Tuesday, November 15, 2011

SLIG Series--Advanced Research Tools: Land Records

Thanks to Pam Sayre for her great guest blog post!
I gave my husband Rick a new iMac for his birthday recently. As a Mac convert, I cannot stop proselytizing about Apple products and their ease of use. Still, there was a learning curve for me, and Rick is now experiencing a totally different way of doing things. So we did what new and experienced genealogists alike should do—we took a class. We went into a very busy Apple store staffed by enthusiastic knowledgeable people. With equipment and questions in hand, we grilled them for the entire scheduled hour and a half. Rick learned his way around the new interface and how to access some fairly complicated tools that lie buried. I learned easier ways to do things I had been doing the hard way.
Genealogy is a lot like this. We struggle along on our own and spend inordinate amounts of time gathering materials. We measure our experience in years, not in what we actually know. I once heard someone say she had been doing genealogy for twenty years, and in the next sentence she marveled at learning that she didn’t have to search every single deed in a book—if she used the index instead.
SLIG is to genealogists what the Apple Store is to Mac users: a place to come and sit down and feel comfortable watching the experts and geniuses show you how easy something is, or how a difficult problem might be resolved. It’s a friendly place where you’ll talk to the person next to you and commiserate over brick walls. It’s a happy place where you’ll make new friends and quickly find someone to share lunch or dinner with and maybe even a hotel room at next year’s institute. Every single course at SLIG will teach you something you didn’t even know you needed, and you’ll go home each night with your head full of new knowledge and possibilities for how you can rethink your research projects.
Who among us couldn’t benefit by learning some intermediate skills from a master like Paula Warren and her extraordinary instructors? And who could resist the wit and wisdom of John Colletta, a joyful collaboration of a course where students will learn to work with original records beyond those found in a library. There are still a few openings in the above courses and Kory Meyerink’s Midwestern United States course or Welsh Research with Darris Williams or Swedish Research with Geoffrey Morris. Come snow or shine, we’ll be absorbing knowledge all day from top-notch instructors. Toward the end of the day, just as we are beginning to tire, we’ll be freed from class to dash right over to the Family History Library. No matter how tired a genealogist is, when given the opportunity to go on a treasure hunt in the records the exhaustion evaporates and he somehow finds the endurance to close down the library.
Like that Apple store, there’s an excitement and a sense of urgency and just plain fun at Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. The youthful demographic is represented ably by Josh Taylor, coordinator of the New England course. Apple’s Genius Bar concept is present at SLIG, too, in Judith Hansen’s Problem Solving course where students work on their own research issues. For those with more experience who are ready to really dig in, advanced courses such as Tom Jones’s Advanced Genealogical Methods, Angela McGhie’s Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum, and Rick and Pam Sayre’s Land Records offer in-depth knowledge.
You’ll learn a lot at SLIG, and you’ll leave with a happy satisfaction and excitement at the prospect of using your new tools. And if you missed the course you wanted this year because it sold out early, get ready to register for the 2013 institute as soon as registration opens. See you at SLIG!

Monday, November 7, 2011

SLIG: A Unique and Rewarding Experience (Josh Taylor)

With the multitude of educational opportunities available for genealogists it can be difficult to choose which to attend. While webinars, conferences, and seminars each provide essential elements to your genealogical education, an institute, such as the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) offers a rich and unique experience for every genealogist.

First, the ability to spend an entire week immersed in a particular subject provides untold benefits, as it enables us to focus on our research as we learn techniques and skills from some of the world's leading instructors. Like a college "short-course" week, SLIG provides an in-depth look a variety of subjects, from Technology to Advanced Methodology. In addition, SLIG offers evening courses in case you wanted to explore a topic not covered in your chosen course. With courses for genealogists of all levels, SLIG can be a solid foundation for beginning genealogists or an added skillset for advanced researchers.

Second, the consistency of highly-skilled instructors in your throughout the week. Not only do you truly get to know your course coordinator, most courses include a set number of instructors that will be with you throughout the week. This provides an opportunity to develop deeper questions, and in some cases can literally tailor the course to your own research needs. Instructors will provide their own personal knowledge to the course, enriching your experience. Hearing one or two approaches to the same topic can provide you with a deeper level of understanding and more ideas. SLIG is truly a place to learn and expand your genealogical knowledge. 

