SLIG 2025 Courses

Records and Resources

Course 1: Organizing, Preserving, and Disaster-Proofing Your Family Archive

Anette Burke Lyttle, MA

Annette Burke Lyttle, MAWe all have family archives, whether we think of them that way or not, and as family historians, we often end up as the “keepers of the stuff.” We have papers, digital files, photos, and family keepsakes that need organizing and preserving. We also need ways to collaborate with family members who have items that can be included in our archive and ways to share our family treasures with others. We need a plan for what will happen to it all when we’re gone. Our team of expert instructors will help us think like archivists and give us practical advice on how to organize, preserve, safely store, and share our family archives. We aim for this to be an engaging and interactive course, and students will each have the opportunity for a one-on-one consultation with a faculty member.

Course 2: Ethics and the Genealogist

Gary Ball-Kilbourne, MDiv, PhD, CG

Gary Ball-Kilbourne, MDiv, PhD, CGGenealogists constantly face ethical questions. This course is designed to enable genealogists first to identify those questions and then to reflect intentionally for the purpose of acting professionally and ethically when encountering such questions. Participants will consider several areas of ethical concern for genealogists, explore codes of ethics promoted by major genealogical organizations, consider how they will approach ethical dilemmas in their own work, and construct a framework for ethics in genealogy.

Course 3: Advanced Techniques: Material Culture Research

Gena Philibert-Ortega, MA, MAR

Gena Philibert-Ortega, MA, MARGenealogy’s history is rooted in those wishing to trace their family back in time to ancestors whose accomplishments seemed more remarkable than their own. Over time, genealogical repositories have boasted books and periodicals and special, archival, and museum collections that attempt to capture more than just the dry vital record dates of ancestors. Eventually, genealogy became a pursuit for the “everyman” (and woman), learning more about a distant past one generation at a time. Today, an emphasis on “bringing ancestors to life” through stories means the genealogist must master genealogical methodology while also understanding how to research the non-genealogical to weave a story that will interest descendants.

Comprehensive genealogical research requires incorporating the records and methodologies from diverse fields, including history, social history, and material culture. Material Culture, the story and history of objects created and used by humans, enhances genealogical research and the resulting storytelling. Material Culture can help inform and strengthen research skills and ancestral stories. In addition, the study, research, and analysis of material culture encourage better and more complete research techniques.

Students will have the opportunity at the end of the week to share a short presentation on a piece of material culture they have researched, if they so choose.

Course 4: Corpus Juris: Advanced Legal Concepts for Genealogy

Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL

Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGLThis course offers students an opportunity for a deeper understanding of the rich research resources of the law, including those generally available only at law libraries. Students will work with legal records and sources, gaining a better grasp of legal history and its implications for research as well as the skills to find and apply the law to solve genealogical problems. Individual sessions will focus on specific legal disciplines (criminal, civil, probate and the like) and students will have the opportunity to use resources often available only at major law libraries.

Regional & Ethnic Research

Course 5: African American Genealogy Methods and Strategies

LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG, CGL, FASG

LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG, CGL, FASGThis course is designed to be a skillbuilding experience that will take researchers to the next level by focusing on both methodologies and strategies for meeting the Genealogical Proof Standard when researching families that survived slavery. In-class exercises and a focus on case studies will arm students with the conceptual tools needed to overcome the challenges of researching during the antebellum period.

Course 6: Advanced New England Research: From the Colonial Period to the Early 1900s

D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS, FUGA

D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS, FUGABeginning with the colonial period and moving to the 1900s, this course offers an in-depth look at New England research, specifically focusing on advanced methodologies and underused sources. Individual sessions will provide a deeper historical and social context for those tracing New England families, providing specific resources for each Connective, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

International Research

Course 7: Italian Genealogical Research, Methodologies, and Sources

Suzanne Russo Adams, MA, AG

Suzanne Russo Adams, MA, AG“Open my heart and you will see
Graved inside of it, 'Italy'.”

         – Robert Browning, English playwright and poet

Italy is a land loved by many for its rich history and culture. Although the physical land covering modern day Italy has centuries old history, Italy is a young country made up of many states brought together by the Proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861. This course is designed to help students understand how some of that rich history has shaped the sources and methodologies to research record sources in Italy - civil registration, Catholic parish records, military, and census. Students will learn to recognize, locate, research, and analyze key documents to trace Italian family histories. Topics will also include methodologies used to research in big cities, DNA, Latin, handwriting, notarial records, and emigration. Students will have optional homework assignments to solidify learning.


Course 8: DNA Dreamers: Integrating DNA Evidence to Resolve Complex Cases

Karen Stanbary, MA, LCSW, CG

Karen Stanbary, MA, LCSW, CGThis course is designed to deconstruct, and study researcher decisions, strategies, and methodologies employed in the correlation of documentary and genetic evidence to establish proven genealogical conclusions. Examples include NEW case studies suitable for publication, research reports, and proof summaries/arguments useful in a Kinship Determination Project (KPD). The research problems are all long-standing genealogical brick walls that could not be solved without the skillful use of DNA and documentary sources. We will focus on a variety of strategies to meet the newly minted DNA-Related standards and the Genealogical Proof Standard.


Course 9: Advanced Genealogical Methods

Paul K. Graham, CG, AG

Paul K. Graham, AG, CG, CGLStudents in Advanced Genealogical Methods will learn how to assemble and use evidence to rediscover ancestral origins, identities, and relationships that have been forgotten over the passage of time. The course will address advanced use of evidence derived from a variety of genealogical sources and will explore research techniques for populations for which the usual records are in short supply. Students will also learn how to document their research and develop written proof summaries to reach accurate conclusions and create a credible record of their findings for present and future generations of family historians.

Proficiency Development

Course 10: Guided Research and Consultation

Craig Roberts Scott, MA, CG, FUGA

Craig Roberts Scott, MA, CG, FUGAExperience the power of having your own personal guide for an entire week as you research both online and in the Family History Library. Students will review progress and findings in regular group meetings and one-on-one consultations throughout the week as they work on their own personal research projects. Assistance will be available as needed during specific research hours.