Friday, August 31, 2018

In Memory of Laura G. Prescott

It is with deep sadness that we extend our sympathies to Laura Prescott's family and friends and the genealogical community. 

We received the following announcement from the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG):

Wheat Ridge, Colo., 30 August 2018 - The Association of Professional Genealogists is saddened to learn of the death, on 26 August 2018, of Laura G. Prescott. APG extends condolences to Laura’s family and many friends on her passing, especially to her two adult children, Kate Duffy Tarvainen and Nate Duffy, of whom she was so proud, and her granddaughter, Margaret Tarvainen, who brought her such joy.
“Laura’s service to the community of professional genealogists is long and distinguished.” said Billie Stone Fogarty, APG President. “We will all miss her warm smile and engaging demeanor.” 
Laura, an alumna of Dartmouth College, served the genealogical community in a number of ways. She was on several conference program committees, worked as an independent genealogical professional, was on the staff of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and, most recently was director of Ancestry Academy for
Her service to APG was exemplary, as she served as APG’s vice president in 2008 and 2009 and as president in 2010 and 2011. In 2014, she was presented with APG’s Grahame T. Smallwood, Jr. Award of Merit for outstanding service to APG. Laura’s always cheerful nature and genuine interest in others’ work as genealogical professionals inspired the Association to establish the Laura G. Prescott Award for Exemplary Service to Professional Genealogy in 2017, and she was its inaugural recipient. This award is presented in recognition of a career of exemplary professionalism and encouragement to others in the field.
Those wishing to donate to the Laura G. Prescott SLIG Scholarship may do so in one of these ways:
  • Via Facebook,
  • By mailing a check to the Utah Genealogical Association, Attn: Laura G. Prescott SLIG Scholarship, PO Box 1144, Salt Lake City, UT 84110 (make checks payable to the Utah Genealogical Association), or
  • Via PayPal, to with "Laura G. Prescott SLIG Scholarship” on the line labeled, “Add a note.”

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

SLIG Tech Day Highlight: Scrivener

Scrivener is advertised as a word-processing program and outliner designed for authors. The program provides a management system for documents, notes and metadata. "This allows the user to organize notes, concepts, research and whole documents for easy access and reference (documents including rich text, images, PDF, audio, video, web pages, etc.). Scrivener offers templates for screenplays, fiction, and non-fiction manuscripts. After writing a text, the user may export it for final formatting to a standard word processor, screenwriting software, desktop publishing software, or TeX."[1]

One thing they don't mention is that Scrivener is great for organizing genealogical projects!

Kimberly Powell will be leading a hands-on workshop that will teach you how to utilize Scrivener to help plan, organize, write, and publish your family research. You’ll learn how to set up your project, navigate Scrivener’s various tools and features, plan and organize your research, write, revise, and export. Skip the frustration and learn how to get Scrivener to do what you need right from the start!

Note: While we will touch on ways that Scrivener can be used for different types of family history writing (books, blogs, etc.), this workshop will also lead you through a research report from beginning to end—how to organize and set up your research and writing areas when you're starting a new project, how to create a custom template you can use for future projects, how to look at your research and writing in different ways with Scrivener's tools, how to write research notes as you go, and how to format for export into Word or RTF format. The skills will easily translate to other types of writing projects.

You can find out more about the Scrivener program here.

Registration opens on September 15th!

[1] Wikipedia ( : accessed 29 August 2018), "Scrivener."

Friday, August 24, 2018

SLIG Tech Day Highlight: Data Visualization Practicum

Learn data visualization techniques with Ron Arons at SLIG's Tech Day.

Modeled after the SLIG Advanced Practicum, this session will provide attendees with a set of data to be worked into a data visualization. After a 15-20 minute lecture covering the concepts and theory behind data visualization, Ron will explain the basics steps of using two free DV software programs that run on PCs and Macs (a third program will be taught if time permits). The remainder of time will be spent working on a specific problem provided by either the instructor or one of the participants. (Participants should be at the intermediate to advanced level in their technical/software skills. Mind mapping experience is preferred but not required.)

Past students have indicated that Ron's sense of humor and expertise provided them with new ideas for using the software and great examples for how it can be applied to genealogy.

Registration opens on September 15th!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Rich Venezia Shares His Passion for Genealogy!