Third, the small course sizes (usually around 30) provide an incredible opportunity to network with your fellow classmates. Take time to learn about their research and experience, as they might even have some advice for you, or you for them. SLIG certainly offers the ability to collaborate and learn from another other, a unique offering in genealogical education. Most meals are unscheduled, offering the chance to spend a few moments alone or join some of your classmates for a quick bite. Ensure you make the most of this networking opportunity; you might meet a few cousins as well as some lifelong friends. 

Fourth, an added benefit of SLIG is its location - only a few blocks from the Family History Library. This means you have an immediate opportunity to practice what you have been learning in the classroom. The ability for this "hands-on" element of your week in Salt Lake City often helps in retaining the information you are learning each day. Within a few moments after each day ends you can easily find yourself wrapped up in the sources and methods you discovered only moments ago in class.

Finally, SLIG can often solidify your research goals for the New Year. After spending a week engrossed in family history it is difficult to loose the momentum when you return home. SLIG provides the perfect setting to create your genealogical goals for the year. Many participants leave SLIG with their "to-do" lists ready and can quickly jump into their research when they return home.

While it might seem a bit overwhelming, SLIG is a week not to be missed for any genealogist. With constant learning and innovative new research ideas, opportunities to network with others, and hands-on research in the Family History Library, SLIG might well be considered heaven for genealogists!

~ D. Joshua Taylor

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Beyond the Library: Research in Original Source Repositories

Today's blog post in our SLIG 2012 series will focus on "Beyond the Library: Research in Original Source Repositories" with John Philip Colletta, Ph.D. John is a long-time SLIG coordinator and a fantastic instructor. Students of his are in for a real treat as they explore the many resources available in original source repositories.


The materials in the Family History Library are so colossal and far-ranging that genealogists sometimes neglect to venture into the wider world of resources not available on microfilm. In fact, only a small portion of all historical records has been microfilmed, digitized or published in print. Most sources of value to genealogists exist only as a unique original lying in a public or private archives, county courthouse or manuscript collection. This course is designed to take the mystery and trepidation out of using these repositories of original historical sources. Classes describe what these repositories are and how they differ from one another; how to access the treasures in them that pertain to your ancestors; and how to use those materials to reconstruct your ancestors’ lives. The instructors are all professionals of honed expertise: John Philip Colletta, Ph.D. (10 classes), Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL (4 classes), Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL (2 classes), and Paula Stuart Warren, CG (2 classes). They demonstrate their lessons vividly using numerous examples and case studies; they share a variety of practical hints and helps gleaned during many years of practical experience; and they convey to course participants the thrill and satisfaction of handling and deciphering original antique documents. Course participants will attend an orientation session at the Utah State Archives Research Center conducted by the State Archivist of Utah, Patricia Smith-Mansfield. That will be followed by a behind-the-scenes tour of the state-of-the-art records repository adjacent to the Center. By the end of the course, participants will be better skilled at finding, understanding, and using historical sources pertaining to their ancestors.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

SLIG Contest Winner--Annaleise Taylor Dearinger

Hi All! Thank you for your great support of the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy blogging contest. Our lucky winner, chosen at random, is Annaleise Taylor Dearinger of the Legacy of Faith blog.

We had many great entries including:
Thanks all, and can't wait to see you in January!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

SLIG Blogging Contest!!

The Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy is excited to announce our first ever blogging contest. We believe that SLIG is one of the best educational opportunities available for genealogists—and we want to hear why you think so to. For the next week we would like to encourage all the fantastic bloggers in the genealogy community to let us know why you would like to attend SLIG. The contest will run through Saturday, October 15, 2011 at midnight (Mountain Time). The prize will be a tuition waver to SLIG 2012 (note that only those classes which haven’t filled are eligible).

How do I enter?

Step 1: Write 500 words or more on the topic of why you want to attend SLIG. Include which course you would like to take, and whether you have attended before. Please include the link when referring to SLIG’s website.

Step 2: Post a link to your blog post on the UGA/SLIG Facebook Page ( before midnight (Mountain Time) on Saturday, October 15, 2011. If you are not on Facebook please send an email to and we will post the link on Facebook for you.

Step 3: The winner will be randomly chosen using, and announced via our Facebook page on Sunday, October 16, 2011.

