Course 1: American Research and Records: Focus on Localities
Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA
This intermediate level course covers 19th-21st century U.S. records and strategies beyond the basics. Learn more about unusual records, county, state and federal records, manuscripts, finding aids, specialized indexes, case studies, websites, and strategies. One-on-one consultations at the Family History Library are included as is a group research project. This course alternates yearly with a second half more related to families and individuals. The instructors represent a wealth of knowledge and experience and help you extend your research skills with suggested homework to immediately apply new knowledge to your own families. There is ample time for research on some afternoons.
Participants should have advanced beyond the “bare bones” beginner. We suggest rereading one or more basic genealogy guidebooks and being familiar with the Family History Library Catalog. ( It will help if you have taken a basic level genealogical class or two and attended at least one genealogical seminar or conference. Students should bring along some of their own family research materials including ancestor charts and family group sheets (either paper or on your computer) to use in immediately applying what they learn in class.
Coordinator: Paula Stuart-Warren, CG
            Debra S. Mieszala, CG
            D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS
            Cath Madden Trindle
Consultations: Karen Mauer Green, CG; Cath Madden Trindle; and Paula Stuart-Warren, CG.
  • Intro & General Class Information; Strategies and Organizational Tips & Tools for Busy Researchers at the FHL and Elsewhere  (Paula Stuart-Warren)
  • Delving into County Courthouse and Town Hall Records  (Paula Stuart-Warren)
  • Dissecting a Document: Getting from Point A to Point Z. Part I  (Paula Stuart-Warren)
  • Dissecting a Document: Getting from Point A to Point Z. Part II  (Paula Stuart-Warren)
  • The WPA Era: What It Created for Genealogists  (Paula Stuart-Warren)
  • Records Related to Ancestral Arrivals in the United States  (Paula Stuart-Warren)
  • Finding Ancestral Places of Origin in U.S. Records (Paula Stuart-Warren)
  • Newspaper Research Online and Off: The Dailies, Weeklies, and Beyond (Paula Stuart-Warren)
  • Genealogical and Historical Periodicals In Print & Online (Paula Stuart-Warren)
  • The U.S. National Archives: The Nation’s Attic  (Paula Stuart-Warren)
  • Land Records: Digging Deeper Online and Off (Cath Madden Trindle)
  • Building a House History from a Variety of Records (Cath Madden Trindle)
  • Legal Savvy for the Genealogist  (Debra S. Mieszala)
  • Source Citations Workshop  (Debra S. Mieszala)
  • Locality Resources: Maps, Gazetteers, Atlases and More  (D. Joshua Taylor)
  • Vanity Sketches: Sources and Truths Behind Mugbook Entries  (D. Joshua Taylor)
  • Plus FHL Labs/Consultations with one-on-one help on two or three days  (Stuart-Warren, Green, Trindle)
  • Wrap-up; Completion Certificate; Q&A  (Paula Stuart-Warren)
Regular Price: $450.00 Member Price: $400.00 Seats Remaining: 6

Course 2: Bridging the 1780-1830 Gap: From New England to the Midwest (and points in between)
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D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS
The expansion in America's territory between 1780 and 1840 resulted in a massive migration from New England and New York into the Midwest. As families moved across New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio they often left a scarcity of records, leaving modern-day genealogists with more than one "brickwall" to solve. This course will explore migration patterns, sources, methodologies, repositories, and other tools to "Bridge the Gap," when researching during this time period. Participants will have the opportunity to conduct personal research at the Family History Library during designated times or participate in group projects to improve their skillset and knowledge.
Coordinator: D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS
            John Philip Colletta, Ph.D., FUGA
            Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL
            Craig R. Scott, CG
            Richard G. Sayre, CG
Consultations: D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS
  • Historical Overview: 1780-1840 (D. Joshua Taylor)
  • Five Jumpstarts: Compiled Genealogies, Tax, Church Records, Imprints, and Newspapers (D. Joshua Taylor)
  • From New England to New York (and other points) (D. Joshua Taylor)
  • The Mighty Ohio: Migration West From Pennsylvania (Elissa Scalise Powell)
  • Group Project: Overview and Introduction (D. Joshua Taylor)
  • FHL Work (Personal OR Group Project) (D. Joshua Taylor)
  • Erie Canal Genealogy: The Peopling of Upstate New York and the Midwest (John Philip Colletta)
  • War of 1812 Records (Craig R. Scott)
  • Revolutionary War: Pensions and More (Craig R. Scott)
  • New York's Land Companies (D. Joshua Taylor)
  • Ohio and Pennsylvania Lands (Richard G. Sayre)
  • Bounty Land: State and Federal (Craig R. Scott)
  • Military Resources: State and Local Archives (Paula Stuart-Warren)
  • Case Study: New York (Karen Green)
  • FHL Work (Personal OR Group Project)  (D. Joshua Taylor)
  • Manuscript Sources, 1780-1840 (Paula Stuart-Warren)
  • Resources of the DAR: Beyond Revolutionary War Soldiers (D. Joshua Taylor)
  • Case Study: Pennsylvania (D. Joshua Taylor)
  • Case Study: Ohio (D. Joshua Taylor)
  • Group Project: Presentations and Discussion (D. Joshua Taylor)
Waiting List Signup Form

