Learning Genealogy Round-Up: May 2013

Learning Genealogy Round-Up is a monthly post about opportunities for genealogy education, brought to you by The In-Depth Genealogist.  Each month we feature an assortment of news, events, and announcements to highlight upcoming chances to learn more about genealogy and family history.

Mastering Genealogical Proof

Study Opportunities

Mastering Genealogical Proof, the newly released book by Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, is generating a great deal of interest from genealogists nationwide. Published by the National Genealogical Society and first available for sale at the recent 2013 NGS Conference in Las Vegas, the book fairly flew out of the booth. In its official press release, NGS noted:

“As a unique textbook on genealogical methods and reasoning in the twenty-first century, Mastering Genealogical Proof guides readers in acquiring genealogical skills transcending chronological, ethnic, geopolitical, and religious boundaries. Dr. Jones, a noted writer, lecturer, and editor in the field of genealogy, explains and develops the level of proof that is appropriate to genealogy.”

The workbook-style format of the book, complete with exercises for each chapter, lends itself to both individual and group study. One of the advantages of group study is the chance for discussion and exploration of different ideas and approaches. Two avenues for group study are now in the process of forming:

  • Pat Richley Erickson, also known as DearMYRTLE, will be hosting a series of ten weekly study sessions via Google+ Hangouts on Air (HOA), starting in June.  The HOA format enables a large number of people to view and comment on the discussions. After the live session, each installment will be uploaded to YouTube for easy and convenient viewing. Pat offers instructions and tips for those not familiar with HOA on her DearMYRTLE blog.  For more information about the Mastering Genealogical Proof study sessions on HOA, see her post, “Announcing: MGP Study Group—Hangouts on Air.”  Pat plans to offer additional sessions once the initial ten-part series is completed, so those unable to participate during the summer might want to watch her blog for future announcements.
  • Angela McGhie is coordinating a Mastering Genealogical Proof study program similar in concept to the popular ProGen Study Group program, which she also administers. Dr. Jones will be mentoring the first group of participants himself, and those people will then serve as mentors for future groups. Participants will study one chapter at a time and complete all the exercises, discussing the content with ten group members and a mentor.  Most groups will meet in private Google+ communities with video chat discussions. Times and schedules will vary from group to group. Angela has posted more information about the study groups on her blog, Adventures in Genealogy Education.  To learn how to sign up for the wait list for one of the study groups, see her post, “Gen Proof Study Groups—How to Get In.”

Both of these study opportunities are free, and between them they accommodate a variety of different schedules and learning preferences. If you’re interested in a studying the concepts and applications of the genealogical proof standard in a collaborative learning environment, you may want to look into these two options. You can order a copy of Mastering Genealogical Proof from the National Genealogical Society.

 Institute News

 Registration for the 2014 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) opens on June 1, 2013 at 9:00 am Mountain Time. Sponsored by the Utah Genealogical Society, SLIG offers focused genealogical study in Salt Lake City. Dates for the 2014 Institute are January 13-17.  Registrants will have a choice of 11 tracks:

  • Course 1: American Research and Records: Focus on Families, coordinated by Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FUGA
  • Course 2: New York Research, coordinated by Karen Mauer Green, CG
  • Course 3: Research in the South, coordinated by J. Mark Lowe, CG
  • Course 4: Scottish Research, coordinated by Carolyn Barkley, MLS
  • Course 5: Advanced Research Tools: Land Records, coordinated by Richard G. Sayre, CG, and Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL
  • Course 6: Credentialing: Accreditation, Certification, or Both?, coordinated by Apryl Cox, AG. and Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL
  • Course 7: Producing a Quality Family Narrative, coordinated by John Philip Colletta, Ph.D., FUGA
  • Course 8: Researching in Eastern Europe, coordinated by Kory Meyerink, AG
  • Course 9: Advanced Genealogical Methods, coordinated by Thomas Jones, Ph. D. , CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS
  • Course 10: Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum, coordinated by Angela McGhie and Kimberly Powell
  • Course 11: Problem Solving, coordinated by Judith Hansen, AG, MLS

For more information and instructions on how to register, see the SLIG 2014 Registration page on the UGA website. Click on the “Tracks” tab to get more detailed information on each course. SLIG is held at the downtown Radisson Hotel, just a couple of blocks away from the Family History Library. Special discounted rates are available for institute attendees. If you’re looking for a way to jump-start your genealogy education at the turn of the new year, SLIG might have just the track for you.

