Monday, April 30, 2018

SLIG 2019 Course Highlight: Writing a Quality Family Narrative

Writing a Quality Family Narrative
John Philip Colletta, Ph.D., FUGA

For years you’ve been gathering information about your ancestors. You’ve made many fascinating discoveries. Now it’s time to share them. But where do you start? Right here! 

Three dynamic instructors are eager to share their expertise and experience to help you write the saga of your family. Using vivid examples and case studies, they demonstrate how to compile the material you’ve gathered, narrate the life stories of your ancestors, choose the most appropriate numbering system, document properly, and edit and proofread your text. Solid genealogical scholarship and creative family history writing need not be mutually exclusive. They can be complementary. 

Classes explore how to weave oral family lore and treasured heirlooms, as well as pertinent local history, into your family’s story, and how to incorporate maps, charts and illustrations to enliven your prose. In-class writing and editing exercises help you improve practical skills, share your special talents, and exchange ideas with the instructors and fellow students. 

Your family history will never be “finished.” It’s time to start sharing what you’ve discovered so far.

John Philip Colletta, Ph.D., FUGA
Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS
Karen Mauer Jones, CG, FGBS

Registration: Registration opens Saturday, 7 July 2018. For more detailed information please visit

Friday, April 27, 2018

SLIG 2019 Course Highlight: New England to the Midwest, 1780-1840

Join us at SLIG in January 2019 as Josh Taylor presents his course "New England to the Midwest, 1780-1840":

Coordinator: D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS

Tracing families as they “moved west” can be a daunting task. As our ancestors explored the wilderness in front them, fewer detailed records were created, leaving large gaps in the resources needed to reconstruct a complete family record. Further, rapid economic, social, and territorial expansions throughout the Federal period caused massive waves of migration and other movements of our ancestors. The development of the Northwest Territory, New York’s land companies, the Louisiana Purchase, the Second Great Awakening, and the War of 1812 are just a few of the dynamic events that shaped the lives of our ancestors from 1780 to 1840.

Bridging the Gap focuses on strategies and records for tracing families from New England to the Midwest between 1780 and 1840, grounded in the historical context of this vibrant period in American history. Specific topics will explore key New England and Midwestern sources, migration patterns, manuscript materials, historical overviews, military records, land and property acquisition, and a series of case studies, which document various techniques to trace Midwestern families to their New England roots. Specific focus is placed upon tracing families who passed through New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio (though other states are also included in the various course activities and sessions).

Students should come prepared with at least one family who traveled from the Northeast to the Midwest before 1840 to incorporate in various homework assignments and class discussions.

Registration opens Saturday, 7 July 2018. For more detailed information please visit

Thursday, April 26, 2018

SLIG 2019 Course Highlight: Advanced Genealogical Methods

Advanced Genealogical Methods
Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS

Don't miss your chance to take "Advanced Genealogical Methods" with Tom Jones!

Description: Students in Advanced Genealogical Methods will learn how to use and assemble evidence to rediscover ancestral origins, identities, and relationships that have been forgotten in the passage of time. The course will address advanced use of evidence from a variety of genealogical records and research in populations for which the usual records are in short supply. Students also will learn how to develop written proof summaries to show their conclusions' accuracy and create a credible record of their findings for present and future generations of family historians.

Level: Advanced

Suggested Requirements: This intense course is targeted to high intermediategenealogists who have completed an intermediate level methodology course or who have equivalent experiences, and whose research includes original land and probate records or digital or microfilmed images of land and probate records.

Other Instructors:

  • Judy G. Russell, CG, CGL
  • Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA
  • Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA

Registration opens Saturday, 7 July 2018. For more detailed information please visit

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Visit Us at the 2018 NGS Conference - Booth 227

Come visit us at Booth 227 in the exhibition hall during the 2018 National Genealogical Society’s Family History Conference. Ask us questions and get the lowdown on our full lineup of courses in 2019, including the brand new SLIG Academy for Professionals.

We have so many of our 2019 instructors giving lectures at NGS this year. Please take some time to see these exceptional teachers at their craft.

Please check the conference app and the online program for more details.

