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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Seats Remain for SLIG 2020 Courses!

Don't miss celebrating 25 years with the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) in 2020! It promises to be a wonderful celebration of all the years we have helped our students elevate their genealogical education to new heights.

These SLIG 2020 courses currently still have seats available:

  • Course 2: Guide to Treasures Found in Federal Records (Strauss)
  • Course 3: Early US Church Records (McDonald)
  • Course 5: Corpus Juris: Advanced Legal Concepts for Genealogy (Russell)
  • Course 7: Maryland: Researching in the Old Line State (Hoffman)
  • Course 8: Chinese Ancestry: Research Methods and Sources (Summers)
  • Course 9: Advanced Hispanic Research (Ryskamp & Gurtler)
  • Course 11: Meeting Standards Using DNA Evidence--Research Strategies (Stanbary)
  • Course 12: Researching Like a Professional (Hait)
  • Course 13: Applying Standards to Appraise Genealogical Work (Bloom)
  • Course 15: Technical Writing for Genealogists (Johnson)

Courses 1, 4, 6 10, and 14 are currently full, but have waitlists.

Come to SLIG in 2020 and celebrate with us! For more information on SLIG, go here.

Are You a Professional Genealogist or Transitioning to Be One?

If you are a professional genealogist and need to sharpen your skills or if you are transitioning towards becoming a professional, then the following SLIG Academy courses with seats remaining may be right for you:


  • Course 1: The Art of Writing Client Reports (McGhie)
  • Course 4: DNA for the 21st-Century Professional
  • Course 5: Fundamentals of Forensic Genealogy
  • Course 6: Writing and Documenting for Peer Review
  • Course 7: Project Management Essentials for the Professional Genealogist

Come to SLIG Academy in 2020 and celebrate with us on our 25th anniversary of helping our students elevate their genealogical education! For more details on SLIG Academy go here.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Get Insider Information about Building a Genealogy Business - A Discussion with Liz


Are you a genealogy business owner, or considering becoming one? Building and Nurturing a Successful Genealogy Business, coordinated by Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG  may be the right course for you. We spoke with Liz Miller, previous participant in the course, for her perspective.

Why might you want to take the course? 
Liz she took the course because she wanted insider information - someone with experience and expertise to help her realistically explore the idea of starting a business.

Who should take the course?
This course is for anyone who is thinking about opening a genealogy business or interested in improving their existing business. Liz says you should take this course if:
  • you need a temporary business coach; 
  • you are exploring the possibility, or are ready to transition from hobbyist to professional genealogist; 
  • you want to know what it takes to start and build a successful business; 
  • you want to avoid costly mistakes and “learning the hard way”
What is the course like?
Building and Nurturing a Successful Genealogy Business is a hands-on course with innovative learning opportunities designed by experienced genealogists, including Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, Angela Packer McGhie, and Teresa Steinkamp McMillin. With a small class size, participants experience a comfortable atmosphere as they discuss their questions with peers and instructors. Liz said, "I really liked the small class size and the novel approaches Jeanne and Teresa took when teaching the course material—it was truly a “hands on” experience. Jeanne and Teresa were open about their successes and failures concerning their entrepreneurial endeavors; they went out of their way to create a teaching/learning environment where students quickly felt at ease."

What will you come away with? 
Participants in Building and Nurturing a Successful Genealogy Business will leave the course with next steps to make progress in their plans. At the end of the week, each student will have a unique business plan crafted from each day’s homework. Liz said, "While facing of some very difficult but necessary interim decisions, this course helped me see the possibilities for the future. I came away from the course with a plan and the necessary tools to help me plot out a realistic course of action."

Friday, September 6, 2019

A Practical Application of Genealogy Standards

This is a unique course for advance 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 discussions 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 is a forum for discussions of each standard and for substantive genealogy questions.

The class will move quickly and assume that attendees are familiar with Genealogy Standards, 2nd edition (2019), with Evidence Explained, and with Numbering Your Genealogy.

Jeanne will be assisted by:

  • Jill N. Crandell, AG
  • Stefani Evans, CG
  • LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG, CGL
  • Debra S. Mieszala, CG
  • Karen Stanbary, MA, LCSW, CG

For more information and to see Jeanne's video on the course, go here.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Finding Clues Hidden in the Records with the Advanced Legal Concepts Course - A Discussion with Judy Russell


Corpus Juris: Advanced Legal Concepts for Genealogy is unique learning opportunity for those who want to use legal records to uncover clues about the past. Participants will experience hands-on research in the University of Utah Law Library and receive instruction on a higher level than any other genealogy law-related courses. Course coordinator, Judy Russell, JD, CG, CGL, answered our questions about her course. 

