Thursday, February 28, 2019

Ancestry ProGenealogists Institute Scholarship Winner - Amber Oldenburg

We are pleased to announce that Ancestry ProGenealogists recently awarded an institute scholarship to Amber Oldenburg. Their announcement follows:

"Amber Oldenburg of Indianapolis, Indiana, is one of our AncestryProGenealogists institute scholarship winners. She will attend the "Introduction to Genetic Genealogy" track at next year's Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) in January 2020. Amber recently earned her associate's degree in Family History from Brigham Young University-Idaho. She lectures and volunteers locally for genealogical organizations and is on the board of the Indiana chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists. She plans to continue to work with clients and educate the public, and she hopes to get on the speaking circuit at national conferences. She also has a goal of earning the Certified Genealogist(R) credential through the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG)."

Congratulations, Amber! We look forward to seeing you in January 2020!

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Thomas W. Jones received an Award of Merit!

     Thomas W. Jones was honored with an Award of Merit for his contributions to the field of genealogy. Tom Jones works and plays full-time as a genealogical editor, educator, researcher, and writer. He has lectured at national genealogy conferences since 1996, co-edited the National Genealogical Society Quarterly since 2002, coordinated courses at genealogy institutes since 2006, and taught “Evidence Analysis and Documentation,” in Boston University’s genealogy certificate program. Tom also is the author of Mastering Genealogical Proof, a popular textbook on genealogical methods.

     An active genealogist since his teens, Tom's research encompasses records of most American states as well as France, Germany, Ireland, and Italy. He specializes; however, in Georgia, the Midwest, Northern Ireland, Upstate New York, and Virginia. Tom writes and speaks frequently on genealogical methods applicable across geographic areas and time periods.

     Although Tom retired as a SLIG Coordinator this year, the legacy and impact that he will leave behind is everlasting as evidenced by the impact he has had on his students through his teaching and writing. One of his students, Sara Cochran, provided a quote from Tom in this course: “You learn more from your mistakes than your successes. Therefore, those of you who were not successful in your homework, you should pat yourself on the back for learning more than the others."

     Tom has also inspired his students to create institute courses. As an example, in 2012 Angela McGhie, Harold Henderson, Christy Fillerup and Kimberly Powell took his Advanced Genealogical Methods course. They loved the homework assignments, which required they apply their knowledge to solve actual cases. After a full week of learning, they wanted more hands-on cases to test their skills. Out of this grew the Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum course.

     Over his career, Tom has been honored with many, many awards, including the Silver Tray award from UGA as well as Fellow. His legacy will continue on genealogists through his editing and writing from the NGSQ, to Mastering Genealogical Proof and with the genealogical standards.

     Thank you, Tom for inspiring us!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

And the Distinguished Service Award Goes to LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson!

     LaBrenda received the Distinguished Service Award in recognition of her service to UGA and SLIG. LaBrenda was instrumental in helping to develop the commemorative Martin Luther King Jr. event that kicked off the SLIG Academy. Additionally, LaBrenda was the coordinator of SLIG’s first African-American research course. This was quite timely, since 2019 marks the 400th anniversary of the first recorded arrival of Africans to an English colony in Virginia.

     Also working behind the scenes, LaBrenda has lent her expertise of reviewing SLIG’s policies on professional behavior that were codified and published on the website. LaBrenda’s assistance ensured that all the policies were reviewed and published in one place and was particularly instrumental with the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct section. This contributed to SLIG moving forward as a leader in the industry on these issues.

     LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson is an author and lecturer who focuses on African American families with roots in the South; she also serves as a facilitator on the faculty of the Boston University Online Genealogical Program. LaBrenda became a board-certified genealogist in 2015 and was elected as a trustee of the Board for Certification of Genealogists in 2016. She earned a BA in government from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, and both a Law degree and a Master of Laws degree from New York University School of Law.

     While practicing law, LaBrenda authored several editions of her family history as well as two church histories. She has been published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, among other genealogical publications. In 2016 LaBrenda published A Guide to Researching African American Ancestors in Laurens County, South Carolina and Selected Finding Aids, a book that was widely acclaimed as a model for research in South Carolina and other states. Other publications can be found on her website.
     Congratulations, LaBrenda!

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Congratulations to John Philip Colletta on the Silver Tray Award!

     This award is given for scholarly contributions to the field of genealogy and family history. Since 1988, it has traditionally been given for publication efforts.

     This year the award was presented to John Philip Colletta, PhD, FUGA. John is not new to the UGA or the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. John was the coordinator this year for "Writing a Quality Family Narrative." Dr. Colletta has been teaching students how to write and publish quality family narratives and histories at SLIG since 1998 (SLIG's third year).

     John Philip Colletta is one of America’s most popular genealogical lecturers. Knowledgeable, experienced, and entertaining, he resides in Washington, DC. For twenty years, while laying the foundation for his career in genealogy, he worked half-time at the Library of Congress and taught workshops at the National Archives.

     Today Dr. Colletta lectures nationally, teaches at local schools, and conducts programs for the Smithsonian Institution’s Resident Associate Program. He is a faculty member of the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (Athens, GA), the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, and Boston University’s Certificate in Family History program. He has also been an instructor and course coordinator for the National Institute on Genealogical Research (Washington, DC), the Genealogical Institute of Texas (Dallas), and the Genealogical Institute of Mid-America (Springfield, IL).

