Wednesday, August 31, 2011

APG events at FGS in Springfield

I wish I could attend the FGS conference in Springfield, Illinois this year as there are some wonderful discussions and presentations geared toward professional genealogists. The list of events sponsored by the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) is listed below. I would love to hear from those of you who are able to attend, and hope that some of these sessions will be recorded so that I can buy the CDs later.

Tuesday, September 6, 7:00-9:00 p.m.  Annual Meeting & Roundtable. Rendezvous Room, Hilton Hotel. J. Mark Lowe, moderator of group discussion, “Those Difficult Situations…how do I come out smelling like a rose?”

Friday, September 9, 8:15-noon, APG Board meeting. Plaza 3, Hilton Hotel. APG members are welcome. Please let Kathleen Hinckley know if you plan to attend so seating can be arranged.

Friday, September 9, 12:15–2:00 p.m., APG Luncheon and Awards Presentations.  Luncheon presentation by Kenyatta D. Berry, “Discovering a Genealogical Treasure Trove with A.B. Caldwell.”

Friday, September 9, 2:00-3:00 p.m., APG PMC. “The Small Business Administration and the Transitional Genealogist” by Mary Clement Douglass.

Friday, September 9, 3:30-4:30 p.m., APG PMC. “Developing Genealogical Skills: Mentoring from Novice to Expert” by Melinde Lutz Sanborn.

Friday, September 9, 5:00 p.m., APG PMC. “Apps Galore for the Professional Genealogist” by Pamela Boyer Sayre.

Saturday, September 10, 8:00–10:30 a.m., PMC Workshop, “Think Like a Targeted Marketer: One Marketing Plan Does NOT Fit All” by Natasha Crain.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Welsh Research Course at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy

This article reprinted with permission of the Utah Genealogical Association. To learn more about the Utah Genealogical Association (UGA) or the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), please visit their website at:
This week we welcome Darris Williams, AG, Welsh researcher extraordinaire. The Welsh research track is a rare opportunity for in-depth education in a highly specialized area. This course may not be offered again for several years and is a huge opportunity for those with Welsh research to break down their brick walls.

I’ve been digging into my Welsh roots for twenty-eight years. In that time I’ve had two unique opportunities to learn from pioneers in the field. The Welsh Research track of the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy 2012 provides a similar opportunity for today’s Welsh family historian. You will learn about the best records and strategies to get the most from your research efforts. After each day of training you will be able to walk a short distance to the greatest centralized collection of Welsh family history records in the world.

Three reasons not to miss next year:

1. The classes. Common topics such as census, church, civil registration and probate records will be covered as you should expect. Additional, more advanced, topics like migration, surnames (there are only a few so that should be easy, right!), the poor, land records, and records from the court of Great Sessions will provide additional leads for resolving many of the brick walls in your Welsh research. The case study at the end of the week will show how various records and research strategies enable a more complete view of the life of your Welsh ancestors. 

2. The instructors. Six instructors will provide more than twenty hours of insight for better research success. Half of the instructors live in Wales and the other half are based in Salt Lake City. Their combined expertise will open doors on both sides of the pond for breaking down the brick walls in your Welsh family history. 

3. The experience. The Salt Lake Institute is not the start of your journey into Welsh family history and it will not be the end. The people you meet and the time spent learning together will be the beginning of a new phase in your research. You will obtain information, contacts and resources that will help you move forward in new and exciting ways.

See you in January!

Friday, August 26, 2011

"Back to School" Episode of Geneabloggers Radio

This week the GeneaBloggers Radio show on Blog Talk Radio will be featuring a "Back to School" theme and focusing on educational opportunities for genealogists. Join host Thomas MacEntee tonight, Friday, August 26, 2011 starting at 10pm Eastern, 9pm Central, 8pm Mountain and 7pm Pacific. Thomas will be talking to Louise St. Denis of the National Institute of Genealogical Studies; Angela McGhie (yours truly) of the ProGen Study Group; and Pat Stamm of the National Genealogical Society Home Study Course.
See Geneabloggers Radio to read about this episode or to tune in tonight. If you miss it, you can listen to the program or download it later on iTunes (search for Geneabloggers under Podcasts). Tune in to the radio show every Friday night for interviews with genealogists on a variety of topics.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Family History Centers Sponsor Free Conferences

Last year I wrote about the benefits of Free Family History Conferences. This year Saturday, October 15th seems to be a very popular date for this type of event, as I am aware of at least three conferences that will be hosted by local Family History Centers. I will be speaking at the conference in Baltimore, and also at the one in Ashburn, Virginia in November.

There are many Family History Centers that host free annual conferences and provide this type of education to their patrons. Below is a list of some of the annual events that I am aware of with links to their conference websites, and I would love to have you comment if you know of others to add to the list.
Baltimore Family History Workshop (October 15, 2011)

Logan (Utah) Family History Conference (October 15, 2011)

Mid-Atlantic Family History Conference in Cherry Hill, NJ (October 15, 201l)

Ashburn (Virginia) Family History Seminar (November 5, 2011)

Other annual Family History Center Conferences:

New England Family History Conference (March)

The Threads That Bind in Sioux Falls, SD (October)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Swedish Research Course at SLIG

This article reprinted with permission of the Utah Genealogical Association. To learn more about the Utah Genealogical Association (UGA) or the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), please visit their website at:

If you've been following our series of blog posts about the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), you know that every other week we are featuring our course coordinators as guest bloggers.  This week we are headed to Sweden with Course 4 Coordinator, Geoffrey Morris.

