Thursday, May 31, 2012

Get the Inside Scoop on the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy

Thinking of attending the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy? Want to know what others thought of the courses? Many of the tracks are new this year, but others are back by popular demand. Seven "insiders" who have taken the courses share their perspectives as guest authors in the blog posts linked below.

Registration for the 2013 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy opens on June 2nd. Some courses fill quickly so be ready to register early if you want to guarantee your spot. You can review the registration instructions here.

Advanced Genealogical Methods
Top 5 Signs You're Ready for Tom Jones' Advanced Genealogical Methods Course
Advanced Genealogical Methods course at SLIG

Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum
A Challenging and Inspiring Learning Experience
Measuring Your Success at Solving Genealogical Problems
An Insider's View of the Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum
Waking Up Your Brain with the Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum course at SLIG

American Research and Records 
American Research and Records Course at SLIG

Research in the Midwest
Research in the Midwestern Course at SLIG

American Research and Records Course at SLIG

This post is the sixth in a series of articles by guest authors sharing their experience with courses offered at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. Here is the perspective of Denise Spurlock on the American Research and Records course.

After you have researched your ancestor’s life through the census, vital records, and perhaps land and probate files, where do you go next to find information that will help you learn even more? To find out, you should attend the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy’s track on American Research and Records, coordinated by Paula Stuart Warren, CG.  The focus alternates between families and locations. In 2012, the focus was on families.

Paula, and the team of instructors she recruits, are among the most knowledgeable genealogists and popular lecturers in the country. Together they provided participants with a wealth of information about other resources such as:

  • Non-population and special census schedules
  • Institutional records
  • City directories
  • Church records
  • Passport applications
  • School records
  • Lesser-used federal records
  • Manuscript repositories and special collections
In addition, there were classes on strategies for planning your research, writing your family history, and making the most of online search tools.

A highlight of the week was a project in which the participants were divided into teams and given a snippet of a document to get them started on a research project. A primary purpose was to learn how to take clues from what you have and develop a research plan to learn even more. Each team developed a research focus and plan and reported their findings at the end of the week. It was a fun opportunity to get to know, and work with, other participants in the course. An added benefit was being able to research in records in a state with which I had limited experience.

There was ample time during the week to use the Family History Library to work on my personal research and on the research project. Being able to take what I learned in the morning and put it to use in the afternoon and evening helped me to internalize the concepts and ideas right away. Private consultations were also scheduled in which you could discuss a personal research question with Paula or another one of the instructors. Since Paula is from Minnesota, I was able to get advice from her on a research question I have with an ancestor who lived there.

In 2013, the track will focus on locations. I am confident the course will be equally helpful in learning about how to find and use resources based on the location in which your ancestors lived.

Denise Spurlock
Ancestral Trees Research
Lomita, California

A Challenging and Inspiring Learning Experience

This post is the fifth in a series of posts by guest authors sharing their experience with courses offered at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. Here is the experience of Barbara Ball.

The Advanced Practicum Course of 2012 was a challenging and inspiring learning experience. I found that I spent all my time working to solve the puzzles, and had little time for lunchtime or evening courses. The instructors were interesting, well informed, and each presented us with a different kind of challenge to our research and analytical skills. All of the information needed to solve the cases was available digitally, and I found that I never once set foot in the Library during this trip. Too bad for me!

If your primary joy in genealogy comes from the successful analysis of data and solving of puzzles, this is the course for you. Though we spent little time in the classroom, the time we did spend was fascinating. It was very helpful to hear how fellow students approached the same problem in many different ways. (We were not allowed to work together or discuss a case until it was finished.) I cannot recommend it highly enough, and plan to take it again. 

Barbara J. Ball, M.S., GISP
Genealogist and GIS Analyst

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Top 5 Signs You're Ready for Tom Jones' Advanced Genealogical Methods Course

This post is the fourth in a series of articles by guest authors sharing their experience with courses offered at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. Here is Vicki Wright on the Advanced Genealogical Methods course.

