Monday, January 22, 2018

SLIG Tech Day 2018 - A Success!

   The inaugural SLIG Tech Day was a success! With fifteen classes and workshops to choose from, ranging from productivity tools to methodology, the students had a broad range of choices. The all-day event took place at our home base in the Hilton on Saturday, 20 January 2018. We are so happy that the students learned so much! Now, get ready for a great week at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy… On with the show!

Kimberly Powell's class

Gena Philibert-Ortega's class.

Cyndi Ingle's class.

Pat Roberts' class.

Elissa Scalise Powell's class.

Cari Taplin's class.

Ron Arons in the Mind Maps class.

Ron Arons did a little juggling for us! 

Friday, January 19, 2018

Behind the Scenes at SLIG 2018: Patti Gillespie

Another member of the SLIG 2018 committee, Patti Todd Gillespie lives in Decatur, Texas. She brings 30 years of experience researching her family, 5 years of researching for friends, and 5 years researching for clients with the last 3.5 years under the umbrella of her own company, Family Lines and Stories. Yup, she’s old…er, mature—at least on the outside.

As the interviewer for the Behind the Scenes blogs, I have the unique opportunity of "interviewing" myself. This does present some moments for humor.

Patti shares marketing responsibilities with J. Paul Hawthorne; they do whatever is needed for media focus. While asking myself what I like best about SLIG, “I can state sincerely that it has been a great learning opportunity to work on the SLIG committee with all the wonderful people here.

Being impacted by alcoholic parents, Patti’s social skills are not always on point, and, in fact, she has more opinions than any living person should wisely hold, but she brings to SLIG enthusiasm, a heart that “sees” people and their complexities and, of course, hard work and diligence for her assignments. These characteristics coupled with her desire to assist the invisible, past and present, impact Patti’s genealogical work and indefatigable research ethic (she's so humble, eh?).

Patti loooooves learning! Education, as one would expect from a former high school teacher of English and French, is very important to Patti in all that she does. She is less than 2 months shy of finishing ProGen32 (and she still has most of her sanity), she is an official fangirl of free webinars and Dallas-Fort Worth area speakers. She looks forward to taking an intensive citation course after finishing ProGen (yes, she said this!). Patti also enjoys attending at least one or two conferences a year.

With SLIG committee and ProGen as a priority in 2017, Patti experienced an an amazingly intensive, professional year. She was recruited to assist Kelvin Meyers with the inaugural Texas Institute of Genealogy (TIGR) last May. During this time, Patti was speaking frequently, researching for clients, managing the local genealogy group (Wise County Genealogy Society) she founded, while contributing to the APG Lonestar Chapter. She was recently elected in October to the TxSGS (Texas State Genealogical Society) board as secretary. 

With major health issues discovered 10 years ago, Patti finds joy in the health progress that she has made. She enjoys being active, so was thrilled to start CrossFit last year. If you happen to catch her looking sweaty before morning classes, she will likely be returning from a local Crossfit gym she ferreted out.

Until the next Behind the Scenes with the SLIG Director herself, Peg Ivanyo!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

SLIG Sunday Activities and Adventures!

