit at Booth 704. There is an Exhibit Hall map found here.

On Wednesday, the following SLIG instructors and coordinators will be presenting the following lectures:

8:00–9:30 AM

Coming Home: Finding Our Place in America’s Tapestry
D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS

11:00–12:00 PM

Courting the Nation’s Capital: The Courts of Washington, DC
Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL

USGS Resources for Genealogists
Gerald "Jerry" H. Smith, CG

Beyond the Applications: Treasures from America’s Lineage Societies
D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS

2:30–3:30 PM

A Discussion About Diversity & Inclusion: Society Membership, Education, Outreach, and Collaboration
Colleen Robledo Greene, MLIS
D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS
Linda Harms Okazaki

Maryland State Archives Website Decoded
Rebecca Whitman Koford, CG, CGL

On the Frontiers of Freedom: The Baptists in the South

Barbara Vines Little, CG, FNGS, FUGA, FVGS

Using DNA Matches to Extend Your Family Tree
Angie Bush

4:00–5:00 PM

Perspectives on Societies & Inclusivity: A Community Dialogue
Colleen Robledo Greene, MLIS
D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS
Linda Harms Okazaki

For complete FGS conference listings and updates, please visit the FGS conference website at

Registration is open right now for SLIG 2020, both the Institute and the Academy! Visit for more information.

So much to learn! So many great educators!

Thursday, August 8, 2019

SLIG is Offering a Unique Course in 2020

A course on advanced Hispanic Research is being offered at SLIG 2020 and is being coordinated by George R. Ryskamp, JD, AG, FUGA and Deborah S. Gurtler, AG.

With the rising increase in the popularity of family history research in the world, and especially among those with Hispanic ancestry, there is an ever-increasing demand for good professional researchers who can conduct sound, comprehensive research in this specialized area. This course will help you advance your Hispanic Research skills to the next level. ¡Si se puede!

George and Debbie are assisted by nine additional instructors who will provide instruction to students on how to:
  • Extend your Hispanic research knowledge beyond the basics for the southwest United States, Latin America and Spain. 
  • Gain in-depth knowledge in civil registration, census, and parish records. 
  • Acquire new skills using notarial records, military records and other out of the ordinary record types. 
  • Identify migration patterns throughout the Hispanic colonial world. 
  • Learn about using DNA coupled with sound research techniques to break down brick walls. 
  • Locate records and record collections found in archives around the world. 
Registration for SLIG 2020 is now open! To view a course schedule as well as a video, which provides more information on the course, go here.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Early U.S. Church Records ...

can be essential to resolving genealogical problems! Church registers can be a substitute for missing vital records; they can also serve as correlating evidence when working with multiple indirect resources to construct and document a genealogical project.

The course will examine both the theological underpinnings of a number of Christian denominations and their substantial impact in American genealogy. The records created by churches, ministers, and denominations that can affect and impact on the genealogical work will be considered. Denominational “genealogy,” leading lights, naming patterns, cultural and behavioral impacts, in addition to church records as resources will be considered in this week-long learning experience.

With the world’s largest collection of records within walking distance of the course, we will examine the utility of the records available, their use as substitutes for civil registration and vital records, and effective interweaving of the records into written narratives of a family’s record.

This course also examines churches “across the pond” in their European settings, and evaluates influences that helped shape denominational thinking and record-keeping processes.

Rev. David McDonald, DMin, CG along with his instructor team of:

  • Lisa Parry Arnold 
  • F. Warren Bittner, CG 
  • Kelvin L. Meyers 

will consider the theological influences impacting on the particular denominations, along with religious practices and cultural attitudes which may prevail amongst various groups and bodies. Homework that reinforces the material covered will be featured on three evenings.

Registration for SLIG 2020 is open! You can view a daily schedule and view a video by the Rev. David McDonald, who will provide more insight on this course.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

DNA Times Five!

On Saturdays beginning on October 12th and running through November 23rd, students have the opportunity to tackle five complex cases, one each week. The five cases for the Virtual All-DNA Practicum will be brand new this year. This unique course tests a student's ability to plan, research, analyze, correlate, and solve complex genealogical research problems that use DNA.

There are currently still open seats in Session 3, which runs from 3:00 to 5:00 pm Mountain Time.

Virtual Practicum participants have a week to work on the case and then they gather together online on Saturday to discuss the case with fellow classmates and the case study author/instructor. They have a chance to compare strategies, methodologies, difficulties and results before the instructor demonstrates the case solution. This gives participants experience in working on a wide variety of genealogical problems.