Top 5 Signs You're Ready for Tom Jones' 
Advanced Genealogical Methods Course at SLIG

  1. You tell your kids the choices for breakfast, and wonder what the source citation format for that would be.
  2. You can recite what all those letters stand for after Thomas W. Jones name (Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS) without having to look any of them up.
  3. The County Recorder knows you by name – and you don't work there.
  4. When excitedly showing your family a copy of an old deed, you lose your temper when they get hung up on the “long s” and the “thorn”.
  5. When the family is planning a vacation, you bring along Evidence Explained, just in case.....
But, joking aside, if you're serious about producing quality genealogical work, then Dr. Tom Jones' Advanced Genealogical Methods  course at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) is for you.
Not only will you learn to research more intelligently, but you will also learn to tease relevant information from all records – even the ones that aren't there.  And you will learn to methodically, and critically, put all that evidence together to complete the jigsaw puzzle that is each and every genealogical problem.

You know you are in for an exhausting week when emails start arriving weeks before the Institute begins.  Some of the attachments to these emails are dozens of pages long.  You are expected not just to read them, but study them.  These “hand-outs” form the back-bone of the course.  In almost every lecture, you will systematically, and interactively, draw out each element of the genealogical method from those pages. “Find 5 examples of indirect evidence.”  “...of primary information.” “...of original sources.”  You get the picture.

You will work together with your classmates, desperate to get the answers “right”.  But you won't.  Not all the time, and maybe not even most of the time.  That's why you're here.  To learn how to get it right.  By the end of the week, you will be on your way to understanding what he is trying to teach you.  Just know for now that your mis-steps are aiding the teaching process by giving Dr. Jones the best gift you can give a teacher – a teachable moment!

The guest lecturers, masterful CG's Claire Bettag and Rick Sayre, will allow your mind to take a break from methodology, and instead fill it to overflowing with their unparalleled knowledge of federal records and map sources.

There will be homework.  It is optional.  Choose to do it.  Take advantage of every opportunity offered you to apply the knowledge you have received that day.  By doing the homework, you will reinforce the lessons.  And then you won't spend the first hour of the next day wondering what everyone else is talking about.  And you will experience that swelling sense of pride when you realize that you found the elusive source, or you correctly identified how many different “Tom Jones'” there were in the records you were analyzing.

You owe it to yourself, and to the genealogical community, to keep advancing your knowledge base, and your skill set.  Dr. Jones is a legend in the genealogical profession.  No doubt.  Look at all those letters after his name!  But he is also a patient, generous, funny, and gifted, teacher.  Don't miss the opportunity to learn from him.

Advanced Genealogical Methods is not a lecture course.  It's a hands-on, minds-on genealogical learning experience.  And if you're serious – really serious -  about producing quality genealogical work, then you must take this course.

Vicki Wright trained to be a lawyer, but would rather be a genealogist.  She is making up for lost years by attending as many quality genealogical institutes, conferences, and events as she can.  She completed the Genealogical Research Program at Boston University's Center for Professional Education in 2010.  She attended the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) and the National Institute on Genealogical Research (NIGR) in 2011, and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) in 2012.  The rest of 2012 will see her again attend IGHR, as well as the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), and the Forensic Genealogy Institute (FGI).  She will also graduate from the ProGen Study Program in June 2012.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Measuring Your Success at Solving Genealogical Problems

This post is the third in a series of posts by guest authors sharing their experience with courses offered at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. Here is the perspective of Melinda Henningfield.

The Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy

Genealogist work alone. They work in dusty repositories or at home, poring over old documents; gleaning every bit of information and evidence; and analyzing and correlating their evidence into conclusions. They use their own or their clients satisfaction as a measure of their abilities. Sometimes they publish an article, knowing at least the editors and peer reviewers agree with their conclusions. There is no other yardstick for a genealogist to measure their success—until now.