Name / Session ID / Title

Deborah A. Abbott, Ph.D.
F328 Free Negro Registers: A Northern Resource
S415 Menus, Housekeepers, and First Ladies: Discovering Unique Michigan Manuscript Collections

Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D., J.D.
T260 Native American DNA: Separating Fact from Fiction
F350 The Danger of Distant Genetic Matches
S460 Evaluating Genealogical Conclusions Using DNA

Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG
W122 Give Me…Your Huddled Masses Yearning to Breathe Free: Immigration and Naturalization
T211 BCG Certification Seminar
T251 Valid and Unsound Assumptions: What Was She Thinking?
F316 Pushing Up Daisies: Cemetery Research

Angie Bush, MS.
T250 Your Cousins Are Your Secret Weapon
F361 Using Research Logs and Creating Client Reports that Include DNA Results
S461 The Professional Toolkit: Making the Most of DNA Gedcom

John Philip Colletta, Ph.D., FUGA
W101 Coming Along the Towpath: The Erie Canal and the Peopling of the Great Lakes States [Opening session!]
T226 Your Ancestors' World Revealed: Using 19th-Century Newspapers for Family History
F349 Only a Few Bones: Case Studies in Assembling Sources to Reconstruct Real-Life Events
S416 Private Archives: What They Are and How to Use Them

Victor S. Dunn, CG
W126 Statistically Speaking—the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Vital Record Research
W151 Analyze This! Scrutinizing Evidence for Problem Solving

LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, J.D., LLM, CG
T203 Reasonably Exhaustive Research of African American Ancestors Who Came Out of Slavery
F318 Gleaning Genealogical Information About Enslaved Ancestors from the Probate Files of Slaveholding Families
S411 Transcribing Documents: There is More Than Meets the Eye!

Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS
W123 Turn a Name into a Life Story by Researching, Reasoning, and ‘Riting
T255 Using Michigan Records to Reconstruct a New England Family
F321 Using Indirect and Negative Evidence to Prove Unrecorded Events
S449 Inferential Genealogy: Deducing Ancestor’s Identities and Relationships

Michael D. Lacopo, DVM
W145 Finding Treasurers in the Hoosier Courthouse
F353 Mennonite Research: The Forgotten Swiss Germans

J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA
W146 Discovering Minister Isaac Steele and His Family Using Land Records and Manuscripts
T246 Making Those Early Census Records Talk

Angela Packer McGhie, CG
F301 History, Records and Context: Researching the Locations Your Ancestors Lived
F325 Early Land Records in Michigan and the Old Northwest Territory

David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FIGRS, FUGA
W121 The Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) is Your Friend, Not Your Enemy
S454 Methodology for Researching your Scots-Irish Ancestors

Judy G. Russell, J.D., CG, CGL
T213 The Discriminating Genealogist: Telling Good Evidence from Bad
T243 When Worlds Collide: Resolving Conflicts in Genealogical Records
F341 A Matter of Standards: DNA and the GPS
S433 Paths to Your Past: Story Telling to Bring Us Together

Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA
T258 Google Mapping Your Ancestors' Footsteps

Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA
W127 The Goldmine of Military Pensions
T201 The Poor and the Landless: Correlating Indirect Evidence to Build a Proof Argument
F314 Irish Research—Using Online Resources

Karen Stanbary, MA, LCSW, CG
S420 Weaving DNA Results into a Proof Argument

D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS
W133 Genealogical Mis-adventures from New York
T245 Fifteen Tools for Tracing Your New York Ancestors Online

Ari Wilkins
F302 The Great Migration: Tracking African Americans to Northern Industrial Cities
S448 Studying Free People of Color in Apprentice Records

Please check the official NGS app and website for details.

SLIG 2019 registration opens this July! See you then!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Changes at SLIG

Our followers are likely already aware that SLIG has been expanding: the new Academy for Professionals, SLIG Extended for guided research and consultation after SLIG, the return of Tech Day, and additional Virtual programs yet to be announced.

One can only imagine the growing navigation menu on the left hand side of the website, or the challenge one might have trying to keep track of registration confirmations. To help, we offer yet more change – this time in navigation and registration.

New Navigation Menu

To navigate through the information available, hover over a word in the new banner at the top of any SLIG page to view related topics.  Where no sub-topics exists - the blog or the store - a simple click will take you directly to that page.

The program URLs (such as will direct you to the overview page for that specific program, while opening both the menu on the left and the banner at the top to provide easy access to all SLIG-related information.

Information is still being added to the website between now and July. Course details and additional program information is coming soon; the new storefront competed by mid-May, and special event and keynote speaker information will post in July.

New Registration Module

With multiple programs for which to register, one might want to access and view all registration-related information in one place. To facilitate this, and enhance both participant and registration team experience, we are working with a third-party to customize the SLIG registration program.

The system will have a distinctly different look and feel than recent years, requiring creation of a new registration account either prior to or during registration, and agreement with policies prior to check-out.

