Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Review of Settlers in the New World course at SLIG

As part of my ongoing series where guest authors review courses from genealogy institutes, this post is by Mike Bronner with his perspective on “Settlers in the New World and Immigrants to a New Nation” course at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy from January 2017. 

SLIG 2017 In Review: Settlers in the New World and Immigrants to a New Nation — Researching Ancestors from Overseas

New Year’s Day ushers in a two-week period of excited anticipation — final preparations for SLIG. The week of turns into a blur with travel, meeting and greeting new and old friends, and trying to absorb it all!
In past years I have concentrated on methodology classes. This year I changed it up a bit and decided to take a history course from Dr. Colletta. I have been looking forward to attending one of his courses quite a few years. He has a wonderful way of sharing his stories through empathy and visual language.

Lessons in History

Together with Josh Taylor and Deborah Gurtler, Dr. Colletta brought a period of history spanning almost 500 years, starting in the 1590s, to life.
The main topics discussed were the pre-colonial, colonial, and federal periods. We delved into the details of what immigrants might experience during these times, what tribulations they faced. We looked at some of the more and some less successful immigrants throughout history with the hope of gleaming a little insight into how different life was in each of those periods.

Lessons in Immigration

We learned a lot about the push and pull effects that triggered immigration, and sometimes even repatriation. Some immigrants were businessmen who were looking to profit in the new world, and travelled back and forth. Others sought fortune in a new world, where the old world bore none, and then returned on the death of a relative.
These causalities are often born from the same internal needs that we experience. We must recognize that they could manifest themselves very differently from what we know today,

In Summary

No Pressure: Dr. Colletta’s class was a wonderful experience. One could relax and soak in the history, social, and political lessons without having the added pressure of homework or research. This also freed up the evenings for my own research at the FHL.
Interactive: Dr. Colletta made a concerted effort to keep the course interactive. He encouraged us to interrupt with questions, discussions, and sharing of relevant experiences. It developed into a participatory event in which we were all able to learn from each other. At times he would have to reign the class in a bit, to be able to stay on course with the schedule. Everyone was eager to take part.
Story Time with Dr. Colletta: The best, of course, was being able to listen to Dr. Colletta present history through his fantastic ability to paint pictures with his stories.
If you have colonial immigrant ancestors, I fully recommend this course, should it be offered again in the future.
Mike Bronner (@mikebronner on Twitter) is a free-lance translator who runs GeneaLabs in Los Angeles with his wife Myelene. Besides German-English translation services specializing in old German print and handwriting, they also provide custom web development solutions.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Coaching Lab: Forensic Genealogy from Inquiry to Affidavit

As part of my ongoing series where guest authors review courses from genealogy institutes, I welcome my friend Cari Taplin, CG with her take on the “The Coaching Lab: Forensic Genealogy from Inquiry to Affidavit” course at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy from January 2017. 

“The Coaching Lab: Forensic Genealogy from Inquiry to Affidavit”

            Forensic genealogy is one of the most interesting and potentially rewarding niches in our profession. The course “The Coaching Lab: Forensic Genealogy from Inquiry to Affidavit” was an excellent course that took the students through the process of handling a forensic case from start to finish. The course was coordinated by Amber Goodpaster Tauscher and Catherine Desmarais, CG, with instruction also by Bethany Waterbury, Jerry Smith, CG, Judy Russell, CG, and Kelvin Meyers.

            The course began with what a typical day might look like from some practicing forensic genealogists, learned about how they work to attract clients, and discussed some tips for working with lawyers. This course also took the class through the process of building research reports and affidavits in great detail. Other topics we covered were on being expert witnesses, issues in real estate, mineral rights, and adoption cases. Tips on locating living people were also shared.

            This course was very helpful in that it demonstrated the nuts and bolts of forensic work in great details and took the students through a real case from start to finish. The main portion of the course focused on the actual creation of the forensic research report and affidavits. The instructors demonstrated several tricks designed to save time while also creating thorough reports. Templates were shared that the class customized for their own use. Then we used those custom templates to proceed through a case together, creating the report and affidavit as we worked. We also practiced how to create professional exhibits with labels and source citations.

            The class size was smaller than other institute courses typically are, but this allowed for a lot of in-class discussion, networking, and class bonding. Students in the class had adequate time to share their own experiences, ask detailed questions, and were given excellent answers from all of the instructors. This course was taught by a team of fantastic and fun practicing forensic genealogists from a wide variety of experiences who were more than generous with their knowledge, expertise, and professional tips.

—Cari A. Taplin, CG

Cari Taplin is related to Roy Rogers. Or at least that’s what her family told her. As a result, she has been working on finding her true heritage since the year 2000. She is a native of Wood County, Ohio but migrated to Wyoming, Colorado and now Pflugerville, Texas which is just outside Austin. Cari holds the Certified Genealogist® credential and has served in a wide variety of volunteer and leadership positions for several state, local, and national societies. She currently serves as the Education Chair for the Austin Genealogical Society, and on the boards of the Association for Professional Genealogists and the Federation of Genealogical Societies. As the owner of GenealogyPANTS, she provides speaking, research, and consultation services. Cari focuses on midwestern states, methodology and researching family legends. When she’s not working on her genealogy, she is a wife and mother of two/too cute kids.