Sunday, February 7, 2021

UGA Awards FUGA to Angela Packer McGhie


We are also pleased to announce the UGA Fellow for 2021. This award recognizes one “whose distinguished contributions and on-going commitment to the field of Genealogy are of national or international scope, this award may be evidenced by any combination of publications, teaching, and speaking, or the leadership of major genealogical organizations over a significant period of time.”

In addition to these strictly outlined qualifications, the UGA Board of Directors felt strongly about this year’s Fellow for another reason. The slogan, “Premier Genealogical Education,” utilized by UGA, demonstrates our core values and goals as a society. Many of you have been recipients of these efforts, none more clearly than the students who have attended SLIG these past few weeks. Our Fellow this year is someone who has been an ally in these goals and contributed tirelessly in her career to uphold and promote the ideals of “Premier Genealogical Education” in her every effort. The UGA Board of Directors is pleased to award the UGA Fellow to Angela Packer McGhie.

Angela has a passion for teaching genealogy. She has been a continued partner with UGA in these efforts for many years, having presented for UGA Webinars, coordinated and instructed for SLIG, and served on the advisory committee. In 2011, Angela changed the SLIG experience by pioneering and coordinating the Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum which will run for its tenth consecutive year this fall. In 2018, the Practicum became the first virtual SLIG course, again steering a new path for both SLIG and UGA to bring quality education to genealogists everywhere. Angela also coordinates The Art of Writing Research Reports course for SLIG Academy.

Beyond UGA, Angela’s efforts to support genealogical education have reached across our community. She coordinates additional courses for the Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research, instructs at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh and Genealogical Institute on Federal Records, and speaks numerous national and regional conferences.

Angela is known for her leadership in educational programs. She served as the administrator of the ProGen Study Group from 2010 to 2016 and continues to serve on the board of directors. She is now the Education Director for the National Genealogical Society, the vice president of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, trustee for the BCG Education Fund, and is past President of the National Capital Area Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists.

Angela has truly dedicated herself to the cause of genealogical education and her years of effort and service have changed the face of education in our community. Her actions and energy in promoting these goals reflect not only excellent genealogical work but have been done with a sense of service, deep humility, and a kindness of spirit. She has been a champion of quality, obtainable programs that have enhanced the skills, lives, and research of myriads of genealogists. We are proud to award her the Fellow of the Utah Genealogical Association.


UGA Distinguished Service Award to Kelly Summers

The UGA Distinguished service award “is granted for outstanding service to the Association.” Tonight, we would like to present this honor to UGA’s current president: Kelly Summers.

Kelly has been a stalwart leader and advocate for UGA. In her role she has sought to participate in, enhance, and bring forward new UGA programs and educational opportunities. Kelly has championed better compensation to our webinar presenters and Crossroad’s magazine contributors. She envisioned and developed a new webinar series for aspiring professional genealogists, the Genealogy ProTalk webinar is now one of UGA’s month offerings. Under her leadership the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy has continued to grow and offer more expansive advanced education opportunities, including Kelly’s recent coordination of the Chinese Ancestry course.

Kelly has served on the executive committee for the past 5 years and has been president of UGA for the past 4 years. During her time, we have seen immense growth in membership and offerings. She has also demonstrated quality leadership and sound judgement. She has counseled with and guided the UGA board through tough discussions and challenging decisions and helped us to enhance the goal of offering premier genealogical education.

Beyond UGA, Kelly is an Accredited Genealogist through the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists in the US Midwestern, US Pacific, Mexico, and Spain regions. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Family and Community History from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree in Instructional Design and Educational Technology from the University of Utah. Kelly designs curriculum and teaches university courses at Brigham Young University and Salt Lake Community College. Kelly continues to support genealogy education inside and out of UGA, and the board of directors is honored to grant her this distinguished award.


UGA Chapter Service Award to Zachary Hamilton


The Chapter Service Award is given in recognition of outstanding service to or for a UGA chapter. The award was created in 1999, and has been given only eight times since

Tonight we would like to honor one who has dedicated countless hours to ensuring the success of our UGA local chapters, Zachary Hamilton.

Zachary spearheaded the renewal of the Salt Lake City Chapter and grew it from a few periodic attendees to a thriving community that met monthly at the Family History Library. After serving for a year as Salt Lake City Chapter President, he was elected to the UGA Board of Directors and became co-chair of the Chapter Support Committee. Zachary designed an annual multi-chapter event which is now held every November, and has assisted the individual chapters in marketing, technical support, training, acquiring speakers, budgeting, and other activities. His service has been invaluable, especially as we have transitioned to holding chapter meetings online during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Zachary is the owner of Briick Family Research. A specialist in Southern US research and military records, Zachary has worked for and contracted with some of the leading genealogy companies in the world, including and The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. Zachary holds a BA in History and an AAS in Office Management. Zachary has also been a contributing researcher to the Emmy-nominated television series, Who Do You Think You Are?