What do I win?

The winning blogger will be awarded a tuition waiver for SLIG 2012. The waiver is only valid for SLIG 2012 (January 23-27, 2012). The waiver may be applied to registration for any SLIG track for 2012 which has not already filled. The waiver is for tuition only and does not include travel costs, hotel stay, or meals.

What if I’m already registered for SLIG?

If the winner is already registered for SLIG they will be refunded the amount already paid in tuition (note that this does not include any night classes or meals which may have been purchased).

What if I don’t have a blog?

Now is a great time to start one! You could write as a guest blogger on a friend’s blog.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Problem Solving track at SLIG offers a unique student experience

The Problem Solving course at SLIG is a directed practicum: the student, with the assistance of interested consultants and peers (fellow students in the group) enhances and applies specific methodology, analysis, and evaluation skills to the student's personal research.

The format of the problem solving course is designed so each student receives specific help on his/her own project, learns from studying the submissions of the other students. and from discussing research and methodology with the other students and professionals.

Each problem solving student chooses his own curriculum--focused on one ancestor, ancestral couple, or particular genealogical question. Choose a problem that is of personal interest and is not under constraints imposed by others. Research being done for hire or for possible submission to BCG or ICAPGen should not be used.

The Problem Solving course takes place in 3 parts.

  1. After registering and before Oct 30, each student submits a Problem Solving Project, with the following elements: a short 1 page summary of the Problem, pertinent research logs, family groups, pedigree, maps, time line, and five page report about the research problem being submitted.
  2. During SLIG daily meetings are held with the assigned group to discuss the problem, offer suggestions, and debrief on the previous day's research activities.
  3. After SLIG each student completes a new written summary of their research project, discussing sources used, new findings or lack of findings, conclusions and what to consider next in future research. IF at the end of SLIG week, the group consensus is that research possibilities have been exhausted for the problem, leaving no further avenues to pursue, the student is encouraged to put the project on the shelf--writing a final evaluation report which states final conclusions with supporting evidence, and details research steps, sources and analysis. The summary should be shared with those interested, including fellow PS Group members and consultants.

As a Problem Solving student one is 1) a researcher, evaluator and reporter for their own research, 2) a peer within the group, providing encouragement and suggestions, 3) a student of the comments of consultants and peers, 4) a teacher sharing their own expertise with others when needed, and above all 5) a genealogy friend.

Often the encouragement a genealogist needs is validation: someone else to look at their research, evaluation, and analysis – am I on the right track? Do conclusions make sense? What data or pertinent records are missing? What are the flaws or misconceptions in evaluating data and sources? What is needed to resolve conflicts or discrepancies? For some it may be “a safe place” where others will listen to their genealogy stories and concerns.

~Judith Hansen, MLS, AG

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Genealogy Software and Research Tools

Our SLIG guest blogger this week is George Morgan, coordinator for course 6:  Genealogy Software and Research Tools.

Technology tools, software, and social media have become essential to success in modern genealogical research. You can accelerate your investigations and expand your research reach today as never before.

The 2012 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy curriculum includes the “Genealogy Software and Research Tools” course, taught by George G. Morgan, Drew Smith, and Laura Prescott, leaders in the genealogy technology arena. The course includes 20 hours of in-depth classes in the modern software and online research tools. These include: the major genealogy database programs and utilities for both the PC and Mac; Windows emulation programs for the Mac that allow you to run every PC-based genealogy program; creating and using blogs; working with wikis; capturing and sharing images; and taking advantage of podcasts, videocasts, webinars, and Internet radio. Online research tools including Evernote and Dropbox and many available mobile apps will be explained and demonstrated. Social media of all sorts will be discussed and demonstrated in extensive detail.

This course differs from attending RootsTech the following week in that it provides an immersion in learning about the software and research tools that can help supercharge your research. If you extend your stay to attend RootsTech, you can further expand your technological knowledge by taking to vendors and in seeing demonstrations of the latest hardware.

George G. Morgan is president of Aha! Seminars, Inc. and the author of the first and second editions, and the new third edition of How to Do Everything: Genealogy for McGraw-Hill, and the first and second editions of The Official Guide to

Drew Smith is the author of the landmark book, Social Media for Genealogists, and a reference librarian for the University of South Florida Library in Tampa Florida. He and George are co-hosts of The Genealogy GuysSM Podcast and help host the My Society radio program produced each week by the Federation of Genealogical Societies.

