Friday, August 30, 2013

Advanced Practicum -- Another Chance to Participate

Have you considered taking the Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum course at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy? Well, here is your chance to get in. The first section of the course has filled, and a second section has been opened, so there is space for 15 more participants. Click here for more information or to register for the course.

The Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum is a different type of course where the focus is hands-on experience solving genealogical problems. The students are given a new case to work through each day and then gather to discuss the solution with classmates and top-notch instructors (see names below). 

New for 2014
  • The cases are all brand new for 2014 and cover a variety of geographic locations and time periods in addition to providing experience with different methodologies. Students will work to analyze and correlate evidence as well as conduct additional research to solve the cases. 
  • Also new for 2014 is the chance to work together with fellow students on one of the cases. This group project will allow more interaction and a chance to see how other genealogists approach research problems.
  • The research study that had been conducted by Thomas W. Jones and Angela P. McGhie along with this course has concluded, so participants will NOT be asked to fill out questionnaires on the cases they complete. 
  • Participants will submit bios ahead of time and they will be share with all the course registrants so that they can get to know each other better and to encourage networking.
This course is designed for advanced genealogists who enjoy testing their skills and expanding their education with hands-on experience analyzing evidence and working on complex cases.

To see what some of the 2013 course participants had to say about the course see:

The faculty for this course include:
  • Angela Packer McGhie
  • Kimberly Powell
  • William Litchman, Ph.D.
  • Mark Lowe, CG
  • Jay Fonkert, CG
  • David Ouimette, CG
  • Harold Henderson, CG
  • Michael Hait, CG

Saturday, August 24, 2013

A Higher Level of Learning

As part of my continuing series where guest authors share reviews of courses at genealogy institutes, here Darcie Hind Posz shares her experience with the Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum course at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. This course will be offered again in January 2014.

By the time I attended the Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum, I had already been to national genealogical conferences, been in a few study groups like ProGen and NGSQ and had successfully completed the NGS Home Study Course.  All of those were valuable experiences, but they had allowed me to remain insulated from classroom participation and avoid a cast iron deadline: I was able to learn at my leisure, but at some point I had become complacent.  I needed a higher level of learning that forced me out of my comfort zone and the Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum was right for me.  Each day, students of the Practicum receive a genealogical question from one of the excellent lecturer/presenters.  Students then have the day to solve the problem and present their findings to the lecturer/presenter.  Students have the opportunity to interact with presenters and other students on a unique level as they study methodology.  When I attended in 2013, I diligently took notes each day so that later, when I got back home, I could take apart the case studies and more fully understand how it was resolved; even now, applying these methodologies to my own personal research has helped me to resolve nearly all of my genealogical brick walls. 

Mark Lowe taught me that it is possible to both “mull it over” and meet a deadline.  Bill Litchman taught me to just relax and evaluate what is around me, and analysis will come and the answer will appear.  Stefani Evans had beautiful source citations, a lovely research report and taught me to inspect those derivatives.  Tom Jones helped me realize that I have become a source snob by ignoring published family histories and online pedigrees and reminded me that I need to evaluate everything.  J Fonkert showed me that problems can be multi-layered and that I needed to find a better way to sort the information, which led me to using tables in my research plans. 

I enjoyed my experience so much that I have enrolled for 2014 and recommend it for everyone to try!  It is an essential part of Genealogical education and learning.  If you are “on the clock” or just want a more intense genealogical educational experience, then push yourself out of your comfort zone, accept the challenge and experience the Practicum!

For details on the 2014 course and instructors see:
Instructors Selected for 2014 Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum

To see other courses offered at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, or to register click here.

Darcie Hind Posz has been a professional genealogist for more than nine years. Research emphases include Chicago and Hawaiian/Polynesian genealogy and urban ancestors.  Her writing has appeared in APG Quarterly, FGS FORUM and NGS Magazine and portions of her research are housed at Columbia University. Currently, she is President of the National Capital Area Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists and resides in Washington, D.C. 

For other reviews of the Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum course at SLIG see:

Friday, August 23, 2013

Follow Friday -- FGS 2013 Conference Blog Compendium

For today's Follow Friday post I would like to express appreciation to Randy Seaver and recommend his FGS 2013 Conference Blog Compendium post on his Genea-Musings blog. Randy has time to read more blogs than I do and he has created a useful compendium of blog posts about the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) conference that has been going on in Fort Wayne, Indiana this week. I was unable to attend the conference and so I enjoy reading the blog posts of others who are attending. 

I was excited to hear about the news out of the FamilySearch bloggers dinner, as well as the announcement that the FGS conference will be in conjunction with the RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City in February of 2015, as I hope to be able to attend. I look forward to reading more posts about the FGS conference as it winds down, and Randy adds more posts to his list.

