Saturday, December 30, 2017

Three SLIG Contests for Fun, Experience and Finding!

Monday morning at SLIG will kick off a full week of contest fun! 

Photo Tag Line Contest: #SLIGFun
  • Take a photo of any memorable SLIG moment – in your course, with your friends, as you research –and post with a caption including the hashtag #SLIGFun. 
  • Two entries will be selected to receive early registration based on best caption/photo combination. All others will be drawn randomly.
  • Posts should be made to or shared with the SLIG 2018 Facebook page. 
  • If you are not on social media, entries may be submitted to

Blogger Contest: #SLIGExperience
Bloggers are important to SLIG and to the SLIG experience. 
  • Share your thoughts and words about your SLIG experience to enter the contest. 
  • sign up by emailing 
  • You will be given information about a special bloggers room at SLIG where you may relax while you capture your thoughts. 
  • Two entries will be selected to receive early registration. All others will be drawn randomly.
  • Include the hashtag #SLIGExperience, and
  • share your blog post on the SLIG 2018 Facebook page, tweet it, post it on Google+, or email the link to to enter.

Find-an-Elk Contest: #SLIGFind
The Elk is Utah’s state animal, and he is a little out of his native habitat here in Salt Lake City. Can you help us find him? 
  • Each day a zoomed in photo of SLIG's elk (with the appropriate tapestry coat) will appear on the SLIG 2018 Facebook page in the morning. 
  • If no one can identify the location of our elk from this photo, another photo will be posted that reveals more of the Elk’s location. 
  • This will continue for up to 5 photos per day.
  • Participants will reply to the photos and include the hashtag #SLIGFind
  • Each day’s winner will win $10 in Hilton Bucks with his/her photo taken with the Elk. 
  • Each day's winner will be posted on the SLIG 2018 Facebook page.
  • If there is not a daily winner, the prizes will go unrewarded.

Contests are open to all SLIG attendees. If you aren’t a Facebook user, and wish to join in the fun, please ask for details at the UGA booth in SLIG Central or email

Join in to experience all the SLIG fun!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Who Doesn't Love Prizes?

Image result for prizes images 
Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy is so very pleased to announce the prizes for SLIG's 2018 contests. More about the contests later, and much more about this year’s prizes below—get ready, get set, and get ready to go enter some contests and win some prizes!

The following prizes will be awarded at the end of the banquet:
  • 1 year subscription to FindMyPast and is donated by FindMyPast
  • 3 individual DNA kits by MyHeritage
  • 1 year complete subscription to MyHeritage donated by MyHeritage
  • 3 individual DNA kits awarded by Ancestry
  • 2 individual SLC Chef’s Table cookbook with a Visit SLC apron by VisitSaltLake
  • Wicked Audio Bluetooth speaker by VisitSaltLake
  • Breakfast for two at Trofi restaurant at the Hilton by the Hilton Salt Lake City Center
  • 4 individual Early Registration for choice of SLIG2019 OR 2019 Academy
  • The choice between either a Detailed Research Plan OR a DNA Analysis (value $350) by LegacyTreeGenealogists. Details below.

The Discovery Plan is a preliminary assessment of a client’s documentation compiled into a detailed research plan. This is ideal for someone who wants to “do the research themselves” but would like guidance from a professional. It is also an excellent way for a client to “test the water” before committing to one of our full-service 20-, 40- or 60-hour genealogy research projects.

The DNA Discovery Plan appeals to both those who have already tested and those who have not. With a taken DNA test, expert genetic genealogists will analyze test results and provide a written explanation of results, including recommendations for additional testing/research to meet the tester's goal(s). If the test has not been taken, the DNA Analysis may be used to create a DNA testing plan, outlining who should test and why to achieve specific research goal(s).

Daily prizes will be given out by the Utah Genealogical Society’s (UGA) DNA Special Interest Group (SIG) at the UGA booth located in SLIG Central. 

