Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Josh Taylor Shares Why You Should Attend SLIG

With the multitude of educational opportunities available for genealogists it can be difficult to choose which to attend. While webinars, conferences, and seminars each provide essential elements to your genealogical education, an institute, such as the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) offers a rich and unique experience for every genealogist. 

First, the ability to spend an entire week immersed in a particular subject provides untold benefits, as it enables us to focus on our research as we learn techniques and skills from some of the world's leading instructors. Like a college "short-course" week, SLIG provides an in-depth look a variety of subjects, from Technology to Advanced Methodology. With courses for genealogists of all levels, SLIG can be a solid foundation for beginning genealogists or an added skill set for advanced researchers.

Second, the consistency of highly-skilled instructors in your course throughout the week. Not only do you truly get to know your course coordinator, most courses include a set number of instructors that will be with you throughout the week. This provides an opportunity to develop deeper questions, and in some cases can literally tailor the course to your own research needs. Instructors will provide their own personal knowledge to the course, enriching your experience. Hearing one or two approaches to the same topic can provide you with a deeper level of understanding and more ideas. SLIG is truly a place to learn and expand your genealogical knowledge. 

Third, the small course sizes (usually around 30) provide an incredible opportunity to network with your fellow classmates. Take time to learn about their research and experience, as they might even have some advice for you, or you for them. SLIG certainly offers the ability to collaborate and learn from another other, a unique offering in genealogical education. Most meals are unscheduled, offering the chance to spend a few moments alone or join some of your classmates for a quick bite. Ensure you make the most of this networking opportunity; you might meet a few cousins as well as some lifelong friends.  

Fourth, an added benefit of SLIG is its location - only a few blocks from the Family History Library. This means you have an immediate opportunity to practice what you have been learning in the classroom. The ability for this "hands-on" element of your week in Salt Lake City often helps in retaining the information you are learning each day. Within a few moments after each day ends you can easily find yourself wrapped up in the sources and methods you discovered only moments ago in class. 

Finally, SLIG can often solidify your research goals for the New Year. After spending a week engrossed in family history it is difficult to loose the momentum when you return home. SLIG provides the perfect setting to create your genealogical goals for the year. Many participants leave SLIG with their "to-do" lists ready and can quickly jump into their research when they return home. 

While it might seem a bit overwhelming, SLIG is a week not to be missed for any genealogist. With constant learning and innovative new research ideas, opportunities to network with others, and hands-on research in the Family History Library, SLIG might well be considered heaven for genealogists!

~ D. Joshua Taylor

Monday, September 23, 2019

Proposal Deadlines Coming Up in October

If you have ever wanted to coordinate a SLIG course, or submit a SLIG Colloquium Paper for discussion, the deadlines – October 1, 2019 and October 15, 2019 respectively – are coming up.

Course Proposal requirements for SLIG 2021 may be found here: One should not feel limited by the topic examples provided; feel free to email the Director to set a time to talk through a concept or check on potential interest level.

SLIG also accepts proposals for the SLIG Academy for Professionals and SLIG Virtual courses. Contact with the Director about the differences in structure and other details is advised prior to submission of a proposal. The same online form may be used for submission for these programs.

SLIG Call for Colloquium Papers for 2020 may be found here:
Papers are presented on the Saturday between SLIG and the SLIG Academy for Professionals, discussed by a panel of experts, opened to questions from those attending, and then refined and published in the Spring issue of UGA's Crossroads Magazine.

Additional information: Peg Ivanyo, Director

Friday, September 20, 2019

"A Look at Genealogy's Past, Present, and Future" with David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FUGA, FIGRS

SLIG 2020's General Keynote speaker has been announced!

David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FUGA, FIGRS will be presenting "A look at Genealogy’s Past, Present, and Future." An entertaining look at the past we cannot change and the future we could never have predicted. Some of our past accomplishments sprinkled with pitfalls and a future fueled bright with hope. Where will the genealogy ride take us in the coming decades?

David is employed as the Chief Genealogical Officer for FamilySearch. A professional genealogist since 1977, he is one of the rare few who have earned both credentials: Accredited Genealogist with ICAPGen in Ireland research and Certified Genealogist with the Board for Certification of Genealogists. He is the Irish course coordinator and instructor for the Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research (IGHR) in Athens, Georgia. He is vice-president of the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History and an instructor for the British Institute.

There are still seats available in some great courses. Go here to make your selection and join us for our 25th year in 2020!