Besides coordinating Course 2: Beside, Through, and Beyond the Golden Door: Immigrants to the United States After 1890 at SLIG in 2019, Rich is sharing his passion for genealogy through other avenues. You can check his latest events and articles below:

Additionally, for those who are members of the Association for Professional Genealogists (APG), Rich has a pre-PMC webinar entitled "Finding Aliens in the National Archives at Kansas City," which covers a few of the records that will be covered in Course 2. It is available behind the APG members-only wall from now until October. 

Rich's expertise is in demand and he will be sharing it with Course 2 students in January. To learn more about his course, go here. To register, go here.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

SLIG Tech Day - Schedule Announced!

The SLIG Tech Day will be held on Saturday, January 19, 2019. It is the Saturday between SLIG 2019 and SLIG Academy.


Back by Popular Demand, SLIG Tech Day will feature hands-on workshops and classes on technologies that enhance the research experience. Registration will open on Saturday, September 15th, and will be open to both SLIG and Academy students. If seats remain, UGA members will be invited to attend in December.


Half-Day Workshops: $60; Classes/Demonstrations: $25

Students who register for a full day of sessions will receive $10 in Hilton Bucks to spend during the day, or during their stay.

 Hands-On WorkshopsHands-On WorkshopsClassesClasses
Use Evernote to Create an Effective Research Plan and Log System (Cari Taplin)Scrivener Hands-On: Organize Both Your Research and Your Writing (Kimberly Powell)Navigating Your AncestryDNA Test Results (Melissa Johnson)Genealogy Organization in the Digital Age (Patricia Hobbs)
Making the Most of 23andMe (Melissa Johnson)TBD
Using Google's MyMaps as a Research and Analysis Tool
(Cari Taplin)
Data Visualization Practicum (Ron Arons)Family Tree DNA and MyHeritage: Company Tools (Melissa Johnson)Spreadsheet Tips & Tricks (Kimberly Powell)
Mapping Chromosomes to Specific Ancestors by Generation (Karen Stanbary)Tools for Analyzing & Visualizing Family History and DNA Networks (Kimberly Powell)

Half-Day Workshops

Students should bring their own laptops, with any pre-requisite software or online tools installed. Electrical outlets will be available for each student unless specified otherwise in workshop description. Please review specific pre-requisites, if any, listed with the workshop. Each workshop will run 3.5 hours including a short break.

Classes and Demonstrations
These classes are intended to be instructive, but do not include a hands-on experience. Students with laptops may follow along as they see fit, as time permits. Classroom set will not include electrical outlets at each desk; however, there will be charging stations in a central location to utilize during the breaks if needed. Each class will run 1.5 hours; there will be a 30 minute break between class sessions.


The registration page can be reached here.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

2019 SLIG SPOTLIGHT: Rich Venezia

One year ago this month, Rich Venezia was featured as the "Alum of the Month" by IES Abroad. Rich studied theatre through their Dublin Direct Enrollment - National Theatre School of Ireland-Gaiety School of Acting Program in the Fall of 2010.

The IES interview delves into how theatre and study abroad helped Rich succeed as a professional genealogist and entrepreneur.

Rich's latest endeavor is to bring his passion for genealogy to SLIG in 2019 by coordinating Course 2: Beside, Through, and Beyond the Golden Door: Immigrants to the United States After 1890. He is joined by a cadre of instructors that includes: Michael D. Lacopo, Marisa Louie Lee, Linda Harms Okazaki, Judy G. Russell, and Marian L. Smith. This week-long course will be an in-depth exploration into various record sets to learn even more about the lives and times of recent immigrant ancestors. 

To learn more about Rich's course, go here. Click here to register.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

2018 FGS Conference in Fort Wayne! Yes, We Will Be There!


FGS opens on Wednesday, August 22nd in Fort Wayne, Indiana. For those attending SLIG in 2019, you can get a preview of what you will experience, since 15 SLIG instructors and/or coordinators will be sharing their expertise throughout the conference. If you are still undecided about whether a week-long institute with expert instructors is for you and you are attending FGS, take this opportunity to see what you may be missing.

If you have questions regarding the Institute or just want to see what we are all about, pay us a visit at Booth 506.

Come see the many SLIG 2019 instructors before January and experience their brilliance!

SLIG Instructors (15)

Deborah Abbott, Ph.D.