I had the unique opportunity to measure my success against my peers this past January at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. I took the Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum course. The instructors were some of the leaders in the genealogy world, Kory Meyerink, BS, MLS, AG, FUGA; Karen Mauer Green, CG; Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS; David Ouimette, CG; and Jim Ison, AG, CG. We were given a series of five problems beginning on Sunday night. We had twenty-two hours to reach a conclusion. In most cases, we could work using the documents provided to us, the internet, or in the Family History Library—conveniently across the street.

The problems were varied and included the U.S. to Germany, the U.S. to England, Illinois and Missouri, the northeastern U.S. to Canada, and South Carolina. In twenty-two hours we had to familiarize ourselves with the available records of the area, write a research plan, research, analyze, correlate, and form conclusions using evidence we had gathered along the way. Sound familiar? The final two hours of each day was spent with our group and the expert instructor. The instructors walked us through their research and their reasoning in reaching their conclusions and we shared our findings if we wished.

This is a unique opportunity in the field of genealogy. You can measure your methods and research capabilities against your peers and against some of the finest genealogists of our time. Don’t worry—you can keep how you match up with them to yourself if you want to. You can use this as the educational opportunity of a lifetime. You can use the lessons you will learn—and if you are anything like me, you will learn a lot of lessons—to grow as a genealogist. Don’t miss this opportunity. They are offering this course again in 2013. Some of the experts are different, but all are leaders in the field of genealogy. Registration begins on June 2nd.

Melinda Henningfield
Medford, Oregon

Thursday, May 24, 2012

National Genealogical Society Announces 2013 Family History Conference in Las Vegas

I received the following press release from the National Genealogical Society regarding their 2013 Family History Conference. I have always enjoyed the NGS national conferences as a means to further my education and network with friends, and look forward to this one as well.

Building New Bridges

Arlington, VA, 23 May 2012
. The National Genealogical Society (NGS) announced at their Family History Conference in Cincinnati last week that the 2013 NGS Family History Conference, Building New Bridges, will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, from 8–11 May 2013. The conference hotel and venue will be the LVH−Las Vegas Hotel & Casino (formerly known as the Las Vegas Hilton). The hotel and conference center are under one roof offering excellent convenience for attendees. To ensure a reservation, attendees may reserve their accommodations now and must request the NGS conference rate when making a reservation. The LVH will accept reservations beginning 14 May 2012 via telephone 1-800-635-7711 or online at

The LVH−Las Vegas Hotel & Casino is a cultural icon. In 1969 Barbra Streisand was the opening performer. The property was known as the International, and it was the world’s largest hotel. Elvis Presley quickly became the star performer. After the Hilton chain purchased the International in 1970, the building became the Las Vegas Hilton and starred as the Whyte House in the 1971 James Bond film, “Diamonds Are Forever.” Elvis lived in the hotel’s penthouse while headlining until his last concert in December 1976. In January 2012 the property became the LVH−Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. The LVH is ten minutes from McCarran International Airport and convenient to I-15 and I-515. The Las Vegas Monorail begins at the LVH and carries passengers to six major Strip resorts.

The conference theme for 2013 is Building New Bridges. The Mike O’Callaghan−Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, dedicated in 2010, spans the Colorado River on Native American land, connects the Las Vegas Valley to Route 66, and embodies the West as a timeless “bridge” where cultures, nations, and technologies connect. The bridge visually frames nearby Hoover Dam, which in 1935 opened the Southwest to urban and agricultural growth by harnessing the water and power of the Colorado River. In celebration of the 2013 theme, the four-day conference will offer more than 150 lectures on researching peoples and places of the West, migration to and from the West, law, military records, immigration, methodology, academic history, family history writing, BCG Skillbuilding, African American and other ethnic research, technological innovation in genealogy (GenTech), and more. In addition, Las Vegas and Clark County are home to several museums and repositories that highlight the history and culture of the area. Manuscript collections reflect the histories of immigrant, Eastern, and Midwestern families that migrated to and through the city in the twentieth century.

