Wednesday, June 30, 2010

IGHR - Course 4 - Advanced Methodology and Evidence Analysis

This is the first in a series of articles featuring the courses offered at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research.  See my previous article on IGHR for additional details on the institute.

Guest author: Debra Hoffman, New Windsor, Maryland

IGHR's Course 4, Advanced Methodology and Evidence Analysis, lived up to expectations and its reputation. The objective of the course was to change your mindset. The renowned genealogist, Elizabeth Shown Mills, was the course coordinator. The week of lectures and exercises were designed to challenge the students and teach them to think about genealogical problems and documents in different ways. It certainly accomplished that goal! This course is not for the faint of heart as besides a full day of lectures there was homework each evening. This was the 25th year for this course and all twenty-six students appeared to enjoy the experience. This course should be taken by all serious genealogists as the class examples are challenging and complex and teach advanced methodology and evidence analysis. My favorite exercises where studying actual document samples and trying to determine how to "squeeze" every last clue out of Elizabeth Shown Mills would say.

Any student considering enrolling should know that when registration opened this past January, it filled in about 40 minutes! Additionally, the IGHR Web site notes that there is a prerequisite of completion of IGHR Course 2, Intermediate Genealogy and Historical Studies; completion of the 16-lesson NGS home-study course, American Genealogy ("graded" option, only); completion of the PLCGS program (Professional Learning Certificate in Genealogical Studies) from the National Institute for Genealogical Studies, University of Toronto; certification by BCG; or accreditation from ICAPGen. If you do not meet one of the prerequisites but would like to enroll in the advanced course, you can also submit a paper demonstrating skill level in research, documentation and evidence evaluation.

Monday, June 28, 2010

BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy

PROVO, Utah — “Strengthening Ties That Bind Families Together Forever” is the theme of the 42nd annual BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy, July 27-30, 2010 at the BYU Conference Center in Provo, Utah.

The conference will offer 140 classes, with topics that include Beginning Family History, FamilySearch, Writing the Narrative Family History, Using Computers, Internet and Technology, Basic Research, Methodologies, Using the BYU Harold B. Lee Library, Research in the United States and Canada, Colonial America, International Research, British Research, and Tips for Professional Genealogists.

Keynote speakers are:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010, Elder Dennis B. Neuenschwander — “It Is More than About Names.” Prior to his call as a general authority (now emeritus), Elder Neuenschwander was responsible for the acquisition of genealogical sources throughout Eastern Europe.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010, Curt B. Witcher — “This I Believe: The Urgent Need to Record Living History.” Curt B. Witcher manages the Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He is a member of the Genealogy Committee of the American Library Association, a former president of both the Federation of Genealogical Societies and the National Genealogical Society, and president of the Indiana Genealogical Society.

Thursday, July 29, 2010, Daniel C. Lawyer — “The Future of FamilySearch (Something Big is Coming Soon).” Daniel C. Lawyer is a senior product manager for FamilySearch.

The conference will offer the following unique tracks: Basic Research, Beginner, British Isles, Canada, Computers & Technology, FamilySearch Methodology, ICAPGen, International, Methodology, Scandinavian, U.S. Research, U.S. States, and Writing Family History.

Register online at

Conference participants can register for credit (2 credits of History 481R–Family History Directed Research; cost $440) or noncredit (cost $175).

Limited on-campus housing is available. For more information call 801-422-4853, or visit

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Institute of Genelogy and Historical Research

Last week I had the pleasure to attend the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, also known as IGHR, at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. This week long institute provides a unique opportunity in genealogical education. Participants attend one course for the week and are instructed by nationally recognized genealogy educators. There are usually ten courses to choose from ranging from beginning to advanced, and including specialized topics such as military, land, and African-American research. A schedule of future IGHR courses lists the topics for the next four years.

