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.

Behind the Scenes at SLIG: Debra Hoffman

Another dynamic member of the Salt Lake institute of Genealogy (SLIG) 2018 committee, Debra A. Hoffman, lives in New Windsor, Maryland. She brings to the committee 35 years of family research experience and five years business experience as owner of Hoffman Genealogical Services. 

Debra is a great asset to SLIG: she sought and has received a foundational genealogical education. She completed the National Genealogical Society (NGS) Home Study Course in 2001 and began her Brigham Young University (BYU) Family History Certificate in 2005 and completed it in 2012. During this process, Debra states that “I met Angela McGhie [in 2007] and she introduced me to the ProGen Study Group in 2008. Her friendship increased my more active participation in the genealogical community.”  She is currently "on the clock" while working toward her certification.

Debra Hoffman
By 2013 Debra began not only attending SLIG and other national institutes, she also began speaking at genealogical societies and libraries.  She is recognized for her award-winning writing with articles appearing in the Carrolltonian, Der Kurier, Bluegrass Roots, Maryland Genealogical Society Bulletin and the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly.

Debra has a quiet, positive, get-it-done leadership style that proves her reliability and dependability. Recognized as such, she was recruited to begin working on the SLIG committee in 2013; in 2015 she was tapped as Assistant to the SLIG Director, Peg A. Ivanyo; in 2016 she concurrently accepted the leadership position of Administrative Assistant to Malissa Ruffner, Director of the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records (Gen-Fed).

When asked what is the best part of working on SLIG, Debra replied, “The best part, for me, about working on SLIG is working with Peg Ivanyo. I am constantly in awe of her energy, her creativity, and her organizational skills. She cares about making the SLIG experience an incredible one for every student who attends SLIG. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to work with her and learn from her.”

Passionate about assisting others in gaining a quality education, Debra recommends SLIG. Unable to pinpoint a specific favorite memory of one course or one topic, she states, “I do not have a favorite memory as each year is an incredible experience!”

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

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

AncestryProGenealogists Scholarship Announced

Application Deadline December 31, 2017

Ancestry recently announced that it is now accepting applications for the AncestryProGenealogists Scholarships to genealogical institutes, established to "foster and support professional genealogists in their ongoing development efforts." 
"The AncestryProGenealogists Scholarship Program will provide four scholarships that will cover tuition, round-trip standard economy airfare (Ancestry may substitute appropriate ground transportation for awardees who live within 300 miles of the applicable institute), and hotel expenses for one individual each to attend one of the four institutes listed below.  The scholarships will be awarded to qualified applicants who demonstrate a commitment to genealogy as a profession, a desire for professional development, and the ability to communicate that commitment in writing." 

The five genealogical institutes and their dates are as follows:

Genealogical Institute on Federal Records (Gen-Fed)
Washington, D.C.
July 16-20, 2018

Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP)
Pittsburgh, PA
June 24-29, 2018 or July 22-27, 2018

Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP)
Amherst, NY
July 29-August 3, 2018

Institute on Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR)
Athens, GA
June 2-7, 2018

Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG)
Salt Lake City, UT
January 13-18, 2019

Those applicants interested in selecting SLIG 2019 as their institute of choice will not be aware of the course offerings before the application due date.  For that reason, we offer the opportunity to have open dialogue with the director if you feel it is needed to help you rank SLIG in order of attendance preference on your application.

The deadline for submission is 11:59 Pacific Time on 31 December 2017, if submitted electronically; if mailed, it must be postmarked by 31 December 2017 and received by 5 January 2018.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

SLIG Night at the FHL Details

Wednesday, January 24, 2018
5:30 - 8:45 pm
Sponsored by ICAPGen
Hosted by the Family History Library

Classes and labs
Light refreshments
Time to relax and research

New this year:  The FHL remodel provided us with two new large classrooms, increasing our seating capacity.  Still, seating is limited, so register early to attend.

    Classes and labs include:
    5:45 pm  
    Class:   “Databases, Search Engines, and the Genealogical Proof Standard" 
    by David Ouimette, CG, CGL
    Class:   "Source Citations: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" 
    by Diana Elder, AG
    Lab:      “German Online Sources" by Baerbel Johnson, AG
    Class:   “Pre-1850 U.S Research" by Julie Stoddard , AG

    7:00 pm   
    Class:   “Evidence Analysis Maximizes Research" by Robert M. Call, AG
    Class:   “Write it Up: Tools of the Trade" by Diana Elder, CG
    Lab:      “Online Detecting 201" by Beth Taylor, AG
    Class:   "Friends, Associates, and Neighbors (FAN Club) Research" 
    by Julie Stoddard, AG
    Class:   "Overview of the Accreditation Process" by ICAPGEN Officer

    Registration is required and will open on Tuesday, November 14th.  