In addition to his research experience, Zachary is a lecturer at regional conferences across the country, including RootsTech and has been a guest speaker for genealogy courses at Brigham Young University - Idaho and at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

Zachary currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Utah Genealogical Association and as Registrar for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. Zachary is a member of the Utah Genealogical Association and Association of Professional Genealogists.

We are pleased to honor Zachary for his dedication to our UGA chapters.




UGA Awards Silver Tray to Elizabeth Shown Mills


We are pleased to announce the first of tonight’s UGA awards, the Silver Tray Award. The Silver Tray honors “Scholarly Contributions to the field of Genealogy” and “has traditionally been given for publication efforts.”

Tonight, we honor someone who has touched our field, genealogy education and standards, and publication efforts in profound ways: Elizabeth Shown Mills.

If we outlined everything that Elizabeth has accomplished in her distinguished career, we would be here all night. The number of honors and awards she has received is astounding, and every one of them well deserved. Elizabeth is a Certified Genealogist and Certified Genealogical Lecturer, Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists, Fellow of the National Genealogical Society, and was awarded the Fellow of the Utah Genealogical Association in 1990.

She is the author and editor of several books, including Evidence Explained, Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors Lecturers, and Librarians, and Professional Genealogy: Preparation, Practice & Standards. Her articles have appeared in the most notable genealogy publications of our time: National Genealogical Society Quarterly, The Virginia Genealogist, OnBoard, The American Genealogist, Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly, and more. And in giving this award, we should also recognize 16 years of dedicated service as the editor of National Genealogical Society Quarterly.

Even beyond traditional authorship and publishing, Elizabeth’s efforts to educate and empower our community have extended to videos, study aids, online lessons, social media engagement,  and blogging. In fact, it is these extra efforts that place Elizabeth above and beyond in our field and inspired us to honor her with this award today. It demonstrates a desire to not just teach, but to establish a conversation and lead others to new heights in meaningful and interactive ways. In teaching us about the “FAN club” she has created her own “FAN club” that spans the width and breadth of our field.

We thank you for your contributions to our field and are pleased to award you with the Silver Tray Award for 2021.


Friday, February 5, 2021

The Folks Behind the Scenes at SLIG

It takes a village to run a program. Or something like that :) 

These are the folks behind the scenes at SLIG 2021: committee members that work year-round, some who join in the fun for the last few months or weeks, and the on-site tech support team.

Each and every one played a key role in making this year's program a success! As we wrap-up SLIG 2021 and move toward the Academy for Professionals, we need to pause a moment to say


It was a small core group this virtual year:

  • Cinda Baxter, Virtual Technical Coordinator
  • Zachary Hamilton, Registrar
  • Mary Kathryn Kozy, Syllabus Coordinator and Website/Database Manager
  • Cheri Hudson Passey, Marketing

Which was expanded in December and January:

  • Liz Miller, "Gal Friday"
  • Amberly Beck, Photographer
  • Sue Petersen, Hospitality (this year that meant stuffing and labeling and shipping!)
  • Sherri Hessick, Dropbox support

We were also supported by members of the UGA Board:

  • Whitney Tolman, UGA Administrator (year-round keeper of membership and funds)
  • Tristan Tolman, UGA Tech Support Team
  • Gerhard Ruf, UGA Tech Support Team
  • Peggy Lauritzen, UGA Tech Support Team
SLIG would not be SLIG without each one of them passionately caring for the outcome of this educational experience.

Photo above:
Front row, left to right: Peg Ivanyo, Cinda Baxter, Zachary Hamilton, Mary Kathryn Kozy, Cheri Passey
Second row, l to r: Liz Miller, Amberly Beck, Whitney Tolman, Sue Petersen
Third row, l to r: Tristan Tolman, Gerhard Ruf, "Miss Peggy" Lauritzen, Sherri Hessick

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Twas the Night Before SLIG

Day One. Sunday, January 10, 2021.

I almost got this written before the day began. Cheri posted a cute "One more Sleep before SLIG" meme, and I realized I am missing the sleep part :) But I think that is part of my SLIG tradition.

