June 2016 Courses

The following six courses will be offered at La Roche College, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and run June 26 to July 1 according to their detailed schedules which are available through each course link below. Registration begins on Wednesday, February 10, 2016, for:

Family Archiving: Heirlooms in the Digital Age
Denise May Levenick

Did you inherit the Family Bible? Or, were you tasked with emptying a family home filled with photos, documents, and memorabilia? Ancestral artifacts, whether found in private or public collections, can extend family trees, confirm kinship, and enrich family histories with social context and personal stories.

This course will offer researchers of all skill levels guidance in understanding, preserving, and incorporating family collections in legacy family history projects:

  • Genealogists who inherit family collections and want to learn how to safely preserve artifacts, efficiently digitize and archive both digital and physical materials, and use heirlooms to enrich their family history.
  • Family historians with a project in mind seeking ways to enrich genealogical writing or visual projects with material culture and social history artifacts
  • Professionals interested in offering archival assistance to clients seeking help digitizing, organizing, and understanding the significance of family keepsakes
  • Society members responsible for the care and curation of small collections, including paper, photographs, memorabilia, and artifacts.

The course is designed as a workshop to practice hands-on preservation, digitizing, and archival skills. Illustrated lectures and informative case studies will lay the foundation for new skills and techniques to be practiced in classroom and on individual projects. Attendees are encouraged, but not required, to come to GRIP with the idea for an archival project; throughout the week they may develop a project plan and practice necessary skills, so they are ready to move forward when returning home.


Fundamentals of Forensic Genealogy for the 21st Century
Cathi Desmarais, CG
Kelvin Meyers
Michael Ramage, J.D., CG

Come explore your potential role in the fast-growing field of forensic genealogy. The instructors – all experienced, practicing forensic genealogists – will cover a broad spectrum of topics including the types of work in which forensic genealogists engage, skills in “reverse genealogy” (descendant research), work products, and an exploration of the Genealogical Proof Standard as it relates to forensic genealogy. Throughout the week, students will research an actual case as a practicum, putting what they learn into practice immediately. Additional case studies also will be presented.


German Research Resources
Warren Bittner, CG
Baerbel Johnson, AG

This intermediate German course will teach tools for finding places in Germany, and introduce a wide variety of records types: civil records, maps, online sources, land records, citizenship records, etc.


Master the Art of Genealogical Documentation
Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG

Documentation lies at the heart of respectable genealogy. Without clear and complete citations to supporting sources no family compilation or report can be credible. Therefore, all serious genealogists document their work. Students taking this course will learn how to understand their sources well enough to describe them. Then they will learn how to apply that knowledge to crafting citations. This hands-on course will help students gain understanding of how to create conventional citations with artistry, clarity, completeness, conciseness, and competence.


Pennsylvania: Research in the Keystone State
Sharon MacInnes, Ph.D.
Michael Lacopo, D.V.M

For intermediate and above researchers who understand how the Genealogical Proof Standard forms the foundation for solid research but may not know much about Pennsylvania resources.  Our goal is to present a practical, in-depth, and fast-paced exploration of Pennsylvania record groups with a bit of fun and hands-on exercises.


Women and Children First!
Research Methods for the Hidden Members of the Family
Judy G. Russell, J.D., CG, CGL

The women of our families – mothers, sisters, wives – and the children they bore and raised comprise far more than just a hidden half of our families: women and children greatly outnumbered the menfolk. Yet they left fewer traces in the records and researching these family members effectively poses challenges for any genealogist.