Monday, September 30, 2013


Early-bird registration ends on October 31, 2013. Don't miss out on the opportunity to take this intermediate-level course that provides in-depth learning on 19th-21st century U.S. resources and the methodology for using them. 

Paula Stuart-Warren, CG; Debra Mieszala, CG; and D. Joshua Taylor will focus on topics more related to researching families and individuals. Informative and interactive classroom hours delve into significant records and strategies that take you beyond basic research tools both online and off. 

On-site Family History Library support and a computer lab from course instructors provide one-on-one assistance and guidance with your own research. This course alternates years with a course focused on localities. 

The following topics will be covered:
* From Clues to Records: Step-by-Step Planning
* Vital Records – Strategies and Substitutes
* US Census Records – Beyond the Basics: Non-Population and Special Schedules
* U.S. Passport Applications
* Church Records: Locating and Excavating
* Institutional Records: Extensive Family Details
* Clustering and More: Maximizing Your Online Searches
* More than Just People: Lessons and Hints from Public Directories
* Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Research: Resources, Methods, and Skills
* The Grey and the Blue: Beyond Pensions
* Optional time in classroom for groups to discuss their project
* The Write Stuff: Family Histories with Substance and Appeal
* Researching the Occupations of Our Ancestors
* The Three Rs: Reading, 'Riting, and Research In School Records
* Finding Family Gems in Manuscript Repositories and Special Collections
* Computer Lab at the Family History Library
* One-on-one consultations at the Family History Library

Don't delay--register now!

Friday, September 20, 2013


I was honored to be the first recipient of the Jimmy B. Parker Scholarship last year. Through the generosity of Jimmy's family, I was able to realize my dream of traveling to Salt Lake City for the first time. Not only was I able to spend a week learning from leading experts in the genealogical field at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, but I was also able to research my ancestors at the Family History Library. It was a fantastic educational experience and one I will never forget! Get your application in and good luck!
--Debra A. Hoffman

The Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy is pleased to announce we are now accepting essays for the Jimmy B. Parker Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy scholarship. Full tuition to SLIG 2014 will be awarded to the student whose essay and application exemplify the culture of giving back to community, lived by Jimmy B. Parker. The scholarship will be awarded by a committee comprised of SLIG committee members and the family of the late Jimmy B. Parker.

Applicants are asked to submit the following via email to
1.      A one-page essay detailing how attending SLIG will help you prepare to give back to the genealogical community.
2.      A short biography, including previous volunteer and research experience.
3.      The name of the course you would like to attend.
4.      A letter of recommendation from someone who has benefited from your volunteer service.

The winning essay will be posted on the UGA blog at 

The Salt Lake Institute runs from January 13-17, 2014 and the winning student will have their choice of the following tracks:

1.      American Research and Records: Focus on Families (with Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FUGA, FMGS)
2.      Researching New York: Resources and Strategies (with Karen Mauer Green, CG, FGBS)
3.      Research in the South (with Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA)
4.      Advanced Research Tools: Land Records (with Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL and Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL)
5.      Credentialing: Accreditation, Certification, or Both? (with Apryl Cox, AG and Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL)
6.      Producing a Quality Family Narrative (with John Philip Colletta, Ph.D., FUGA)
7.      Researching in Eastern Europe (with Kory Meyerink, MLS, AG, FUGA)
8.      Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum (with Angela McGhie and Kimberly Powell)
9.      Advanced Genealogical Methods (with Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS)
10.  Problem Solving (with Judith Hansen, MLS, AG)
11.  Utilizing Social History (with Gena Philibert-Ortega, MA, MAR)

Applications and essays are due by October 15th and the winner will be announced October 30th

Monday, September 16, 2013


As genealogists, our goal is to leave a family history with “substance and appeal.” We want to weave together the pieces of our ancestor’s experiences into a memorable story that accurately portrays their life. The SLIG course “American Research and Records: Focus on Families” can help you achieve that goal. The class provides coverage of the traditional records, such as vital, census and church records. However, it goes beyond those records to cover institutional records, manuscripts and school records. Additionally, board-certified genealogist Debra Miezala will cover writing a memorable family history.

Along with the classroom expertise there will be time for groups to discuss their project as well as time for research at the Family History Library. An added benefit is having the opportunity for a one-on-one consultation with the instructors and genealogical experts, Debra Mieszala, CG; Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FUGA, FMGS; and Josh Taylor.

