Courses

TWO Institute weeks are being offered in 2014, one in Pittsburgh July 20-25 and one in Orchard Lake, Michigan, August 3-8. Scroll down to see more about the courses being offered in each place. Click on the course title below to see the description of the sessions in each course.

Choose one of the courses to attend for the entire week. Each course consists of four lectures per day, except Friday which has two, finishing by lunch. The class lectures lead you deeper into the course topic and build your knowledge through presentations, discussions, and hands-on exercises. Some courses may have homework options.

To see what to expect, the 2013 courses have photos and detailed course schedules. The 2012 courses pages have photographs and course descriptions. Group photos are also available.

The six courses scheduled for July 20-25, 2014 in Pittsburgh are:

  • Intermediate Genealogy: Tools for Digging Deeper with Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA.
    Stuart-Warren focuses on unusual resources, manuscripts, methodology, and analyzing records. She researches across the U.S. and brings her experience into the class room. She encourages students to bring their own family history problems for brainstorming and discussion.  This gives a personal approach to the course which gives a solid foundation and fills in knowledge gaps.

 

  • Determining Kinship Reliably with the Genealogical Proof Standard with Thomas W. Jones, PhD., CG, CGL
    Learn how to achieve genealogical proof by planning and executing focused research, citing the resulting sources, testing the evidence they contain, assembling evidence into a conclusion, and explaining it clearly. Jones has edited the National Genealogical Society Quarterly since 2002 where many proof arguments are published. The course scope and sequence follow the content of his book, Mastering Genealogical Proof.

 

  • Becoming an Online Expert: Mastering Search Engines and Digital Archives with D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS.
    Explore the online world of records and repositories by efficiently being able to search for them. Learn the methods and tools to overcome database index challenges and find information on your family that is hidden in layers of webpages. Taylor is the Data Strategy Manager – United States and Canada for DC Thomson Family History and findmypast.com. He is the President of FGS, has appeared on the television program “Who Do You Think You Are?” and is a genealogist on the new PBS series, “Genealogy Roadshow.”

 

  • Finding and Documenting African-American Families with J. Mark Lowe, CG, and Deborah Abbott, Ph.D.
    Discovering families can be difficult and sometimes impossible. Follow proven strategies to gather and analyze a variety of record types while building upon each level for a strong foundation. Five case studies (spanning 1800 to 2014) illustrate how to apply the evidence. Both coordinators are recognized African-American experts. Mark Lowe has been involved in “Who Do You Think You Are?” and Debbie Abbott is known for her lectures in research skills, methodology, and alternative records.

 

  • Practical Genetic Genealogy with Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL, CeCe Moore and Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D., J.D.
    DNA test results can be confusing and their application to genealogy unclear. This course is designed to provide the in-depth knowledge needed by those who wish to analyze results and further research goals for themselves, their clients, or a surname project. These three recognized experts in the field of DNA analysis will provide opportunities for practical, hands-on experience in analysis and correlation of DNA test results utilizing the latest tools and techniques and will give recommendations for further research.

 

  • Law School for Genealogists with Judy G. Russell, J.D., CG, CGL and Richard G. “Rick” Sayre, CG, CGL.
    Understanding the laws that affected our ancestors is essential for kinship determination and successful research. This course explores laws concerning courts, estates, family law, immigration, legal research, military, and property laws. Judy Russell, aka “The Legal Genealogist,” has a blog by the same name in which she wittily explores timely issues and genealogical problems. Rick Sayre’s areas of expertise include federal records, military records, urban research methodology, technology and mapping tools for genealogists, immigration, the Ohio River Valley, and Western Pennsylvania.

The four courses scheduled for August 3-8, 2014 in Orchard Lake, Michigan, are:

  • Intermediate Genealogy: Tools for Digging Deeper with Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA.
    Stuart-Warren focuses on unusual resources, manuscripts, methodology, and analyzing records. She researches across the U.S. and brings her experience into the class room. She encourages students to bring their own family history problems for brainstorming and discussion.  This gives a personal approach to the course which gives a solid foundation and fills in knowledge gaps.

 

  • Determining Kinship Reliably with the Genealogical Proof Standard with Thomas W. Jones, PhD., CG, CGL
    Learn how to achieve genealogical proof by planning and executing focused research, citing the resulting sources, testing the evidence they contain, assembling evidence into a conclusion, and explaining it clearly. Jones has edited the National Genealogical Society Quarterly since 2002 where many proof arguments are published. The course scope and sequence follow the content of his book, Mastering Genealogical Proof.

 

  • Bridging the 1780-1840 Gap: From New England to the Midwest with D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS. Explore the migration patterns across New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan which left a scarcity of records and researchers more than one “brickwall” problem. Learn the methods and tools to overcome these challenges. Taylor is Business Development Manager – North America for brightsolid online publishing. He is a former Director of Education and Programs at New England Historic Genealogical Society. He is the President of FGS, has appeared on the television program “Who Do You Think You Are?” and is a genealogist on the new PBS series, “Genealogy Roadshow.”

 

  • Advancing Your Polish Genealogy with Cecile Wendt Jensen, MA. This course dispels the myth that records were destroyed during the World Wars and that language barriers make Polish research difficult. It will use Jensen’s illustrated workbook, Sto Lat: A Modern Guide for Polish Genealogy, as a text. Students will use records, databases, and
    archives to advance their Polish genealogical research. Jensen is co-founder and director of the Polonica Americana Research Institute (PARI). She has conducted research throughout the U.S., and in Poland at libraries, civil archives, diocesan archives, and local parishes, and has contributed to the PBS series, “Genealogy Roadshow.” See course description for information on other lecturers and topics, including records, finding aids, and Polish DNA.