Whether arriving early for Tech Day, research or both, Sunday can be a perfect day to relax and rest...or not! The following suggestions can be walked and/or combined with TRAX, taxi, Uber or Lyft. A few fun suggestions are outside of the usual circle of SLIG experiences but, if ventured, will definitely create memories of SLIG 2018! Enjoy!
  • Theatres are available at The Gateway Megaplex Theatres in the popular outdoor mall, The Gateway. The train will transport for free and drop off across the street from a portion of the mall; for those who enjoy walking it is less than a mile each way.
  • Broadway Centre Cinemas, operated by Salt Lake Film Society, 1st-run foreign & indie films along with unique concessions & pizza. 111 Broadway, Salt Lake City, UT 84111.
  • Tower Theatre, 876 E 900 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84105 theatre opened in 1928, indie flicks, weekend classics.
  • Clark Planetarium Sun - Wed: 10:30 am to 7:00 pm
  • Shopping, shopping, shopping!
  • Grocery shopping at Harmon’s [Incredible!!!] Grocery Store
  • Cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory
  • Wandering Temple Square
  • Blue's Chocolates
  • Brigham Young’s Beehive House, 9:00 am – 8:30 pm
  • Blue’s Chocolates at Tony Caputo’s, 314 W 300 S, Salt Lake City, 10 am to 5 pm.
  • Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory at The Gateway, Noon to 6 pm—not open at the City Center site on Sunday.
Brunch, anyone?
  • The Hilton
  • Pig & A Jelly Jar, 401 E. 900 S., Salt Lake City. 7:30 am to 9 pm.
  • Ruth’s Diner, 4160 Emigration Canyon Road, Salt Lake City. 8 am to 9 pm
  • Sweet Lake Biscuits and Limeade, 54 W 1700 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84115. 7:30 am to 4 pm.
  • CafĂ© Niche, 779 East 300, Salt Lake City, UT 84102. 8 am to 3 pm.
  • The Rose Establishment is a coffeehouse with exotic beans & loose-leaf tea, plus in-house bakery & sandwich menu. 235 400 W, Salt Lake City, UT 84101Open 8 am to 6 pm.
  • Foundry Grill at Sundance serves brunch every Sunday from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm 8841 Alpine Loop Road, Provo. RESERVATIONS needed!!!
  • Wandering through the Capitol building
  • The Leonardo (The Leo) 10 am – 5 pm, presenting Woman/Women, Flight and the Illusion of Reality
  • Red Butte Gardens: Lucy Peterson Watkins Fiber Art Exhibit, 9 am – 7:30
  • Utah Museum of Fine Arts, 10 am – 5 pm
Reenacted Golden Spike
Feel like a drive?
  • Park City shopping and restaurants
  • A day trip to Sundance for brunch
  • Promontory, Utah site of Golden Spike National Historic Site 9 am – 5 pm. 1 hour drive.
From movies to museums with chocolate on the side, SLIG Sunday has a lot to offer those who are seeking something to do! See you soon for SLIG 2018!

SLIG Sunday Church Activities

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Music and the Spoken Word features the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in a live performance on Sunday at 10 am in the historic round tabernacle on Temple Square. The Choir sings several musical selections amid an uplifting narrated theme.  Admission is free, doors open at 8:25 a.m. and guests should be seated by 9:15 a.m., when the doors are closed. The broadcast ends at 10 am.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir also rehearses every Thursday evening in the Tabernacle. Most rehearsals are open to the public. Doors are opened at 7:30 p.m. and rehearsals typically run 90-120 minutes.

Church Services
Those who would like to attend church on Sunday morning, will find that there are many churches within a very reasonable distance.
Cathedral of the Madeleine
  • Cathedral of the Madeleine on South Temple is not only a fabulous historic and artistic landmark, Sunday services are held at 8:30 am, 10 am and 11 am.  
  • The Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, just west of the Hilton, holds Orthros at 9:00 am and Divine Liturgy at 10:00 am.
  • City Presbyterian Church meets at 10 am for services; First Presbyterian Church has 3 services on Sunday: Contemporary Worship at 9:00 am, Sunday classes for adults at 10 am and Traditional Worship at 11 am.
  • First United Methodist Church of SLC meets for services at 10 am followed by Sunday School and 1 pm services.
  • LDS Sacrament Meeting is held at 11 am in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, formerly the Hotel Utah.
  • Mt. Tabor Lutheran Church holds Holy Communion Worship on Sundays at 10:30 am.
Further information on local churches can be found at Visit Salt Lake.  Directions and maps can be found by googling the church or inputting the available address into your preferred GPS system.

See you soon for SLIG fun in SLIG style!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Behind the Scenes at SLIG: Liz Miller

Elizabeth Cays Miller has worked for six months organizing lodging reservations and whatever else is needed for SLIG 2018. During this time, Liz states, “I love the people and the sense of camaraderie that builds as we work together.”

Her short time on the committee gives her a fresh perspective on what is happening to pull off a quality conference like SLIG. “I am amazed by what it takes to pull off a successful Institute—the foresight, the planning, the coordinating, the attention to details and special needs not only for the participants, but also for the instructors and the rest of the SLIG staff. There are so many details, it blows my mind! I just want to say thank you to the SLIG committee for a memorable experience and thank you to the participants who are patient and kind while we work out wrinkles and kinks.”

