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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.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Our National Treasure!

Do you recognize the building in this photo? It is the National Archives building located in Washington, DC. This is a great course to give you a sound understanding of Federal Records and would be ideal preparation for the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records held every year at the National Archives.

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.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

"Focused Research Planning" by Suzannah Beasley, AG

Tuesday, September 3
UGA Genealogy Pro Talk webinar
"Focused Research Planning"
6:00 pm to 7:15 pm

Presented by Suzannah Beasley, AG 


Register Now  

FREE and OPEN to the public

Focused and deliberate genealogy research takes your research to a new level. Instead of wandering aimlessly through the genealogy records, going straight to the most pertinent records will give you better results. This class will focus on client research, but this can be applied to your personal research as well.

Suzannah received a degree in Family History – Genealogy from Brigham Young University and she is an accredited genealogist through the International Commission of Professional Genealogists. She started by working for the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston before starting my own company, Global Genealogists.

Being a professional genealogist has given Suzannah the opportunity to research families all over the world. She has completed research cases for hundreds of clients with research on all the populated continents. She also had the wonderful opportunity to be one of the professional genealogists researching for the television show Relative Race that airs on BYUtv. Suzannah loves teaching about genealogy, and previously guest lectured on genealogy at Harvard Law School. She is currently an online instructor of family history courses through BYU-Idaho.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Strong Research Methods Solve Complex 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.
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.

Project Management is Essential for Genealogists

We can all use more understanding of the organization and proven processes to help in the work that we do. In genealogy, a well-planned, well-managed project provides clarity, reduces risk, controls cost, and delivers value to the client. 

This course has been developed for the professional genealogist, that might be working independently, transitioning to an organization or experience in a larger organization. The instructor team includes:

  • Brent M. Hansen, DBA, PMP, IPMA-CLaura Giometta
  • Rebecca Groberg, PMP
  • Jon Lambert
  • Kory L. Meyerink, AG, FUGA
  • Karina E. Morales, AG
  • Reed Shell
  • Jessica Taylor
  • Traci Vaughn-Grutta

In this course, you will learn:


  • The fundamentals and best practices of project management through theories, cases, templates and hands-on exercises. Ensuring that you are delivering business value by assessing a project’s case, identifying key people and their relationship to your project, capturing essential requirements, developing effective communication and establishing quality metrics to guide in the development of the genealogy research plan and the delivery of your project. 
  • Define genealogy project scope to provide clarity for project delivery and define project scope for the team. 
  • Manage your project within the planned budget and schedule by managing change and identifying and managing risks, assumptions, and constraints. 
  • Track the delivery of business value and close projects out cleanly. 

The instructors will share best practices and proven project management techniques. You will be introduced to new ways of thinking about old problems. 

By the end of this course, you should have gained a good understanding and experience of the core competencies that make a successful project manager.

For more information, go here.

Monday, August 26, 2019

"What Do DNA Percentages Really Mean?" by Brian Sheffey, 27 Aug 2019

UGA DNA webinar:  FREE and OPEN to the public!

Tuesday, August 27th, 6-7pm MDT


So you have taken the plunge and done a DNA test. You have your ethnicity percentages. But what do those percentages mean? Genealogy Adventures Live co-host Brian Sheffey steps you through his those estimates are calculated - as well as anthropological and geo-political factors you should consider when interpreting and working with your ethnicity estimates.

Brian SheffeyBrian has expertise in DNA, mid-Atlantic, and Southern research, with an emphasis on the intersection of white, black, and Native American genealogy. He has used his knowledge to solve cases of unknown parentage from Colonial America to the present day utilizing DNA and paper trail evidence. Brian has been, and continues to be, a popular speaker at genealogy conferences and seminars, as well as the popular international host of “Genealogy Adventures.”

Brian has deep family roots in colonial Virginia and the Carolinas: from his Jamestown-founding European ancestors to his earliest African ancestors who arrived in 1619 to the Powhatan, Choctaw, and Creek tribes...and his colonial Quaker ancestors in the mid-Atlantic region. His passion for genealogy was inspired by his father, and his father's drive and desire to discover the story of his family. This understanding inspires his work to help others uncover their own ancestral stories.

Brian combines years of experience in marketing research and academia with a passion for genealogical research - and a unique ability to solve seemingly impossible cases. His primary research interests include cases of unknown parentage, such as identifying the white progenitors of mulatto family lines; and triangulating answers to tough genealogical questions using traditional records and genetic evidence.

Behind his passion for research lies the belief that genealogy is an opportunity to connect with Americans from different backgrounds to enable them to connect with each other – and make connections around the globe.

Test Your DNA Analysis Skills!

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.