About the National Genealogical Society

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogy education, high research standards, and the preservation of genealogical records. The Arlington, Virginia-based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian, seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, research guidance, and opportunities to interact with other genealogists.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Eastern European Research Workshop

I heard about this workshop on the Transitional Genealogists mailing list and thought it would be worth sharing. I try to highlight many different educational opportunities in genealogy.

Peg Ivanyo, the conference administrator, wrote:

"The early-bird deadline ends on June 1st for the Eastern European Workshop sponsored by the Federation of Eastern European Family History Societies (FEEFHS).  This year's workshop features tracks on German, Czech, Russian, and Polish research, in addition to a handful of specialty courses and a Records and Resources track.  The workshop environment allows sufficient time for research at the nearby Family History Library in addition to consultations with the instructors.  Since this program offers something for both beginners as well as advanced researchers, it is a great way to get started in a new area, build on existing skills, or work on a brick wall."

The workshop will be held July 12 - 14, 2012 at the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel near the Family History Library. Full details can be found at or read the society blog at

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Advanced Genealogical Methods course at SLIG

This is the second in a series of posts by guest authors on the courses at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. This one is by Susan Michaels, CG on the Advanced Genealogical Methods course. If you are interested in taking this course in January of 2013 registration will open on June 2nd and it will probably fill in the first day as it is a very popular course.

Course 9: Advanced Genealogical Methods

The primary instructor and course coordinator was Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FAGS, FUGA, FNGS. The guest instructors were Claire Bettag, CG, CGL and Rick Sayre, CG.

I have always enjoyed Tom’s conference lectures, so I chose this course for my first experience attending SLIG. He was an excellent teacher. It was a completely different environment from his lectures. It was very much an instructional versus lecture atmosphere. The syllabus was very complete. I took very few notes mostly to highlight extremely points or the references that he recommended. The syllabus has been a great reference to refer to after returning home from the institute. It was practically worth the price of admission alone. The course material was densely packed. The first two days were spent mostly on the first two modules: “Developing an Evidence Orientation” and “Developing Research Questions and Hypotheses; Planning an Exhaustive Search.” Tom spends a lot of time on these building block fundamental topics. By the end of Tuesday it appears that there is no way that everything in the syllabus can possibly be covered by the end of Friday; however, by the end of Thursday he has caught up with the printed schedule.

After thoroughly covering the foundations of developing an evidence orientation to reconstruct relationships and identities, the rest of the modules demonstrate using these techniques with various major record types including census, probate, tax lists, and local land records. He also discusses three “special problems” including: “Identifying Landless, Enslaved, Peasant, and Other Impoverished Ancestors,” “Finding Immigrant and Migrant Origins,” and “Identifying Female Ancestors.” He finishes the week explaining how to resolve conflicting evidence and solve genealogical problems by correlating sources, information, and evidence. He uses real-life examples from his personal and client research to demonstrate the techniques. As a class and in small groups, the students use the evidence provided on slides and in the workbooks in the syllabus to resolve these real-life problems themselves. I always learn best what I have to figure out for myself, so this was a terrific process to me.

Claire Bettag taught three modules covering how to research U.S. government records: “Archival Research,” “Federal Research: Government Documents,” and “Federal Land Records: Analysis, Interpretation, and Correlation.” She knew her topics inside out and was a very engaging and informative instructor. The first homework assignment was assigned by Claire on government documents. I learned a lot from this assignment and from all of Claire’s lectures.

Rick Sayre was the instructor for “Military and Pension Records Strategies: Analysis, Interpretation, and Correlation” and “Rural and Urban Map Strategies: Analysis, Interpretation, and Correlation.”  I have listened to Rick discuss maps before and no one knows/loves maps as much as he does and he loves to encourage others to use more maps in their research. I was unaware of his interest in military records but I learned a lot from him on using military/pension records to further my research.