This is an advanced course that will require analyzing and correlating a combination of documentary and DNA evidence. Students should have advanced skills researching in all types of genealogical records, and solving tough genealogical problems. 

Students should have a solid grasp of:
  • DNA inheritance patterns
  • The Genealogical Proof Standard

Students should have experience:
  • Using DNA to solve genealogical problems (beyond recent unknown parentage)
  • Using atDNA results at three testing companies
  • Working with shared matches and genetic clusters
  • Researching in a wide variety of genealogical records including deeds, probate, census, immigration, etc.
  • Solving "brick wall" genealogical problems
  • Using advanced documentary research skills such as analysis and correlation
  • Resolving conflicts with evidence

To view more information on this course, including the prerequisites, go here.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Solid Research Requires a Solid Foundation

Do you have one experience in genealogy and are now looking to enhance your research skills? If so, this course is for you!

In just six week starting Tuesday, September 10th and running for 11 weeks until November 19th, Sara Scribner, CG, and her team of instructors will expand their student's ability to find and analyze intermediate record types such as:

  • Local and federal land
  • Military
  • Immigration
  • Naturalization, and 
  • Find the underlying laws

Students will also learn how to conduct research using best practices and following genealogical standards.

Because this course is offered virtually, students can enhance their research skills from home around their busy schedule but still receive an in-depth, institute-intense course, while building on their existing knowledge and experience.

Homework will allow students to practice new skills and to work in original records. Understanding will be enhanced by a homework review session in the week that follows, instructor presence in a closed Facebook group the week following their class session, a homework key, and written class homework summary comments.

Sara provides more details about her course in a short video by going here. Don't miss out on giving yourself a solid genealogical foundation! Register today!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Did you know that Maryland ...

is one of two states, along with Delaware, which gave up some of its land to help form the nation's capital of Washington, D.C in 1790?

Located in the Mid-Atlantic, Maryland is a small state with great diversity. It has been said that it represents America in microcosm. From Western Maryland, which was Maryland’s last frontier, to the Eastern Shore, which is part of the Delmarva Peninsula and consists mostly of flat farmland, to the City of Baltimore, Maryland provides researchers with a wide array of resources to explore.

This course is designed to provide in-depth coverage of Maryland record groups, repositories, as well as social, economic, and historical context for researchers discovering their Maryland ancestors, from the founding as a proprietary colony to the present. The course will cover the Maryland State Archives as well as the collections of other libraries, repositories, and archives available for genealogical research in Maryland. Also covered will be vital records, land records, court records, tax lists, probate records, military records, church records, and online databases.

Additionally, there will be hands-on exercises offered to students to provide reinforcement of the material covered as well as the opportunity to apply what was learned during the course.

Don't miss an opportunity to explore Maryland in-depth! For more details and to register, go here.

Monday, July 29, 2019

SLIG Scholarship for First-Time Institute Attendees Winner

The Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy is pleased to announce that Julie Johns Defrancesco was selected as the winner for the SLIG Scholarship for First-Time Institute Attendees for 2020.

The competition was strong and many candidates submitted worthy applications. The committee determined that Ms. Defrancesco's application effectively conveyed her desire for a more in-depth learning experience at an intermediate (or above) level.

Julie was born the fifth of five children in La Verne, California to a family with rich Italian, Swiss, French and Irish heritage. Three of her grandparents immigrated to this country between 1906-1929. The fourth grandparents’ line extends to this country’s earliest European settlers.

Her love for genealogical research began at the age of 17 on a trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City in 1978. From that time to this, Julie has taken advantage of every opportunity to learn about family history. Her desire to discover more about her family line has inspired a hunger to learn everything there is to know about genealogical research. She has attended local LDS conferences, interviewed family members, participated in BYU Home Study Courses in Genealogy, and attended countless conferences and online courses. She is an annual participant in RootsTech.

Her desire to learn more about her ancestry inspired Julie to make pilgrimages to Europe and the British Isles in search of more and better information and to become acquainted with the land, culture and the people that figure so prominently in her heritage.

Julie loves sharing her discoveries with her large family of 5 siblings, 22 nieces and nephews, 38 great nieces and nephews, and an ever growing list of newly discovered relatives! “It is so gratifying to see them soak up the information I share at reunions and family gatherings and ask questions about their ancestors.” Twenty-five years ago in an effort to better share her research and unite her extended family, Julie began a quarterly newsletter called “A Common Thread”.