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
S-403
David McDonald, DMin, CG

Beyond Population: Researching in the Special Census Schedules
S-404
Angela Packer McGhie, CG

An Overview of Researching Hispanic Ancestry
S-406
Colleen Robledo Greene, MLIS

Irish Estate, Land & Property Records
S-408
David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FIGRS, FUGA

9:30–10:30 PM


The Advance of Research Habits over Recent Decades—And the Downside
S-409
Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA

A Vermont Home for a Maryland Man: Assembling Indirect Evidence
S-410
Catherine B. W. Desmarais, CG

Federal Land Laws and the Settlement of Early America
S-411
Rick Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA

Key Player, Participant, or Partisan Follower: Discovering An Ancestor’s Political Leanings
S-412
D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS

11:00–12:00 PM

The Second Great Awakening: Thawing the Frozen Chosen in The Early Nineteenth Century
S-417
David McDonald, DMin, CG

12:15–1:45 PM ($)


BCG Luncheon: Into the Brave New World of DNA
S-470
LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG, CGL

2:30–3:30 PM

Resolving Conflicting Evidence to Identify the Mother of William Dalton—Part I
S-427
Angela Packer McGhie, CG

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Land Records—Advanced
S-428
Gerald "Jerry" H. Smith, CG

Vignettes of Immigrant Military Service
S-432
Rick Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA

4:00–5:00 PM

Using DNA to Confirm the Ancestral Line for William Dalton—Part 2
S-437
Karen Stanbary, LCSW, MA, CG

Research in Virginia’s Burned Counties
S-438
Barbara Vines Little, CG, FNGS, FUGA, FVGS
For complete FGS conference listings and updates, please visit the FGS conference website at https://fgs.org/conference/2019-program/

Registration is open right now for SLIG 2020, both the Institute and the Academy! Visit www.slig.ugagenealogy.org 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
F-302
Karen Stanbary, LCSW, MA, CG

Patents, Surveys, and Indexes: Land Resources for Genealogists at BLM
F-305
Angela Packer McGhie, CG

9:30–10:30 AM


New York Land: Patroonships, Manors, Patents, Rent Wars, and Land Companies 
F-313
Karen Mauer Jones, CG, FGBS, FUGA

Finding Families: The Genealogist’s Role in MIA/POW Repatriation
F-318
Catherine B. W. Desmarais, CG

Identifying Woman: The Ultimate Brick Wall
F-319
Barbara Vines Little, CG, FNGS, FUGA, FVGS

Reverse Migration: Colonial Settlers Who Returned “Home”
F-320
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
F-322
Angie Bush

History & Records of the German Aid Societies (PA, SC, MD, NY)
F-323
Debra A. Hoffman

Court of Quarter Sessions Research
F-324
Gerald "Jerry" H. Smith, CG

Philip Reid, Enslaved and Free: Tracing Families of Color in the District of Columbia
F-326
John Philip Colletta, PhD, FUGA

2:30–3:30 PM


The Jones Jinx: Tracing Common Surnames
F-331
Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA

Strategies for Using Pre-1850 Census Records
F-334
Angela Packer McGhie, CG

Blasting Brick Walls with Legislative Records
F-335
Rick Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA

The Georgetown Memory Project: The Genealogical Pursuit of Truth, Reconciliation & Reunion
F-336
Malissa Ruffner, JD, MLS, CG

Irish Census and Census Substitutes
F-337
David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FIGRS, FUGA

4:00–5:00 PM

From the 18th to the 21st: The Records of Prohibition
F-341
Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL

For complete FGS conference listings and updates, please visit the FGS conference website at https://fgs.org/conference/2019-program/

Registration is open right now for SLIG 2020, both the Institute and the Academy! Visit www.slig.ugagenealogy.org 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
T-203
Debra A. Hoffman

Who Fathered Jacob and William Northamer? Pennsylvania Tax Records Help Determine Kinship
T-206
Catherine B. W. Desmarais, CG

Proving a Negative, Genealogically Speaking
T-210
Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA

9:30–10:30 AM

Indirect Evidence: Finding What Was Not Written
T-220
Rebecca Whitman Koford, CG, CGL


11:00–12:00 PM


Carl Ludwig Richter: “Non-Genealogical” Records Portray a Nineteenth-Century Immigrant to Washington, DC
T-226
John Philip Colletta, PhD, FUGA

Direct-Line DNA Tests for Genealogy
T-229
Angie Bush

Genealogy Standards, Second Edition—Overview of the Changes
T-230
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
T-281
Billie Stone Fogarty, MEd
David McDonald, DMin, CG

2:30–3:30 PM

From Ulster to Virginia and the Carolinas
T-233
David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FIGRS, FUGA

“Death by Undue Means”: Coroners’ Records
T-234
Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL

“Dutch” New Netherland and New York: A Lesson in Flexibility
T-235
Karen Mauer Jones, CG, FGBS, FUGA

2:30–4:30 PM

BCG Certification Seminar
T-240
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 https://fgs.org/conference/2019-program/

Registration is open right now for SLIG 2020, both the Institute and the Academy! Visit www.slig.ugagenealogy.org 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
W-100
D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS

11:00–12:00 PM

Courting the Nation’s Capital: The Courts of Washington, DC
W-103
Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL

USGS Resources for Genealogists
W-104
Gerald "Jerry" H. Smith, CG


Beyond the Applications: Treasures from America’s Lineage Societies
W-108
D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS

2:30–3:30 PM

A Discussion About Diversity & Inclusion: Society Membership, Education, Outreach, and Collaboration
W-110
Colleen Robledo Greene, MLIS
D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS
Linda Harms Okazaki

Maryland State Archives Website Decoded
W-112
Rebecca Whitman Koford, CG, CGL

On the Frontiers of Freedom: The Baptists in the South
W-115

Barbara Vines Little, CG, FNGS, FUGA, FVGS

Using DNA Matches to Extend Your Family Tree
W-118
Angie Bush

4:00–5:00 PM

Perspectives on Societies & Inclusivity: A Community Dialogue
W-119
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 https://fgs.org/conference/2019-program/

Registration is open right now for SLIG 2020, both the Institute and the Academy! Visit www.slig.ugagenealogy.org 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!