Friday, September 12, 2014

Insider's View of the ProGen Study Program

Have you considered participating in the ProGen Study Program studying the manual Professional Genealogy? For this week's Follow Friday post I would like to share some posts written by recent alumni of the program. They share their experiences and their advice for others who may want to join one of these study groups.

Some Comments about ProGen by Jill Morelli on the blog Genealogy Certification: My Personal Journal 

I'm a ProGen Alumnus! by Miriam J. Robbins on the blog AnceStories: The Stories of My Ancestors

The ProGen Study Groups were also featured on the Genealogy Professional Podcast with Marian Pierre-Louis. You can listen to the episode here.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

An Evening With Bruce Buzbee

For my local Maryland, Washington D.C. and Virginia readers:

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

NEW! Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research

I am excited to be a part of this new virtual genealogy institute! This will a unique program in genealogy education, as it be will in-depth instruction the quality of established genealogy institutes, but will be available online. No need to travel! For more information on the Institute I have included the press release below, or you can visit


Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research to Offer Unique Opportunities in Genealogical Education

RALEIGH, North Carolina, 9 September 2014. Professional genealogists Catherine W. Desmarais, CG, Michael Hait, CG, and Melanie D. Holtz, CG, are pleased to announce the formation of the Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research (VIGR). VIGR is a unique educational opportunity for genealogists of all skill levels.

The Institute will offer courses on a wide variety of genealogical subjects, providing “Vigorous” year-round education for the genealogical community using a virtual platform. Each course will consist of a total of four 90-minute lectures, two each presented on consecutive Saturdays, extensive syllabus material, and practical exercises. Limited class sizes of only one hundred registrants per course allows for a higher level of class participation and instructor feedback than typically offered by genealogy webinars.

Courses are currently planned around the topics of genealogical writing, advanced methodology, DNA testing and analysis, and cultural, regional, or record-based research strategies.

Many of these subject matters—as well as the depth of instruction—have never before been offered in a virtual format and are ideal for genealogists around the world. “VIGR will allow genealogists who work a full-time job or have limited travel budgets to more easily advance their genealogical skills,” Institute co-administrator Melanie D. Holtz stated.

Registration for each course will cost $69.99 and includes digital video recordings of all four lectures, available within two weeks of the close of each course.

For more information on the Institute and to register for upcoming courses, visit and subscribe to the mailing list for updates on future courses.


Michael Hait, CG, “Writing Logical Proof Arguments,” 1 November–8 November 2014
J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA, “Preparing the Field: Understanding the Agricultural Records of our Ancestors,” 17 January–24 January 2015
Maureen Taylor, “Family Photographs: Identifying, Preserving, and Sharing Your Visual Heritage,” 21 February–28 February 2015
Donna Moughty, “Strategies for Finding Your Irish Ancestors,” 7 March–14 March 2015
Blaine Bettinger, “(Finally!) Understanding Autosomal DNA,” 21 March–28 March 2015
Billie Stone Fogarty and Rick Fogarty, “Verifying the Family Legend of Native American Ancestry,” 18 April–25 April 2015
Melanie D. Holtz, CG, and Melissa Johnson, “Genealogical Applications of Dual Citizenship by Descent,” 2 May-9 May 2015
Paul Milner, “An In-Depth Look at the Big Four Records of English Research,” 30 May - 6 June 2015
Angela McGhie, “Digging in Federal Land Records,” 19 September-26 September 2015

CG, Certified Genealogist, CGL, and Certified Genealogical Lecturer are Service Marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluations by the Board and the board name is a trademark registered in the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Forensic Genealogy Institute Registration Opens Today

2015 Forensic Genealogy Institute Registration Opens September 9, 2014, at 1 pm EST

FGI 2015 Set to Be the Largest Offering of Forensic Genealogy Training to Date

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Dallas, Texas – September 8, 2014 – Registration for the fourth annual Forensic Genealogy Institute (FGI) opens tomorrow, September 9, 2014, at 1 pm EST online at With 100 seats available to registrants, FGI 2015 will be the largest-ever offering of forensic genealogy for intermediate and advanced genealogists.