Laura Prescott is a professional researcher, writer, and speaker. She is the outgoing president of the Association of Professional Genealogists, genealogy project manager for the Nickerson Family Association, and a consultant for She lectures and writes for national audiences on a variety of genealogical topics. Her specialties include the use of manuscripts in genealogical research, genealogy on the Internet, genealogy for Mac users, and merging history with genealogy.

Visit our website for more information about how to register for Course 6 (or any of our other offerings at the 2012 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy).

If you enjoyed this article we invite you to share it via your favorite social networking media using the appropriate icon below. You may also reprint this article in any email or print newsletters you wish to distribute provided you include the date of original publication and the following text:
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:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Upcoming: UGA Family History Fair

UGA will host the UGA Family History Fair (formerly South Davis Fair). It will be held at Bountiful High School on March 3, 2012 from 8:00 - 5:00 pm. This fair is now under the auspicious of the Utah Genealogical Association. The fair will be a spectacular event! Don't miss it. More details will be forthcoming on the UGA Events page.

Keep coming back to the website, Additional information for this events will be available as it gets closer.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Virtual Chapter Tonight-Mobile Apps for Genealogy

The Utah Genealogical Association Presents:
A.C. Ivory
Speaking On
Mobile Apps for Genealogy

There are many genealogy apps made for mobile devices these days that can help you organize, share and learn more about your ancestors. Whether it is an extension of your database software or it connects to an online database, mobile apps can now help you do genealogy research just about anywhere.

A.C. Ivory specializes in using Mac computers and mobile devices along with learning new technology and techniques to help further genealogical research and strives to help others learn how to use technology in their own family history. He has previously worked for in the Document Preservation Services department and now currently works as a professional genealogist at's official research firm, ProGenealogists. His research specialties include Southern States and New England.

September 15, 2011, 7:00 pm MDT @

The UGA Virtual Chapter meets online on the third Thursday of the month. These meetings are free to members of UGA. To join UGA visit our website at Membership is just $35.00 per year. Members can join the meeting by going to, logging in using their username and password, and then proceeding directly to the "Member's Virtual Chapter Page." Click on the Virtual Chapter icon. When invited to join the meeting, sign in as a "guest."

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Midwest U.S. Research with Kory Meyerink

Our SLIG guest blogger this week is Kory Meyerink, coordinator for Course 5:  Research in the Midwestern United States.

Researching in the Midwest states is one of the most important areas to learn about when doing U.S. genealogy for several reasons. That’s why the Midwest course has been one of the most popular courses in the history of the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. In fact, Midwest research is important even if you don’t have research in the eight states included in this course!

That’s a strong statement; can I back it up? Certainly. But first, let’s identify the eight states covered in the 2012 Institute course: Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Missouri. Well, what’s so special about those states? That list includes two of the most populous states in the nation (Ohio and Illinois) as well as an ethnic diversity that can’t be found elsewhere in America. More immigrants settled in the Midwest than any other region in the country and, since all Americans are descended from immigrants, the discussion of immigration sources and strategies will pertain to all American research.

In addition the Midwest (especially Ohio and Missouri) is the gateway to the west. The vast majority of families who settled west of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers came through the Midwest and often lived there for several years. But, beyond that, the record collections and research strategies for Midwestern research pertain to almost all of the “western” states. Consider the following: Land records in the Midwest are all public domain lands, just as they are in the western states. Vital records in the Midwest set a pattern followed by most of the western states. The same is true of newspapers and other published records, including local histories and biographical sources. Their commercial success in the Midwest encouraged their development in the west, and even in the southern and eastern states.

But, it’s not just about the west. Many of our ancestors lived in large cities all over the country, but the Midwest has the most. Once you’ve learned about research in Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, etc., then you’ll be prepared for any other city, from New York to Atlanta to New Orleans. You see, it’s not about specific localities, but rather research principles that pertain to the Midwest that apply elsewhere. Ports of arrival may not be in the Midwest, but we certainly will be discussing passenger lists because of the flood of immigrants to the Midwest. The same principles for research ethnic and religious records in the Midwest pertain to other U.S. research areas.