Federation of Genealogical Societies Announces 2015 Conference

I am excited about this news! As the press release below states, the annual FGS conference will be held in conjunction with the RootsTech event hosted by FamilySearch in 2015. I love visiting Salt Lake City and may be able to attend both events if they are held together. I am putting these dates on my calendar.

FGS and RootsTech Events To Be Held In Tandem
February 12-14, 2015 in Salt Lake City

22 August 2013 – Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announced today that its 2015 National Conference will be held February 12-14, 2015, in Salt Lake City, Utah in conjunction with RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch. RootsTech is held each February in Salt Lake City and helps thousands of attendees from around the world discover and share family connections, stories, and history.

With the Salt Palace Convention Center as the common venue, both FamilySearch and FGS are committed to producing a one-of-a-kind genealogy event addressing the educational needs of the family history, technology and genealogical society communities. As the logistics of this sizeable event are still being worked out, both FGS and FamilySearch will work together to share resources and provide cost benefits for all parties, including attendees and exhibitors. Attendees can expect to see familiar elements of previous FGS and RootsTech events including keynote presentations, a Society Showcase and Expo Hall.

Registration for both events will begin in August 2014, six months prior to the February 2015 dates. FGS will also hold a smaller national event for its members in late 2015, with details to be announced at a later date.

FGS President D. Joshua Taylor states, “FamilySearch has been a valued partner and sponsor for FGS during its past conferences. It only makes sense for both organizations to work together and produce what will be the most talked about genealogy events of 2015.” Taylor added that such an event brings the best of RootsTech and FGS conferences together under one roof and will offer genealogists and family historians a wide array of activities and educational opportunities.

About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was founded in 1976 and represents the members of hundreds of genealogical societies. FGS links the genealogical community by helping genealogical societies strengthen and grow through resources available online, FGS Forum magazine (filled with articles pertaining to society management and genealogical news), and Society Strategy Series papers, covering topics about effectively operating a genealogical society. FGS also links the genealogical community through its annual conference -- four days of excellent lectures, including one full day devoted to society management topics. To learn more visit

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

NARA Virtural Genealogy Fair Schedule

As I mentioned last week the National Archives is to host a Virtual Genealogy Fair.  The free webcasts will be broadcast on Tuesday, September 3rd and Wednesday, September 4th. The National Archives website does not list the schedule and topics yet, but the National Archives Researcher News published the schedule today, and I have permission to share it with my readers.

The presentations will be made by NARA and USCIS staff members and will be archived and available for viewing later if you miss the virtual fair in September. Note that the presentation times listed below are Eastern time.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

FGS Conference -- Angela's PIcks for 2013

I wish I were in Fort Wayne, Indiana attending the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) conference this week. The program looks terrific and I would love to see all my genealogy colleagues. But for those of you who, like me, are unable to attend, you can still benefit from the genealogical education by selecting presentations to purchase and listen to at home.

Many of the conference sessions will be recorded by Fleetwood Onsite Conference Recording, Inc. What is new this year is that there will be digital downloads of sessions instead of CDs to purchase at <> after the conference. I am hoping the following sessions are among those recorded as they are the ones I would most like to hear this year. Everyone will have different sessions that they feel they need, as we are all at varying places in our genealogical education. We may need lectures on records, methodology, or specific locations or ethnicities.

What sessions are you most interested in? I would love to have you leave a comment and let me know what you would like to download this year. The FGS conference program can be found here.

-->Angela's picks for 2013
Finding Fathers: Bridging the Generation GapElizabeth Shown MillsS-401
A Wife, or Rather a Woman: Identifying the Wife of Edward Worthington, Kentucky PioneerKaren Mauer GreenS-409
Three Ways to Improve Your Speaking IdeasHarold HendersonS-404
Creating Family Histories for Future GenerationsThomas W. JonesS-412
It Takes a Human: Genealogists and WritingJeanne Larzalere BloomS-421
Smiths and Joneses: Success with Families of Common NameElizabeth Shown MillsT-213
Planning and Executing Efficient and Effective Research: A Case Study Thomas W. Jones T-202
Going Nuclear: DNA Discoveries to Trace All Lines of DescentDebbie Parker Wayne T-217
Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Research, Methods and SkillsDebbie Mieszala F-318
Tips and Tools for Planning and Tracking ResearchDebbie Parker Wayne F-346
Speak, Write and Publish Safely – Staying Out of Copyright TroubleJudy G. Russell S-432

Saturday, August 17, 2013

National Archives to host Virtual Genealogy Fair

I was at the National Archives in Washington D.C. today and was excited to learn that they will be hosting a Virtual Genealogy Fair! I was disappointed when the annual NARA Genealogy Fair was cancelled last spring, but now that it is a virtual event many more people across the country will be able to participate. This will be a FREE event and if you miss the live webcasts then you can view them later as they will be archived on the National Archives YouTube page. The schedule has not yet been released (I will post it as soon as it is available), but you can mark your calendars for September 3 & 4, 2013 if you are interested in participating.

