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