Paula Warren’s discussions of research repositories and manuscript collections will open everyone’s eyes and make you think about similar collections elsewhere in America. Yes, it’s true. Midwestern research is a foundation for your successful research in the rest of the U.S. and even elsewhere (consider Canada, Ireland, Germany, England, etc.). It’s also a favorite area for people taking the Accredited Genealogist exams, because so many potential clients have Midwest ancestry.

So, review the course listing for the Midwest course and sign up. We’ll see you in January!

Visit our website for more information about how to register for Course 5 (or any of our other offerings at the 2012 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy).

If you enjoyed this article we invite you to share it via your favorite social networking media using the appropriate icon below. You may also reprint this article in any email or print newsletters you wish to distribute provided you include the date of original publication and the following text:
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:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Welsh Research at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy

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!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Virtual Chapter Presentation--The Vision of Indexing: A Revolution in the Research Mode

The UGA Virtual Chapter presents:
Randy Bryson
speaking on
The Vision of Indexing: A Revolution in the Research Mode
August 18, 2011, 7:00 pm MDT @

The FamilySearch Indexing effort is unparalleled in its success and scope, but what is the real vision behind this wonderful activity? Come learn how this simple but massive effort will change how genealogical research can be done from what we have done in the past.

Randy Bryson is an Area Family History Advisor in the Utah South Area and is a past Family History Center Director. Working for the Family History Department, he has had experience in the development and use of Personal Ancestral File, Scanning, Indexing, newFamilySearch and others systems. He now works to scale the LDS Church’s technology to provide new FamilySearch to the homes of members and nonmembers alike.

Starting this month, you will need to be a member of UGA to access the virtual chapter meetings. Address to access the chapter meeting: Log in to the website at with your username (the first 4 letters of your first name and the first 4 letters of your last name) and your password (the first letter of your first name, your zip code, and the first letter of your last name). Click on Virtual Chapter and go to our virtual meeting system. Log in there with your full name or "guest"

The UGA Virtual Chapter meets online on the third Thursday of the month. These meetings are free to members of UGA. To join UGA visit our website at Membership is just $35.00 per year. Members will also have access to all archived virtual chapter meeting presentations, discounts for registration to the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, a free subscription to our quarterly journal Crossroads, and more.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Swedish Research

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 coodinators 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?

If you enjoyed this article we invite you to share it via your favorite social networking media using the appropriate icon below. You may also reprint this article in any email or print newsletters you wish to distribute provided you include the date of original publication and the following text:

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:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Principles of Effective Genealogy Librarianship

It's time for another installment in our series of blog posts about the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG).  Today's guest blogger is Course 7 Coordinator, Drew Smith.

One of the biggest difficulties in being a genealogy librarian is that relevant education is hard to come by. Very few library schools offer a course in genealogical librarianship, and continuing education for genealogy librarians usually consists of a single hour or at best a one-day series of workshops covering a very limited number of topics. But what if you could experience a full five days of classes designed to carry you through the entire spectrum of issues faced by genealogy librarians? Now you can have that opportunity.

You already know the basics of librarianship, and you likely have a grounding in the basics of genealogical research. This course will take you further by addressing twenty different skills and knowledge bases that any modern genealogy librarian will need to develop as part of their profession. While many librarians engage in reference interviews, collection development, library instruction for their patrons, and professional development for themselves, this course will take each of those topics and look at them from the special viewpoint of a genealogy librarian.

We’ll cover in detail the kinds of resources most used by genealogists in the typical library, such as newspapers, published materials, and manuscripts, but we’ll also bring to light the other useful resources found in a typical library but not usually thought of as a part of the genealogy collection. We’ll discuss the new online tools that have become critical only in the 21st century, such as Ancestry Library Edition, HeritageQuest Online,, and social networking services. And we’ll address the importance of the genealogy library in leading the way in digitization projects for local materials.

Genealogy librarians, perhaps more than any other kind of librarian, need to understand how to work with volunteers and local societies, and we’ll learn about the best practices in these areas. What happens when patrons want to donate their own materials? How do you market your library’s genealogy resources and services so that they are used to the fullest? What kinds of ethical and legal issues are you likely to encounter as a genealogy librarian? We’ll address those questions, too. Finally, we’ll explore as a group the hot-topic issues of genealogical librarianship, drawing upon the interests and experiences of the students.