Here is the information that is currently on the NARA website:

National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair

WHAT:  National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair

  • For the first time ever, the National Archives will host a virtual Genealogy Fair via webcast using the Internet.
  • This two-day program will showcase tips and techniques for using Federal records at the National Archives for genealogy research. Lectures are designed for experienced genealogy professionals and novices alike.
  • Lecture topics include Native American and African American history, immigration, Civil War pensions, U.S. Colored Troops, and Navy Deck logs.
  • “Help! I’m Stuck” Call-In Consultation: National Archives staff will be available to answer research questions during the Fair.
WHEN:  Tuesday and Wednesday, September 3–4, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. EST

WHO:  Speakers include genealogy experts from the National Archives and U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services.

HOW:  The National Archives will make this event available via webcast. The webcast will include options for the hearing-impaired. Recorded sessions will be available online after the event.

Background:  The National Archives holds the permanently valuable records of the Federal government. These include records of interest to genealogists, such as pension files, ship passenger lists, census and Freedmen’s Bureau materials. For information on National Archives holdings see

For more information about the fair, e-mail Join the Genealogy Fair conversation on Twitter using #genfair2013.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Online Genealogy Course Fall Registration Deadline

There is still time to register for the online Genealogy Program through the Salt Lake Community College. My friend Janet Hovorka is an instructor in the program and she sent me the following information to share with my readers. 


Salt Lake Community College GENEALOGY Program Registration Closes on August 16th


Fall registration deadline for new students is August 16 and August 21 for returning students. Registration details can be found at 

Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) has offered Genealogy courses in the Division of Continuing Education since 2007. The program was developed in response to a growing community need for proper use of genealogical records and sources as well as expertise in research methodology and family history documentation. Revamped in 2012, the program is now under the Information Studies umbrella, with premier instructors who are highly respected in the field of genealogy and family research. 

Current Genealogy Instructors: 
  • Lorraine Bourne, Accredited Genealogist 
  • Sharon Carmack, Certified Genealogist 
  • Karen Clifford, Accredited Genealogist, UGA Fellow 
  • Janet Hovorka, Masters in Library & Information Science 
  • Kelly Summers, Accredited Genealogist 

SLCC is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), a regional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education. 

Fall 2013 semester credit & noncredit courses include: 
  • Genealogy Computer & Internet Tools** 
  • Intro to Genealogical Research 
  • U.S. Record Groups 
  • International Record Groups 
  • Tracing Immigrant Origins 
  • Genealogy Writing & Publishing 
  • Preparing for U.S. Credentials 
**First class in series 

Offered as credit or non-credit – depending on the student’s goal – a focus on International or U.S. genealogical research is available. To earn a certificate, students must complete six classes. Courses are offered online and prepare students to become accredited or certified in genealogical research. 

Credit courses (GEN): Tuition is $454 for a 3 credit hour class. Out-of-state tuition for a 3 credit hour class is $1,362. All of the Genealogy program courses are offered online. For financial aid determination go to:

Non-credit courses (CEGN) can also be taken to earn a certificate. Tuition for a non-credit course is $350 online course fee. To register for non-credit course call 801-957-5200. An application for acceptance to the college is not required for non-credit courses. To register for non-credit options call: 801-957-5200

Contact and Questions:; 801.957.5383 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

GRIP on the Road

Have you been trying to get in one of the institute courses with Thomas W. Jones and missed registering in the first four minutes? Well here is another chance to take his course!

I posted about the 2014 courses at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) yesterday, and my friend Elissa Powell sent me a second press release with breaking news to share with my readers.

PRESS RELEASE—7 August 2013

The Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) announced that GRIP ON THE ROAD will be held August 3-8, 2014, in Orchard Lake, Michigan, near Detroit, on the campus of the Orchard Lake Schools. GRIP is proud to have been invited to take “GRIP on the Road” and conduct an institute in conjunction with PARI (Polonica Americana Research Institute) located on the beautiful campus of the Polish Mission in Orchard Lake, just north of Detroit.

GRIP already sponsors a week-long institute in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the third week of July with co-directors Deborah Lichtner Deal and Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL. This additional opportunity will make this type of education available to a wider audience. 

