We are pleased to offering the following courses in 2017. Registration will open at 9:00 am MDT on 9 July 2016. Full course outlines will be posted in May. Please feel free to sign up for SLIG e-news to stay abreast of the changes or email the director with any questions you may have.
Advanced Genealogical Methods
Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS
Students in “Advanced Genealogical Methods” will learn how to use and assemble evidence to rediscover ancestral origins, identities, and relationships that have been forgotten in the passage of time. The course will address advanced use of evidence from a variety of genealogical records and research in populations for which the usual records are in short supply. Students also will learn how to develop written proof summaries to show their conclusions’ accuracy and create a credible record of their findings for present and future generations of family historians.
Prerequisites: This intense course is targeted to “high intermediate” genealogists who have completed an intermediate level methodology course or who have equivalent experiences, and whose research includes original land and probate records or digital or microfilmed images of land and probate records.
The Family History Law Library
Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL and
Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA
The course will cover the basic legal concepts and legal research approaches appropriate for genealogists and will require the student to employ these concepts with hands on exercises using the resources of the FHL. Topics will include courts and their records, estate laws, legislative records, pensions, and property law.
Additionally, 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.
Taking Your Research to the Next Level
Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FUGA, FMGS
Take your research skills to the next level. Find and understand the records needed to complete missing family history details. Venture beyond online checks and relying on unsourced online trees. Learn about valuable records and strategies to locate them, the benefits of preparing research plans, and how to analyze findings. In-depth instruction on 19th--21st century U.S. resources and the methodology for using them prepare learners for more advanced courses. Hands-on experience and a homework project reinforce the lessons. Course instructors offer one-on-one consultations at the Family History Library. A computer lab provides guidance with your personal research.
The most requested and acclaimed sessions from our past intermediate course series are combined into one intermediate-level course. This is suited for learners beyond beginning stages, who have used online material extensively, aren’t quite ready for an advanced course, but hope to build toward that level.
Diving Deeper into New England
D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS
When encountering New England roots, many find a rich treasure of previous research, compiled materials, and records dating back to the early 1600s. Yet, within the branches of our New England roots exist assumptions, errors, missing individuals, and incomplete information. Starting with the colonial period and moving to the 1850s, “Diving Deeper into New England” will take an in-depth look at New England research, specifically focusing on little-known and underused sources.
Individual sessions will provide a deeper historical and social context for New England research, provide specific tools for key New England states, and provide an overview of the research process through a variety of examples and case studies. In addition, consultation sessions and a closing question and answer session will allow time for you to gain advice on your personal New England research with the course coordinator and instructors.
Virginia from the Colonial Period to the Civil War:
Her Records, Her People, Her Laws
Barbara Vines Little, CG, FNGS, FVGS
The course will focus on Virginia resources and the background information
(law, social customs, geography, etc.) needed to properly interpret them. Substitutes for missing records, Virginia records in out-of-state repositories, and unique manuscript records in small, local repositories will be addressed. Emphasis will be placed on records available either online or through microfilm loan programs; however, researchers will also be introduced to records available only in manuscript form at either the local level or in larger research repositories.
Prior Virginia research experience is not needed, but attendees with at least intermediate general research experience will gain the most from the presentations.
Researching in Washington, D.C., without Leaving Home
Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA
This course presents some of the massive resources that are available in Washington, DC-area and other federal repositories and how to access many of them through the Family History Library (FHL), websites, and published sources.
Records from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Library of Congress (LC), the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Library, and many other repositories will be explored. Students will learn to use finding aids, online catalogs, websites, interlibrary loan, and the holdings of the FHL to find, analyze, and understand federal records spanning the eighteenth to twenty-first centuries.
Utilizing a Full Array of Sources for Researching your
Norwegian, Danish, and Icelandic Ancestors
Elaine Hasleton, AG and Jeffrey M. Svare, AG
This course will discuss not only the most-frequently used records such as the church and census, but it will also include in-depth instruction into the probate and court, taxation, land and property, military, minorities, and DNA resources.
Additional information will be shared about local organizations, National Archives online catalogs, as well as Scandinavian-American organizations and their record availability. Case studies regarding the use of these records will provide an in-depth knowledge you have never had before! Also instructing: Finn Karlsen, retired, Norwegian Regional Archives, Trondheim, Norway.
Settlers in the New World and Immigrants to a New Nation: Researching Ancestors from Overseas
John Philip Colletta, PhD, FUGA
The immigration saga—leaving a homeland for a new life in America—tends to be the most dramatic and momentous chapter of American family history. This course explores sources and methods for reconstructing the lives of ancestors who came from foreign lands. From the 1590s, when Europeans first settled in territory that would become the Southwest and Florida, through the British colonial period of the
17th and 18th centuries, to the newcomers of every nationality, hue and creed who made the United States their home in the 19th and 20th centuries, this course embraces the panorama of immigration history.
Issues discussed include: discovering and locating the town of origin overseas; leaving home, crossing an ocean, and reaching the place of settlement; putting down roots; ferreting out biographical detail that personalizes each immigrant’s experience; and preparing for research in European records to trace family lines back in the Old Country. John Colletta and Joshua Taylor exploit an exciting panoply of online, microfilm, print and original sources to provide practical instruction, helpful tips, and individual counsel. They also share with students their considerable passion for getting to know some of our most inspiring forebears!