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Project Management Essentials for Genealogy Research

In genealogy, a well-planned, well-managed project provides clarity, reduces risk, controls cost, and delivers value to the client. This course has been developed for the professional genealogist, that might be working independently, transitioning to an organization or experience in a larger organization. In this course, you will learn the fundamentals and best practices of project management through theories, cases, templates and hands-on exercises.

This course has an amazing lineup of instructors that will be sharing their knowledge and expertise on how they make things work smoothly behind the scenes. This course is recommended for a
ny genealogist that is looking to expand their business beyond themselves or wants to go and work at any of the larger companies (e.g., ProGenealogists, Legacy Tree, FamilySearch).

  • Brent M. Hansen, DBA, PMP, IPMA-C 
  • Christy Fillerup 
  • Laura Giometta, PMP 
  • Rebecca Groberg, PMP 
  • Jon Lambert 
  • Kory L. Meyerink, AG, FUGA 
  • Karina E. Morales, AG 
  • Reed Shell, PMP 
  • Jessica Taylor 
  • Traci Vaughn-Grutta 

Led by Coordinator Brent M. Hansen, Brent is the Program Manager leading the projects of African Heritage at FamilySearch. As a Program Manager, he oversees all project work happening at FamilySearch for those of African heritage in the United States, the African Diaspora, and in Africa. In 2020, his team plans to share over 25 million records of people in the United States related to the enslaved period. His team is currently building capability and experiences for those of African descent to do family history research.

Let's get to know Brent's capable instructors a little better:

Christy Fillerup is a long-time professional genealogist and former Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly Managing Editor. She is tenacious in solving complex research problems. As the Editing Team Lead for Legacy Tree Genealogists, she works with professional researchers from across the globe to translate research findings into an end product that a client can understand and appreciate.

Laura Giometta leads the Program Management Office (PMO) for FamilySearch’s
Engagement Division. She oversees all large projects and major initiatives happening across FamilySearch. She has a staff of several program managers that set program standards and manages cross divisional work. If something big is happening at FamilySearch, Laura’s team is likely involved in leading the effort. Prior to this role, Laura managed the records publication processes of FamilySearch. She is also a consummate researcher and professional genealogist in her time away from the office. Her specialty includes Italian 

Rebecca Groberg is no stranger to professional genealogical research. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Family History and Genealogy from Brigham Young University with an emphasis in Germanic localities and has completed many research projects in that region. She worked as a professional genealogist before beginning employment with the world’s largest genealogical organization, FamilySearch International. There she works as a program manager, coordinating the efforts of multiple overlapping projects. Rebecca is a certified Project Management Professional and is passionate about affective project management skills. She sees great value in combining genealogical research processes with project management skills to produce better results.

Jon Lambert
 is the key manager at Ancestry ProGenealogists focusing on the client experience, team communication and sales in his role as Director of Global Client Relations. In his role, John oversees and trains the companies client relations managers who are each partnered with multiple research managers to help them with managing case loads, meeting deadlines, providing clear and appropriate communication to a client and helping clients define their expectations and goals for their research. Jon's greatest talents lie in his ability to communicate: both as a team and between genealogists and a client.

Kory L. Meyerink is not only a genealogist with a long resume of experience, but he is also an experienced professional project manager and business man. As a co-founder of ProGenealogists, Kory brought to life one of the largest genealogy consulting businesses in existence today and as such helped define the role of a project manager at that company. Now Ancestry ProGenealogists, Kory continues to work at the company as a research manager where he oversees a team of researchers and large numbers of client cases and is responsible for their management and quality from start to finish. In addition to his direct role as a project manager, Kory also has taken on the role of Master Genealogist where he assists in the development of best practices for case management and client relations in addition to the training and development of fellow genealogists and project managers.

Karina Morales leads the Content Strategy at FamilySearch for Latin America. This involved detailed research about the countries, archives, and records available. Her work translates into the digital capture of images and eventually into searchable records on FamilySearch. She travels extensively throughout Latin America. Prior to working at FamilySearch, Karina worked at ProGenealogists as a researcher.

Reed Shell leads an award-winning Project Management Office (Project Management Institute – Northern Utah – 2019) in FamilySearch’s technology division. His team helps put design, develop and implement the technology that people around the world use on the FamilySearch website. He understands well change management and agile project management. In his free time, he volunteers with the Project Management Institute and teaches for the University of Utah Professional Development.