Sign up, put your name in the hat, come by and give it a try! It's all about having SLIG fun!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Behind the Scenes at SLIG: Caty Peck

This is Caty’s second year working on the SLIG Committee.  Last year she apprenticed on audiovisual (av) under Bret Peterson; this is her first year to head up the audiovisual--besides handling the photography and SLIG logistics for the conference.

Caty Peck is a young woman with many skills. She founded her own photography company, Racing Rain Photography, in 2012 and continues working it to this day; she will be taking the class photos for SLIG this year. With a B.S. in Culinary Management, she puts her degree to use as the Warehouse Manager for an online sales company as well as making wedding and custom cakes plus catering in her spare time.

Genealogy is a passion for Caty. She describes herself as “working avidly in genealogy” for the past five years. During this time, she graduated with a genealogy certificate from Salt Lake Community College, finished Gen Proof 51, Tom Jones’ Mastering Genealogical Proof course, and she is currently working towards her Accredited Genealogist (AG) credential for the New England States Region with ICAPGen. Furthermore, Caty is currently waiting for entry into the ProGen program.

Caty is quick to commend SLIG for helping her “become a better and more well-rounded genealogist.” She loves the things she has learned and the relationships she has formed because of the SLIG experience. She believes that the week of SLIG “is quite possibly one of her favorite weeks in the entire year.”

Even though Draper, Utah has been Caty’s home for more than 20 years, this has not stopped her from traveling to five continents with only Asia and Australia yet to visit. “My grandparents instilled a love of traveling in me at a fairly young age, and we have just kept traveling with them ever since. My grandparents and my whole family traveled to Antarctica together, I traveled with my grandparents to Africa and with my grandmother to Europe twice."

Caty also speaks French. She traveled to France two years ago to meet her French family. Because her great-great grandfather was the only member of his family to leave France and come to America, she has a great deal of extended family still there.

When asked if she could have more hours in her day, Caty replied that she would spend them with her family, because they are her favorite people; she would take that extra time and use it enjoying “more adventures” with them. She is looking forward to a niece joining her family in March.

According to Peg Ivanyo, Director of SLIG, Caty can be found "between and after classes putting up, taking down, and otherwise tweaking [the] audiovisual to make sure we all have a good view of the information our instructors bring us." Caty Peck is be found on all popular platforms, including LinkedIn.

Until next time, the next committee member, and the next Behind the Scenes SLIG 2018 magic!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Top 10 Reasons to Stay at the Hilton During SLIG

While there are many options for housing while attending Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), the Hilton has a great many benefits.  After an informal poll these are the top 10 benefits of staying at the Hilton for genealogists.

10. Staying at the Hilton means wearing bunny slippers if we are running late to our course.

9. Staying at the Hilton means time to exercise, shower and show up for a networking breakfast.

8. Staying at the Hilton means taking the free shuttle to and from the FHL.

7. Staying at the Hilton means immediate accessibility to Spencer’s bar for a day- or nightcap.

6. Staying at the Hilton means nice, hot tubbie for relaxation after you finish your homework.

5. Staying at the Hilton means room service before, during or after researching.

4. Staying at the Hilton means not worrying about finding invisible taxis.

3. Staying at the Hilton means not walking in 18 degree weather uphill in the snow to get to SLIG.

2. Staying at the Hilton means your Starbucks coffee is still warm for your first morning course.

1. Staying at the Hilton means catching up and hanging out with friends, colleagues and maybe instructors before, during, and after our courses.

Staying at the Hilton is a great way to have more SLIG fun!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Dining at SLIG, Part 3

Downtown Salt Lake City has so many cool little eateries. We have compiled a list of the many great restaurants to choose from within walking distance of the Hilton or a short drive.

Blue Lemon - 55 West South Temple, Salt Lake City, 801-328-2583. Hours Monday - Thursday 7:00 am- 9:00 pm, Friday-Saturday 7:00 am – 10:00 pm. Closed Sunday.