If you’re eager to get moving on your educational goals this summer, there are still some seats left in a few courses at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP). GRIP will be held July 21-26, 2013 on the campus of LaRoche College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Directed by Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL, and Deborah Lichtner Deal, the institute is gearing up for its second year. Registration is still open for:

  • Intermediate Genealogy: Tools for Digging Deeper, with Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA
  • Bridging the 1780-1840 Gap: From New England to the Midwest, with D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS
  • Your Immigrant Ancestors’ Stories: Writing a Quality Narrative, with John Philip Colletta, Ph.D., FUGA, and Michael Hait, CG
  • Military Records: From Cradle to Grave, with Craig R. Scott, CG

The GRIP website offers detailed information, including a day-by-day syllabus, on each of these courses. Attendees have the option to stay in LaRoche College dorm rooms, all with private en-suite bathrooms, just steps away from the classrooms and cafeteria. All meals are included in the on-campus price. A variety of evening programs are offered at no cost, and Maia’s Books will set up a genealogical bookstore onsite. Last year’s students enjoyed both the learning environment and the camaraderie of their fellow family history enthusiasts and instructors at GRIP, and many plan to return.

Registration for the 2013 British Institute, slated for October 7-11 at the Radisson Hotel in Salt Lake City, is now open. Sponsored by the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History, the British Institute offers a choice of four tracks on British Isles research taught by expert genealogists. Participants spend mornings in the classroom and afternoons at the Family History Library, where they can apply their new skills to their own research. For more information on the courses and registration details, see the ISBGFH website.

Tip: Click on the course titles for the tracks that interest you at an institute, and look for one that suits your needs. Most of the time, you’ll find a daily schedule complete with topic descriptions and names of any guest instructors. This mini-syllabus should give you a good idea of what the course will cover. Does it interest you? Does it sound like something that might help you with your family history research or writing? Will it give you a better understanding of how to do genealogy more effectively, or increase your skill level in a particular area? Once you’ve registered for a course and arrive at the institute, you’ll be given a binder with more detailed syllabus material. The binder will guide you through the week, then serve as a useful reference long after the institute is over.

On the Conference Circuit

The Southern California Genealogical Society (SCGS) Jamboree, “Follow the Path to the Past,” will be held at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel from June 7-9, 2013. This year’s Jamboree features a special emphasis on military records and African-American research. Registration is still open for Jamboree as well as the special one-day conference, Family History and DNA: Genetic Genealogy in 2013, which precedes it on Thursday, June 6. Keep up to date on the latest news with the SCGS Jamboree blog.

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) will hold its 2013 Conference, “Journey Through Generations,” August 21-24 in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Early Bird registration discounts are available through July 1. Attendees will have the added benefit of extended hours to research at the Allen County Public Library, one of the nation’s premier genealogy research centers. The FGS Conference News Blog offers frequent updates, announcements, and helpful tips for attendees.

Look for more details on both the SCGS Jamboree and the FGS Conference in “Summer Conferences Offer a Cool Way to Learn,” in the April issue of Going In-Depth magazine.  A variety of local, state, and regional societies offer genealogy conferences as well. Check the Conference Keeper website to find events in your area.

As you can see, this is a great time to be learning about genealogy!

Until next month,


About Shelley Bishop

Shelley Bishop, owner of Buckeye Family Trees (http://www.buckeyefamilytrees.com/), enjoys tracing and telling the stories of lost ancestors. She specializes in Ohio research. Shelley shares discoveries, tips, and resources at her blog, A Sense of Family (http://www.asenseoffamily.com/). She has published articles in several magazines, and writes about genealogy education for The In-Depth Genealogist.

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