Liz’s love of family history research can be traced back to her great-uncle Joseph Ringland's family genealogy book. Many years later, Liz received her formal training in Hispanic family history research through the Family History program at Brigham Young University.

She loves to use computers and other modern-day technologies to tackle and solve problems often encountered in complex family history mysteries. Research opportunities have taken her to archives in Spain, Ecuador, Scotland, Wales, Canada, New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Idaho, and Utah.

Liz has been a presenter at the UGA conference for the last two years. She also taught classes at her local Family History Center in American Fork.  As to Liz’ day job, she “contracts family history research for Legacy Tree Genealogists, private-client research, and serves on the UGA board.”

Outside of pursuing trace clues for elusive ancestors and writing, Liz especially enjoys spending time with her family. Her favorite family traditions are the 4th of July family picnic in the park and watching fireworks with family and friends, baking cookies or orange rolls with my grandchildren during the holidays and planting flowers in the springtime with my grandchildren.

In her spare time Liz enjoys helping others make new discoveries about their family history, quilting, sewing, crocheting, gardening, and, more recently, making hand-tatted lace.  

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

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Firsties' Thoughts On SLIG Experiences

Are you a first-time attendee--a “firstie--to SLIG? If you are, here are some thoughts from last year’s firsties.  If you are not, perhaps you may enjoy the enthusiasm for the upcoming SLIG 2018 experience shared with us.
All registering attendees who are returning as second-time attendees were recently contacted and asked “what [did] you enjoy the most about SLIG as a first-year attendee?”  Here are their answers.

Kathy Emmel. “I have been involved in genealogy for over 40 years, but I had never attended a genealogical conference before SLIG 2017. I took Paula Stuart-Warren’s class, Taking Your Research to the Next Level, and it set me off on an unbelievable genealogy path!

“After SLIG 2017, I joined several national and local genealogy societies …, I researched and wrote an article about my family that was published in The Colorado Genealogist, the Journal of the Colorado Genealogical Society, … I earned a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University…and because of a project from that class, I have been asked to write a two-part series for my local historical society…. I should also mention that I put myself on the ProGen waiting list. I would never have done this before attending SLIG!

“I can’t wait to get there!!!”

Jenna Smith. “I accidentally enrolled in the Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum, but I’m so glad that I did. Everything moved fast and furious, and I was exposed to new research methods, locations and sources.... We only had to attend ten hours of classes, and the rest of the work was on our own. I did love it, [and] I’m excited to come back.

“My very favorite part of SLIG 2017 was the people! I loved hearing how other advanced researchers tackled difficult problems. The instructors were friendly and approachable, especially Angela McGhie. I learned so much and felt like I had crammed a semester-long college course into one intense week."

Constance H. Knox. " I really enjoyed my week long SLIG 2017 experience.  I think one of the things I like about SLIG, is sticking to one subject all week long and getting a deep dive into the subject. The pace was perfect, breaks were timed appropriately… and… well… hello… it’s in the family history capitol of the world!  Therefore, off time was spent researching at the Family History Library, just a short walk from the hotel.  Loved meeting new friends… just every minute of it. I’m really looking forward to it.  Can’t wait!"

JoEllen Schaffer. "For my first SLIG experience, I took Advanced Genealogical Methods with Tom Jones. Oh my! The daily assignments were quite challenging, the time they consumed pretty much prevented me from having a social life after hours, and by the time I went home my brain was on overload. That being said, this class was the best genealogy education experience I have had to date and can't recommend it enough. 

"I really enjoy the five-day concentrated classroom experience more than a conference. The format focuses on a single topic and encourages us to a level of expertise that wouldn't be achievable from a single hour session at a conference."

Aaron Tassin. "Other researchers had spoken highly of the experience and mentioned SLIG specifically. Two takeaways remain with me today:  first, how friendly and inviting everyone at SLIG was, fellow attendees and instructors alike; second, it was very interesting to see how others approach the same research problems differently."