Don't miss Orientation! Today! 5:00 pm MST. Faculty introductions, important information to make your SLIG experience a positive one, and more. The link is in your very highly organized links directory. We will do our best to make it as fun as it is in person, but sometimes my humor doesn't translate in a virtual environment and I haven't quite figured out how to do a faculty processional across a virtual stage. Still, orientation is where it all begins. 

1.  Meet the Faculty. A student once wrote that coming to SLIG and watching the faculty processional across the stage was "like Disneyland for Genealogists." Indeed, we have amazing faculty every year. 57 of them this year. The best the nation has to offer. We will ask you to turn off your video cams and microphones to help us properly introduce them. Means we won't hear your oohs and aahs, sorry to say, but we will be more likely to get their video cam chiclets to come to the top!

2. Door Prizes. Must be present to win. We will be giving away two of these portable green screens, as well as a handful of other prizes throughout the evening. 

3. Entertainment. Always a surprise item at the end of our reception which follows orientation. This year we have just taken the catered food out of the mix. Bring your own snacks, and enjoy the fun! 

4. Answers: We will try to provide answers to your most commonly asked questions before they come up.  Like where is my participant gift? Yes, there is one. And a story to go with it. How do I submit questions for the FTDNA event? Or win that most coveted door prize of all - early registration for 2022? Is the store still open? And will there be course photos?  

The good news this year? Even those who normally don't check in until Monday should be able to attend. Always looking for the rainbow!

We'll see you soon.


Friday, January 8, 2021

Board for Certification of Genealogists to Sponsor Free Webinars




CONTACT: Board for Certification of Genealogists®, PO Box 14291, Washington, DC 20044



Board for Certification of Genealogists to Sponsor Free Webinars


Registration for the Board for Certification of Genealogists’ twelve monthly webinars in 2021 is now live at our partner website Legacy Family Tree Webinars ( Dates, topics, and speakers are shown below.





January 19

Rick Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA

Death and Burial Practices in World War I and World War II

February 16

Ruth Randall, CG

A Family for Suzanne

March 16

Nancy A. Peters, CG, CGL

Reporting on Research: Standards Encourage Better Communications

April 20

J. H. (Jay) Fonkert, CG

Turning Raw Information into Evidence: Tips for Drawing and Explaining Conclusions

May 18

Claire Ammon, CG

The Paternal Ten: Searching for Missing Heirs

June 15

Denise E. Cross, MSLIS, CG

They Had Names: Identifying Children Represented by Tick Marks in Pre-1850 Censuses

July 20

Alison Hare, CG

The Time of Cholera: A Case Study about Historical Context

August 17

Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, FASG, FNGS, FUGA

Standards for Genealogical Documentation

September 21

Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, FUGA

Federal Records Related to Rivers and Canals

October 19

Shellee A. Morehead, PhD, CG

My 20-year Mystery—Finding Family Origins with Y-DNA

November 16

LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG, CGL

Planning Research

December 21

Dana Ann Palmer, CG, CGL

Uncovering Immigrant Origins Through Cluster Research


“The Board for Certification of Genealogists is pleased to present these high-quality educational webinars,” said President LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG, CGL. “BCG provides educational offerings to family historians of all levels of experience and promotes public confidence in genealogy by supporting uniform standards of competence.”


BCG’s webinars are normally aired free on the third Tuesday of each month at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time. Those with schedule conflicts may access the webinars at no charge for one week after the broadcast on the Family Tree Webinars website. BCG webinars are always free to BCG-certified associates.


Following the free period for this webinar, BCG receives a small commission if you view this or any BCG webinar by clicking our affiliate link: For access to all BCG webinars, see the BCG Library at Legacy Family Tree Webinars (


To see the full list of BCG-sponsored webinars for 2021, visit the BCG blog SpringBoard at For additional resources for genealogical education, please visit the BCG Learning Center (



Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, FUGA

BCG News Release Coordinator


The words Certified Genealogist and its acronym, CG, are a registered certification mark, and the designations Certified Genealogical Lecturer and its acronym, CGL, are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluation.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

SLIG 2021 Special Events

SLIG 2021 may be virtual, but there will be plenty of the traditional SLIG Experience throughout. We have already posted about our Wrap-up event and keynote speaker. Here are the other events you won't want to miss! 

All-Participant Orientation

Sunday, January 10th, 5:00 pm

Come help us kick off three fun weeks of SLIG!

This event will include faculty and other introductions, information to help you make the most of your SLIG experience, and door prizes (must be present to win). 