Jessica Taylor founded Legacy Tree Genealogists in 2004. It has since grown to a multi-million dollar company, with over 35 employees and a thousand additional contractors spread across the globe. Legacy Tree is the highest client-rated genealogy research company in the world and the recommended research company of MyHeritage, 23andMe, RootsMagic, and more. Helping clients discover their roots, connect with biological family and preserve their legacies, while caring for our team of superstar professionals, is Legacy Tree Genealogists’ joy and passion.

aci Vaughn-Grutta is the muscle behind international research at Ancestry ProGenealogists without being a genealogist herself. As a Director of Operations for the company she has been integral in the expansion of the role of genealogists into project management as part of the company's "ideal state." She trains, oversees and assists research managers and team managers who oversee both large numbers of employees and handle 40+ client cases at a time. Her knowledge base and projects over the past few years have focused on cost management and budgets, setting standards for the client experience at Ancestry ProGenealogists, and expanding the management capabilities of the international teams.

These in
structors will share best practices and proven project management techniques. Students will be introduced to new ways of thinking about old problems and by the end of this course, they should have gained a good understanding and experience of the core competencies that make a successful project manager.

For more details and to register, go here.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The 2019 APG Professional Management Conference is in Salt Lake City

The Association of Professional Genealogists is celebrating their 40th anniversary in 2019. Their 2019 Professional Management Conference commenced today and runs through Saturday, September 21st. 

There are SLIG coordinators and instructors who will be sharing their knowledge and expertise during this conference. Make sure to check them out if you are in attendance!

Thursday, September 19th:

  • Paul Woodbury - "Genetic Genealogy Mystery Escape Room" and "Genetic Genealogy Case Studies: Choose Your Own Adventure"
  • Melissa Johnson, CG - "Can I Really Make Money as a Professional Genealogist?" and "Productivity Hacks for Professional Genealogists"

Friday, September 20th:

  • Kory L. Meyerink, MLS, AG, FUGA - "Opening Session: Marketing Genealogy to New Audiences"
  • Catherine Desmarais, CG - "Panel: Beyond Solo: Growing Your Business"
  • David McDonald, DMin, CG - Lunch Speaker
  • Judy Russell, JD, CG, CGL - "Roundtable: Certification: The Line Between Pass and Fail"
  • Paul Woodbury - "Discussion Group: Autosomal to X, Y, and Z: Prioritization of Genetic Genealogy Methodologies in Your Research Plan"

Additionally, are you interested in becoming a course coordinator? The three institute directors, including SLIG's Director, Peg Ivanyo, will be facilitating a discussion on the "Secrets of Becoming an Institute Course Coordinator" at 5:15 pm on Friday.

Saturday, September 21st:

  • Judy Russell, JD, CG, CGL - "Opening Session: Past, Present, Future: Records Access as a Genealogical Imperative"
  • Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG - "Writing, Documenting, and Publishing Conclusions Incorporating DNA Test Results
  • Karen Mauer Jones, CG, FGBS - "Illegitimacy, Desertion, and Divorce: Using Indirect Evidence to Find Nicholas Mauer
  • Melissa Johnson, CG - "Proof Discussions: Strategies for Success"

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Seats Remain for SLIG 2020 Courses!

Don't miss celebrating 25 years with the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) in 2020! It promises to be a wonderful celebration of all the years we have helped our students elevate their genealogical education to new heights.

These SLIG 2020 courses currently still have seats available:

  • Course 2: Guide to Treasures Found in Federal Records (Strauss)
  • Course 3: Early US Church Records (McDonald)
  • Course 5: Corpus Juris: Advanced Legal Concepts for Genealogy (Russell)
  • Course 7: Maryland: Researching in the Old Line State (Hoffman)
  • Course 8: Chinese Ancestry: Research Methods and Sources (Summers)
  • Course 9: Advanced Hispanic Research (Ryskamp & Gurtler)
  • Course 11: Meeting Standards Using DNA Evidence--Research Strategies (Stanbary)
  • Course 12: Researching Like a Professional (Hait)
  • Course 13: Applying Standards to Appraise Genealogical Work (Bloom)
  • Course 15: Technical Writing for Genealogists (Johnson)

Courses 1, 4, 6 10, and 14 are currently full, but have waitlists.

Come to SLIG in 2020 and celebrate with us! For more information on SLIG, go here.

Are You a Professional Genealogist or Transitioning to Be One?

