Wednesday, May 30, 2018

SLIG 2019 Course Highlight: The Family History Law Library

  • Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL
  • Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA
  • Claire Bettag, CG
  • F. Warren Bittner, CG
  • David E. Rencher, AG, CG

This course will cover the basic legal concepts and legal research approaches appropriate for genealogists. Topics will include courts and their records, estate laws, legislative records, pensions, land law and more. Elements of both English common law and Roman law will be introduced through classes on the legal concepts found in Irish, German, and French law that relate to research in those countries and their relevance to research in the United States. Two hands-on labs at the Family History Library will provide an opportunity for students to employ the concepts with exercises using and exploring the resources of the
FHL and related websites.

Level of Instruction:

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

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

SLIG 2019 Course Highlight: 1619-2019: African American Genealogy


  • LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG, CGL
  • Deborah Abbott, PhD
  • Michael Hait, CG, CGL
  • Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL

2019 marks the 400th anniversary of the first recorded arrival of Africans in an English colony (at Virginia). This anniversary will be commemorated throughout the United States, and SLIG has the opportunity to be at the forefront of recognizing this historic moment by announcing that an African American course will be offered in the very first month of 2019.

This course will provide an in-depth look into sources that document the lives of African American ancestors, focusing on pre-1900 records. Students will gain a deeper understanding of available records, as well as the strategies used by experts in this area to arrive at credible conclusions.

Level of Instruction:
Intermediate to Advanced: Students should have a working knowledge of the Genealogical Proof Standard and the research process.

Anticipated Target Audience:
The target audience includes researchers from the Midwest and west coast, in addition to those from the south, who desire advanced learning opportunities in this area.

Special Requirements:
Students are encouraged to bring a laptop computer or tablet for project work during the week.

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

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

SLIG 2019 Course Highlight: Metes & Bounds Land Platting

This course develops land-plat skills and the ability to use land plats to solve genealogical problems. Topics include:

  • motivation;
  • reading/abstracting metes & bounds legal land description;
  • hand drawing plats;
  • computer platting;
  • platting over base maps (including USGS);
  • resolving common plat problems (meanders, multiple meanders, imprecise boundary descriptions);
  • constructing connected tract maps; and
  • geo-locating base maps and results. 

A portfolio of practicum problems allow students to select exercises that stress a specific skills, align with their own research, as cover different geographic locales. 

Gerald Smith, CG
Barbara J. Ball, CG
Kimberly Powell
Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA

Prerequisites: Students should have:
  • Exposure to legal land descriptions (metes & bounds or PLSS) in land documents such as deeds, patents, surveys, etc. The ability to decipher and understand these descriptions is not necessary.
  • Familiarity with their laptop computing environment; students must know how to read files from a flash drive; create folders; save files to folders.
  • Awareness of USGS maps. SLIG/IGHR/GRIPitt courses in land or map research often present this topic. This course will include a refresher dealing with the aspects relevant to platting.
  • A desire to learn-by-doing in a practicum environment where the students works to solve a variety of problems under the tutelage of experts during practicum sessions. Over half of the course time will be practicum work.

Software Requirements:
Students are required to arrive with DeedMapper installed on a laptop (version 4.1 or later; current version is 4.2) that they will use during the course. No previous experience with the software is necessary; the course is designed to develop basic DeedMapper skills as well as cover advanced DeedMaper topics (software customization, time lines, geolocating, exporting results). Students spend a significant amount of this course using DeedMapper to work practicum problems. Arriving with the software installed on your laptop is essential!

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

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

See SLIG Instructors at the 2018 Genealogy Jamboree!

The 49th. annual Southern California Jamboree and 6th. annual Genetic Genealogy Conference put on by the Southern California Genealogical Society will be held at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel May 31 through June 2nd. SLIG is proud to have 5 instructors from our 2019 courses there. If you are attending this fun conference, please check out their presentations. If you can’t go in person, then you can also live stream it!