We wish to assure that everyone is familiar and prepared for the changes. Detailed information will be posted at least one month prior to registration on the website, and shared via e-news, social media, and a UGA member blast. In the meantime, we encourage you to read through this short introduction on our website.

We hope you enjoy the new SLIG navigation and registration experiences!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

SLIG Scholarship Opportunities

SLIG is pleased to announce that applications are currently being accepted for the following SLIG scholarships.

SLIG Jimmy B. Parker Scholarship: Named in honor of Jimmy B. Parker, this scholarship recognizes those who have “demonstrated commitment to genealogical excellence and community involvement.” Parker’s legacy of more than 50 years of service serves as the guideline for the application essay detailing how attending SLIG will help the applicant enhance their ability to serve or prepare them to give back to the genealogical community.

SLIG Scholarship for First-Time Institute Attendees: Affectionally called the “SLIG Newbie Scholarship,” this opportunity was created in 2016 to provide entrance opportunities for students who have not yet attended an institute. Applicants must have intermediate or higher level research skills, must have met the pre-requisites for the course which they elect to attend, and must not have previously attended any of the national institutes prior to SLIG 2019.

Deadline: Applications for both scholarships are due no later than June 1, 2018. Winners will be announced by June 30, 2018 and will receive a full tuition waiver for their course of choice in either SLIG 2019 or the new SLIG Academy for Professionals.

Complete details for each of these opportunities and links to information about scholarships available through other organizations may be found at

Monday, April 16, 2018

SLIG Calls for Proposals

The Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) continues to reach out to advanced, experienced teaching professionals in the genealogical community for new course content, presentation, and publication proposals.

The following Calls for Proposals are now open:

SLIG 2020 Course Proposals: SLIG offers courses on local, state, regional, and international topics taught at an intermediate level or above; specific record types, skills, methodology, and related technologies or strategies are preferred at a high-intermediate to advanced level. Courses with hands-on learning opportunities are encouraged as well as those that fill educational needs not addressed elsewhere. 

The deadline for course proposals is August 1, 2018; inquiries are accepted at any time.

SLIG Tech Day: SLIG will hold its second annual Tech Day on January 19, 2019 – the Saturday that follows SLIG and runs prior to the new SLIG Academy. Proposals are being accepted for half-day workshops and 1.5 hour classes on technology-related topics that enhance genealogical research and documentation. 

Deadline: June 1, 2018.

5th Annual SLIG Colloquium: This invitational event brings together thought leaders of the industry to present and discuss key genealogical topics in an effort to create a greater understanding of the tenets of genealogy. Selected papers will be presented, discussed, and subsequently published in Crossroads magazine. Interested parties may submit an abstract for consideration. 

Deadline: August 1, 2018.

Complete details and submittal forms for each of these opportunities are available at

Monday, April 9, 2018

SLIG Instructors at OGS - A Must See!

 Going to Ohio? Be sure to check out our instructors participating at this week’s Ohio Genealogical Society’s conference in Columbus, Ohio! The conference is being held on April 11th. – 18th. Many great topics! Past SLIG instructors will be there too!

Deborah A. Abbott, Ph.D.

1.     WORKSHOP: “Beginning Genealogy: Finding Your Way to the Past”
2.     “Vital Records: The Cornerstone of Genealogical Research”
3.     “African American Roundtable”

J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA

1.     Keynote: Thursday morning “Pistol Packing Grandma”
2.     “Dear Mr. President: Finding Claims and Special Pension Requests”
3.     “Finding Ohio Families (in Western Manuscripts) Who Blazed New Trails”

LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG

1.     WORKSHOP: “Reasonably Exhaustive Research of African American Ancestors Who Were Enslaved”
2.     “A Critical Step in Evaluating Old Documents”
3.     “Gleaning Genealogical Information about Enslaved Ancestors from the Probate Files of Slaveholding Families”

Michael D. Lacopo, DVM

1.     WORKSHOP: “Pennsylvania Courthouse Research: Adventures in the Keystone State”
2.     “’She Came from Nowhere’: Using Social History in Your Research”
3.     “Using mtDNA Testing for Genealogical Problem Solving”

Rich Venezia

1.     “Pittsburgh Preview: Researching in the Steel City”
2.     “Italians in America: Their Records, Their Stories”
3.     “Emerald Isle Express: Researching Irish Ancestors”

Ari Wilkins

1.     “Studying Free People of Color in Apprentice Records”
2.     “The Great Migration: Twentieth Century African American Migration”

Please check the conference guide for times and room numbers or click here:

Visit for more information on our upcoming courses.