If you are a professional genealogist and need to sharpen your skills or if you are transitioning towards becoming a professional, then the following SLIG Academy courses with seats remaining may be right for you:

  • Course 1: The Art of Writing Client Reports (McGhie)
  • Course 4: DNA for the 21st-Century Professional
  • Course 5: Fundamentals of Forensic Genealogy
  • Course 6: Writing and Documenting for Peer Review
  • Course 7: Project Management Essentials for the Professional Genealogist

Come to SLIG Academy in 2020 and celebrate with us on our 25th anniversary of helping our students elevate their genealogical education! For more details on SLIG Academy go here.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Get Insider Information about Building a Genealogy Business - A Discussion with Liz

Are you a genealogy business owner, or considering becoming one? Building and Nurturing a Successful Genealogy Business, coordinated by Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG  may be the right course for you. We spoke with Liz Miller, previous participant in the course, for her perspective.

Why might you want to take the course? 
Liz she took the course because she wanted insider information - someone with experience and expertise to help her realistically explore the idea of starting a business.

Who should take the course?
This course is for anyone who is thinking about opening a genealogy business or interested in improving their existing business. Liz says you should take this course if:
  • you need a temporary business coach; 
  • you are exploring the possibility, or are ready to transition from hobbyist to professional genealogist; 
  • you want to know what it takes to start and build a successful business; 
  • you want to avoid costly mistakes and “learning the hard way”
What is the course like?
Building and Nurturing a Successful Genealogy Business is a hands-on course with innovative learning opportunities designed by experienced genealogists, including Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, Angela Packer McGhie, and Teresa Steinkamp McMillin. With a small class size, participants experience a comfortable atmosphere as they discuss their questions with peers and instructors. Liz said, "I really liked the small class size and the novel approaches Jeanne and Teresa took when teaching the course material—it was truly a “hands on” experience. Jeanne and Teresa were open about their successes and failures concerning their entrepreneurial endeavors; they went out of their way to create a teaching/learning environment where students quickly felt at ease."

What will you come away with? 
Participants in Building and Nurturing a Successful Genealogy Business will leave the course with next steps to make progress in their plans. At the end of the week, each student will have a unique business plan crafted from each day’s homework. Liz said, "While facing of some very difficult but necessary interim decisions, this course helped me see the possibilities for the future. I came away from the course with a plan and the necessary tools to help me plot out a realistic course of action."

Friday, September 6, 2019

A Practical Application of Genealogy Standards

This is a unique course for advance practitioners. Most courses and lectures approach genealogy standards from the perspective of how to meet standards and how to produce work that meets standards. 

During this course—a supervised practical application of Genealogy Standards—the students will be the judges. This is a forum for discussions of each standard and for substantive genealogy questions. Each day the students will evaluate genealogical work samples of unknown quality to determine whether the samples meet, partially meet, or do not meet standards. From these exercises we hope that the students will gain insight into the mindset and the habits involved in consistently producing work that meets standards. We hope that the students will develop evaluation strategies to identify weaknesses in their writing and in the writing of others. This is a forum for discussions of each standard and for substantive genealogy questions.

The class will move quickly and assume that attendees are familiar with Genealogy Standards, 2nd edition (2019), with Evidence Explained, and with Numbering Your Genealogy.

Jeanne will be assisted by:

  • Jill N. Crandell, AG
  • Stefani Evans, CG
  • LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG, CGL
  • Debra S. Mieszala, CG
  • Karen Stanbary, MA, LCSW, CG

For more information and to see Jeanne's video on the course, go here.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Finding Clues Hidden in the Records with the Advanced Legal Concepts Course - A Discussion with Judy Russell

Corpus Juris: Advanced Legal Concepts for Genealogy is unique learning opportunity for those who want to use legal records to uncover clues about the past. Participants will experience hands-on research in the University of Utah Law Library and receive instruction on a higher level than any other genealogy law-related courses. Course coordinator, Judy Russell, JD, CG, CGL, answered our questions about her course. 

Who should take this course?
This is the perfect class for every genealogist who has ever sat with a court record or probate file or legal document and wondered just what story that record was trying to tell. The arcane language, the formalities can all hide some of the most important clues we can have in reconstructing families, and finding those clues requires some special research skills. 

Am I ready for this course?
Anyone who has done onsite research in a courthouse or truly worked through a full case file online is ready to take this next step and dive deeper into legal records and legal research techniques. It's advanced, yes, but not so advanced that anyone who's grappled with court and legal records for their family history should be afraid to take that next step.

