Monday, June 1, 2015

Advanced Genealogical Methods with Dr. Thomas W. Jones

With registration for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) opening on Saturday, June 20th, I will be featuring a few reviews of the courses from students who participated in the institute last January. Here Valerie Eichler Lair shares her perspective on the Advanced Genealogical Methods course with Dr. Thomas W. Jones.

SLIG Advanced Genealogical Methods course with Dr. Thomas W. Jones  
Review by Valerie Eichler Lair

If you are “on the fence” to make a decision of which SLIG Course to attend in 2016, I highly recommend Advanced Genealogical Methods Course with Dr. Thomas W. Jones!!!  This course is geared to the advanced-level researcher, and I believe for professionals who take on client projects.

I knew my choice was crystal clear the night of the SLIG banquet in 2014 as the announcement was made for the 20th anniversary courses. From that moment all the way through to the time of picking up my syllabus in January 2015, my excitement level was in the sky. I was up for the challenge to take my genealogy education beyond anything that I had ever done.

Tom Jones puts you through the paces, gives an enormous amount of information, and imparts more knowledge than can be handled in an 8-hour day! I cannot think of anything that I wish Tom would’ve included…except for more time. He covered the topics of:
Developing an Evidence Orientation
Developing Research Questions and Hypotheses: Planning an Exhaustive Search
Transcribing, Abstracting, Extracting, Quoting, and Documenting Sources
Census, Census-Substitutes, and Name-List Strategies: Analysis, Interpretation, and
Probate Strategies: Analysis, Interpretation, and Correlation
Local Land Records: Analysis, Interpretation, and Correlation
Tax Roll Strategies: Analysis, Interpretation, and Correlation
Special Problems sessions
            I. Identifying Landless, Enslaved, Peasant, and Other Impoverished Ancestors
            II. Finding Immigrant and Migrant Origins
            III. Identifying Female Ancestors
Resolving Conflicting Evidence
Correlating Sources, Information, and Evidence to Solve Genealogical Problems
Writing Genealogy
Continued Advancement

And if that wasn’t enough – Rick and Pam Sayre, along with Judy Russell – give amazing sessions throughout the week.
Archival Research
Federal Research: Government Documents
Military and Pension Records Strategies: Analysis, Interpretation, and Correlation
Federal Land Records: Analysis, Interpretation, and Correlation
Rural and Urban Map Strategies: Analysis, Interpretation, and Correlation
Bringing Law to Bear on Complex Genealogical Problems

I met the challenges head on, I was brain-fried by the last day without losing my excitement, I would not change the manner in which I tackled the assignments (yes—there is homework!), and I am considering taking the course again…sometime! It’s been four months since completing the course and I have yet to finish reading all of the materials and notes, let alone touch upon all of the resources. I assure you that you will LEARN a lot!

Without choosing just one topic unfairly, I’d have to say the best experience was my one-on-one consultation with Tom! I had to quickly get over my “star-struck, sitting-with-one-of-my-genealogy-idols” feeling to concentrate on all of Tom’s instructions and to take a page of notes! My students, Gen Proof Study-mates, ProGen Study-mates, friends, and family have heard me say that I want to sandblast my grandfather’s tombstone with the “right” birth date. I’ve done the exhaustive research. Well – well – well – Tom sure shed light on my sources vs. what additional research should be done, the date not “proved” to be the 13th just yet, UN-corroboration carries no weight vs. corroboration trumps record information quality, and at the end of our conversation he laughingly told me not to sandblast the tombstone!

Quit teetering on the fence. Go for it! You are ready even if you think you’re not. And…because the Advanced Genealogical Methods Course sells out in 1 minute-30 seconds, be ready to hit the sign up button exactly at 9:00 MDT on Saturday, 20 June 2015.

For additional reviews of the Advanced Genealogical Methods course with Tom Jones see:

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

Valerie Eichler Lair is a professional genealogist owning her business Val’s Roots Professional Genealogy Services since 1990. She conducts full time research and consulting, teaches classes & webinars, gives presentations for local, state, and regional societies, and has authored four family genealogy/history books along with numerous articles in genealogy publications. Valerie is on the Board of Directors for the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) and its PMC committee. Feel free to contact Val via her business website, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, or LinkedIn.

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