Tuesday, June 27, 2017

FTDNA Joins SLIG as Sponsor of DNA Course

We are pleased to announce that Family Tree DNA has joined SLIG as sponsor of the DNA course for SLIG 2018.

Course 13: "A Practical Approach: Establishing Genealogical Proof with DNA," coordinated by Karen Stanbary, incorporates hands-on exercises, case studies, and analytical software in a lab-type setting throughout the course.

This sponsorship makes it possible for SLIG to provide additional staffing during those labs, as well as key reference documents for ongoing use, enhancing the student experience without the cost of additional tuition.

"Founded in 2000, Family Tree DNA pioneered the field of genetic genealogy and is the first company to offer direct-to-consumer DNA testing for genealogical purposes. Family Tree DNA offers the world’s most comprehensive matching database, helping to unlock family history and find DNA matches across the globe. 

"With a simple cheek swab, our advanced suite of tests provides interactive tools for users to further their research, determine ethnic and geographic origins, and discover shared ancestry across all lines. Testing through Family Tree DNA will help you break through brick walls and connect more dots on your family tree! 

"We also offer free-to-join volunteer led group projects covering genealogical topics from surnames, geographical regions, haplogroups and more. Family Tree DNA strives to continue bringing genealogy to life with innovation and exceptional user experiences."

Thank you FamilyTree DNA!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Two Practicum Formats: SLIG and SLIG Virtual

Prefer to lounge in your pajamas while solving difficult genealogical problems? Need to coordinate your study and research around a busy schedule? Or do you prefer to test your mettle in a formal classroom setting? Or perhaps a combination of both? The Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum offers two formats to choose from.

Last year (2016), SLIG introduced its first annual Virtual Practicum. To say it was popular would be an understatement. We ending up running two sections, and even then carried a waiting list. Needless to say, it is back by popular demand. But it did not replace SLIG's unique and ever-popular course, the on-site Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum. That course also filled with a waiting list. Both courses are coordinated by course developer, Angela Packer, McGhie, CG.

SLIG 2017 fall Virtual Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum case instructors (left to right): Bethany Waterbury, Eric Stroschein, Jean Wilcox Hibben, Cari Taplin, and the course coordinator, Angela Packer McGhie.

So, which to choose? Both offer a hands-on experience working on five complex cases, one per day (on-site), or one per week (virtual). Both give students experience in researching complex problems, analyzing and correlating information, and reaching conclusions. Both provide a guided discussion with the case instructors and interaction with other students in the course - one in a classroom and one online. 

To clarify the difference, I quote from a blog post written by Debra Hoffman on 7/2/16, "One Great Course: Two Great Formats":

"The virtual format offers the ability to participate in this course from the comfort of your own home while still being able to interact with fellow classmates and the instructor in a virtual environment. Additionally, there are no travel, food or lodging costs and working students do not need to take time from their job to participate.

"The on-site format provides students to interact with other advanced genealogists in person, not just just those in their class. One of the best benefits is the opportunity to research at the Family History Library, which is within walking distance from the institute. 

"The week-long course also provides the benefit of dedicated time to focus on the case studies without the distractions of daily life. . .

"Participating in either format, or in both, provide an excellent opportunity to elevate your genealogical education to new heights! And one you can only get through SLIG."

The Fall 2017 SLIG Virtual Practicum showcases four of the five case studies presented at SLIG 2017 in January, along with one new, previously un-presented case.

Registration for the 2017 fall Virtual Practicum opens on 1 July 2017, at 9:00 am MDT for SLIG 2017 participants, and at 12:00 noon for all.  Full details at:

Registration for SLIG 2018 opens on 8 July 2017 at 9:00 am MDT. Full details at:

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

SLIG 2018 Course Highlight: Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum

Course 14:

 Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum


Angela Packer McGhie, CG

This hands-on experience is an opportunity for advanced genealogists to challenge themselves and put their research skills into practice. Participants work on five complex genealogical research problems — a new one each day. The objective is to give students experience in conducting research on complex problems, analyzing and correlating information, and reaching conclusions.