What makes this course unique?
What makes Corpus Juris different from other genealogical institute courses is its depth and breadth of focus on understanding the legal foundations of the records we use. In an introductory law-and-genealogy course, it isn't possible to spend a day on researching at a law library or to have multiple sessions on finding exactly the right law that explains what this record means at this place in this time -- while Corpus Juris makes that a keystone.

What is the main takeaway students will gain from this course?
Students come out of this course with a solid understanding of the ways in which major genealogical clues can be hidden in the records -- and with great ways to try to find and understand those clues.

Course instructors include:

  • LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG, CGL
  • Thomas W. Jones, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS
  • Rev. David McDonald, DMin, CG
  • George R. Ryskamp, JD, AG
  • Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA
Learn more about this unique advanced course by clicking here: Corpus Juris: Advanced Legal Concepts for Genealogy.

A Unique Opportunity at SLIG 2020: Chinese Ancestry Course

Americans of Chinese descent, including those with partial Chinese ancestry constitute 1.5% of the total U.S. population. According to the 2010 census, the Chinese American population numbered approximately 3.8 million.

This course is geared toward the individual with Chinese ancestry or the librarian that assists those with Chinese ancestry ... and ... no Chinese language ability is required!

Kelly Summers and her team of knowledgeable instructors will help students:

  • Identify records that may contain genealogical information of a Chinese ancestor 
  • Conduct an Oral History Interview to obtain historical and genealogical information 
  • Locate and use appropriate collections to identify the correct Chinese surname character and ancestral village location 
  • Understand the history and organization of the Chinese genealogy (Jiapu) 
  • Recognize and extract key genealogical information found in the Chinese genealogy 
  • Document and Organize genealogical information using technology 
  • Understand the considerations for planning a trip to the Chinese ancestral village 

Additionally, learn about the records, tools and resources needed to discover Chinese ancestry. Identify records that may contain the original Chinese family name character and the location in China where the Chinese ancestral family originated. Locate and examine Chinese Clan Genealogies (Jiapu) and practice extracting important genealogical information. Gather and organize resources to use when helping others with Chinese genealogical research.

If this interests you, go here for more details and to register. This link takes you to the SLIG registration page, and you must scroll down to find more information about the Chinese Ancestry course. Don't miss Kelly's video on the course!

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The Fast-Growing Field of Forensic Genealogy

Come explore your potential role in the fast-growing field of forensic genealogy with Catherine B. W. Desmarais, CG and her instructor team, including:

  • Angie Bush, MS
  • Kelvin L. Meyers
  • Michael S. Ramage, JD, CG

The instructorsall who are all experienced, practicing forensic genealogists—will introduce students to a broad spectrum of topics. Mornings will be spent exploring business practices, work products and skill development, while afternoons will delve into the types of work in which forensic genealogists engage. Students will learn the fundamental skills needed to establish or strengthen their own forensic genealogy practice.

This course is intended for those with advanced genealogy research skills who are interested in learning more about the field of forensic genealogy as a career. You will find it helpful to be familiar with Genealogy Standards (Washington, DC: Board for Certification of Genealogists, 2014) and Elizabeth Shown Mills, Professional Genealogy: Preparation, Practice & Standards (Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2018).

For Catherine's video and more information, go here.

A Business Needs Nurturing

Thinking about opening a genealogy business? Interested in improving your existing business? This course is for you.

Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG; Teresa Steinkamp McMillin; and Angela Packer McGhie will work with students through active interaction and participation.

This course requires active interaction and participation. At the end of the week, each student will have a unique business plan crafted from each day’s homework.

Sessions include hands-on activities. Students should bring a laptop computer with a word-processing and a spreadsheet program installed. Nightly homework assignments will include income and expense accounts, creating a weekly calendar, marketing and promotion, and business plans.

This course has the following required textbook: 

Mills, Elizabeth Shown, editor. Professional Genealogy: Preparation, Practice & Standards. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2018.

To see Jeanne's video on her course as well as detailed information, go here.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

DNA - Another Tool in the Professional Genealogist's Tool Box

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; 
  • Provide tools and methodologies to streamline the integration of documents and DNA; 
  • Apply DNA tests results to genealogical research questions; 
  • How to present that information to clients in an understandable format; and 
  • The ethical issues surrounding DNA testing.

Students should have an excellent working knowledge of the Genealogical Proof Standard and have test results with AncestryDNA and MyHeritage (may be uploaded). Students should also feel comfortable using research logs or journals and preparing written reports. 

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

Angie Bush, MS will be joined by:

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

to provide a wonderful institute experience to the students.

To see Angie's video on her course and for more information, including registration, go here.