Cluster Genealogy: Finding Your Lost Ancestor
Thu. 5:00-6:00 PM

Researching Funeral Home Records: Looking for the Dead!
Fri. 2:00-3:00 PM

Manuscript Collections in Libraries & Archives of Historical Black College and Universities
Sat. 5:00-6:00 PM

Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D., JD.

Breaking Down the Broadcasters: Discovering the DNA of Fort Wayne’s Famous
Thu. 8:00-10:00 AM

DNA Baby Steps
Thu. 3:30-4:30 PM

Visual Phasing Workshop
Fri. 2:00-4:00 PM

GEDmatch Workshop
Sat. 10:00-12:00 PM

New York Genealogical & Biographical Society Luncheon: The Science Fiction Future of Genetic Genealogy
Sat. 12:15-1:45 PM

Advanced Third-Party Tools
Sat. 5:00-6:00 PM

Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG.

BCG Certification Seminar
Wed. 1:30-3:30 PM

Angie Bush, MS.

No Chromosome Browser? No Problem
Fri. 2:00-3:00 PM

Charts and Diagrams: The Genetic Genealogist’s Bread and Butter
Fri. 5:00-6:00 PM

DNA Doesn't Prove Anything
Sat. 3:30-4:30 PM

Patti Hobbs, CG, BA.

National Genealogical Society Luncheon: Genealogy as a Journey of Discovery
Sat. 12:15-1:45 PM

Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS.

Out-of-State Workarounds to In-State Record Shortages
Fri. 11:00 AM-12:00 PM

When Sources Don’t Agree—Then What?
Fri. 5:00-6:00 PM

Planning and Executing Efficient and Effective Research: An Immigrant Case Study
Sat. 11:00 AM-12:00 PM

Michael D. Lacopo, DVM.

Association of Professional Genealogists Luncheon: The Top Ten Things I Have Learned in Nearly Four Decades of Genealogical Research
Thu. 12:15-1:45 PM

Chuck Knuthson Memorial Lecture: Methods for Identifying the German Origins of American Immigrants
Thu. 3:30-4:30 PM

“She Came from Nowhere…” A Case Study Approach to a Difficult Genealogical Problem
Fri. 2:00-3:00 PM

Finding Treasures in the Hoosier Courthouse
Fri. 5:00-6:00 PM

“Hoosier Daddy?”: Tales of a Reluctant Blogger and How Blogs Can Enhance Your Genealogical Research
Sat. 11:00 AM-12:00 PM

Angela Packer McGhie, CG.

Research Methods 1: Creating an Effective Research Plan
Thu. 11:00 AM-12:00 PM

Research Methods 2: Executing Research and Analyzing Results
Thu. 2:00-3:00 PM

Research Methods 3: Testing a Case Against the Genealogical Proof Standard
Thu. 3:30-4:30 PM

Board for Certification of Genealogists Luncheon: Ten Practical Lessons I Learned by Applying for Certification
Fri. 12:15-1:45 PM

David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FUGA, FIGRS.

Society Management Workshop
Wed. 10:00-12:00 PM

Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL.

Preserving the Past, Protecting the Future
Wed. 4:00-5:00 PM

Doing DNA Right: The Ethical Side of Testing
Fri. 11:00 AM-12:00 PM

Bibles, Beds and Bobbins: Early Indiana Laws
Fri. 2:00-3:00 PM

Top 10 Myths about Copyright
Sat. 5:00-6:00 PM

Breaking Down the Broadcasters: Discovering the DNA of Fort Wayne’s Famous
Thu. 8:00-10:00 AM

Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, FUGA.

Using NARA's Finding Aids and Website
Thu. 5:00-6:00 PM

When You’re Not Who You Thought You Were
Fri. 3:30-4:30 PM

Clues in Missouri Migration
Sat. 2:00-3:00 PM

Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA.

Maps! Wonderful Maps!
Fri. 10:00-12:00 PM

Goldmine of Military Pensions
Sat. 2:00-3:00 PM

Maps! Wonderful Maps!
Sat. 10:00-12:00 PM

BCG Certification Seminar
Wed. 1:30-3:30 PM

D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS.