This course will also provide you with the unique opportunity to network with your fellow students, each of whom is very likely to bring to the course a wealth of knowledge and experience that they can share with us all. Of course, there will also be plenty of time during the week to enjoy the resources of the Family History Library. As a genealogy librarian, what more could you ask for?

Thanks, Drew!  If you are a genealogy librarian register for the course or check out more details here. If you have any questions about this course, please comment on this post.  Are you going to join us in January?

If you enjoyed this article we invite you to share it via your favorite social networking media using the appropriate icon below. You may also reprint this article in any email or print newsletters you wish to distribute provided you include the date of original publication and the following text:

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:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Thanks to the Mormon Trails Chapter for the fantastic tour

On June 18th, members of the Utah Genealogical Association were treated to a wonderful tour of the historic sites along the pioneer trail in and around Echo Canyon, Utah.

We were greeted in Henefer by Kris Whittaker and her team who organized the trip. They did a wonderful job and the whole tour went off without a hitch. Each family group was given a manila folder with all sorts of information about the history of the area—a great collection of info in handouts and various brochures that was enlightening in and of itself. But then as the tour commenced we were treated to John Eldredge’s comprehensive knowledge about the area. Eldredge’s books, The Utah War: a guide to the historic sites South Pass to Camp Floyd, and Illustrated Emigrants’ Guide to the Historic Sites Along the Hastings/Mormon Trail are great resources on the area.

The highlight of the trip was being able to see Cache Cave. Located on privately held land, the cave is only open to the public on the third Saturday of June every year. The cave earned its name by being a place where goods were cached for future travelers. Many pioneers carved their names in the sandstone, and while most have eroded away, many were still visible. Two of the people in our modern expedition were surprised to find ancestors who had carved their names in the rock. Kathy Palmer and Vicky Hayes were able to locate their ancestors and were moved to see a piece of their family history there in stone. To touch the same rock, and be in the same cave that a progenitor passed through brings an amazing reality to your history.

The tour ended at Johns Park in Henefer where we enjoyed a wonderful lunch of pulled pork sandwiches, potato salad, rolls, cold slaw and peach cobbler alamode. Our lunch program began with the Major of Henefer telling stories of the early settlers and the history of the town. Ari Hunsaker of barbershop quartet background played his guitar and sang ‘Riders in the Sky’, ‘Come, Come Ye Saints and ‘If I Could Hie to Kolob’. We all then joined him in singing pioneer songs including ‘Little Pioneer Children’ and ‘The Ox Cart’. The program ended with John Eldredge telling about the history of the area.

Every day on interstate 80, cars, semi-trucks and trailers zoom past the beautiful rock formations of The Great Eastern, Hanging Rock, Winged Rock and Castle on the Mountain, rushing on to their appointments in the east. Few people realize the history of the area and the interesting events that happened there. On June 18th, a group of people with the Utah Genealogical Association got to slow down, take in the scenery and learn about the historical sites along the way. Now, thanks to John Eldredge, we also see in our mind’s eye, the camps of Johnston’s army covering those fields, and the wonder of our ancestors at these incredible surroundings. Thank you to the Mormon Trails chapter leadership for all of their hard work in organizing this great tour. Everyone enjoyed the day immensely. We hope to join the UGA Summit County Chapter for this tour again next year.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bountiful Cemetery Walking Tour

Looking for something meaningful to do on July 24th?
Join the South Davis UGA chapter for their
Bountiful Cemetery Walking Tour.

Visit with some of Bountiful's first pioneers.
Ashby Family, Simmons Family, Duncan Family, Hatch Family, Perkins Family, Hogans Family, Kippens Family, Buys Family, Marshalls Family, Muir Famly, Moss Family and others.

Sunday Evening July 24th between 6 and 8 pm.
2224 South 200 West, Bountiful
No charge for the tour. Booklets with all the pioneers' stories will be available for $5 purchase if desired.

Monday, July 18, 2011

July Virtual Chapter Meeting--Descendancy Research: Finding the Past in the Present

Utah Genealogical Association
Descendancy Research: Finding the Past in the Present

This presentation, using a case study, will discuss how to do descendancy research. By finding descendants of a common ancestor you may be able to find documents, artifacts and additional family information that may enhance your family story.