Today, “A Common Thread” has become a well-received family ancestry blog to which she posts weekly. “I’ve learned so much and reconnected with family members, each of whom has added a few more strands to our family tapestry. I have such a love of family…those living, and those past. But, there is more to learn and more to discover.”

Julie has a strong desire to broaden her knowledge and skills, and by so doing extend her family line and help others to do so; rarely does a guest leave her home without discussing their family history, and in some instances receiving a brief tutorial to help them get started in their research!

Julie currently lives in the Gallatin Mountains near Bozeman, Montana with Steve, her husband of thirty-six years, their German Shepherd Lucia, and frequent guests. These guests include not only family and friends, but deer, elk, bear, moose and even mountain lions. The quiet, peaceful solitude of this alpine setting is ideal for long hours of computer research and reflection on generations past.

Congratulations to Julie and we look forward to seeing her in January!

UGA Jimmy B. Parker Scholarship Winner for 2020

The Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy is pleased to announce Melody Daisson as the winner of the UGA Jimmy B. Parker Scholarship for 2020.

Named in honor of Jimmy B. Parker, whose legacy of service to the genealogical community covered more than 50 years, this scholarship is awarded to an individual who has "demonstrated commitment to genealogical excellence and community involvement."

The competition was strong and many candidates submitted worthy applications. The committee determined that Ms. Daisson's application exemplified the culture of giving back to the community as demonstrated by Jimmy B.Parker.

Melody Daisson is an Accredited Genealogist in the Southeast Region of the United States. Melody graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in family history and has 25 years of research experience She works as a professional genealogist at Family Locket. Melody is also on the online remote faculty at Brigham Young University Idaho and teaches FHGEN 112: Family History Research—Part 2: Analysis of Research Evidence. She wrote the Southern Research and African-American course modules for a U.S. Specialty Region Course at Brigham Young University-Idaho. Melody serves on the ICAPGen Study Group Committee as the curriculum designer and peer review lead for the Level 1 study group. Melody's genealogical passions are Southern Research and genealogical writing.

Congratulations to Melody and we look forward to her attendance in January 2020!

SLIG Intermediate Foundations Scholarship Winner for Fall 2019

The Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy is pleased to announce that Carly Morgan of Murray, Utah was selected for the the SLIG Intermediate Foundations Scholarship for Fall 2019.

New this year, this scholarship reaches out to those who haven’t yet attended an institute that need to strengthen their research knowledge and skills at an intermediate level in order to prepare to attend future institutes.

The competition was strong and many candidates submitted worthy applications. The committee determined that Ms. Morgan's application exemplified the need to move her skills to an intermediate level.

Carly has engaged in genealogical research for the last ten years and writes about genealogy at Her personal family research is focused on the Polish community in Chicago, the Chinese community in San Francisco, and her colonial roots in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. She is pursuing further education in genealogy to continue writing with a particular focus on family storytelling and digital genealogy.

Congratulations to Carly and we wish her success in the virtual Intermediate Foundations course!

John Doe & Richard Roe ... What it all means!

This course offers students an opportunity for a deeper understanding of the rich research resources of the law, including those generally available only at law libraries. This is critical when conducting research to ensure you understand the meaning of the records you are finding.

Students will work with legal records and sources, gaining a better grasp of legal history and its implications for research as well as the skills to find and apply the law to solve genealogical problems. 

Individual sessions will focus on specific legal disciplines (criminal, civil, probate and the like) and students will have the opportunity to visit and use the resources of a major university law library. The visit to the law library provides hands-on experience that puts lessons into practice.

This course has the following prerequisites:
Completion of a basic course in genealogy and law—Family History Law Library (SLIG) or Law School for Genealogists (GRIP)—is recommended.

For more details and to register, go here.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Who Needs Standards?

From the website of Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) in discussing the need for their book on standards: 

"Genealogy Standards begins with the simple fact that accuracy is fundamental to genealogical research. Without it, a family’s history would be fiction. That first edition of the manual presented the standards family historians use to obtain valid results, updated, clarified, consolidated, and expanded for the 21st century, and tied more directly to the Genealogical Proof Standard."

"This new 2019 second edition reflects the fact that the practice of genealogy is not static, but evolves as new developments and technologies emerge. Genealogy’s standards must keep pace also. Responding to this decade’s spate of advancements in the practice of genetic genealogy, BCG has modified four existing standards and added seven new standards to guide the use of DNA evidence in genealogical analysis. BCG also has updated the Genealogist’s Code to address the protection of individuals who provide DNA samples. New terms added to the glossary reflect the specialized language associated with DNA evidence."