2019 SLIG Instructors at Jamboree:

Blaine T. Bettinger, PhD, JD
·        Shared Matches and Genetic Networks
·        The Danger of Distant Genetic Matches
·        Visual Phasing Workshop

Angie Bush, MS
·        Charts and Diagrams: The Genetic Genealogist’s Bread and Butter
·        DNA Testing and Mirror Trees
·        DNA Doesn’t Prove Anything

Michael D. Lacopo, DVM
·        Charts and Diagrams: The Genetic Genealogist’s Bread and Butter
·        DNA Testing and Mirror Trees
·        DNA Doesn’t Prove Anything

Craig R. Scott, MA, CG, FUGA
·        Charts and Diagrams: The Genetic Genealogist’s Bread and Butter
·        DNA Testing and Mirror Trees
·        DNA Doesn’t Prove Anything

Paul Woodbury
·        Charts and Diagrams: The Genetic Genealogist’s Bread and Butter
·        DNA Testing and Mirror Trees
·        DNA Doesn’t Prove Anything

For dates and times please visit:

For live streaming please visit:

Hope to see you there!

For more information about SLIG, please visit 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

SLIG 2019 Course Highlight: Researching Like a Professional

Course Description:
Successful professional genealogists base their success in the research techniques that they use. This course is framed on the genealogical proof standard, focusing on processes used by successful professional genealogists. The course will teach means of efficient project management to achieve reliable results.

Course Coordinator: Michael G. Hait, CG, CGL

Additional Instructors:
Catherine B. W. Desmarais, CG
Paul K.Graham, AG, CG
Melanie D. Holtz, CG

Required Reading/Textbook:
Board for Certification of Genealogists, Genealogy Standards (Nashville, Tenn.: Ancestry, 2014). First chapter.

Overnight homework assignment: 
A multi-part assignment will allow students to apply what they have learned to a problem of their own. Skills tested will include analyzing a research problem and past research, creating a research plan, identifying and obtaining records, and analyzing records for evidentiary value.

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

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

SLIG 2019 Academy Course Highlight: The Art of Writing Client Reports

Coordinator: Angela Packer McGhie, CG

Other Instructors - an amazing line-up!

Nancy A. Peters, CG, CGL
Christy Fillerup
Apryl Cox, AG
Karen Matheson
Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS
Karen Stanbary, CG

Course Description:
Writing effective research reports can be a difficult skill to master. This course will provide instruction and hands-on experience creating each section of a report. A team of professional genealogists will share their expertise in technical writing, evidence analysis, incorporating visual elements, organizing material, time-saving strategies, and documentation. They will share examples of a variety of reporting formats covering simple to complex research problems from a variety of professional perspectives. Participants will learn both by evaluating provided reports and writing a research report during the week. Students should bring a laptop to work on practice exercises in class and complete writing assignments.

Unique Course Benefit sponsored by Legacy Tree Genealogists
As an added benefit to course participants, Legacy Tree Genealogists’ lead editor will be editing and a report submission from each student. The editor will provide feedback on participants’ writing strengths and areas for improvement, and will focus on how to make their writing more clear, concise, and understood by the potential client.

In order to get the most out of the course and the professional editing benefit, students registering for the course are asked to submit a research report they have written by January 1, 2019. The class sessions will include hands-on activities, so students should bring a laptop computer or tablet with Word or another word processing program. There will be homework assignments to practice writing various sections of a research report.

Intended Audience:
Professional and aspiring professional genealogists who would like to improve their research reporting and writing skills.

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

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

SLIG 2019 Academy Course Highlight: DNA for the 21st-Century Professional

Coordinator: Angie Bush, MS

Other Instructors:

Blaine Bettinger, PhD, JD
Paul K. Graham, CG, AG

DNA testing has grown in popularity to the point that the public and many amateur genealogists equate DNA testing to genealogy. As professional genealogists in the 21st century, it is imperative that we be as familiar and comfortable with using DNA test results as we are with using census and vital records. The purpose of this course is to familiarize professionals with educational resources; tools and methodologies to streamline the integration of documents and DNA; application of DNA tests results to genealogical research questions; presentation of that information to clients in an understandable format; and the ethical issues surrounding DNA testing.