Siegfried's Delicatessen - 20 W 200 S, Salt Lake City, (385) 355- 1912, Hours Monday - Wednesday 9:00 am -6:00 pm, Thursday - Saturday 9:00 am – 9:00 pm, Closed Sunday.

Caffe Molise - 55 West 100 South, Salt Lake City, (801) 364-8833. Hours Monday - Thursday 11:30 am – 9:00 pm, Friday - Saturday 11:30 am – 10:00 pm, Sunday 11:30 am – 9:00 pm.

Eva Small Plates & Drinks - 317 S Main Street, Salt Lake City, (801) 359-8447. Hours Monday - Friday 4:00 pm – 12:00 pm, Saturday 5:00 pm – 12:00 am, Sunday 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm.

Kneaders Bakery & Cafe - 28 South State Street. #235, Salt Lake City, (801) 428-3051 (City Creek). Hours: Monday - Friday 7:00 am to 9:00 pm, Saturday 8:00 am – 9:00 pm. Closed Sunday.

Nauvoo Cafe - 15 East South Temple, Main Floor, Salt Lake City, (801) 539-3346. Hours Monday - Friday 7:00 am – 8:00 pm, Saturday 9:00 am – 8:00 pm, Sunday Closed.

Blue Iguana – 165 South West Temple, Salt Lake City, (801) 533-8900, Hours: Monday-Thursday 11:30 am – 9:00 pm, Friday-Saturday 11:30 am – 10:00 pm, Sunday 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm.

If you have any suggestions of great places to eat during SLIG, please be sure to comment here or on our SLIG 2018 Facebook group.

Please check out the Visit Salt Lake website for a concise directory of restaurants. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Tech Day Spotlight: Creating a Family Archive without Going Crazy with Mona Lambrecht, MA

 Join us on Saturday, 20 January 2018, for the first-ever SLIG Tech Day. A full day of classes, hands-on workshops and mini-labs being held at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center before SLIG week begins.

 Mona Lambrecht, MA will be giving a class entitled, "Creating a Family Archive without Going Crazy" at 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM.

Creating a Family Archive without Going Crazy
Mona Lambrecht, MA

As a family historian, you probably have those seemingly hopeless piles or boxes of family papers, photos, and heirlooms. You dream that someday you will have the time to sit down and figure out how to organize and store everything properly. Unfortunately, reality sets in and those overwhelming questions start creeping in: How do I organize those letters so I can find them again? How should I safely store my photographs? What should I do with all of grandma’s handkerchiefs? Where do I even start?!?

Working as a museum curator, I face those daunting challenges of organizing, cataloging, identifying, protecting, and safely storing historical objects on a daily basis. Not knowing how to begin usually stops people before they can even get the project started. In this class, I will show you ways of processing your family collection no matter how large or small. Because it isn’t possible to tackle the process in a single day, the goal is in knowing how to work in realistic steps, gradually improve your collection’s organization, and how to begin storing your items safely. 

There are many different ways to organize your items, and fortunately (or unfortunately) there is no RIGHT way to organize, and ultimately catalog, your family collection. I will help you get started by showing you basic archival techniques so you can find the best solution for your situation. I will take you through:
•    the pros and cons of simple vs detailed inventories
•    the process of evaluating what you should keep or discard
•    methods of sorting different types of materials 
•    options for arranging your collection 
•    object identification techniques
•    archival safe products and storage options
•    how to properly handle and store objects 

Once you have a good idea of what your collection consists of, you can think about how you want to catalog your collection. The use of technology can make the cataloging process much easier but choosing software can depend on what information you want to track, how big your collection is, how tech-savvy you are, and what kind of a budget you have. I will address various spreadsheet, database, and cataloging software options and show you ways of creating a customized archival system so you can record your family heirlooms with the same detail as your family history research. Learn about tracking important details such as: 
•    who created the object and when
•    the people or subjects in a photograph
•    a description of an object
•    an item’s condition 
•    conservation needs
•    physical dimensions
•    item location
•    an image of the object
•    and much more!