Katherine Willson. "What I enjoyed most was being able to meet for the first time those friends & colleagues whom we interact with regularly on Facebook or on the APG message list."  

Lynn Tenney. "One of the guest lecturers in my last year at IGHR recommended SLIG above the others. And boy was he was right! The quality of course coordinators, guest lecturers and subject matter available is superb. The other attendees are just as eager to learn and have thoughtful discussions. It's great to be able to learn, not only from the lecturers but also from fellow classmates.
And the opportunity to apply new learning immediately using the resources of the Family History Library just cannot be compared. While I had wonderful instructors and classes at IGHR, SLIG had equally talented instructors PLUS the FHL, great lodging and an amazing variety of restaurants available."

So there you have it, firsties--first hand enthusiasm from second year attendees. The SLIG experience is a lot of SLIG fun!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Tech Day Spotlight: Writing As You Go! with Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL

Writing as You Go! -- Efficiently Organize Your Research

In the "Baker's Dozen Steps to Writing As You Go" class we will discuss the process of how to efficiently record research information so that no matter where you stop, you can pick up the research with minimal loss of time. This method is popular with those who adopt it because of its time-saving and logical steps. Tips and tricks will be shared. Whether you have never heard of the process, have never tried it, or have some experience with it, this class will help you to gain confidence in the method and adopt it to your own style and way of working.

Too many times a class like this comes along and is widely acclaimed through social media afterward by the attendees, sparking interest in those who missed it. Enroll now so that your interest will be satisfied.

For more information and to sign up, please visit: and click on SLIG Tech Day (Sat 1/20).

SLIG Travel to and from the Hilton City Center

You are almost here!  You have your lodging, your air, now – how to get to the Hilton from the airport?

Unless otherwise noted, all ground transportation companies are located in the baggage claim areas of both terminals. In addition, companies providing transportation are available outside Door #7 in Terminal One and Door #11 in Terminal Two.

Two shuttle services serve the SLC airport and downtown hotels.

·       Express Shuttle Utah will accept reservations online, by phone, or after arrival at the airport.
  • It is recommended that reservations be made at least 24 hours in advance online or by calling 801-596-1600; notice is required if traveling with more than two pieces of luggage.
  • You may also arrange transportation at the Express Shuttle desk after claiming your bags; wait time is generally less than twenty minutes.
  • Cost for the shared-ride service is $10.00 per passenger each way, available from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm; transportation outside those hours may be available at additional cost.
Super Shuttle accepts online reservations only.  Shared-ride service is also $10.00 per passenger each way. 

·      Traveling with a group? Each of the shuttle services listed above also provide private vans and group shuttle services upon request. Additionally,

Harroon Transportation provides shuttle transportation for groups of five or more for $55 per trip between the hours of 5:00 am and 8:00 pm. Arrangements may be made by calling (855) 316-6888 from the airport once bags have been claimed. Note: this is a change from prior years – they are no longer a Hilton contracted provider for individual transportation. 

Go Airport Shuttle is locally owned and operated, has an easy online reservation format, and the owner can be contacted. Each of the driver's have submitted to a background check.  They offer stretch limos and shared ride vans.

Light Rail

TRAX, a local commuter rail system, is a popular and efficient means of getting to and from the airport. 
  • The TRAX/light rail Green Line leaves the airport every 15 minutes on weekdays between 5:42 am and 11:27 and every 20 minutes on weekends between 6:31 a.m. to 11:11 p.m.
  • One-way fare for adults and student/youth is $2.50 per person, seniors $1.25; ticket machines and boarding are inside on the far south end of Terminal 1.
  • Easy boarding: suitcases with wheels roll right on.
  • The Gallivan station is closest to the Hilton (two stops after the Temple Square station). From that stop, it is a little less than a two-block walk (to the corner, west one block, and north to the Hilton). There is a shortcut through the parking terrace in the middle of the block, but not as easy to navigate with luggage, and of course, you have to know where it is... Alternately, it is a three-block walk slightly downhill from the Temple Square station.
Transportation Network Companies (TNCs)
Lyft and Uber are legally operating in Salt Lake City and at the airport. Designated pick up areas at the airport are indicated by curbside signs, and are located in the middle traffic lanes outside of baggage claim at both terminals. 
  • Both companies have 24/7 availability. 
  • A ride should be requested through the designated company's app with the address of your destination.  
  • Fares will range from $12-16. There is a potential for "surge pricing" during peak times on Uber; waiting for about 15 minutes may return the fare costs to normal. 
  • Fares are automatically calculated and charged to the payment method you've linked to your account. Rides and costs may be shared if both parties have an app.
A December 2017 blog compares prices and services between LYFT and UBER here