The educational arm of the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy (CAFG), FGI will be held March 26-28, 2015, at the Wyndham Love Field Hotel in Dallas, Texas. Registration for each course is $445, which includes 20 hours of instruction by expert forensic and genetic genealogists in just three days, minimizing travels costs and time away from family and work.

The 2015 FGI features two brand-new, concurrent courses designed for intermediate and advanced forensic genealogists:
·         Advanced Genetic Genealogy and Unknown-Parentage Cases
·         Forensic Genealogy Master Practicum

The “Advanced Genetic Genealogy and Unknown-Parentage Cases” course applies DNA and traditional genealogical research to uncovering the genetic heritage of individuals with unknown parentage. This area of forensic research is expanding rapidly, and genealogists who can use DNA to successfully address unknown-parentage cases are in great demand. Enrollment is limited to 60 students.
The “Forensic Genealogy Master Practicum” offers hands-on experience in researching various types of forensic cases, working with clients (including interviews and contracts), writing forensic reports or affidavits (students will write three reports), and participating in or observing a mock trial to defend a forensic report. Enrollment is limited to 40 students.

Courses are expected to fill, so early registration is encouraged at beginning at 1 pm EST on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. The website also includes full details of each course’s curriculum as well as faculty biographies.

About CAFG
Established in 2011, the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy (CAFG) is a business league with a professional membership dedicated to the advancement of forensic genealogy, which is research, analysis, and reporting in cases with legal implications. CAFG promotes high standards of professional and ethical conduct, provides education and training opportunities, and assists in professional development though mentorship, full membership, credentialing, and awarding of fellowships. Learn more at

Anastasia Harman


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

NARA Hosts Second Virtual Genealogy Fair

The National Archives is going to host it's second Virtual Genealogy Fair on October 28 - 30, 2014. These presentations are designed to teach genealogists about federal records and their use in genealogy research. The presentations will be given by National Archives experts from around the country and from the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service. The live broadcasts begin at 10:00am Eastern time each day and will be available for free on the internet. The live broadcast format will allow participants to ask questions at the end of each presentation. Click here to see the schedule.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Randy Seaver's FGS 2014 Conference Blog Compendium

Thanks Randy! Every time I miss a national genealogy conference I can count on you to compile a handy list of blog posts so I can read all about what went on. This week is no different as Randy has posted his list from the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference in San Antonio, Texas.
See his post "FGS 2014 Conference Blog Compendium" for links to posts from at least nine different bloggers.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Two New Gen Proof Study Groups Forming

There are two new Gen Proof Study Groups forming to study the book Mastering Genealogical Proof by Thomas W. Jones. There is no charge to participate other than the cost of the book.

The group mentors have all been through the book in their own mentoring group with Tom Jones.

We are now offering groups at two different levels: Beginner/Intermediate and Advanced. The same material is covered in each group. The self assessed skill level of the participants is what determines the group you would register for. This way participants with similar skill levels will work
through the book together.

For more information on the Gen Proof study groups see:

Here is the information on the two groups:

Shelley Bishop will mentor an Advanced group using Google+ Communities with a video chat (hangout) option. They will cover one chapter per week beginning September 1st. Solid intermediate participants are welcome in this group as well.

Julie George will mentor a Beginner/Intermediate group using Google+ Community. This group will also cover one chapter each week and begins September 8th.

Both mentors have selected the following format for their study groups: Asynchronous discussion board-- The group will not meet at a designated time but have ongoing discussions on a private Google + Community discussion board throughout the week. The mentor will log on each day to
answer questions and highlight certain concepts, and participants should check in daily also.

If you are interested in either of these groups or would like to be placed on the waiting list for a future group, send an email to Include your preference of group level
(beginner/intermediate or advanced.)

If you have any questions, please email