Participants will practice using indirect evidence, broadening research to include the FAN club, resolving conflicts, and organizing evidence into a written summary. The research problems are varied, offering students the challenge of stretching their mind and skills in directions that their research may not normally take them. Participants will work individually on the each of the cases and then gather to discuss their progress with fellow classmates and the instructor. They will compare sources, strategies and methodologies, discuss difficulties encountered, and receive guidance from the case study author. This course is designed for advanced genealogists who have sufficient experience and education to work on complex genealogical problems.

Level of Instruction


Special Note!

This course will hold its first meeting on Sunday, 21 Jan 2018, and meets each afternoon thereafter; the remainder of the time is spent individually researching the cases.

Case Instructors:

Kimberly Powell

Kimberly T. Powell is a professional genealogist, author, editor, educator, and volunteer. She is past president of the Association of Professional Genealogists and chairs its Professional Development Committee. She is a coordinator and instructor at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, and also teaches at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy.

Kimberly was the genealogy expert for from 2000 - 2016, and is the author of several books, including The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy, 3rd edition (Adams Media, 2014). She has had articles published in BBC's Who Do You Think You Are? magazine, Family Tree Magazine, and the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly. She is the proud recipient of IGHR's Walter Lee Sheppard Jr. prize (2010), the Utah Genealogical Association's Silver Tray award for genealogical publishing (2012), and a Certificate of Appreciation from the Association of Professional Genealogists (2016) for her service and dedication to the association.

Karen Stanbary

Karen Stanbary is a professional genetic genealogist. She is a regular instructor in Beginning Genetic Genealogy, Advanced Genetic Genealogy and Proving Your Pedigree (Genealogical Proof Standard) for the Newberry Library in Chicago. She lectures on a variety of DNA topics in institutes and local and national venues. She specializes in Midwestern U.S. research, Chicago-based research, Mexican research, complex problem-solving and DNA analysis.

Paul Woodbury

Paul Woodbury is a recent graduate of Brigham Young University where he studied Genetics and Family History. Paul fell in love with genealogy when he was eight years old. Since he was sixteen he knew he wanted to be a genetic genealogist, so he is particularly pleased to work in the field full-time. He currently works as a senior researcher and DNA specialist for Legacy Tree Genealogists. He is also actively pursuing a graduate degree in Instructional Design and Educational Technology. In addition to genetic genealogy, Paul specializes in French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Scandinavian research and regularly presents on research topics related to these fields.

Karen Matheson

Karen Matheson has been doing genealogical and family history research for 25 years and currently works as a professional genealogist. She served five years as the Director of the Round Rock Family History Center, and is the immediate Past-President of the Williamson County (Texas) Genealogical Society, and currently serves as the Editor of their quarterly publication, The Chisholm Trail.

Karen has served as Chapter Rep for the Lone Star Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists, as Secretary of the Texas State Genealogical Society, and as the 2013 Conference Chair for the Texas State Genealogical Society. Karen was a committee member and a presenter at the FGS 2014 Conference in San Antonio, Texas. In February 2012, Karen was a featured guest on the morning show for Austin's local FOX TV station. Karen had the opportunity to assist a Williamson County cold case detective with a missing person's case, and was an on-site genealogist in Austin, Texas for the taping of Genealogy Roadshow.

Karen moved to Northern California in 2014, where she is a member of the Santa Clara County Historical and Genealogical Society. In January 2016 Karen became the administrator of the Gen Proof Study Groups, the study of Thomas W. Jones' book, Mastering Genealogical Proof.

Angela Packer-McGhie, CG

Angela Packer McGhie is a professional genealogist, lecturer and instructor. She is a course coordinator at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR), and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), as well as an instructor at the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records in Washington, D.C., the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), and the Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research.

Angela has served on the education committee for the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), as past president of the National Capital Area Chapter of APG, and as the administrator of the ProGen Study Program. She presently serves as a trustee for the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) Education Fund and on the ProGen board of directors.