Tim Bingaman, AG, was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Tim has lived in Utah since 1980. He began to research his family lines in 1982 and has never stopped. After a three-year stint in the U.S. Army, he attended Harrisburg Area Community College and received his B.A. in history from Brigham Young University. Tim taught high school in St. Johns, Arizona from 1984-1989 teaching U.S. and World History, Geography, Economics and Health. He has been an accredited genealogist since 1991 in Mid-Atlantic States research. Currently, he is a reference consultant at the Family History Library.

July 21, 2011, 7:00 pm Mountain Time

The UGA Virtual Chapter meets online on the third Thursday of the month. These meetings are free to members of UGA, and free to non-members for a limited time. To join UGA visit our website at Membership is just $35.00 per year. Members will also have access to all archived virtual chapter meeting presentations, discounts for registration to the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, a free subscription to our quarterly journal Crossroads, and more.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

American Records & Research: Focusing on Families

Starting off our new series of blog posts about the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), today's guest blogger is Course I coordinator, Paula Stuart-Warren.

Are you at a point in your research where you need some in-depth education about evaluating records, research, and U.S. resources in the 19th -21st centuries? Would you like five days of learning from some of the top experts in the field of family history? How about one-on-one consultation time to work on your own family history with some of these experts? What about working on a project in small groups that provides insight into the research process?

Then this is the course for you. Maybe you have already done basic searches online or in a library, but know there are more records to check and more to learn about those records that are online. This intermediate level course provides all that and more for strategies that take you beyond basic research tools both online and off. On-site consultations at the Family History Library from course instructors on three afternoons provide one-on-one assistance and guidance with your own research. The instructors don’t just lecture, they interact with you. This is the perfect course to take before you venture into other SLIG courses.

We’ll delve deeper into probate, vital records, guardianships, manuscripts, passports, lesser used federal records, school related records and church records. The records of births, deaths, and marriage will be scrutinized more closely along with substitutes for them. Civil war related records (other than pensions) will be discussed. All of these are goldmines for family details.

This course helps you extend your research skills with light, optional homework assignments to immediately apply the classroom information to research on your own families. There is ample time for open research in the afternoon and evening. The 2011 the Intermediate Course focused on localities. In 2012 this course focuses on individuals and families.

here to see the 2012 Course I lineup of excellent classes and "top-flight" instructors. See you next January!

Thanks, Paula! And, for those of you still debating about coming to Salt Lake in January for Course I, decide quickly. As of this evening there are only 17 seats remaining in this course.

If you enjoyed this article we invite you to share it via your favorite social networking media using the appropriate icon below. You may also reprint this article in any email or print newsletters you wish to distribute provided you include the date of original publication and the following text:

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, July 10, 2011

New SLIG Series

I am very excited to announce a new blog series. For the next few months we will be featuring a different Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy course and course coordinator on our blog. Please feel free to comment if you have previously taken the course or if you have questions.

We will be alternating these with posts from past attendees on what gained from attending. If you would like to contribute please comment and we'll get in touch with you.

We're looking forward to our best Institute ever!

~Christy Fillerup

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Summer Family History Conference

The first Annual UGA Summer Family History Conference will be held on August 19-20, 2011 at the Larry H. Miller Campus of the Salt Lake Community College.

View Larger Map
The two-day conference features over 140 classes in 13 tracks for a maximum experience for everyone from a beginning genealogist to a seasoned professional.
Chair of the Conference is Kathy Palmer, UGA Board Member and chair of several former South Davis Family History Center Fairs.  Now in an expanded format and sponsored by the Utah Genealogical Association, the Conference is expected to attract 1000+ participants.
Registration is now open at a very reasonable $20.00 for the entire conference ($15.00 for current UGA members) and there is also an option to either join or extend your UGA membership at a 40% reduced rate of $25.00 for one year.
Don't miss this fabulous opportunity!!

Visit the Registration page for more information on classes and to register.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

June Virtual Chapter Meeting--Finding Your Scottish Ancestry

Finding Your Scottish Ancestry

Brief Description:
Scotland has great resources available for helping you find your Scottish ancestors! Learn about Scotland gazetteers, Civil Registration, Church, Census, Probate records and more.