I had a terrific experience in this course and I would highly recommend it to every researcher who aspires to performing at a professional level and for breaking down those brick walls that all of us have developed. This is definitely not a beginner course. There is optional homework but not of an onerous nature. For those who may have already taken “Course 4: Advanced Methodology and Evidence Analysis” instructed by Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL at IGHR, I recommend that you take this course at SLIG also. Tom and Elizabeth cover a similar topic from very different directions and teaching styles. The two courses are more complimentary than redundant. Since I had already taken Course 4 at IGHR, I was not sure about how much more I would learn from SLIG’s Course 9; but I am REALLY glad that I took both courses.

This was my first attendance at SLIG, but it definitely will not be my last. I am already anxiously waiting for June 2nd so I can register for SLIG 2013. I hope I see you there.

Susan Michael, CG(SM)
SKM Genealogical Research, LLC
Monroe, NC

CG or Certified Genealogist is a service mark of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, used under license by Board-certified genealogists after periodic evaluation, and the board name is registered in the US Patent & Trademark Office.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh - Early Bird Discount

I received the following announcement from Elissa Powell, CG, one of the directors of the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh. The institute will be held Sunday, July 22, 2012 through Friday, July 27, 2012 at LaRoche College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There is still limited space available in three of the courses: German Research, Intermediate Genealogy, and Problem Solving with Online Repositories.

May 21, 2012

Early Bird discount on courses at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh ends on Wednesday, May 31. See for more information on the courses offered and the evening lectures sponsored by the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania (GSP), the Western PA Genealogical Society (WPGS), the North Hills Genealogists [of Pittsburgh] (NHG), and the Great Lakes Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG).

One of the most unique courses to be offered is one that can be considered a "backdoor to the Internet" coordinated by D. Joshua Taylor. This course allows you to explore the gems on various archives and library websites that you might not know of otherwise. The title "Beneath the Home Page: Problem Solving with Online Repositories" also speaks to how these gems, once found, can help you in your genealogy. Bring your laptop, your family notes, and your curiosity and see what it is you can discover!

Institutes are a great way to explore a topic in-depth for a week and get to know your classmates and instructors in a community of learning. Who says kids have all the fun at "summer camp"?

An Insider's View of the Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum

I will be featuring a few guest authors on my blog in the next two weeks as a lead up to registration for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) opening on June 2nd. I have asked people who attended some of the courses at SLIG in January of 2012 to share their experiences and a summary of the course. 

The first guest author is Harold Henderson with his insights into the Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum course:

Want to spend a week solving the toughest genealogy problems, a new one every day?

That describes the most challenging genealogy course I've ever taken, the Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG). Oh, I learned more in the advanced methodology classes given annually by Elizabeth Shown Mills at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) at Samford Univeristy and Thomas W. Jones at SLIG. I could not have functioned in the practicum without them. But the level of difficulty in the practicum is something else because I had to apply that knowledge repeatedly, and found out right away whether I had headed in the right direction or found the answer. I also had to adjust to very different record environments and kinds of problems than I was used to working on.

The course actually grew out of the 2011 session of Tom Jones' Advanced Genealogical Methods class at SLIG. He gave a couple of homework assignments involving a problem to be solved, with evidence provided. We enjoyed the challenge and wanted more of this type of assignment. One day four of us were sitting around and somehow the idea was born of trying to design a whole course consisting entirely of this kind of homework. Now two of that group are coordinating the 2013 course, one is the director of SLIG, and I'm the only one remaining with a purely student's-eye view.