Four courses will be offered in Orchard Lake: 

Intermediate Genealogy: Tools for Digging Deeper with Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA.
Determining Kinship Reliably with the Genealogical Proof Standard with Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS.
Bridging the 1780-1840 Gap: From New England to the Midwest with D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS.
Polish Genealogy with Cecile Wendt Jensen, MA, CG.
Polonica Americana Research Institute (PARI), the Polish Mission's genealogy center, is part of the Orchard Lake Schools which was founded in 1885 by Polish immigrants as a center to preserve Polish-American culture and history. PARI was founded in 2008 by Cecile Wendt Jensen, MA, CG, with the support of Polish Mission Director Marcin Chumiecki. PARI's Co-Director is Dr. Hal Learman. For more information on PARI, see
Registration for this new institute opportunity will open Tuesday, February 25, 2014. We hope that this additional opportunity to sign up for popular courses will meet potential students’ needs.
For more information, please see under "Courses." If you are a Plus subscriber, please see the August 7 interview with Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL, who talks more about the institute and genealogical education in general.

Related posts:  GRIP Announces New Courses for 2014

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

GRIP Announces New Courses for 2014

WOW ! Law School for Genealogists. Sign me up. This is just one of the new courses that will be offered at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) in 2014. The others are
"Practical Genetic Genealogy" and "Finding and Documenting African-American Families." See the highly qualified coordinators and instructors listed below. 

I was fortunate to teach in the Advanced Land course at GRIP in July and thoroughly enjoyed this new genealogy institute. It is making it's mark on the map with a comfortable "summer camp for genealogists" atmosphere and quality instruction. I hope to be able to add it to my education plan on a regular basis.

The following announcement was written by Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, and Deborah Litchner Deal of the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh:

The Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) announced that its next institute will be held in Pittsburgh July 20-25, 2014. Of the six courses scheduled for 2014, three have never been given before. GRIP is proud to be able to present fresh course content and popular topics. These include:

Intermediate Genealogy: Tools for Digging Deeper with Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA.
Stuart-Warren focuses on unusual resources, manuscripts, methodology, and analyzing records. She researches across the U.S. and brings her experience into the class room. She encourages students to bring their own family history problems for brainstorming and discussion.  This gives a personal approach to the course which gives a solid foundation and fills in knowledge gaps.

Determining Kinship Reliably with the Genealogical Proof Standard with Thomas W. Jones, PhD., CG, CGL
Learn how to achieve genealogical proof by planning and executing focused research, citing the resulting sources, testing the evidence they contain, assembling evidence into a conclusion, and explaining it clearly. Jones has edited the National Genealogical Society Quarterly since 2002 where many proof arguments are published. The course scope and sequence follow the content of his book, Mastering Genealogical Proof.
Becoming an Online Expert: Mastering Search Engines and Digital Archives with D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS.
Explore the online world of records and repositories by efficiently being able to search for them. Learn the methods and tools to overcome database index challenges and find information on your family that is hidden in layers of webpages. Taylor is the Business Development Manager – North America for brightsolid online publishing. He is the President of FGS, has appeared on the television program “Who Do You Think You Are?” and is a genealogist on the new PBS series, “Genealogy Roadshow.”

Finding and Documenting African-American Families with J. Mark Lowe, CG, and Deborah Abbott, Ph.D.
Discovering families can be difficult and sometimes impossible. Follow proven strategies to gather and analyze a variety of record types while building upon each level for a strong foundation. Five case studies (spanning 1800 to 2014) illustrate how to apply the evidence. Both coordinators are recognized African-American experts. Mark Lowe has been involved in “Who Do You Think You Are?” and Debbie Abbott is known for her lectures in research skills, methodology, and alternative records.

Practical Genetic Genealogy with Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL, CeCe Moore and Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D., J.D.
DNA test results can be confusing and their application to genealogy unclear. This course is designed to provide the in-depth knowledge needed by those who wish to analyze results and further research goals for themselves, their clients, or a surname project. These three recognized experts in the field of DNA analysis will provide opportunities for practical, hands-on experience in analysis and correlation of DNA test results utilizing the latest tools and techniques and will give recommendations for further research.

Law School for Genealogists with Judy G. Russell, J.D., CG, CGL and Richard G. “Rick” Sayre, CG, CGL.
Understanding the laws that affected our ancestors is essential for kinship determination and successful research. This course explores laws concerning courts, estates, family law, immigration, legal research, military, and property laws. Judy Russell, aka “The Legal Genealogist,” has a blog by the same name in which she wittily explores timely issues and genealogical problems. Rick Sayre’s areas of expertise include federal records, military records, urban research methodology, technology and mapping tools for genealogists, immigration, the Ohio River Valley, and Western Pennsylvania.
Registration will begin on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at noon eastern time. Several of the courses are bound to sell out within minutes.