Monday, January 20, 2014

New IGHR Intermediate Genealogy Course

I am excited to be the new coordinator of the Intermediate Genealogy course at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) at Samford University. This year IGHR will be held June 8 - 14, 2014 and registration opens tomorrow, January 21st. There are some new elements to the course such as online search strategies, evaluating genealogical evidence, and using DNA as a research tool, which will complement the classes delving into a wide variety of genealogical records. 

This course has a new team of instructors including:
Thomas W. Jones
Judy Russell
Debbie Parker Wayne
John Phillip Colletta
Craig R. Scott
Kimberly Powell
Angela Packer McGhie 

  • Provide in-depth instruction on records essential for genealogical research, including census, federal and local land, immigration, naturalization, military, pension, newspaper, tax, city directory, manuscript, probate and court records. 
  • Emphasize how to locate, use and understand the intricacies of each type of record.
  • Expand the students’ knowledge of essential research planning skills and evidence evaluation techniques.
  • Enhance the students’ ability to locate genealogical information on the Internet through online research strategies and use DNA evidence to supplement traditional research.
  • Enable the students to apply the concepts they are learning directly to their own research through a student project.


Introduction and Essential Skills

Instructor: Angela Packer McGhie
This session is an introduction to the course and a discussion of “essential skills” for genealogists including: thorough research, developing a research strategy, creating a research plan, and citing sources. We will discuss the Genealogical Proof Standard and set the tone for the rest of the course. 

Using Genealogical Evidence

Instructor: Thomas W. Jones

Genealogists use the processes of analysis and correlation to test the accuracy of evidence and potential conclusions. Analysis shows whether a source's information is more or less likely to be correct. Correlation shows how that information and the resulting evidence resembles or differs from other information and evidence items. Through explanations, examples, and activities, students will learn how to detect, assess, and assemble direct and indirect genealogical evidence into proof statements and proof summaries. 

Order in the Court: Using Court Records in Genealogical Research

Instructor: Judy Russell

From the most local courts of limited jurisdiction to the Supreme Court of the United States, from colonial times to the present, the records of American courts have been of critical importance to the genealogist. This session will present an overview of the typical court structure of most American jurisdictions, the reasons why individuals interacted with the courts of their day, the records kept of those interactions, and the clues to identities, relationships and lives that can be found in those records. Case examples drawn from both trial and appellate courts will demonstrate how to look beyond the index to the rich array of detail that court records provide.

The Records of Death: What Probate Records Add to Genealogy

Instructor: Judy Russell

Where there’s a will, there’s a probate: the legal process of settling an estate. Often when there isn’t a will, there’s still a probate. Understanding the legal process and finding the records created when ancestors died can help break through genealogical brick walls. This session will review the different processes followed for testate and intestate estates, comparing and contrasting the records created within the probate process and those that might exist outside of the probate court, and reviewing the law guiding the process. Case examples will demonstrate both the direct use of the records to solve genealogical questions as well as their indirect use to provide context as to the times in which the records were created.

DNA and Genetic Genealogy
Instructor: Debbie Parker Wayne

DNA is becoming an acceptable part of standard genealogical research. This session covers all types of DNA tests that are beneficial for genealogical evidence. Just enough biology is included for the genealogical use to be clear. An understanding of DNA inheritance factors helps researchers determine what kind of DNA test on which relative will provide the evidence needed for a particular research problem—and when DNA evidence will not be helpful. Case studies of real genealogical problems illustrate how to determine who to test along with an introduction to basic analysis of the DNA test results in reference to the problem.  Additionally, the best places to learn more about genetic genealogy and advanced analysis techniques are covered. 
Have You Really Found Everything Available? Online Search Strategies
Instructor: Kimberly T. Powell 

Locating genealogical and historical information online goes well beyond searching for names and knowing how to use wildcards. This session will use examples and hands-on activities to demonstrate techniques for determining the best search terms for a specific purpose or database; evaluating the content and context of a database or collection and using that knowledge to your advantage; and identifying the best resources available for a particular research goal.