The organizing and cataloging process can take a lot of time, but it is well worth the effort. When you organize and store your collection properly materials will be easier to use for your research and last for many more decades than if you left them alone. The benefits of cataloging are in retaining each object's history, discovering how family members are connected to each item, and knowing where to locate the physical and digital materials easily. By caring for the physical and intellectual content of your collection so you will preserve your treasured family history and heirlooms for generations to come.

You can register here: 
Hope to see you there!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Tech Day Spotlight: Publishing a Family History Efficiently with Dina C. Carson, MA

Join us on Saturday, 20 January 2018, for the first-ever SLIG Tech Day. A full day of classes, hands-on workshops and mini-labs being held at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center before SLIG week begins.

 Dina C. Carson, MA will be giving two classes that day. The second one is entitled, "Publishing a Family History Efficiently: The Right Tool for the Right Job", will be held 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM.

From Dina:

Publishing a family history can be an enormous project so why not employ some tools that make the job easier?

When you are just starting a family history, what's the right organizing tool? How you organize your genealogical research is largely a matter of what works for you. However, some organizing tools are better than others for writing a book.

Is there one take away from the planning stage of a book project that will save you an abundance of time and effort later on in the project? Yes, there is. This one key tip is worth hearing this lecture!

Most family histories include images. If you're like me, gathering and preparing the images can be as time consuming as writing the book. Is there an easy way to organize images while you write? Yes, there is.

Many family histories follow a timeline of events. Following a time may be the simplest way to tell your family's story. Are there timeline tools that make writing easier? Yes, there are.

A family history is only as good as the sources used to compile it. Are there some research tools that make including sources in your family history easier? Yes, there are.

Many family histories are written by collaborations between family members. Are there tools that make collaborating on a family history project easier? Yes, there are.

Are there writing tools that makes the job of writing easier? I don't know of any writing tools that will put the words on the page for you, but there are many tools that make the job of writing and editing simpler.

It would be a shame to work so hard to create an incredible family history and then not make it look its very best. Are there tools that make designing and laying out a book easier? Yes, there are.
Every family history requires an index. Are there tools that make indexing a manuscript easier? Thankfully, yes, there are.

The younger generation is much more likely to want to read a family history in an electronic form, than the older generation. Are there tools that make converting a manuscript set up for print to an eBook format easy? Yes, there are.

Are there tools that will make a book interactive? Yes, there are, and they're easier to use than you might think.

Most family historians have boxes of photographs, documents and memorabilia that should be included in a book. Are there tools that make creating a digital files from those objects easy? Yes, there are.

Many old family photos could use some editing or enhancing to make them look their very best. Are there tools that make fixing old photographs easy? Yes, there are.

There are many, many tools available to help creating a fabulous family easier. Come to the lecture on SLIG's Tech Day to find out what they are!

You can register at 

Tech Day Spotlight: Scrapbook to Scanner with Dina C. Carson, MA

  Join us on Saturday, 20 January 2018, for the first-ever SLIG Tech Day. A full day of classes, hands-on workshops and mini-labs being held at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center before SLIG week begins.

 Dina C. Carson, MA will be giving two classes that day. The first one entitled, "Scrapbook to Scanner: Best Practices for Adding Images to Your Family History", will be held at 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM.

From Dina:

Most genealogists have piles of items to digitize, so the best place to start is with some scanning basics. There are only two types of items to scan, reflective and transparent. How your scanner handles the different types depends upon the type of scanner you have.

There are an abundance of scanner types including: flatbed, film/slide, microfilm/microfiche, all-in-one, hand scanners, and mobile apps that allow you to use a mobile device such as your phone as a scanner. Each of these scanner types has pros and cons. Some are better for creating a family history than others.

All scanners come with software, but not all scanning software is the same. Taking advantage of the best features of your software or choosing a standalone software may be the best option to achieve the best results for your project.

There are four elements that affect the size and quality of digital images: physical dimensions, resolution, pixel depth and color space. Making the right choices about these qualities can save you countless hours of re-scanning or the frustration of seeing poor quality images in your final project.