The format of the Practicum course is simple. Every afternoon a different expert, usually a board-certified or accredited genealogist, presents the initial evidence for a genealogical case that they have worked on and solved but not yet published. In some cases, all the evidence and documents are provided and the students analyze and correlate it, trying to come to a well-grounded conclusion. In other cases, some evidence remains to be found, either on line or in records at the Family History Library. Where off-line records are required (as they were in four of last year's five cases), the information is available in digitized files on request if the student can figure out exactly what s/he needs (since even the Family History Library can't be expected to create two dozen copies of those particular microfilms everyone will be wanting). The following afternoon, the group reconvenes to discuss their research and evidence-evaluation adventures with the expert and find out how they approached and solved the problem. And then it's time for the next case to be introduced.

The format differs from most genealogy institutes in that there are five faculty members (experts), so you deal with a new personality every day as well as a new problem. The 2013 lineup of instructors is mostly different from last year, but my main sense last year was, “I had no idea there were so many different ways to be equally excellent!”

Compared to the usual SLIG class schedule, this course looks light. So few hours in the classroom! But few of us had time for anything else. (I had invested in some evening lecture sessions but ditched most of them because the problems were so tough, and one of my main approaches to such problems is to spend a lot of time fussing.) Most participants found it both educational and humbling. Questions of research strategy arose that I'd never heard discussed so specifically anywhere else. If you've been through an advanced course or the equivalent, and want a truly challenging workout in a friendly setting, this is the course for you.

Harold Henderson lives in northwest Indiana. He has been a professional writer since 1979 and a professional genealogist since 2009 ( He has published 30 genealogical articles in six states and spoken at local, state, and national levels. He blogs at At any given time he would probably rather be reading a grantor index.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum Instructors Selected

I am very excited for the Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum course at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG). This 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 rather sitting listening to lectures. It is designed for advanced genealogists who want additional experience analyzing evidence and working on complex cases. See my previous post on the 2012 course here.

I am co-coordinating the Practicum course with Kimberly Powell, and Thomas W. Jones serves as advisor to the course. We have selected five excellent instructors to prepare genealogical problems for the Practicum to be held in January of 2013. These cases will cover a variety of geographic locations and time periods. They will provide experience working with different methodologies as the students research and then analyze and correlate evidence to solve the cases.

Registration for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy opens on June 2nd and there are eleven courses to choose from. Descriptions of each of the courses can be found on the SLIG website. The Institute will be held January 14-18, 2013 at the Radission Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah just two blocks from the Family History Library.

The instructors for the 2013 Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum course are:

Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS, has co-edited the National Genealogical Society Quarterly since 2002. He lectures frequently in national and local venues, where he is known for information-packed lectures benefitting genealogists at all skill levels. Many of his articles, lectures, and classes address genealogical research methods, proof, and problem solving. Tom teaches “Evidence Evaluation and Documentation” in Boston University’s Genealogical Certificate Program, he coordinates and teaches “Writing and Publishing for Genealogists” at Samford University’s Institute on Genealogy and Historical Research, and he teaches and coordinates advanced methodology courses at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. He is a professor emeritus at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., where he taught for twenty-seven years, and he is a trustee and a past president of the Board for Certification of Genealogists. He enjoys solving “brick wall” genealogical problems.

Stefani Evans, CG, was certified by the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) in 2005 and currently serves as a trustee for the BCG and the BCG Education Fund. As a current director for the National Genealogical Society (NGS), she is conference chair for the NGS 2013 Family History Conference in Las Vegas, 8-11 May 2013. A former elementary school teacher, Stefani is also a Ph.D. student in the History of the U.S. West at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) and has presented lectures at the NGS 2012 Family History Conference, the Whitsett Graduate Seminar in California History, and at conferences of the Urban History Association, Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society, and the Nevada Historical Society. She has authored articles in the BCG quarterly newsletter, OnBoard; the National Genealogical Society Quarterly; the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society Record; the journal of the UNLV chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, Psi Sigma Siren; and the Utah Genealogical Association’s Crossroads. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Dr. William M. Litchman is the author of genealogical articles for such periodicals as The National Genealogical Society Quarterly, The Newfoundland Ancestor, and The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, including “Teaching Analysis, Logic, and the Research Process: A Seminar Approach,” NGS Newsmagazine, Nov/Dec 2000, pp 340-343. He has produced an 11-volume index, AnEvery-Name Index of the 1865 New York State Census for Jefferson County, and An Every-Name Index for the 1921 Census of Newfoundland: Burgeo-La Poile District. He teaches genealogy classes for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and in Albuquerque, and speaks about specific research topics for genealogical groups, including the NM Genealogical Society and the Albuquerque Genealogical Society.