First, may I congratulate any reader who has Swedish ancestry! Your research activities to discover your Swedish family can be a rich and fulfilling journey. The biggest factor in accomplishing this is your determination to overcome research barriers. There is no lack of records. Unlike many other countries where good thorough records were not kept, or preserved, the Swedish records are some of the most thorough and complete in the world. This is due to a number of factors such as:
  • a reasonably small population compared to many countries
  • an incredible amount of records kept by religious and civil authorities
  • national stability
  • a huge amount of records that have survived the hazards of time
So what are the major barriers? As I have been helping people at the Nordic Reference Counter at the Family History Library, I have noticed that the biggest barriers seem to be:
  1. Figuring out what record to go to next
  2. To read and understand text
The Swedish Research Course will begin by focusing on reading and understanding Swedish text (especially for records before about 1820.) We will focus on learning handwriting styles, correctly identifying letters, combining letters into words, putting words into sentences and getting the actual meaning.

The remainder of the course will be focused on exploring records and research strategies. Speaking of records, did you know there are roughly 3,000 parishes in Sweden? Each parish has a collection of records that were created for a variety of reasons (including many record types that were never microfilmed.) Now if you gathered all the parish records from every parish in Sweden and made an enormous pile of books, the pile would only represent about six percent of the all records in the national and regional archives. As the digitization of records continues to progress, a much wider variety of records are becoming available than ever before.  All of the class topics in the Swedish track will have a record and strategy focus that is not limited to the FamilySearch collection.

Finally, we will offer consultation activities at the Family History Library where your instructors will schedule a time to assist with research guidance.

In summary, our hope is to offer a Swedish Research course that will discuss topics that are rarely (if ever) offered at any other genealogical conference outside of Sweden. All of your instructors are fluent in Swedish and will be using Swedish sources to build their class material.  Although this is a great opportunity for intermediate to advanced researchers to improve their Swedish research skills, beginners are very welcome.

Thanks, Geoff!  If you have Swedish ancestry you can register for the Swedish Research course or learn more about it at the UGA website.  If you have any questions about this course, please comment on this post.  Will we see you in January?

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This article reprinted with permission of the Utah Genealogical Association. To learn more about the Utah Genealogical Association (UGA) or the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), please visit their website at:

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Virtual Genealogy Conference

FamilyTree University is hosting a Virtual Genealogy Conference next weekend. This is an interesting concept as you can participate from home, or anywhere you have an internet connection.

For three days participants will be able to watch fifteen 30-minute pre-recorded presentations online. They can set their own schedule and participate in live chats with the presenters. Tuition is $199 for the conference which will run tracks on technology, research strategies and ethnic research. For details on the lectures in each track see the conference program page.

The instructors include:
  • Rick Crume
  • Sunny Morton
  • Maureen Taylor
  • Diana Crisman Smith
  • Thomas MacEntee
  • Lisa Louise Cooke
  • Nancy Hendrickson
  • Lisa A. Alzo
I appreciate many forms of virtual genealogy education and will be interested to see how successful this conference is. I would love to hear your thoughts and comments.
  • What do you think of the virtual conference idea? 
  • Which presentations are you most interested in?
  • Do you think $199 is a good value for 15 presentations?
  • Do you like the 30 minute length, or do you prefer the traditional 60 minute lectures?
I would especially like to hear from those who participate in this online conference.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

FamilySearch YouTube Channel

FamilySearch has updated their YouTube channel with lots of fun video clips, especially for beginners. There are ideas on getting started and helpful hints and tips. 

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

We're pleased to announce the launch of our updated FamilySearch YouTube channel, Thursday, Aug. 4th. Over the past few months, we have been creating video content to reach a variety of audiences throughout the genealogy world. 

In preparation for the launch, we are giving a few influential genealogy enthusiasts a preview of the channel along with an invitation to break the news in your online communities through your blog, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.

The playlists includes:
  • Genealogy in 5 Minutes – a 24-episode series offering an overview of how-to’s, best practices, and helpful hints for doing genealogy.
  • Woven Generations – an inspirational series about the benefits and success stories of genealogy work.
  • Genealogy Fun – a fun video series highlighting the lighter side of genealogy.
  • Societies and Archives – a video series highlighting genealogical societies & archives.
  • Genealogy News & Events – What’s going on the genealogy world?
  • Family History: Getting Started – a training video series for using FamilySearch.
  • “How-to’s” from the Experts – a series of interview clips with best practices for finding your ancestors.
We value your feedback. Please don’t hesitate to let us know ways we can improve the channel and our video content. As we produce these series, if you would like to receive updates or video previews in the future please let us know. Your experience and perspective is extremely valuable to us.