Creating an image with the correct resolution for the end use is a must, and it involves math. Sorry … I can hear the collective groan every time this fact is mentioned. Fortunately, a few simple resolution exercises will have you figuring this out in a flash whether you're scanning a photograph, a document, film or a slide.

Choosing the correct file format in which to save your digital images can be confusing because there are so many new choices. I'll help you choose the right one depending upon how you plan to use the image.

There are many simple tricks you can use to save time while scanning. If you have many items to scan, these tips are worth coming to hear the lecture!

Photographs should be scanned differently than documents or maps that were printed before the age of digital printers. Do you know how to get the best scans for each of these?

Do you know the best way to get a digital image of an object or artwork?

Most scanning software comes with optical character recognition. Is this a feature of the software that can help you with your family history project?

Preparing digital images for a family history does not have to be the most difficult part of the project. Come to this lecture to get some useful tips for making this job simpler.

You can register for this class at 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Dining at SLIG, part 2:

Let's continue with our tour of dining at the Hilton:

We mentioned Spencer's for Steaks and Chops briefly in our last post as it relates to the daily lunch special they will offer during SLIG.  What we didn't tell you is that they have a mouth-watering Spencer's Steak you might want to try.  Spencer's is fine dining at its best, having been named "Best of State" and given the "Wine Spectator Award of Excellence."  The restaurant has a casual seating section in addition to their fine linen area, and an enclosed room for groups. TripAdvisor pricing level $$$$. Reservations may be made by phone or through OpenTable.

Then there is Spencer's Bar.  THE gathering place for a casual drink while staying at the Hilton.  Located in the front of the restaurant.

Room Service Anyone?  This is my favorite.  Order in from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm.

Are you a Hilton Honors member?  Make sure you add your HHonors number to your reservation before you arrive, or at least at check-in. Gold Level members receive complimentary continental breakfast in Trofi each morning for themselves and up to one guest staying in the same room. Or, bonus points. You choose. Diamond level members receive both continental breakfast and bonus points, as well as access to the executive level concierge lounge, where a small hot/continental breakfast and hot hors d'oeuvres are served weekdays. Prefer the Trofi buffet?  You may upgrade to the buffet for only $8 per person.

Now that's membership rewards benefits at their finest.

Behind the Scenes at SLIG: Rita Barredo

Rita Barredo began attending SLIG 10 years ago. Tapped to serve as the Assistant Registrar of SLIG this last February, she first worked with SLIG as a volunteer room monitor from 2012-2016. She makes sure the registrations go well, that they stay organized and that attendees get the course they pay for.

Rita is a quiet soul with a great big smile and an impressive level of education. After graduating from college with a BA in History, she further earned a BS in Accounting, an MS in Accounting, an MBA, and an MA in Public History. She has been featured in Who’s Who in America 1996-2016, Who’s Who in Finance and Business 1997-2009, Who’s Who in the East 1997-2006, Who’s Who in the World 1997 -2016, and Who’s Who of American Women 1995-2011.

Recently retiring after 40 years as an auditor, Rita says she enjoys genealogy and reading as her hobbies. She credits her organizational skills to her career, but she, like many of us, says that we “wouldn’t necessarily [be able to] tell how organized I am by looking at my kitchen and dining room tables with piles of notes, reference books and history books!!!” 

Always modest, Rita does more than enjoy genealogy; she earned her Boston University Certificate in Genealogical Research and is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), where she lists her specialties as Colonial Research, Emigration & Immigration and Naturalization.

Rita particularly enjoys SLIG as an opportunity to compare notes with genea friends and catch up with news of their families and findings. When not traveling to other conferences during the year, Rita enjoys recording genealogical information and sharing the results of her research with extended family.

Born and raised in Connecticut, Rita still resides in “the Constitution state.” She is the child of immigrant maternal grandparents from Italy and immigrant paternal grandparents from Spain. Both grandparents ended up in Connecticut to work and stayed. Rita would very much like to go to Spain to research her paternal grandparent's families. 