This course will require a basic familiarity of DNA testing types, and the five major vendors that offer genetic ancestry testing.

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

Monday, May 7, 2018

SLIG 2019 Academy Course Highlight: Developing and Managing an Effective Institute Course

Have you ever thought about developing and managing an institute course? Mark Lowe has developed many popular institute courses over the years and is going to share his expertise in this course.

Coordinator: J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA

Other Instructors:

Gail Jackson Miller, CG
Anne Gillespie Mitchell

While learning the tools and guidelines of expanding a defined course of instruction with experienced classroom instructors, students will prepare courses of study (with instructor review.)

  • Discover and understand the development of a detailed scope and sequence
  • Review and evaluate an effective set of classroom resources and tools.
  • Determining the prime choices comparing needs vs available instructors
  • Understanding how story development leads to great learning opportunities
  • Outlining specific skills and knowledge learned
  • Determine how student evaluation will be measured against defined goals

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

Friday, May 4, 2018

SLIG 2019 Academy Course Highlight: Public Speaking from Concept to Delivery

If you want to learn something new, you want to learn from an expert. So, if the thought of public speaking leaves you speechless, this course with Josh Taylor will untie your tongue.

Coordinator: D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS

The ability to transform an initial concept to a full-fledged presentation delivered in front of an audience might seem like a daunting adventure for many professionals. This interactive course is ideal for existing speakers seeking to brush up on their skills and expand their portfolios and anyone seeking to explore how public speaking might align with their aspirations.

This intensive week explores key components of public speaking for genealogists: the “business of speaking,” outlining contracts, pricing, legal considerations, and marketing techniques; “knowing your audience,” focusing on crafting an array of presentations, keeping lectures current, and answering conference proposal requests; “development,” including details on developing handouts, slide presentations, and other visuals; and “delivery,” centered on finding a speaking style, avoiding pitfalls, structuring your presentations, and the opportunity to present two “mini-sessions” to solicit feedback and advice from fellow students and course instructors.

A variety of speaking opportunities will be discussed, including traditional one-hour sessions, seminars, workshops, webinars, institute courses, public programming, continued education courses, and national and regional conferences.

Pre-Requisites and Activity Information:This course requires active interaction and participation. Students registering for the course will be required to submit a short “call for presentations” to the instructor and will be asked to prepare two 15-minute presentations for interactive sessions during the course. Presentations will relate to topics agreed upon in advance between the student and the course coordinator. Nightly homework assignments will include work on development lecture outlines, call for proposals, and general presentation preparation.

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

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

SLIG 2019 Course Highlight: Introduction to Genetic Genealogy

Are you ready to delve into DNA? Come to SLIG in 2019 for the course, "Introduction to Genetic Genealogy: Hands-on Application for Beginners"!

Paul Woodbury

In this hands-on course, students will utilize sample data as well their own data to perform basic tasks of genetic genealogy research including the following:
  • Create testing plans incorporating such elements as which individuals to test, the types of tests to take and the companies to be used. 
  • Evaluate chances of success and needs for additional testing for a research objective given a set of test results.
  • Develop research plans given a set of DNA test results.
  • Abide by genetic genealogy ethics and standards.
  • Interpret Y-DNA, mitochondrial DNA and autosomal DNA test results in a variety of research situations.
    • Evaluate Y-DNA and mtDNA matches
    • Identify and evaluate likely relationships based on shared autosomal DNA, and tree data.
    • Anchor DNA interpretation with direct line tests
    • Explore possible sources of shared DNA for X-DNA matches
    • Interpret ethnicity reports for Y-DNA, mitochondrial DNA and autosomal DNA test results and formulate estimates regarding ethnic origins of the first few generations of ancestry.
    • Perform modern research and create “quick and dirty” trees in the pursuit of an objective.
  • Collaborate and correspond with genetic cousins in the pursuit of a research objective. 
  • Correctly cite genetic genealogy sources. 
  • Evaluate which approaches and methodologies would be best to utilize in a given research case.
  • Incorporate DNA evidence into genealogical proof arguments.
Level of Instruction: Intermediate

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