Leadership and Conflict Resolution Workshop
Wed. 1:30-3:30 PM

Building Context and Making Connections: Using JSTOR for Family History
Fri. 5:00-6:00 PM

Rich Venezia

Emerald Isle Express: Researching Irish Ancestors
Fri. 5:00-6:00 PM

Discovering Your Immigrant's Origins: Exhausting Every Resource
Sat. 2:00-3:00 PM

The Aliens Are Coming: USCIS Record Sets 427
Sat. 5:00-6:00 PM

Ari Wilkins

Reconstructing Communities Using Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, Census Records, and City Directories
Thu. 5:00-6:00 PM

Friends of Friends: Quakers and African American Research
Fri. 5:00-6:00 PM

Looking for My Babies: Freedmen Searching for Family
Sat. 2:00-3:00 PM

For complete FGS conference listings and updates, please visit the FGS conference website at

Registration is open right now for SLIG 2019! Visit

So much to learn! So many great teachers!

Friday, August 10, 2018

SLIG Registration Series: Course Availability at a Glance

I love the little "people" and "full" icons we have by the courses this year.

But sometimes I want to see more. Are we down to the last 3 seats? Or just one? Or which courses still have seats, as opposed to full and taking wait lists?

Just ask the registration programmer, and voila! Instant report. It refreshes every 5 minutes, but one can also refresh using the yellow refresh button.

To access, navigate to the SLIG or SLIG Academy "Courses" page: 

Or go to the SLIG Registration Dashboard. ( > Registration > Register > Login).

If you haven't yet registered, this quick report should keep you abreast of the status of things. But don't get too comfortable waiting. "Seats Available" only reveals that there are more than 3 seats open at the moment; it doesn't provide a crystal ball prediction of when that number will drop to zero.

So, with all SLIG registration cycles - don't wait too long to pick that perfect course! And of course, if it is already full, make sure you are on the wait list; miracles do happen.

What is the SLIG Academy for Professionals?

This new program will follow SLIG 2019, beginning on Monday, January 21st, and will focus on professional development topics not offered at SLIG or elsewhere in a week-long, in-depth format.
As professionals, we spend a lot of time taking advantage of educational opportunities to learn more about methodology and/or record sources, but it is also essential that we spend time on other aspects of our professional development.

These courses are designed to round out the professional and to cover topics in-depth over the course of a week where currently they may only be covered in an hour-long lecture or webinar. From writing client reports to public speaking to understanding and utilizing DNA in your client research, these essential topics will assist the professional in ensuring that they have the essential knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to run a successful business.

The program will open with a special event to commemorate the life and legacy of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., and end by Friday noon. Two meals are included with registration: Monday brunch and Thursday evening dinner.

Five courses are being offered:

  • The Art of Writing Client Reports, Angela Packer McGhie, CG (waiting list)
  • You're Invited: Public Speaking from Concept to Delivery, D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS
  • Building and Nurturing a Successful Genealogy Business, Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG
  • DNA and the 21st-Century Professional, Angie Bush, MS
  • Developing and Managing an Effective Institute Course, J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA

Ensure that you are a well-rounded professional by registering for the SLIG Academy today!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

SLIG Registration is Open! Register Today!

Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) continues registration for the January 13-18, 2019 institute with courses and rooms available at the Hilton SLC Center, Salt Lake City, Utah. Saturday, July 7, was the first day of registration for SLIG 2019.

While the Advanced Genealogical Methods sold out in record time this year due to Dr. Thomas Jones' retirement from coordinating that course at SLIG after 2019, there continues to be seats in the other methodology courses: Researching Like a Professional coordinated by Michael Hait and Burned Counties and More coordinated by Kelvin Meyers. 

The Family History Law Library coordinated by Judy G. Russell and Rick Sayre is filling fast as is Introduction to Genetic Genealogy coordinated by Paul Woodbury.

Many other course options are still available. Consider registering to attend Immigrants to the United States After 1890 by Rich Venezia and Native American Research coordinated by Rick Fogarty. 

For those seeking regional and/or ethnic research, seats remain in the following courses: Gothic Script and Fraktur coordinated by F. Warren Bittner, Advanced Southern Research and Resources coordinated by J. Mark Lowe, Researching New York coordinated by Karen Mauer Jones, and New England to the Midwest, 1780-1840 coordinated by D. Joshua Taylor.

Register today! SLIG 2019 will be fun! There is something for everybody! C'mon--join us in January!