This class provides the unique experience of classroom learning coupled with research time at the renowned Family History Library all under the guidance of nationally-known genealogy experts! Register now before October 31st to take advantage of early-bird registration. Start the New Year off right by joining us for this exceptional opportunity to expand your genealogy skills and expertise!

Thursday, September 12, 2013


How can you spend a week exploring 20 countries with six teachers and consultants and access the renowned Family History Library? The answer is by registering for SLIG’s “Researching in Eastern Europe” course!

From the lands between the Baltic Sea on the north to the Adriatic, Aegean and Black seas to the south, millions of people immigrated to North America leaving family and generations of ancestors behind in Eastern Europe. Three to five generations later, their descendants are finding it very hard to trace their origins due to foreign languages, difficult records and multiple changes in the political landscape. But, now there is hope! This course brings together several of the most successful Eastern Europe genealogists to teach you the important information you need to succeed in such complex research.

In addition to classroom lectures, this course includes hands-on help at the Family History Library as well as break-out sessions tailored to the specific needs of the students and their ancestry. Now, for the first time ever, a major institute is creating the specific classes students want in response to their research needs!

Join course coordinator Kory L. Meyerink along with fellow instructors Kyle J. Betit, Lisa Alzo, Daniel M. Schlyter, Kellie Scherble Hale and Wade Hone for a fantastic week of learning and research! Don’t miss it! Register now before October 31st and take advantage of Early-bird registration,

Sunday, September 8, 2013


BCG and ICAPGen will again offer a joint course at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, January 13-17, 2014. Both organizations’s credentials were founded in 1964 and this is a fitting way to celebrate credentialing while providing detailed requirement and application information. 

While two of the twenty sessions are jointly given, each organization has nine sessions to present, discuss and utilize exercises in their credentialing process. 

BCG’s instructors are Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL, (co-coordinator with Apryl Cox, AG); F. Warren Bittner, CG; Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL; J. Mark Lowe, CG; and Judy G. Russell, CG, CGL. 

ICAPGen's instructors are Kelly Summers, AG; Linda Gulbrandsen, AG; Ray Clifford, AG; and Raymon Naisbitt, AG. David Rencher, CG, AG will speak on cross-credentialing. 

For more information including a detailed schedule, see the “Tracks” menu item at The course is ideal for anyone who would like more information on credentialing processes.

Friday, September 6, 2013


There is an exciting new course in the SLIG line-up for 2014. Entitled “Utilizing Social History,” the course is designed to help you put the flesh on the bones of your ancestors and bring them to life. No longer is genealogy about simply listing the begats, it is about telling your ancestor’s story.

Course Coordinator Gena Philibert-Ortega is working with four well-known and expert instructors to provide a week-long, in-depth look at social history. From finding images to determining what your ancestors ate to the games they played, the coverage is diverse and will have you uncovering the uniqueness of your family.

Don’t delay in registering as the Early-bird deadline of October 31st is quickly approaching! Registration can be found at

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Will you tell us a little bit about what makes your SLIG course unique among genealogical education offerings?

Problem Solving is unique in that a student learns new skills and techniques by working on their own research problem during the week.

Their ultimate success depends upon the problem chosen, their preparatory work putting together their project submission, and availability of records easily available in the Family History Library or Internet resources.

The Problem Solving course 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 in research. The format of the problem-solving course is designed for each student to receive specific help on his/her own project, and also to learn from study of the other student submissions and from the research and methodology discussion and suggestions given for the other projects. Brief discussion of specific records, analysis or evaluation techniques, or writing suggestions will be included as consultants see need.

Each problem solving student chooses his own curriculum – by focusing 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 for CG or AG should not be used, because of time/research constraints imposed by client or submission requirements of being only own work.

The Problem Solving course takes place in 3 parts: designing, working, and sharing.

Designing:  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.

Working:  During SLIG, daily meetings held with assigned group reporting on progress of extensive research, analysis and evaluation of own project.

Sharing: 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.

Why would you recommend a student attend SLIG in general?

They are able to focus on genealogy and genealogical endeavors for a week away from family, work, and other distractions. They gain skills and understanding they can use personally and professionally and will make new friends who share a passion for genealogy and could provide a network when assistance may be needed outside their local area. Above all, SLIG can be a week of fun, while enhancing skills.

Any parting thoughts or advice?

Genealogy and family history is both fun and addictive. The more you learn about research techniques and analysis strategies the more successful you will be. The more you learn about ancestors and their lives and how they faced their problems the more you learn about yourself. Embrace all on your family and learn from each. Enjoy their successes and sorrow for their disappointments and failures.