J. Mark Lowe CG, FUGA, is a full-time professional genealogist,
author, and lecturer and researches primarily in original records and
manuscripts throughout the South. He also serves as a Course
Coordinator for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) and
Samford University’s Institute for Genealogical and Historical
Research (Research in the South) and Director of the Regional In-depth
Genealogical Studies Alliance (RIGS Alliance), learning sessions and
hands-on research focusing on original documents and manuscripts at
regional archives. Mark has worked on several genealogical television
series including African American Lives 2, Who Do You Think You Are?
appearing on a recent episode featuring Lionel Richie.

He is a Past-President of APG, Past-President of FGS, and Past-President of the Southern Kentucky Genealogical Society. Mark is a Certified Genealogist and a Fellow of the Utah Genealogical
Association, and was awarded the Graham T. Smallwood award by the Association of Professional Genealogists.

J. H. (“Jay”) Fonkert, CG, is a genealogical researcher, writer and lecturer specializing in 19th-Century Midwest, English and Dutch genealogy. He has published more than 30 research, teaching and review articles in National Genealogical Society Quarterly, NGS Magazine, Minnesota Genealogist, The Septs, and Family Chronicle. He has lectured at conferences of NGS and the Federation of Genealogical Societies, as well as at workshops from Florida to Washington to Ontario. A past president of the Minnesota Genealogical Society, he is in his second term as a Director of the Association of Professional Genealogists. 

The course coordinators are: 

Angela Packer McGhie is a genealogical researcher, lecturer, and instructor. She is the administrator of the ProGen StudyProgram (studying Professional Genealogy) and president of the National Capital Area Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists. Angela is a genealogy instructor for Howard Community College, the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, and the National Institute on Genealogical Research. She has presented lectures at local, regional and national venues including the NGS 2012 Family History Conference, and is a contributing author to the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly. She was a 2010 recipient of IGHR's Walter Lee Sheppard
Jr. Prize and received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Association of Professional Genealogists.

Kimberly Powell is a professional genealogist, author, and blogger. She has been writing/blogging about genealogy for ( since 2000. She is the author of several
books including The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy, 2nd edition (Adams Media, 2011), as well as articles for popular genealogy magazines such as BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? magazine. Kimberly is the Vice President of the Association of Professional Genealogists, where she also serves as chair of the Professional Development Committee, and Assistant Director for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. She was a 2010 recipient of IGHR's Walter Lee Sheppard Jr. Prize. She currently volunteers with FamilySearch Indexing, as coordinator for ProGen 12, and as webmaster for the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy Registration Opens June 2nd

The Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy has some great courses lined up for 2013. The Institute will be held January 14-18, 2013 at the Downtown Salt Lake City Radisson Hotel. The location is two blocks from the Family History Library, so it is very convenient to research at the library in the same trip to Salt Lake City. Registration opens on June 2nd at 9:00am Mountain Time and some of the courses will fill quickly. 