Look for Rita and say “Hi” at SLIG 2018.

Until next time, the next committee member, and the next Behind the Scenes at SLIG 2018!

MyHeritage Sponsors SLIG Shuttle

Good weather or bad, the SLIG Shuttle is the best ride in town.  It takes students from the Hilton to field trips at the University of Utah Law Library and the Utah State Archives, to the Family History Library for labs or general research, and makes a few runs at night to special events.

We are pleased to announce that this year's shuttle will be sponsored by MyHeritage.

Their contribution and support of SLIG will assure that SLIG students ride in comfort wherever they go.

Christmas Comes Early for SLIG Lodgers

Santa said because we’ve been such good genea peeps this year, he would give Hilton lodgers three wonderful gifts.

The first is the gift of time: the Hilton rooms will be officially confirmed much sooner than is usual. This means that while SLIG peeps are sooo busy shopping for others, all Hilton room changes and requests can be made and confirmed through the hotel with a single, simple, stress-free phone call. Now there is time for cocoa and cookies…or maybe a stiff drink to celebrate?

Santa’s second is the gift of lovely rooms with comfy beds. Yes, there are still plenty of rooms available for SLIG attendees. Rooms may be booked through SLIG by emailing anytime this week.  Beginning on Tuesday, December 5th, rooms may be booked with the hotel directly. Check this off the “being nice to me” list!

The third is the gift of discount!  The deadline for room discounts has been moved back to December 21st!  Just make sure you mention the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy to secure the tax-free group rate when you book (your confirmation will reflect tax, but you shouldn't be charged tax when you check-out).

Rooms may still be available after the deadline, but the group rate is not guaranteed, so ho-ho-hurry and make your reservation!

Santa’s three gifts will make our SLIG experience even more fun and more festive! 

To every Hilton lodger, a good night!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Tech Day at a Glance

We come to SLIG to learn how to work with DNA, write our family histories, develop analytical skills, dive more deeply into specific record sets, and a variety of other in-depth learning experiences.

Then we go home and wonder . . . just how am I going to manage all that data?  Is there an easier way to track those results, translate that document, or write the report?

Voila!  You have the reason for SLIG's new Tech Day.

Running all day on Saturday, January 20th, the day is full of hands-on workshops, classes, and mini-labs.  Register for a full day (any combination of four class periods) and receive $10 in Hilton Bucks to spend during the week. New students may add selections as they register; pre-registered students may log into their registration using their confirmation number to add these options.

We'll see you there!

Tech Day Spotlight: Using Google's My Maps as a Research and Analysis Tool with Cari A. Taplin, CG

Join us for SLIG's first ever Tech Day which will feature a special workshop by Cari A. Taplin, CG entitled "Using Google's My Maps as a Research and Analysis Tool". This 3 1/2 hour workshop will show you the many ways you can use Google Maps for genealogy. This will be held on 20 January 2018 at the Hilton Hotel from 1:30 PM to 5:00 PM.

Did you know you can create your own maps using Google's My Maps? Many of us use Google Maps for travel or locating a place. My Maps allows users to create custom maps which makes it a fantastic and easy-to-use research and analysis tool. Maps can be shared with others making it a great way to present your research to family and friends. This class will give an overview of My Maps, examples for why and how it can be useful for genealogy, and will contain exercises on creating custom maps, including inserting lines, shapes, images, text, and more.

Cari explains further… “In my workshop, I will demonstrate many of the tools you can use to create your maps and demonstrate how to use this to plan research trips, analyze your research, and brainstorm ideas for other applications. You will get to see some of the more in-depth maps I’ve created and get started on some of your own. (Bring a laptop and sign up for a free Google account, if you don’t already have one.)”

Check out Cari's blog post about it here:

Sign up today for this class at

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Tech Day Spotlight: Mind Maps with Ron Arons

The first ever SLIG Tech Day will feature a special Mini-Lab on Mid Maps by Ron Arons. Why is this so important for your genealogy toolbox? Let me have Ron tell you:

Why mind maps and other data visualization tools?