Please visit our web page for complete course description and bio at

Monday, June 12, 2017

Thoughts on Attending SLIG from a 2017 Scholarship Winner

Winner of the Jimmy B. Parker scholarship for the 2017 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), Paula Furick, shared her thoughts on attending SLIG: 

"I was fortunate to attend SLIG 2017; I took Tom Jones’ Advanced Genealogical Methods. Little did I know how it would change my skill level and my participation in genealogical research! Spending five days on a topic allowed me to immerse myself in Dr. Jones’ frame of reference. He led us sequentially into more and more complex problems, and this, I realized about a month later, changed the way I approach  new research problems. Another exciting facet of the experience was the opportunity to meet and discuss genealogy topics with other people who ‘get it’. No glazed-over eyes here! Consider seizing the opportunity to attend and participate!"

Are you interested in supplementing your SLIG tuition payment with a scholarship? There are two SLIG-sponsored scholarships available, and information about outside scholarship opportunities posted on the SLIG website.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Fall 2017 SLIG Virtual Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum

Fall 2017 SLIG Virtual Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum


Angela Packer McGhie, CG

Back by popular demand, SLIG will offer the Virtual Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum course again in 2017. This unique course tests a student's ability to plan, research, analyze, correlate, and solve a complex genealogical research problem.

This SLIG course challenges students as they work through five complex cases, one each week from October 7th through November 11th. The five cases for the Virtual Practicum include four of those selected for the Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum course taught in Salt Lake in January 2017.

Virtual Practicum participants have a week to work on the case and then they gather together online on Saturday to discuss the case with fellow classmates and the case study author/instructor. They have a chance to compare strategies, methodologies, difficulties and results before the instructor demonstrates the case solution. This gives participants experience in working on a wide variety of genealogical problems.

Student Requirements

This course is for advanced students. Previous participation in an advanced methodology course at SLIG, GRIP or IGHR, or equivalent experience and training, is recommended.
You should have a minimum of 10 hours per week during the course to work through the complex cases.
We will be using webcams to participate in video chats for the group discussions. If you do not have a webcam, you can participate via audio. All students should have a headset with a microphone to eliminate background noise.

Course Schedules

Saturdays, beginning 7 October through 11 November 2017:

 Session 1: 10am to 12pm (MDT)

 Session 2: 12:30 to 2:30pm (MDT)


Registration Fee: $350

Registration will open on Saturday, 1 July:

9:00am MDT: early registration for SLIG 2017 participants.
12:00pm MDT: open registration.

Case Instructors
  • Bethany Waterbury 
  • Eric Stroschein
  • Jean Wilcox Hibben, PhD, MA
  • Cari Taplin, CG
  • Angela Packer McGhie, CG

Please visit our website for full description at (look for the tab on the left).

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

SLIG 2018 Course Highlight: A Practical Approach: Establishing Genealogical Proof with DNA

Course 13:

 A Practical Approach: Establishing Genealogical Proof with DNA


Karen Stanbary, MA, LCSW, CG

This course is designed for genealogists who are familiar with traditional genealogical research strategies and are interested in learning how to incorporate DNA test results into relationship proofs. This course will cover Y-DNA, mitochondrial DNA, and autosomal DNA testing, analysis, correlation and interpretation. Examples will incorporate the three major testing companies and many tools available for analysis and correlation. Hands-on exercises and case studies will be used to demonstrate how DNA analysis can confirm and expand a pedigree. The emphasis is on the use of DNA test results to solve genealogical brick wall problems using the Genealogical Proof Standard. Participants will leave the course with atDNA analysis software installed with their own data and the skills needed for continuing analysis.

Level of Instruction


Suggested Requirements

Anticipated Target Audience: those well-versed in traditional genealogical research and now wish to add DNA information to confirm and advance their pedigrees and those who wish to use DNA information to blast through genealogical brick walls.