This is a unique course for advanced practitioners. 

Most courses and lectures approach genealogy standards from the perspective of how to meet standards and how to produce work that meets standards. 
During this course—a supervised practical application of Genealogy Standards—the students will be the judges. 
This is a forum for discussion of each standard and for substantive genealogy questions. Each day the students will evaluate genealogical work samples of unknown quality to determine whether the samples meet, partially meet, or do not meet standards. 
From these exercises we hope that the students will gain insight into the mindset and the habits involved in consistently producing work that meets standards. We hope that the students will develop evaluation strategies to identify weaknesses in their writing and in the writing of others. 
This course will be a forum for discussions of each standard and for substantive genealogy questions.
Why are standards necessary? To produce reliable and accurate genealogical products ... not works of fiction.
To learn more about the course and to register, go here.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Why do I need to research like a professional?

Professional genealogists must meet their clients' expectations. To do so, they have to be able to effectively address their clients' research problems. 

Success in answering research questions follows directly from the research techniques professionals use. 

By developing strong research methods, professional genealogists can solve even the most complex research problems and satisfy their clients. These research methods can be learned and applied by all genealogists, increasing the rate of success in solving any research problem.
This course is taught by credentialed, successful full-time professional genealogists. They have different perspectives and different experiences, yet we all apply the same research standards and methods. Throughout the course, student will be taught the different means of efficient project management to achieve reliable results. The course is framed by the Genealogical Proof Standard but focuses on practical skills.
Throughout the course, students will also complete short homework assignments on a project of their choosing, applying new skills to maximize the potential for successfully solving your own research problem.
Michael provides unique insights into the course through the accompanying video in the description of his course. Go here to see that, the schedule, and to register.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Treasures in Federal Records

Do you recognize the building in this photo? It is the National Archives building located in Washington, DC. 

Michael Strauss is going to play the part of Nicholas Cage's character in National Treasure to lead his students through the wonders that Federal Records can provide.  

This course covers those who desire to learn about a wide of variety of records maintained, and in the custody of the National Archives of the United States. Record sets to be discussed will include:

  • land
  • military
  • patents
  • copyrights
  • trademarks
  • civilian government employment
  • taxation
  • naturalizations
  • passenger arrivals
  • criminal, and 
  • government documents 

By gaining a firm understanding of a wide variety of different record groups (several which students may not have exposed to beforehand), each attendee will be able to apply the lectures presented in the course to get to know their ancestors personally by applying the techniques of fundamental genealogy research and methodology. 

Students will be asked to think critically about the records of the Federal Government as these records may have impacted their families over generations.

If you are interested in taking this course, go here for more information and to register.

Don't forget to view the accompanying video, which gives you Michael's insights on the course.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Discover Your Chinese Ancestry

Americans of Chinese descent, including those with partial Chinese ancestry constitute 1.5% of the total U.S. population. According to the 2010 census, the Chinese American population numbered approximately 3.8 million.

This course is geared toward the individual with Chinese ancestry or the librarian that assists those with Chinese ancestry ... and ... no Chinese language ability is required!

Kelly Summers and her team of knowledgeable instructors will help students:

  • Identify records that may contain genealogical information of a Chinese ancestor 
  • Conduct an Oral History Interview to obtain historical and genealogical information 
  • Locate and use appropriate collections to identify the correct Chinese surname character and ancestral village location 
  • Understand the history and organization of the Chinese genealogy (Jiapu) 
  • Recognize and extract key genealogical information found in the Chinese genealogy 
  • Document and Organize genealogical information using technology 
  • Understand the considerations for planning a trip to the Chinese ancestral village 

Additionally, learn about the records, tools and resources needed to discover Chinese ancestry. Identify records that may contain the original Chinese family name character and the location in China where the Chinese ancestral family originated. Locate and examine Chinese Clan Genealogies (Jiapu) and practice extracting important genealogical information. Gather and organize resources to use when helping others with Chinese genealogical research.

If this interests you, go here for more details and to register. This link takes you to the SLIG registration page, and you must scroll down to find more information about the Chinese Ancestry course.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Enter the DNA Dreamers

I had the opportunity to watch from the sidelines as Karen Stanbary developed this all-new course for SLIG: Meeting Standards Using DNA Evidence – Research Strategies. I admit that the title almost sounds a bit dry, and the prerequisites seem a bit daunting. But oh, if you can meet them and get to attend . . . what an amazing experience awaits!

