Class and Workshop Descriptions


Use Evernote to Create an Effective Research Plan and Log System
with Cari A. Taplin, CG

Many genealogists have a difficult time jumping into any new note-taking system, including Evernote which is a highly useful tool for collecting notes, documents, and images, and linking them together in a meaningful manner. Through interactive step-by-step exercises, this workshop will walk students through the process of setting up and effective Evernote system for collecting these items, creating a research plan and log for more efficient research, and demonstrate the system in action through a research example.

Please sign-up for at least a free Evernote account and install the desktop software on your computer prior to class. We will not have time to go over how to set this up in class. You may sign up here: To download the software, click here: Some helpful getting started articles can be found here:

Scrivener Hands-On: Organize Both Your Research and Your Writing
with Kimberly Powell

This hands-on workshop 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 follow 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 learned will easily translate to other types of writing projects.

Navigating Your AncestryDNA Test Results
with Melissa Johnson, CG

Learn how to better use and understand your AncestryDNA test results, including match lists, shared matches, raw DNA downloads, sharing DNA test results, messaging, the user directory, member trees, and using external tools to find out more about nonresponsive DNA matches. The lecture will conclude with a case study that shows how a how a longstanding family mystery was solved as a result of an unknown and unresponsive AncestryDNA match.

Genealogy Organization in the Digital Age
with Patricia Hobbs, CG

Organizing digitally helps genealogists sidestep limitations of the days of paper genealogy. Keys to organization are using a consistent process and minimizing places where genealogical information is kept. This lecture will teach students how to leverage the organizing power of genealogy software and organizing documents by geographical location.

Making the Most of 23andMe
with Melissa Johnson, CG

This tour of 23andMe focuses on how to navigate the features available on the 23andMe website, including match lists, shared matches, ethnicity features, haplogroups, shared DNA, match filters, the chromosome browser, messaging, DNA downloads, and more. The lecture will conclude with a case study on how 23andMe features were used to help learn more about an Irish ancestral couple born in the 1830s whose identities and origins were unknown.

Sharing Your Research by Setting Up a Blog or a Website
with Patricia Hobbs, CG

Blogs and websites are a wonderful way for genealogists to share their family research. Family members who are not genealogists become interested by reading the stories. Your research can attract new cousins who may have more information or photos otherwise lost to other family lines. This session will discuss the installation and use of a range of options including easy-to-use Blogger and also WordPress which allows creation of standard website pages in addition to a blogging interface.

Using Google's MyMaps as a Research and Analysis Tool
with Cari A. Taplin, CG

Learn to use Google's MyMaps as a research and analysis tool including how to create custom maps, tips for genealogical applications, and real-life examples. This workshop includes interactive in-class exercise to walk students through the creation of custom maps, drawing shapes, dropping and labeling pins, measurement tools, adding photos, and more.

Please create a Google account and/or know your login information prior to class. We will not have time to go over how to set up an account in class. This is the page to sign up for a new account: The process is simple. You can read about it here:

Data Visualization Practicum
with Ron Arons, MBA

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.)

Family Tree DNA and MyHeritage: Company Tools
with Melissa Johnson, CG

Take a tour through the FamilyTreeDNA and MyHeritage websites to learn more about each company’s features for autosomal DNA tests, including match lists, shared/in-common-with matches, filtering features, X-matches, DNA downloads and transfers, chromosome browsers, family trees, and more.

Tools for Analyzing & Visualizing Family History and DNA Networks
with Kimberly Powell

Network analysis and visualization—commonly used in areas such as social media analysis, biology/medicine, and business data analytics—offer exciting possibilities for exploring ancestral connections and making sense of DNA matches. Join us as we explore the basics of network analysis and visualization tools, including ways they can be utilized to explore and better visualize relationships, connections, and clusters (networks, FAN clubs) in our family history and DNA data. Picture your ancestors and their communities in a whole new light!

Mapping Chromosomes to Specific Ancestors by Generation
with Karen Stanbary, MA, LCSW, CG

This demonstration will teach the creation of a colorful chromosome map using the free software Genome Mate Pro. This software provides advanced filtering options: 1) paternal and/or maternal; 2) up to 20 generations; and 3) user-assigned groups by ancestral line. The chromosome map pairs well with the advanced methodology Visual Phasing. Provides a detailed handout with a step-by-step process to load the software into your computer’s hard drive.

Spreadsheet Tips & Tricks
with Kimberly Powell

Learn a variety of powerful tips and strategies for using spreadsheets to analyze and correlate genealogical data. This session will cover a number of different examples of how and when (or if) to use spreadsheets in your genealogical research, potential sources of genealogical data for analysis, how to set up your spreadsheet for best results, strategies for cleaning and standardizing your data, and functions for searching, sorting, filtering, and generating inferences from your data.