Suggested Prerequisites

Participants will derive the most benefit if they have tested autosomal DNA with at least two of the major testing companies: 23andMe, FTDNA, AncestryDNA. We expect that the participant has at least one test uploaded to GEDmatch. Additionally, it would be most helpful if the participants have tested at least one person's mtDNA (full-sequence) and one person's Y-DNA (minimum 37 markers). While specific previous DNA institute courses are not required, we recommend the participants work through the exercises in Genetic Genealogy in Practice and study the answers prior to the institute. The focus will be on problem-solving using DNA test results. We will not cover beginning DNA topics, including inheritance patterns. Participants will need a fully functional laptop (not a chromebook, nor tablet) and the ability to use the operating system and work through internet searches without instruction. This is a fast-paced course. There will not be time to assist participants with technical computer issues.

Other Instructors

  • Melissa Johnson, CG
  • Michael D. Lacopo, DVM
  • Paul Woodbury, BS
Please visit our web page for full course descriptions and bio at

Monday, June 5, 2017

Going To Jamboree? Check Out Our Instructors!

Are you heading to the 48th Southern California Genealogy Jamboree and Genetic Genealogy Conference this week? If you are, be sure to check out these SLIG 2018 instructors who will be presenting there.

Check out these fine presentations:

Michael D. Lacopo, DVM

FR003 Beginning Your Italian Research
TH033 Using Mitochondrial DNA Testing For Genealogical Problem Solving
SA038 “She Came from Nowhere…” A Case Study Approach to a Complex Genealogical Problem

Gena Philibert-Ortega, MA, MAR

Workshop: TH-B Artifact Archaeology: Explore Family History Heirlooms and Ephemera
SA18 Wives, Girlfriends, Widows, Exes and Mistresses: Documenting Women
SA034 Uncle Sam Wants You: Women’s Lives During World War I
SU012 Grandma Was an Alien: Marriage and Citizenship in the 20th. Century

Rev. David McDonald, DMin, CG

SA020 History and Research in England’s American Colonies
SA037 Brick Wall or Black Hole: Knowing When to Stop
SA055 If I’da Known the Future, I’da Got Here Sooner

Paul Allan Woodbury

Workshop: FR-E Getting Your Feet Wet: Genetic Genealogy Case Study Workshop
TH004 Diving In from the Other Side: European DNA Case Studies
TH029 Genetic Genealogy Heir Hunting: Who Has the DNA You Need?
SA019 The Next Generation: Young Genealogists and Your Society

Michael L. Strauss, AG

FR008 Roosevelt’s Tree Army: Finding Your Ancestors in the CCC
FR032 Decoding Secret Societies: Sisterhood in Fraternal Organizations
SA002 Your Family in WWI: From Home Front to Battlefield
SA009 Descendancy Research: Another Pathway to Genealogy

Please check the Jamboree website or app for official times.

For more information on these instructors, please check our website at

Thursday, June 1, 2017

SLIG 2018 Course Highlight: Advanced Land Tools: Maps

Course 12:

 Advanced Land Tools: Maps


Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA

Maps are a useful, essential tool to conduct effective genealogical research. Applications include locating and visualizing ancestors in time and place, locating boundaries, discovering and following family groups, identifying migration routes, and organizing and correlating information to discover relationships. The class sessions will expose students to a wide range of maps, repositories, and genealogical strategies. Students will gain an understanding of land division systems in America and learn the basics of landing platting and its application to genealogical research. Students are shown a variety of finding aids to locate unfamiliar place names, to identify and search for maps online and in archives useful in their genealogical research, and how to evaluate a map for its application in solving a genealogical research problem.

Through visits to map repositories and hands on exercises students will experience the variety of maps and map-related products available to the genealogist such as cadastral, topographic, fire insurance, military maps, gazetteers of various kinds, and atlases. Several computer labs will provide the opportunity to discover online resources and the advances in technology such as historic geographic information systems (GIS). Students will learn how to create their own maps using Google tools to support new avenues of research and create personal and professional satisfaction.

Source: Wikipedia

Level of Instruction

Intermediate to Advanced

Suggested Prerequisites

A basic knowledge of land records and familiarity with a basic text such as Patricia Hatcher's Locating Your Roots : Discover Your Ancestors Using Land Records.

Other Instructors
  • Melinda Kashuba, PhD
  • Kimberly Powell
  • Gerald H "Jerry" Smith, CG
Please visit our web page for full course and bio at