While we can't follow it with our traditional reception, we can wind it up with one of our favorite traditions – entertainment. Bring your own treats and enjoy the fun! 

SLIG Central
Course weeks: 11:30 - 1:00 and 4:00 - 5:00 pm

Picture this - in a virtual setting. Networking, catching up with old friends, making new ones. 

We will have all kinds of break-out rooms for you to join and/or move around in. Each day will have a little different flavor, so watch the evening announcements. 

Course Photos

Days/times to be announced in class

Come prepared to let us capture your individual photo. Photos will be assembled by course "on the stairs." We think you will be pleasantly surprised. 

Sponsored Events
Open to anyone registered for either SLIG or Academy

Tuesday, January 19

  • Board for Certification of Genealogists Town Hall
    5:15 pm MST
    This event will include a short introduction to BCG followed by open Q&A with some of the trustees.
  • Legacy Tree Live Q&A: How to Get Hired
    6:30 pm MST
    Are you interested in joining Legacy Tree Genealogists as a part-time or full-time genealogist? Find out what it’s like to work from home for the world’s highest-rated genealogy research firm. We’ll be answering questions about remote work, benefits, hours, typical job requirements, and more! Legacy Tree Genealogists team members will be live at virtual SLIG with the inside scoop on working at Legacy Tree! 

Wednesday, January 20

  • An Afternoon with Family Tree DNA
    with Göran Runfeldt, Paul Maier, Michael Sager, and Janine Cloud
    FTDNA will answer your burning questions about mitochondrial, autosomal, and Y-DNA, DNA science, test results, website navigation, test analysis, and more in two sessions. SLIG will distribute a link to submit questions prior to the event.
    2:00 pm MST – Open Q&A with FTDNA, Basic to Intermediate
    3:00 pm MST – Open Q&A with FTDNA, Advanced Topics
  • Evening with FamilySearch
    with David Rencher, AG, CG, FUGA, FIGRS
    6:30 pm MST – What's New at FamilySearch and What's Happening in the Family History Library?
    Learn the latest initiatives at FamilySearch to serve a global audience and get a sneak peek at what has been happening in the Family History Library while it has been closed – yes, we’ve moved quite a bit of cheese, but we think you’ll love the new experience when we reopen! Q&A at the end of the presentation.

Thursday, January 21

  • What is Accreditation and How Can it Benefit Me? with ICAPGen
    5:15 pm MST
    Have you wondered if accreditation is a good fit for you? Would you like to boost your research skills or gain confidence in client work? Learn about the accreditation process and its benefits from a panel of accredited genealogists. Ask your questions about earning this premiere credential and hear from a variety of perspectives. Whether you are in the process of accreditation or simply want to learn more, we invite you to join the discussion.
  • Ancestry Corporate Professional Corner
    6:30 pm MST
    A panel conversation with Ancestry professional genealogists and their recruiting staff. The panel of professionals will be there to answer your questions about becoming a professional genealogists in today’s corporate world. They will address what it takes to be noticed by the recruiting team and how to find success as a professional genealogists.

SLIG Wrap-up Event and Keynote 2021

In keeping with our theme for SLIG 2021, we are pleased to announce that LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson will be addressing us at the SLIG Wrap-up Event.

SLIG Wrap-up Event and UGA Awards

Friday, January 29, 2021, 5:00 - 6:30 pm MST

What will SLIG be without our traditional completion banquet? We are about to find out how to wrap things up in a virtual environment. 

Following the pattern traditionally used at our annual completion banquets, we will begin with virtual photo memories, so make sure you arrive early to find yourself and your friends in the virtual slide show. 

The event will feature a keynote presentation, annual UGA awards, including the Silver Tray and FUGA, door prize announcements (see separate instructions to enter), and our traditional “course reveal” for the upcoming year. 

No tickets required; just bring your own meal of choice and click on the link provided in your virtual materials to enter.

"Excellence is Not an Act, but a Habit"

LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG, CGL

Few people have risen as quickly through the ranks of professional genealogists as LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson. And no wonder. Whatever she takes on is tackled with enthusiasm and a nod toward perfection. 

We (SLIG) suspect that her long list of accomplishments in life, from her Juris Doctorate to her election as president of BCG, is the direct result of a life-long “habit” of working toward “excellence” in all she does. In spite of challenges. In spite of what the world is dishing out around her, fair or unfair. And once achieved? She works to help others gain the education, hone the skills, and create the habits that will bring them similar success. We are pleased that she has accepted the challenge to address us on the topic “Excellence is Not an Act, but a Habit."