Here are hot links to the course pages for more information:

Course 1: American Research and Records: Focus on Localities with Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FUGA, FMGS

Course 2: Bridging the 1780-1830 Gap: From New England to the Midwest (and Points in Between) with D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS

Course 3: Researching Your English Ancestors: Beyond the Parish Register with Apryl Cox, AG

Course 4: Advanced German Research with F. Warren Bittner, CG

Course 5: Researching in Washington D.C. without Leaving Home with Richard G. Sayre, CG, and Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL

Course 6: A Genealogist's Guide to the Internet Galaxy with Thomas MacEntee

Course 7: Principles of Forensic Genealogy with Melinde Lutz Byrne, CG, FASG and in partnership with Boston University

Course 8: Producing a Quality Family Narrative with John Philip Colletta, Ph.D., FUGA

Course 9: Advanced Genealogical Methods with Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS

Course 10: Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum with Angela McGhie and Kimberly Powell

Course 11: Problem Solving with Judith Hansen, MLS, AG

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

American Society of Genealogists Scholarship

The following announcement was written by the American Society of Genealogists:


The American Society of Genealogists gives an annual $500 scholarship that can be applied to any of three genealogy institutes: (1.) the National Institute of Genealogical Research at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.; (2.) the Institute of Genealogy and Historical research at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama; and (3.) the Certificate Program in Genealogical Research at Boston University. 

For details, see the ASG website at

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

ProGen Study Group Mentors and Alumni Speak at NGS 2012

I am very excited to attend the NGS Family History Conference in Cincinnati this week! I am also excited about presentations by some of the ProGen Study Group mentors and alumni. [The ProGen Study Program is designed for professional and aspiring genealogists to put into practice the principles found in Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers and Librarians, edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills. See the website for details.]

This is the first time that many of the ProGen alumni will be speaking at a national conference and I would like to encourage my blog readers to support them. (Disclaimer: I am one of those speaking).

Here is the schedule of mentors and alumni speaking in Cincinnati this week:

ProGen Study Group Mentors:

Claire Bettag, CG, CGL (ProGen 11)
10 May 2012       4:00 p.m.             Assumptions: A Genealogical Slippery Slope       

Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL (ProGen 1)
11 May 2012       9:30 a.m.              They Went West on the O-HI-O: Using the GPS to Follow a Family's Trail
12 May 2012       2:30 p.m.             The Mighty Ohio: Migration West From Pennsylvania    

Craig Roberts Scott, CG (ProGen 3 & 12)
09 May 2012       11:00 a.m.           Researching Your War of 1812 Ancestor                
10 May 2012       2:30 p.m.             Pension Research: You Stopped Too Soon
11 May 2012       9:30 a.m.             Known Dead of the War of 1812               
11 May 2012       4:00 p.m.             Union Provost Marshal Records               

Stefani Evans, CG  (ProGen 2)
10 May 2012       2:30 p.m.             Red Herrings and a Stroke of the Dead Palsy: Analyzing and       Correlating Evidence     

J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA (ProGen 5)
09 May 2012       11:00 a.m.           Focusing on Pathways ‘cross the Ohio River        
10 May 2012       8:00 a.m.             Understanding Court Records: Hands on Workshop        

ProGen Study Group Alumni:

Angela Packer McGhie (ProGen 1)
11 May 2012       8:00 a.m.              Read All About Your Ancestors by Locating Historic Newspapers               

Michael Hait, CG  (ProGen 5)
12 May 2012       8:00 a.m.              African American Genealogy: Tearing Down the Brickwalls          
12 May 2012       2:30 p.m.              Online State Resources for Genealogy: Beyond Ancestry(TM) and FamilySearch(TM)     

Harold Henderson (ProGen 1)
11 May 2012       9:30 a.m.              Orphans No More: Records of the Indianapolis Orphan Asylum 1851-1941           
12 May 2012       9:30 a.m.              Indirect Evidence: What To Do When Perry Mason Isn't on Your                Side      

Stephen J. Buffat (ProGen 9)
11 May 2012       11:00 a.m.            In Search of your Civil War Ancestry       

Thomas MacEntee (ProGen 4)
10 May 2012       9:30 a.m.              Utilizing Social Networks for Genealogy Research