According to Salt Lake City International Airport's website, "Maximum rate from Airport to within 500 East is $25." Only a few taxis are now allowed at the airport; others are texted to come to the terminal when needed, so it is possible that in peak times, there may be a wait.

UTA Paratransit Service
Public transportation for prequalified passengers with disabilities is provided by UTA's Paratransit program. Fares are $4.00 one way. To make arrangements, contact UTA at (801) 287-7433 and visit the UTA Paratransit Services page for more information.

See you soon for all the SLIG fun!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Behind the Scenes at SLIG: Sue Petersen

Sue Peterson has worked on the SLIG Committee for four years in varying capacities: she’s been a gal Friday for four years; she’s manned SLIG Central for three years; two years in charge of Instructor Hospitality.

Sue’s favorite part of SLIG is “seeing the friends I've made over the years and helping people have the best time they can while there.”

When asked to share something that no one knows about her, Sue confided that “a lot of people assume that I'm an experienced genealogist because I help with SLIG. I'm not. [I’m] very much a novice, if anything.”

Born in Orem and living in Payson, Sue is a Utah girl. She has been married to Bret Petersen, former UGA President, for 19 years and is mother to 1 girl and 3 boys. Their family also includes a German Shepherd named Princess, a snake named Buddy and a sugar glider named Smeagle. Her hobbies involve speaking fluent French, sewing, quilting and cross stitching.

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

Monday, January 1, 2018

Maximizing Research Time at the FHL

The world’s largest genealogical library only blocks away from SLIG is a researcher’s dream come true! Managing the dream with practical preparations greatly contribute to a successful visit to the Family History Library (FHL). This is especially true with the many changes that have occurred in 2017.
Microfilm Access

If you are interested in looking at microfilm from the FHL, it’s best to become familiar with the online FamilySearch Catalog. Once familiar with the organizational process used in the Catalog, it is important to pay close attention to where the microforms are being stored. Not all microfilms listed in the FamilySearch Catalog are stored onsite at the Family History Library. Some microfilms are stored in the Granite Mountain Records Vault, requiring several days notice to access.

Those microforms stored off-site from the FHL in the Vault are identified in the Catalog entries by words “Granite Mountain Record Vault” or just "Vault" (see example below).

FamilySearch is making strides at digitizing them. Of the three itemized below, one has been digitized and is accessible online, while the other two will require special ordering to view. Films that have been digitized are no longer available to view in microform.

To Order Vault Films
  1. Please order at least three working days prior to your visit to assure retrieval time.
  2. If you need more than 15 films, please provide at least one week notice.
  3. There is a usage limit of 10 films per guest per day.
  4. Utilize the Online Order Form.
  5. You may pick up the films at the Access Service Window on the corresponding collection floor (For example, an international film can be located on the B1 International Floor of the Library.)