DNA Boot Camp: Practical Application
Have you already learned the fundamentals of genetic genealogy and are now ready to roll up your sleeves and dig in Are you itching to put your education to work? This fast-paced course will not only expand upon your knowledge, but will also explore online company tools and third party sites through exercises and hands-on practice in the computer lab.
Prerequisites: Attendees must have a strong grasp of foundational genetic genealogy concepts and access to autosomal DNA results from all three DNA testing companies (AncestryDNA, Family Tree DNA and 23andMe). Completion of any of the institute genetic genealogy courses will be good preparation for DNA Bootcamp (as long as you applied what you learned after the course ended). For those who have experience working with DNA for genealogical purposes, but have not attended an institute course, exceptions can be made by submitting an essay to the instructor detailing your proficiency in this subject.
Refining Internet and Digital Skills for Genealogy
A prepared and organized genealogist is a productive genealogist. Similarly, a prepared and organized digital workspace is a productive research instrument for that genealogist. The Internet and computers of all types require an understanding of all the ways in which they can be used to take advantage of their maximum potential as exemplary research tools.
The five days in the course are organized into categories intended to help the participant structure their computer and then their time spent online. Each day we have built into the schedule time to work on the computer for practical application of the things learned that day. The course will cover organizing computers and digital filing; effectively searching the Internet, online databases and records repositories; and technology tools that enhance the research experience such as spreadsheets, tables, timelines, maps, and foreign language translation. Students will have the opportunity to participate in a research plan or project and discuss whether or not a complex research problem can be solved solely online utilizing the tools learned throughout the week.
Requirements: Students must bring a laptop (preferred) or mobile device on which to practice new skills in class. Students should have existing accounts for tools that will be used in the class, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Evernote, FamilySearch, Ancestry, Scrivener, Word, and Excel. The course will not address specific types of hardware and operating systems. Examples will be given on a Windows laptop, demonstrating concepts which can be used across various platforms and software types.
Optional: Students may bring specific examples of past online problems that they want to explore. Internet service (Wi-Fi) will be provided at the facility; however, students may elect to bring their own Wi-Fi hotspots to ensure personal connectivity.
Adding Social History to Your Genealogy
Gena Philibert-Ortega, MA, MAR
Genealogy research is often relegated to the dates and places of our ancestor’s lives. However, when we focus solely on names, dates, and places we miss out on rich details that tell a story and also lead to additional documents. In the course of learning more about everyday lives we uncover resources that are not utilized by genealogists. This course will look beyond the typical genealogy sources and concentrate on ways that genealogists can bring their ancestors to life.
This course will assist genealogists to understand historical resources available for genealogical research; provide information about repositories that can provide documents that detail an ancestor’s community; teach ways to combing history with genealogy; provide background into our ancestor’s lives; explain ways to include social history with our genealogical narrative; and help students better understand the unique experiences of women, children and immigrant ancestors.
Prerequisites: Must have knowledge of basic genealogy research techniques and be able to understand the basics of what is involved in a reasonably exhaustive Internet search.
You be the Judge: A Practicum Using Standards
to Evaluate Genealogical Work
Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG
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—students will be the judges.
Each day 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 students will gain insight into the mindset and the habits involved in consistently producing work that meets standards. Students will develop evaluation strategies to identify weaknesses in their writing or in the writing of others. Students will begin to develop the evaluation skills needed to assess the quality of their work and the work of others. This is a forum for discussions of each standard and for substantive genealogy questions.
The rubrics concept (what they are) and the application of rubrics (how they are used) will be introduced on the final day of the course.
The Coaching Lab: Forensic Genealogy
from Inquiry to Affidavit
Catherine B.W. Desmarais, CG and
Amber Goodpaster Tauscher
This guided practical experience will coach students through the process of receiving, researching, and writing up a new U.S.-based probate case. Participants will learn effective ways to communicate research findings using timesaving templates to create source-cited research logs, reports, and affidavits. Family relationship charts and document exhibits will also be developed. By applying these skills to an actual case, participants will create a better workflow and increase their business productivity.
Students will also learn about the underlying laws and concepts needed by forensic genealogists working on probate, real estate and oil and gas cases. Advanced tips for finding living people and acting as a court witness will be shared. Finally, lessons learned during a forensic genealogy career will cap off the week.
Prerequisites: Forensic genealogy is not a beginner’s specialty. Students should have at least a year’s professional genealogy experience writing genealogical research reports for multiple paying clients before considering this course. The course is also appropriate for experienced forensic genealogists who wish to improve their skills and streamline their workflow. Students need to bring a laptop computer and possess solid word processing skills.
Advanced Evidence Practicum
Angela Packer McGhie
This hands-on experience is an opportunity for advanced genealogists to challenge themselves and put their research skills into practice. Participants work on five complex genealogical research problems—a new one each day. The objective is to give students experience in conducting research on complex problems, analyzing and correlating information, and reaching conclusions. Participants will practice using indirect evidence, broadening research to include the FAN club, resolving conflicts, and organizing evidence into a written summary. The research problems are varied, offering students the challenge of stretching their mind and skills in directions that their research may not normally take them.
Participants will work individually on the each of the cases and then gather to discuss their progress with fellow classmates and the instructor. They will compare sources, strategies and methodologies, discuss difficulties encountered, and receive guidance from the case study author. This course is designed for advanced genealogists who have sufficient experience and education to work on complex genealogical problems.
Please Note: This course will hold its first meeting on Sunday, 22 January.