Advanced Census Research
Instructor: Angela Packer McGhie

Census records are an essential resource for genealogists and readily available online. This session will focus on going beyond basic use of the census, and assist students in understanding the pre-1850 census records; discovering how the non-population schedules can enhance research; locating and using state census records; and evaluating information from every census column to maximize the information gleaned from the record. Examples will be shared of each type of census, and emphasis will be placed on locating every census record during an individual’s life and correlating the census with other records.

Digging Deeper into Local Land Records
Instructor: Kimberly T. Powell
Land records are an important key for solving many difficult genealogical problems, from determining family relationships and migrations, to sorting out men of the same name. Students will learn how to dig into the small clues that local land records can provide, hidden among the terminology, signatures, dates, and even the laws that governed the transfer of land. Software and a variety of Internet resources will be explored for locating grants, plats, deeds, and other land records on the websites of local governments and state archives, and using them in conjunction with historical maps. Examples will demonstrate how to trace a piece of property both forward and back, along with those of the neighbors, when necessary to obtain a complete property description, as well as the potential of a simple neighborhood reconstruction. 

Read All About Your Ancestors in Historic Newspapers
Instructor: Angela Packer McGhie
Newspapers are a valuable resource for genealogical data and historical context when researching ancestors. They are being digitized at a rapid pace, and are becoming easier to search. This abbreviated session will help students discover the many types of newspaper articles that may contain genealogical clues, as well as which newspapers were printed in the time and location their ancestors lived. Detailed research hints and information on how to access newspapers both online or offline will be included.

Federal Land Records
Instructor: Angela Packer McGhie
Beginning in 1789, the United States passed laws governing the purchase or claim of land in the public domain. Individuals could acquire federal land through cash or credit purchases, as well as preemption, homesteads, donations, and other types of claims. The records resulting from the application process can be valuable for locating individuals in a specific place and time, and may also contain valuable family information. This presentation discusses the federal land records in detail including the rectangular survey system, the Acts of Congress that established various types of land transactions, and the records created in the land acquisition process including surveys, land entry files, patents, and tract books.

Locating and Using Manuscript Collections
Instructor: Kimberly T. Powell
Manuscripts are an often under-utilized resource with significant research potential for genealogists. This session will focus on why genealogists use manuscript collections, how such materials are organized and described, the types of papers that may be found in them, and a variety of tools and finding aids for locating manuscript collections of interest, including NUCMC, ArchiveGrid, and SNAC. Case studies will demonstrate how manuscript materials left by friends, neighbors, and associates can be used to help tell the story of an ancestor and his community, and how collections held by repositories in three states can be used to reconstruct a pre-Civil War South Carolina family, despite extensive loss of “official” records.
Military Strategies, Part I: Pensions
Instructor: Craig R. Scott
Military pension files may contain a wealth of genealogical information. Students will learn how to locate and use these files, and then go beyond them to research in pension law, pension ledgers, payment vouchers, and last and final payments. This session will also cover pension correspondence, half-pay widows pensions, and pensions for orphans of soldiers who died in the service. At the end of this session the students will understand how to analyze a pension application file, interpret a pension ledger, and obtain copies of all types of pension records.

Military Strategies, Part II: CMSRs and Bounty Land
Instructor: Craig R. Scott
Genealogists can learn about their ancestor’s volunteer military service through Compiled Military Service Records (CMSR), as well as other military records. For those that served in the Regular Army, there are no CMSRs, so they must be created from other records. Students will be encouraged to search for bounty land applications and warrants for those ancestors who served in the military before the Civil War. At the end of this session the students will understand how to create their own CMSRs for soldiers in the Regular Army, locate material beyond the CMSR for volunteer soldiers, and understand how to access the bounty land records at both the National Archives and the Bureau of Land Management.