Raymon Naisbitt grew up in a family history minded home and spent much time in his youth roaming cemeteries and learning about his ancestors. He graduated from the University of Utah with a BA degree in Political Science and has minors in History and International Studies. He has been working with FamilySearch for ten years and is currently part of the British Isles research team in the Family History Library.

We have decided to open a few more sessions of the virtual chapter to the general public so you won't have to use your UGA membership log in yet. You can access the meeting at

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Echo Canyon Tour

Saturday, June 18, 2011 @ 7:30AM
(Registration deadline extended to Midnight, June 5, 2011.
 Lunch can be purchased with tour ticket)

The Mormon Trails Chapter of the Utah Genealogical Association is thrilled to offer a memorable trek back into history and to tour and experience the beauty of majestic Echo Canyon.

John Eldredge will be the guide for this tour.  Mr. Eldredge has written the book, “The Illustrated Emigrant’s Guide,” a booklet written for the 2005 Oregon California Trails Association Convention.  You will find Eldredge’s historical knowledge remarkable and appreciate his ability to tell about the artefacts among the ledges and emigrant trail.

View the video preview and register at: by midnight, June 5, 2011

To join UGA visit our website.  Membership is just $35.00 per year. Members will also have access to all archived virtual chapter meeting presentations, UGA Genealogy Teaching and Training videos, discounts for registration to the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, a free subscription to our quarterly journal Crossroads, and more.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Free Webinar: How Mature Are You Genealogically?

Utah Genealogical Association


How Mature Are You Genealogically?
Robert Raymond
Deputy to FamilySearch CGO David Rencher

Join us and learn an easy system to rate your own genealogical skill level and identify your strengths and weaknesses. You will learn a simple framework for improvement using Genealogical Maturity Levels. After attending this presentation you will have the knowledge you need to become a better genealogist.

May 19, 2011, 7:00 pm MT @

The UGA Virtual Chapter meets monthly on the third Thursday of the month. Through May these meetings are free to both members and non-members of UGA. They include both video and audio, and can be accessed anywhere there is internet access. Please join us by visiting the URL above. Email with questions.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy 2012 Info

As you may or may not know, the UGA website is getting a brand-new look. It's going to be great and will be unveiled in the next month or so. But in the mean time you man be looking for information on our upcoming Salt Lake Institute. The 2012 Institute will run January 23-27, 2012 with a Sunday orientation social on the 22nd. We're later this year so you can attend both SLIG and RootsTech (Feb. 2-4, 2012) in one trip. There are a few days in between, and we're working on putting together some great genealogical and recreational opportunities during that time--stay tuned!

Registration will open June 4, 2011 at 9:00 am MT, and will be accessible through our website We will not be staggering registration times. The early-bird tuition is $350 for UGA members and $400 for non-members; UGA membership is $35/year. We're still working out if the new system will allow registrants to purchase their membership and get the discounted rate in the same transaction. I'll let you know as soon as I know--but it couldn't hurt to purchase the UGA membership a few days ahead of time just in case (plus you'll be early enough to get the June issue of Crossroads).

We are offering twelve great courses this year, coordinated by some of the best in the field. Some are past favorites, while some are brand new this year!

  • Course 1: American Research and Records: Focus on Families with Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FUGA
  • Course 2: Advanced New England Research (in conjunction with NEHGS) with D. Joshua Taylor
  • Course 3: Welsh Research with Darris Williams, AG
  • Course 4: Swedish Research with Geoffrey Morris, AG
  • Course 5: Midwest U.S. Research with Kory Meyerink, MLS, AG, FUGA
  • Course 6: Genealogy Software and Research Tools with George Morgan
  • Course 7: Principles of Effective Genealogy Librarianship with Drew Smith, MLS
  • Course 8: Beyond the Library: Using Original Source Repositories with John Phillip 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
  • Course 11: Advanced Research Tools: Land Records with Rick Sayre, CG and Pam Sayre, CG, CGL
  • Course 12: Problem Solving with Judith Hansen, MLS, AG

All courses can hold up to 30 registrants with the exception of Problem Solving, which is not restricted, and the Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum which is limited to 25 due to the heavy discussion element. A brochure with more detailed information on these tracks, including the individual classes, will be placed online in the next few weeks--I'll let you know when it's available. Several courses filled quickly last year and I expect many of them will this year as well.