    While the Family History Library will be open to the public during this event, the classes, labs and refreshments are open to SLIG participants only.

    Classes and labs descriptions here.

    See you soon for all kinds of SLIG fun!

    Monday, November 6, 2017

    SLIG 2018 Mid-Week Evening Events

    Join us to research, learn, and network as you weave your Ancestral Tapestry through SLIG week.

    The creation of a tapestry requires many skilled hands working together. Our mid-week events are sponsored by many organizations in an effort to provide a rich SLIG experience.

    Ancestry ProGenealogists Networking Event
    Tuesday, January 23rd, 5:30 - 7:30 pm

    Curious about Ancestry ProGenealogists? Take a short walk or ride the SLIG shuttle to their office for this open house with light refreshments.  

    SLIG Night at the FHL
    Wednesday, January 24th, 5:30 - 8:45 pm

    Sponsored by ICAPGen and hosted by the Family History Library (FHL), this evening features classes and labs, light refreshments, and time to relax and research.

    Limited seating available in classes and labs; registration required; shuttle available.

    Class schedule

    Research at the State Archives
    Thursday, January 25th, 4:00 - 8:00 pm

    Whether you have ancestors that hail from, passed through, or not, you won't want to miss this opportunity to get your hands on original records. The Research Room will be open with staff available and light refreshments served. Shuttle provided.
    Archive information

    Information for all events for SLIG 2018 from Sunday afternoon for new attendees to the final banquet for all is available online. SLIG 2018 Schedule of Events

    Pre-registration for these and other events opens on Tuesday, November 14th. Log into your SLIG registration using your email and confirmation number to add your selections.

    More later for more fun during SLIG week in 2018!

    Behind the Scenes at SLIG: Valerie Hansen

    Valerie Byrd Hansen is another dynamic member of the Salt Lake institute of Genealogy (SLIG) 2018 committee. 

    Eight years ago Valerie joined the SLIG committee and today still serves as the registrar for all the events that SLIG handles: SLIG itself; the fall Virtual Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum taught and coordinated by the impressive Angela Packer McGhie, CG; and the newest event, Tech Day, on January 20, 2018.
    Valerie Byrd Hansen

    Living in St. Helens, Oregon--which, by the way, is NOT the St. Helena of volcano renown--does not keep her from doing what she does best: helping other people, fixing issues, and making friendships. Valerie  is quick to praise SLIG, "I've met so many people through SLIG. It is totally amazing and rewarding!'

    Her favorite memory of SLIG is attending with her both her mother and her mother-in-law. Atta girl, Valerie, for making genea memories with your family!

    Valerie was asked what she would do with six more hours in her day. As supervisor of a medical records department by day, and as wife, mother and grandmother 24 hours a day, Valerie's first thought was that she would get more sleep. Her final thought, however, is that she would spend more time with her family and working on her SLIG, of course!

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

    Wednesday, November 1, 2017

    SLIG 2018 Hosts First Tech Day!

    The first SLIG Tech Day is scheduled for Saturday, January 20, 2018.  SLIG's amazing speakers and guest lecturers will present four hands-on workshops, nine classes/demonstrations, and two mini-labs. 

     Check out the schedule of exciting classes!  Tech Day Information

    Half-day workshops on Saturday morning feature Gena Philibert-Ortega and Pat Roberts guiding 3 hours of hands-on experience with  Evernote and Ancestry, respectively. 

    After lunch, Cari Taplin will share Google's My Maps while Kimberly Powell presents Scrivener during the last two half-day workshops. 

    Workshops require personal laptops with any pre-requisite software or online tools installed. (Please review specific pre-requisites, if any, listed with the workshop.) Electrical outlets will be available for each student. 

    Not up for 3-hour workshops?  Then consider the nine other 90-minute courses: Cyndi Ingle teaches three tech classes (coordinating programs in the Cloud, foreign language tools and timelines), Dina Carson is presenting 2 courses on best publishing and imaging practices, while Mona Lambrecht will share tips on staying sane while creating a family archive, Elissa Scalise Powell updates our writing skill set and Kimberly Powell creates spreadsheet magic, and instructs us in social network as an analysis tool.

    Three mini-labs from 7-8:30 pm are also available: Elissa Scalise Powell will boost our PowerPoint skills and Ron Arons will fascinate with mind mapping.

    Don't miss out! Pre-registration is required to assure seat availability; registration for special events will open on Tuesday, 14 November 2017.

    Join us at Tech Day 2018!