Important Things to Know Before You Go
  • In order to have full access to online records and research aids, FamilySearch is actively prompting visitors to register for or log into their free FamilySearch account.
  • It is always best to work through the online catalog and prioritize what you need to access by accessibility:
      • Items available online will be marked in red. You may be able to view those from home before coming to the library; or when you click to access them, you may be notified that they are only viewable at the FHL (or local Family History Center); prioritize accordingly.
      • Books, films, and other sources that are not available online should be accessed first (see also vault films above). 
      • Of particular interest to some groups (British particularly) will be records and indexes formerly on CD; now in spreadsheets, they are only accessible on an FHL computer. 
    • There are several types of people serving at the Family History Library.  To obtain the help you need, and avoid frustration, it is good to know the difference:
      • Research specialists are located on the three remodeled research floors—2nd Floor (United States and Canada Research), B1 (International), and B2 (British Isles). They are available until 7:00 pm each day and may be accessed through the Assistance desk on the related floor. They will inquire about your request question—country, language, etc.—so they can determine the best specialist to help you. You will then be given a hand-held paging device—like ones used in restaurants—so you can return to your research while waiting.  FHL Research Specialists are the ones wearing the blue lanyards.
      • Other library workers, wearing red lanyards, are available to help with basic library questions—where to find a book, how to scan, copy, use the readers, or track a lost film.
      • Then there are the missionaries. No, they are not allowed to approach you about the LDS church. Nor are they there to assist library patrons; note the lack of lanyard. They are there to serve the LDS church in other ways—online or locally.  Peg Ivanyo, SLIG director, indicates this has sometimes been confusing for new patrons: "It would seem logical that a person with a black name badge in the FHL would be there to help you, but these missionaries—sitting at computer, in a classroom, or taking a break near the water fountain—are there for other reasons. Feel free to ask them where they are from and exchange pleasantries if you wish; but otherwise, just leave them to their assigned projects."
    • The FHL also has a few rules to abide by; someone will come around and ask in the sweetest manner possible that the rules be followed, if someone is not doing so.  Review rules here. 
    • Have scanning or copying needs? Most floors have a copy/scanning center, with personnel to help you. In addition to the microfilm and book scanners, the FHL has a digital slide scanner for 35mm slides and multiple digital photo scanners with automatic document feeders.

    Finding Your Way Around the Library

    It is helpful to become familiar with the layout of the FHL. There is an online orientation available that can be viewed from home.  There are two floors above the Main Floor (3rd and 2nd) and two floors below the Main Floor (B1 and B2). The FHL provides interactive floor maps as part of its library orientation (Adobe Flash Player needed).  FHL Floor maps 

    • Lost & Found? 1 801-240-5624
    • Questions about classes, hours, parking? 1 801-240-6536
    • Need a snack to tide you over? A snack room is available on the main floor. Guests are welcome to use the microwave and/or purchase food from the vending machines. Change machines are also available, if needed. USA Today and the Deseret News are also available here for relief from brain strain.
    • Reviewing the complete list on FHL Guest Resources is enlightening. Check here.

    The Family History Library is a great adventure--enjoy the facilities, abide by the rules, remember to hydrate--and good hunting!

    Enjoy the SLIG experience!

    Behind the Scenes at SLIG: Jane Van Tour

    This is Jane’s second year on the SLIG committee and fourth year at SLIG.  With a smile that lights up a room, Jane is responsible for Student Hospitality. Her favorite thing about being on the SLIG committee is the common goal to make each year's SLIG the best ever, plus the fact that everyone is there for each other.

    Born in Arkansas but raised in Memphis, Tennessee, Nelda Jane Wilson Van Tour is one of four children. She was named after her mother and great grandmother, but has always been called Jane. She graduated from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville with a B.A. in Spanish which fortuitously lead to 49 years of world travel as a career flight attendant with both Pan Am and United. Still flying, she currently resides in Redondo Beach, California with a beautiful view of the Pacific, but she does look forward to retiring in Memphis.

    When not flying around the world, Jane enjoys attending and volunteering for genealogical conferences. She volunteers at the SCGS (Southern California Genealogical Society) conference currently as the Hospitality Chair after serving previously as the Volunteer Chair. She also volunteers at the National Genealogical Society (NGS) Conference and the Federal Genealogical Society (FGS) Conference assisting with on-site registration and whatever else is needed. She has also enjoyed attending IGHR for 3 years.

    Jane’s favorite SLIG moment occurred when David Rencher, Chief Genealogical Officer for FamilySearch at the Family History Department of the LDS Church, was Banquet Keynote speaker. During his presentation, and while he was displaying ancestral photos, a commotion started in the back of the room at the Genealogy Roadshow table. D. Joshua Taylor recognized a photo of one of David Rencher’s family members as his own! "It was very exciting to be there when it turned out that Josh Taylor and David Rencher shared a common relative."

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