Students taking this course will, in Karen's words: "Dissect familiar skills with a DNA Twist." 

Let's take a peek inside the classroom as it will exist in January:

Cases only Solvable with DNA Evidence

There are no fewer than eight (8) other instructors besides Karen presenting in this course. Each credentialed. Each with a strong DNA research background.

I see 15 case studies being presented – each one representing a long-standing brick wall that could not be solved without the skillful of DNA along with documentary sources. I see a panel of experts discussing the school of hard knocks so we can avoid the same mistakes.

I see the brain fog clearing and fear lifting as one learns how to apply the newly minted DNA-Related standards and the Genealogical Proof Standard to their work through daily dissection of cases and research strategies.

DNA Dreamers

Imagine being part of a DNA case "think tank" – analyzing, discussing, making recommendations to help the researcher decide on the best approach to resolution. Even more exciting – what if the case being discussed was one of yours? Several lucky students will provide a written summary of a real-life "stuck" case for the class to study and discuss. 

The "dreamers" discussions are optional, held after regular classroom hours, and not required to receive the completion certificate, but why would I not want to participate? Wow, just wow, is about all I can say.

Golden Nuggets

Naturally many handy tips and strategies will surface throughout the week. Students will collaborate to capture them into a take-home "Golden Nuggets Quicksheet." 

Thanks Karen for taking the time to put together this amazing course for SLIG 2020 students. 

And thanks to FamilyTreeDNA for their ongoing sponsorship support which enables us to take things to a new level when it comes to DNA education!

Monday, July 15, 2019

Announcement - Laura G. Prescott Scholarship Winners

The following announcement was provided to SLIG:

We are pleased to announce that Eileen Ó Dúill and Julie Parillo are the first recipients of the Laura G. Prescott SLIG Scholarship. Tuition to their course of choice at the 2020 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) or the 2020 SLIG Academy, plus hotel accommodations, will be paid out of scholarship funds generously donated by the genealogical community. Though designed to be awarded to one candidate annually, the scholarship is being doubled to celebrate its inaugural year.

The scholarship honors Laura G. Prescott, a genealogy professional who enriched the field with her talents as a teacher, writer, researcher, mentor, society leader and volunteer, and as director of Ancestry Academy—Ancestry’s collection of instructional webinars presented by leading genealogical educators. Laura was also especially known for her bright smile, positive attitude, and encouraging nature.

Scholarship winners are chosen by committee with Laura’s attributes in mind. Their short essay applications include information about what they hope to gain from attending SLIG, why they deserve the scholarship (not necessarily financial reasons), and how they intend to use what they learn. Those chosen embody Laura’s passion for and service to the genealogical community and thus will further her legacy.

Eileen Ó Dúill is known to many in the genealogy field, as she has been a professional Irish genealogist since 1990, specializing in legal and probate research. She is a founding member of the Irish Probate Genealogy Partners. As a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, Eileen served on the APG board as the International Trustee for Britain and Ireland from 2007 to 2012 and received the APG Professional Achievement Award in 2016. She has lectured nationally and internationally and presented the Ancestry Academy webinar on Beginning Irish Research. Eileen has faced personal adversity with positivity and displays a passion to return as an active member of the genealogical community.

Julie Parillo is secretary for the Rockdale-Newton County Genealogical Society in Georgia and volunteers at the Henry/Clayton County Genealogical Society’s Brown House. She is a member of the Georgia Genealogical Society, the National Genealogical Society, and the Association of Professional Genealogists, and says she frequents as many seminars and watches as many webinars as possible to expand her knowledge. Julie’s passion for genealogy is clear when she says, “Genealogy not only offers me a glimpse into the lives of past ancestors, but will connect me to generations of the future. My goal is to enrich my part of the genealogical world as effectively as possible.”

Congratulations to these two deserving candidates!

Friday, July 12, 2019

Registration and Lodging Final Prep

As you are aware, registration opens tomorrow for both SLIG (9:00 am MDT) and Academy (2:00 pm MDT). Lodging also opens at 9:00 am MDT.