Who should take this course?
This is the perfect class for every genealogist who has ever sat with a court record or probate file or legal document and wondered just what story that record was trying to tell. The arcane language, the formalities can all hide some of the most important clues we can have in reconstructing families, and finding those clues requires some special research skills. 

Am I ready for this course?
Anyone who has done onsite research in a courthouse or truly worked through a full case file online is ready to take this next step and dive deeper into legal records and legal research techniques. It's advanced, yes, but not so advanced that anyone who's grappled with court and legal records for their family history should be afraid to take that next step.

What makes this course unique?
What makes Corpus Juris different from other genealogical institute courses is its depth and breadth of focus on understanding the legal foundations of the records we use. In an introductory law-and-genealogy course, it isn't possible to spend a day on researching at a law library or to have multiple sessions on finding exactly the right law that explains what this record means at this place in this time -- while Corpus Juris makes that a keystone.

What is the main takeaway students will gain from this course?
Students come out of this course with a solid understanding of the ways in which major genealogical clues can be hidden in the records -- and with great ways to try to find and understand those clues.

Course instructors include:

  • LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG, CGL
  • Thomas W. Jones, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS
  • Rev. David McDonald, DMin, CG
  • George R. Ryskamp, JD, AG
  • Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA
Learn more about this unique advanced course by clicking here: Corpus Juris: Advanced Legal Concepts for Genealogy.

A Unique Opportunity at SLIG 2020: Chinese Ancestry Course



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. Don't miss Kelly's video on the course!

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The Fast-Growing Field of Forensic Genealogy

Come explore your potential role in the fast-growing field of forensic genealogy with Catherine B. W. Desmarais, CG and her instructor team, including:

  • Angie Bush, MS
  • Kelvin L. Meyers
  • Michael S. Ramage, JD, CG

The instructorsall who are all experienced, practicing forensic genealogists—will introduce students to a broad spectrum of topics. Mornings will be spent exploring business practices, work products and skill development, while afternoons will delve into the types of work in which forensic genealogists engage. Students will learn the fundamental skills needed to establish or strengthen their own forensic genealogy practice.

This course is intended for those with advanced genealogy research skills who are interested in learning more about the field of forensic genealogy as a career. You will find it helpful to be familiar with Genealogy Standards (Washington, DC: Board for Certification of Genealogists, 2014) and Elizabeth Shown Mills, Professional Genealogy: Preparation, Practice & Standards (Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2018).

For Catherine's video and more information, go here.

A Business Needs Nurturing

Thinking about opening a genealogy business? Interested in improving your existing business? This course is for you.

Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG; Teresa Steinkamp McMillin; and Angela Packer McGhie will work with students through active interaction and participation.

This course requires active interaction and participation. At the end of the week, each student will have a unique business plan crafted from each day’s homework.

Sessions include hands-on activities. Students should bring a laptop computer with a word-processing and a spreadsheet program installed. Nightly homework assignments will include income and expense accounts, creating a weekly calendar, marketing and promotion, and business plans.

This course has the following required textbook: 


Mills, Elizabeth Shown, editor. Professional Genealogy: Preparation, Practice & Standards. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2018.

To see Jeanne's video on her course as well as detailed information, go here.


Tuesday, September 3, 2019

DNA - Another Tool in the Professional Genealogist's Tool Box

DNA testing has grown in popularity to the point that the public and many amateur genealogists equate DNA testing to genealogy. As professional genealogists in the 21st century, it is imperative that we be as familiar and comfortable with using DNA test results as we are with using census and vital records. 

The purpose of this course is to:

  • Familiarize professionals with educational resources; 
  • Provide tools and methodologies to streamline the integration of documents and DNA; 
  • Apply DNA tests results to genealogical research questions; 
  • How to present that information to clients in an understandable format; and 
  • The ethical issues surrounding DNA testing.

Students should have an excellent working knowledge of the Genealogical Proof Standard and have test results with AncestryDNA and MyHeritage (may be uploaded). Students should also feel comfortable using research logs or journals and preparing written reports. 

This course will require familiarity of DNA testing types, and the five major vendors that offer genetic ancestry testing.

Angie Bush, MS will be joined by:

  • Blaine Bettinger, PhD, JD
  • Paul K. Graham, AG, CG, CGL

to provide a wonderful institute experience to the students.

To see Angie's video on her course and for more information, including registration, go here.