Beyond Certificates: Alternative Sources for Births, Marriages and Deaths
Instructor: Angela Packer McGhie
Genealogists seek for records of their ancestor’s birth, marriage and death not only to fill in blanks on a pedigree chart, but to define the scope of their life. In the twentieth century most states created birth and death certificates, but for earlier time periods there can be many places to look for evidence of these major life events. This session will cover alternative sources such as birth and death registers, church records, delayed birth certificates, family bibles, newspaper notices, cemetery records, burial records, and military records. The discussion will also include estimating a birth or death date from census, tax, probate and other records.

They Came in Ships: Passenger Arrival Records, Colonial Times to Mid-20th Century
Instructor: John Philip Colletta
All genealogists have an interest in tracing immigrant ancestors. This session will detail the sources available for discovering the arrival time and place—and perhaps the ship—of an immigrant to colonial America. It will continue with U.S. passenger arrival records, especially records created between 1820 and 1957, which are available on microfilm and the Internet. Details will be given on what facts you need to know to begin a search and a step-by-step process for how to conduct that search. Specific examples illustrate how to use websites, National Archives microfilmed indexes, book indexes, and other research tools, such as European departure records and lists of ship arrivals at North American ports.

They Became Americans: Naturalization Records, Colonial Times to Mid-20th Century
Instructor: John Philip Colletta
This session addresses the legal means by which non-British settlers in colonial America could become naturalized citizens of Great Britain. The U.S. naturalization laws and processes, which began in 1790, will be explained, as well as the records that resulted from them. Details on naturalization of both alien classes and individuals will be discussed and guidance given on how to find an ancestor's records, whether the naturalization occurred in a municipal, state or federal court. Pertinent research tools such as Internet sites, manuals and indexes will be demonstrated.

Mining Tax Rolls: More than Property Lists
Instructor: Debbie Parker Wayne
Tax rolls provide more information than the name of an ancestor and the property owned in a given year. Tax rolls often survive even in counties where other records have been destroyed and the rolls can be used as substitutes for missing records. A profile of an ancestor and the neighborhood they lived in can be created by mining these records for details over multiple years. Case studies illustrate how to interpret the basic information in a tax roll and how they can be used to locate additional records on the life and death of an ancestor. Tax rolls from multiple states are used to illustrate some of the differences that a researcher may find in various locations.

Directory Assistance: Using City and Other Directories
Instructor: Debbie Parker Wayne
City directories contain a one-line entry naming an ancestor and an address that places her in a given place at a given time.  But when a researcher takes the time to analyze the details, a directory may reveal occupation, religion, and marital status; help a researcher locate nearby relatives, schools, churches, and businesses; and so much more that can lead to other records with pertinent information on the ancestor. This session begins with examples of different types of directories available: city, church, school, social and occupational organizations, early telephone listings, and others. Samples illustrate the types of information that may be found both for rural and urban ancestors. Clear examples demonstrate how the information in a directory can be correlated with other sources to expand the profile of an ancestor and determine where they lived even when no exact address is listed and no land was owned. 

Techniques Toolbox
Instructor: Angela Packer McGhie
This session will cover research techniques such as creating spreadsheets, charts and timelines to compare and evaluate research findings. Other techniques become essential in certain circumstances such as separating individuals of the same name, researching the extended family and associates of an individual, or using identity characteristics besides name (occupation, birthplace, socioeconomic status, etc.) to locate or identify a person. A comprehensive list of research methods will be shared and detailed examples will covered. The session will conclude with a case study that employs many of the methods to demonstrate their use in a real genealogical problem.  

Student Project

Instructor: Angela Packer McGhie

The students will be given a project to complete during the week so they can get the most out of their learning experience and immediately apply the information to their own research. They will select an ancestor and create a comprehensive research plan for that individual including each type of record covered in the course. Students can use online indexes and catalogs to make their plan detailed and comprehensive.

1 comment:

  1. This looks amazing Angela. Part of me is tempted to take it as a really solid review, which I'm sure would also fill in some of my own gaps. I think this course is a really important addition to the course "reportoire" at the national institutes.