There is an old saying that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words.’ This statement is so true. The brain actually processes pictures much faster than it does reading words. It is also much easier for you to recall items if you recall them from a setting (read: picture) than from a list of words. More than 60% of the general population are considered to be ‘visual learners’. That is to say, that they learn better and more efficiently by using pictures than by words or other means. About another third of the population learns aurally, i.e. through words. A very small percentage of the general population learns kinesthetically, i.e. through touch or movement. Suffice it to say, it behooves the vast majority of us to consider tools that help us learn and think visually. The tools that help with visual thinking are not necessarily replacements for spreadsheets and narratives but, rather, should be seriously considered as complementary tools for providing new insights and perspectives for organizing information, correlating data, and presenting research results to others.

Mind maps are radial outlining tools. They start with a central theme or concept and they radiate outwards, like a sun and its rays or a hub and spoke of an old chariot wheel. They can continue expanding with sub-branches, sub-sub-branches, etc., with increasing levels of details. Mind maps have been around for centuries and have been used for decades in Corporate America for brainstorming new ideas, for writers to lay out their stories, and by teachers with their students. Mind maps were certainly not designed with genealogy in mind, but they offer a compelling way to work with family history research data. Here’s why…Different types of genealogical documents have different types of data. For example, a census record might have a person’s name, their spouse and children’s names, age or year of birth, state or country of birth, occupation, residential address, etc. A vital record will usually have person’s parents’ names listed, whereas a census record would not (unless of course the parents are still living in the same household). A newspaper article would probably not list a person’s parents names, but might list a person’s residential address. In short, various types of genealogical documents together provide ‘unstructured’ data. To put all of the information from three such documents into a spreadsheet, a tool for working with ‘structured’ data, would be wasteful of space; there would be many cells completely empty. The beauty of mind maps is that they excel (no pun intended) with unstructured data. Furthermore, many mind map tools allow you to draw connector line from data in one location of a mind map to data in another location. This is particularly helpful in data correlation (step 3 of the Genealogical Proof Standard), arguably the most important aspect of genealogical research. Not being able to find such connections, similarly, can help with explaining away discrepancies (step 4 of the GPS).

The Mind Map / Data Visualization mini-lab at SLIG Tech Day will review the above theory in more detail as well as provide a hands-on introduction to two data visualization software packages – a mind mapping tool and another tool which is similar to, yet different from a mind map, but also useful in laying out genealogical data. Come to the mini-lab and expand your brain capabilities!

Mind Maps will be held Saturday, 20 January 2018 from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM at the Hilton Hotel. Price $30.00. Please visit to register. I hope to see you there! 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Dining at SLIG, Part 1

Where do I eat while attending SLIG?

There are plenty of options, both at the Hilton and within a short walk. This is the first of a series of posts covering dining options available during SLIG 2018.

SLIG works with the Hilton each year to make sure they have plenty of economical dining options available for both breakfast and lunch - from grab and go kiosks to restaurant specials.  

Here are some of the highlights for 2018:

Trofi Bistro: Trofi offers a continental breakfast, a full breakfast buffet with omelets made to order, and a menu. SLIG participants may purchase the full buffet at an all-inclusive discount.

New this year: no need to pre-purchase breakfast discounts or commit to multiple days.

Starbucks: Small, but efficient, this Starbucks offers beverages, pastries, soups, and sandwiches from 6 am to 2 pm daily.

Grab and Go Kiosk:  Set up just for SLIG, the kiosk will offer soup, salad, sandwiches, and snacks during lunch Monday through Friday. Students may eat in nearby SLIG Central. 

Grab and Go items will also be available from Starbucks on SLIG Tech Day.

Spencer’s for Steaks and Chops will offer a daily lunch special during SLIG.

More information about these options may be found on the SLIG Dining page just posted: > Dining Options.