Grab and Go Day vs Special Events Registration:
  • Saturday is “grab your course and run” day. No special events registration to slow you down.
  • Mark your calendars for August 10th - we will open registration for special events, and SLIG Extended on that day.  These will be announced over the next few weeks; skeletal information is on the website to help you plan.
UGA Membership Discounts
  • It is best to have your membership updated prior to registration.
  • If you are just renewing your UGA membership, it will take 15 minutes to be synced up with our system. If you are in a rush, exit without paying and contact the registrar to apply the discount. Then return and pay by invoice. This will save us having to do refunds.
Planning your travel schedule?
  • Please review the event schedules for both SLIG and Academy posted online before booking your airfare.  
  • If you are attending either SLIG or Academy, you will be invited to attend the free SLIG Day at the FHL, Saturday, 1/18, and you will be eligible to register for consultations during either week, as well as Academy Professional workshops on Friday 1/24. 
  • Bottom line: SLIG begins on Sunday, ends on Saturday 1/18 for those who wish to have the full experience. Academy begins on Saturday 1/18 for those who wish to come in early, and ends after workshops on Friday afternoon, 1/24.
Policies update:
  • The registration and cancellation policies were recently updated (since June) to reflect policies written elsewhere - now they are all in once place. Please read them prior to registering, as you will be required to check a box indicating your agreement. (
  • If you don’t get the course you want, it can be waitlisted. If you happen to be the last one to attempt to get a course, and don’t, you will be automatically waitlisted and asked to select another course. 
  • At any time, you can see what programs for which you have enrolled, and which courses you have waitlisted and their status from your main menu. You can now also modify your waitlisted courses through add/drop. Please read the instructions carefully - and make changes with caution. Registration FAQ:
  • Please read the updated procedures posted online: and use the link posted there to book your room.
  • In spite of appearances, this link will NOT be valid until 9:00 am tomorrow.
  • If you are not able to get the room nights you need, just reserve what is available and put your additional dates needed in the reservation. We have the ability to manage those requests quickly this year. In fact, quite possibly by the end of the day. Yea!
    (a side email to let us know of your request will help as well).
  • Please do not call the hotel; they do not have access to our block and won't have accurate answers - if they try to answer you at all; remember this is a group rooming block to get tax-free status; different rules.
Email courtesies:
  • If you register for a SLIG program, you will need to receive occasional email from this address. 
  • Please do not mark incoming email from any SLIG address as spam. That blacklists the account and affects everyone who does wish to receive it. Instead, please just delete what you don't wish to read and/or reply to this email and ask us to remove your account! (Note: The latter action will also remove your registrations; we must have the ability to communicate with you).

Need help? 
Please contact us: 
  • Registration: or 801-259-4172, registrar
  • Lodging: or 801-259-4172, director
  • UGA membership, Paypal issues: or 801-259-4172, UGA
Please note that Saturday will be a very busy time for all of us in our efforts to support registration and lodging. If we miss your call, we will get back to you in the order contacted.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

SLIG Lodging for 2020 Opens Saturday

The Institute is held at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center. The property features comfortable meeting space, large networking areas, and four-star comfort. Each room includes a compact refrigerator, work desk, and a safe large enough to fit a laptop. All rooms are non-smoking.The Hilton is located at 255 South West Temple, approximately three "Salt Lake City" blocks from the Family History Library. SLIG will be offering complimentary shuttle service to the FHL for labs and after classes.

Why Stay at the Institute Hotel

Besides the convenience of being on-site with everything easily accessible, and having all the comforts of home in this plush environment, staying at the host hotel helps keep SLIG registration fees reasonable. We thank you in advance for your support and hope you enjoy your pampered Hilton stay.

Hilton 2-queen bedroom

Group Rate

SLIG participants may reserve lodging at the group rate of $144.00 single, double, triple, or quad, allowing you to choose individual privacy or an economical shared experience. Rates apply to standard King and 2-Queen rooms; premium rooms and suites may be available at varying rates upon request. 

Guests in the block also receive complimentary self-parking in the underground garage (value $18/day) and complimentary wireless internet in the guest room (value $9.95/day). Microwaves are available upon request for $10/night (limited availability and not guaranteed).

Participants may piggy-back Hilton Awards nights onto their reservation. Rooms booked in the block are eligible for Hilton Honors points.

The Reservation Process

To ensure the most economical rate possible for our participants, SLIG utilizes a "group rooming list" process, which brings all lodging reservations under our organizational umbrella. While reservation confirmations may reflect the current lodging tax rate, tax will not be applied upon check-out.

Reservations must be made using the Passkey reservation link provided by the hotel for our exclusive use. Reservations made outside this block are not eligible for the SLIG group rate or tax-free status. 

A one-night lodging deposit will be required at the time of booking and will be paid directly to the hotel through the Passkey system. Changes and cancellations must be made directly through SLIG until after the final cut-off date in mid-December.

SLIG 2020: Book Now 
(will open 9:00 am MDT, Saturday, July 13th)