July 2016 Courses

The following six courses will be offered at La Roche College, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and run July 17 to July 22 according to their detailed schedules which are available through each course link below. Registration begins on Wednesday, March 2, 2016, for:

Advanced Genetic Genealogy
CeCe Moore

If you believe that you are ready to graduate from the basics of genetic genealogy and take the next step in genetic genealogy education, then this is the course for you. Be prepared for a fast-paced learning experience intended for the genealogist who has experience applying DNA testing to family history research and has a strong foundational understanding of genetic genealogy concepts..

Diving Deeper into New England: Advanced Strategies for Success
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, optional homework assignments and discussion time will allow time for you to gain advice on your personal New England research with the course coordinator.

From Confusion to Conclusion: How to Write Proof Arguments
Harold Henderson, CG
Kimberly Powell

When the research is over, what next? How do genealogists transform the three-dimensional complexity of evidence into a coherent, understandable, written proof argument? This course will include both:

  • lectures and case studies demonstrating how published authors analyze, correlate, resolve contradictions, and write, and
  • workshops providing hands-on practice with a variety of tools and techniques for making data understandable in written form. Those who choose can get daily feedback by having their work displayed and discussed on screen in class. The instructors’ approaches will also be up for critique.

This course will not have much to say about research or citations. This course will also not include a list of ironclad rules that guarantee the production of a convincing proof argument every time. There are no such rules. It will, however, include a healthy dose of tools, techniques, and strategies to assist with analysis, organization, and writing. It will also feature examples of a wide variety of published proof arguments where you may find a model for your own pesky problem.

Intermediate Genealogy: Tools for Digging Deeper
Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FUGA

What’s the next step in your research and also your genealogy education? Have you moved
beyond the beginning stages of researching your family history? When we have checked the basic records and done online searches but still have blanks to fill in, we need to gain more leads and do a better job of analyzing the records. We will delve deeper into a variety of records, some that you may have never heard about, and where they may be accessed. During the week there will be some hands-on projects, small group discussions, and full class interaction as we develop research plans, delve into the records, and learn what may help to solve problems and fill in those blanks.

The class covers 19th through 21st century U.S. records and online resources. Prior to the course students will be able to send the coordinator a brief research issue of their own along with a listing of the U.S. places where their ancestors resided. The course includes some “homework” that is optional but strongly suggested. Students often find they like those learning exercises. An extensive syllabus including online resources is provided. While not required, it is suggested that you bring along a netbook, laptop, or electronic tablet for taking notes and for research on the week’s projects. Make sure you bring a copy of some of your own family history research (either as a database or in paper form) to use in putting your new learning to work.

Practical Genetic Genealogy
Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL
Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D., J.D.

PRE-READING: These texts are not required for the course, but the students will learn more from the course if they are already familiar with the techniques covered in one or more of these publications:

  • Aulicino, Emily D. Genetic Genealogy: The Basics and Beyond. Bloomington, Ind.: AuthorHouse, 2013.
  • Bettinger, Blaine, PhD (Biochemistry), JD and Matt Dexter. I Have the Results of My Genetic Genealogy Test, Now What? (self-published, 2008); v2.1 version with atDNA added is available from http://www.familytreedna.com/pdf-docs/Interpreting-Genetic-Genealogy-Results_web_optimized.pdf.
  • Dowell, David R. NextGen Genealogy: The DNA Connection. n.p.: Libraries Unlimited, 2014.
  • Hill, Richard. Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA. n.p.: self-published, 2012.
  • Kennett, Debbie. DNA and Social Networking: A Guide to Genealogy in the Twenty-first Century. Gloucestershire, UK: The History Press, 2011. This book has the most up-to-ate information available in print on Y-DNA, mtDNA, and atDNA.
  • Smolenyak, Megan Smolenyak and Ann Turner. Trace Your Roots with DNA. Emmaus, Penn., Rodale Press, 2004. Primarily covers Y-DNA and mtDNA.

Resources and Strategies for Researching Your Italian Ancestors
Melanie D. Holtz, CG

Genealogical research in Italy is exciting and varied! A rather young country, Italy was
formed by combining multiple city states during Italian Unification (1865-70). However, not all areas of current-day Italy were a part of this process and some were absorbed into Italy by treaty during the twentieth century. Understanding the history of this beautiful country is key to understanding what records will be found and what language they will be written in.
This course will give you a solid understanding of Italian research and will expand your skills and reveal how to go beyond some of the basic record types. You’ll learn about genealogical evidence and information and how we can apply these concepts to the records of our ancestors. We’ll discuss adding cultural context to your family history and what to do when your research encounters an ancestor who was abandoned. Several case studies will be presented which will demonstrate genealogical methodology, as it applies to Italian research, and you will learn about some of the lesser-used resources that can be used to extend your family tree.

Advanced Research Methods
Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA

Participants will develop advanced genealogical research, analysis, correlation and compilation skills. Hands-on activities, using original records, will enhance this learning. Examples are drawn from American states and colonies and European countries. Before the course begins participants will complete two pre-course reading assignments. Four homework assignments, providing opportunities for advanced skill development, are optional.