Participants can choose to stay on campus in the dorms, or at a nearby hotel. There is a real community feel to this program. There is a break in the morning when you can gather with those in other courses and socialize. At meal time you can eat in the cafeteria and sit at table with eight others who share your passion for tracing roots. This year there were more that 280 genealogists in attendance. Many genealogists attend this institute every year taking a different course each time. Others save up and plan ahead to get to IGHR for a specific course they are interested in.

In order to share information on many of the courses offered at IGHR I have invited genealogists who took each course this year to write a summary as a guest author. I will share these with you over the next few months. I hope that this will give you a better idea of what is covered in each course and answer questions you may have.

This is one opportunity in genealogy education that I strongly recommend.

2010 British Institute

The following message is from Ann Wells, Director of the 2010 ISBGFH British Institute via APG:

Time goes by so quickly and it is hard to believe that the British Institute (BI), an educational opportunity through the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History (ISBGFH), is celebrating ten years!

Over the past ten years, we've had a number of excellent instructors and this year is certainly no exception. Instructors this year will be Barbara Baker, AG; David Rencher, AG, CG, FIGRS, FUGA and Darris Williams, AG.

This year's BI will be held in Salt Lake City from Monday, 4 October through Friday, 8 October 2010 with Barbara Baker teaching Pre-1800 Scottish Research. This class will help you find those pre 1800 records and will also explore lesser known records in an attempt to help you break down your brick walls.

David Rencher will be leading the course Making the Transition from Irish Church Records to Irish Land Records. This course will help you to glean the most from the available church records and use the clues found there to identify the lands of your ancestors.

Strategies for Discovering Welsh Ancestors will be taught by Darris Williams. This course will highlight methods for solving research questions that make Welsh family history difficult.

Please note that all classes are intended to be small, so space is limited.
Early registration ends 1 July. For more information about the courses or the instructors, see the society's Website

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Early Registration to FGS Conference extended

The following announcement was released by the Federation of Genealogical Societies:
Major conference brings opportunity to learn family history research

Early Bird registration extended to June 21

You can “discover who you are” at the Federation of Genealogical Societies national conference, in Knoxville, Tennessee, August 18-21, 2010.  The conference theme is “Rediscovering America’s First Frontier” and is co-hosted locally by the East Tennessee Historical Society and the Kentucky Historical Society.  The national event will feature lectures and workshops led by well-known national and local speakers covering basic research topics, as well as the latest in genealogy trends, technology, and methodology. 

The FGS Conference will be held at the Knoxville Convention Center in downtown Knoxville, just blocks from the East Tennessee History Center research facility and museum.  Conference registrants can still receive an Early Bird Discount by registering by June 21.  For more information, or and click 2010 Conference or email

Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy registration now open

Registration for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) opened today June 10, 2010.
The institute will be held at the Radisson Hotel in Salt Lake City (near the Family History Library) from January 10-14, 2011. Register online at

Tracks include:
American Records and Research: Focusing on Localities (Paula Stuart-Warren, CG)
New England Research Series Part 1 (D. Josh Taylor)
Ireland Research (David Ouimette, CG)
French Research (Earl Charvet)
Washington DC in Salt Lake (Pamela Sayre, CG and Rick Sayre, CG)
Professional Paths and Income in Genealogy (Kory Meyerink, AG)
Computers and Technology (Barbara Rennick)
Producing a Quality Family Narrative (John Colletta, Ph.D.)
Advanced Methodology (Tom Jones, Ph.D., CG)
Accreditation and Certification (Apryl Cox, AG and Connie Lenzen, CG)
Problem Solving (Judith Hansen, AG)

I recommend registering early as some tracks may fill quickly.

Welcome to Adventures in Genealogy Education

Come and join me on a journey to learn about the many aspects of genealogy. Whether you are a beginner, an intermediate, or an advanced researcher it is important to study:
  • sources of information
  • methods and techniques
  • locations where your ancestors lived
I plan to share all types of resources for improving your research skills and knowledge including conferences, classes, webinars, books, web sites, institutes, tutorials, articles and other resources I find useful. Please feel free to share your experience with genealogical programs and suggestions for learning in each of these areas.