     His publications include numerous articles, both scholarly and popular, two manuals — They Came in Ships: A Guide to Finding Your Immigrant Ancestor's Arrival Record and Finding Italian Roots: The Complete Guide for Americans — and one “murder-mystery-family-history,” Only a Few Bones: A True Account of the Rolling Fork Tragedy and Its Aftermath. It tells the story of Colletta’s great-great grandfather, Joe Ring, who moved his family from Buffalo, New York, to Rolling Fork, Mississippi, after the Civil War. When Joe Ring’s country store burned to the ground with five unfortunate victims sleeping upstairs, the incident was investigated as mass murder, robbery and arson.

     Dr. Colletta appears frequently on podcasts and local and national radio and television. He is featured in Episode Four of Ancestors, the ten-part KBYU-TV series, as well as its sequel. He has received many professional honors, including fellowship in the Utah Genealogical Association and distinguished service awards from the Dallas Genealogical Society and the National Society, Daughters of Colonial Founders and Patriots.

     Congratulations, John! 

Friday, February 15, 2019

Congratulations to the latest FUGA - Karen Mauer Jones!

     This award is given in recognition of distinguished contributions and on-going commitment to the field of genealogy of national or international scope, evidenced by any combination of publications, teaching and speaking, or leadership of major genealogical organizations over a significant period of time.

     This year the award was presented to Karen Mauer Jones, CG, FGBS. Karen is not new to the UGA or the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. Karen was the coordinator this year for the New York course, which has been an offering over the years since 2014.

     Karen has been active in the genealogical field as an editor, author, lecturer, and professional genealogist, specializing in upstate New York, and recently retired as the editor of The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record. She was named a fellow of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society in November 2012. She holds an MA in museum studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program in Museum Studies (State University of New York, Oneonta) and a BS (honors) in history (State University of New York, Oneonta). She has served on the Education Committee of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society since 2011. She has served APG as a Regional Vice President (1993-1994) and as Director (1993-1996 and again from 2009-2010). She has also served the genealogical community as Director and Vice President of Administration for the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) from 1992 to 2002; National Conference Chair of the 1997 FGS conference in Dallas, Texas; Chair of the FGS Public Relations Committee, 1992-1998.

     As the owner of Frontier Press, a genealogical and historical bookstore, Karen has authored articles in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly and the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, as well as the two-volume set of The Kentucky Gazette: Genealogical and Historical Abstracts, 1787-1820, the two-volume set of Pioneer Ohio Newspapers: Genealogical and Historical Abstracts, 1793-1818 (winner of the 1989 Salmon P. Chase Award, Council of Ohio Genealogists), and The Maryland Gazette: Genealogical and Historical Abstracts, 1727-1761 (winner of the 1991 Norris Harris Award, Maryland Historical Society)

     Congratulations to Karen!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Mark Your 2020 Calendars!

The Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy will help you elevate your genealogical education to new heights in 2020!

12-17 January 2020

Hilton SLC Center, Salt Lake City, Utah

from the field's top educators

in-depth instruction

with respected experts

with successful researchers

at the Family History Library

Instruction Levels:  SLIG focuses on advanced education and includes courses on methodology, standards, regional or ethnic group research, and research tools like DNA. All courses assume a working knowledge at an intermediate level or above. Course descriptions, outlines, and prerequisites will help determine if the course is taught at the right level for you.
Schedule: SLIG 2020 opens on Sunday and closes on Friday evening. Courses run Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 4:00 pm; some will include homework, consultations, or labs outside those times. 
Special Events: other events may include a plenary session, SLIG Night at the Family History Library (FHL), and a networking social. Join us in SLIG Central to network, shop at Maia's Bookstore, purchase SLIG Swag, discuss UGA membership benefits, and view BCG portfolios.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

SLIG 2019 Student Blog Compendium

The Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy wrapped up their 2019 Institute and Academy in January. Students from all over the US and the world posted pictures across social media and created blog posts of the experiences. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of them for their participation.

Thank you!

 We have compiled a list of our student's blogs and wish to share them with you. If you are accidentally missed on this list or have updates to new posts, please email us at, and we will update this blog post.

Steve Jonnes

Mary Stuart

Helen Smith

Nancy E. Loe

Annette Crafton Corbell

Kristin R. Wenger

Maggie Stevenson

Judy Nimer Muhn

Lynn Broderick

Victoria Kolakowski

Lisa Hork Gorrell

Jacqi Stevens

Denise Levenick

Tierra Cotton-Kellow

Amber Beck

Paula Stuart-Warren

Amelia Bennett

We hope you have “enjoyed the journey”!
See you in 2020!

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Fun at SLIG 2019!

     The 24th annual Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy was held January 13-18, 2019 at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center in downtown Salt Lake City. Again, this institute had students from all across the United States and the world! From Alaska to Florida, from Maine to California, and England to Australia. Over 400 people came to Salt Lake City for this world-renowned genealogy institute.

     The Institute covered a wide range of topics from methodology to genetic genealogy, from languages to maps, from ethnic and regional research. This year marked a lot of firsts for us. Our first African-American course, coordinated by LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG, CGL; our first Native American course, coordinated by Rick Fogarty; and our first sponsored support team, provided by Legacy Tree Genealogists.

     We also introduced our first Academy for Professionals held the week after SLIG. These courses were geared for the professional on topics like professional client writing to business strategies and public speaking.

     Our second successful Tech Day was held on the Saturday between SLIG and the Academy where genealogists could get technological training on various systems and research methodology.

     Yes, our students learn a lot, but they also have fun! Below are some of the many photos from SLIG.

Thank you for all the student's photographs!

Some fun memories...

Until 2020...