Course 3: Researching Your English Ancestors: Beyond the Parish Register
Apryl Cox, AG
Successful English research often requires use of more than census, civil registration, and church records. Many of England’s lesser-used records are valuable sources for solving genealogical problems and advancing your research. During this course, English research experts will introduce many of these lesser-used records and explain how to find and interpret these sources that span from the medieval ages to the 20th century.
This is an intermediate-level English research course. Class members should have experience using England’s major records—Church of England parish registers, civil registration records (birth, marriage, death), and census records. Some knowledge of other sources would be advantageous but is not required. Experience reading old handwriting would be beneficial but is also not required.
Coordinator: Apryl Cox, AG
            Apryl Cox, AG
            Barbara Baker, AG
            Vona Williams, AG
            John Kitzmiller, AG
            Phil Dunn, AG
            Raymon Naisbitt, AG
  • Review of England’s Three Basic Records (Apryl Cox)
  • Parish Chest Records (Apryl Cox)
  • Workhouse and Board of Guardian Records (Barbara Baker)
  • Probate Records, Part I (Apryl Cox)
  • Probate Records, Part II (Apryl Cox)
  • Paleography and Latin (Vona Williams)
  • Quarter Session Court and Ecclesiastical Court Records (Barbara Baker)
  • Chancery Court and Assize Court Records (John Kitzmiller)
  • Manors and Their Records (John Kitzmiller)
  • Heraldry and Nobility Records (John Kitzmiller)
  • Land and Property-Related Records (Barbara Baker)
  • Census Substitutes (Apryl Cox)
  • Big City Research (Phil Dunn)
  • British Army and Militia Records (Apryl Cox and John Kitzmiller)
  • British Navy and Artillery Records (Apryl Cox and John Kitzmiller)
  • East India Company Records (John Kitzmiller)
  • Nonconformist Church Records (Raymon Naisbitt)
  • Apprenticeship, Freeman, and Guild Records (Barbara Baker)
  • Methodology (Apryl Cox)
  • Onsite Research (John Kitzmiller)
Regular Price: $450.00 Member Price: $400.00 Seats Remaining: 6

Course 4: Germany: Advanced Tools and Methods
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F. Warren Bittner
This advanced methods course is designed for genealogists with basic church book experience who are ready to develop advanced skills. In addition to 25 hours class hours, each student will consult one on one with an instructor.
German language skills are not required.
Coordinator: F. Warren Bittner, CG
            F. Warren Bittner, CG
            Baerbel Johnson, AG
            Roger Minert, Ph.D., AG
            Marek Koblanski
            Daniel Jones, AG
            Heidi Sugden
  • Historical Overview of Germany (Warren Bittner)
  • Social Levels and Occupations (Baerbel Johnson)
  • Maps and Territories (Warren Bittner)
  • Gazetteers and Levels of Jurisdiction (Warren Bittner)
  • Tools for Finding Places (Baerbel Johnson)
  • Strategies for Linking People with Places (Baerbel Johnson)
  • Difficult Immigrant Examples (Baerbel Johnson)
  • Elusive Immigrant: Case Study (Warren Bittner)
  • Overview of German Internet Sources (Baerbel Johnson)
  • Online Village Family Books (Baerbel Johnson)
  • Church Resources Online (Baerbel Johnson)
  • Advanced Online Sources (Baerbel Johnson)
  • Marriage Laws and Customs (Warren Bittner)
  • Reading for Historical Context (Warren Bittner)
  • Complex Evidence: the Case of Balthesar Weber (Daniel Jones)
  • Farm Name Use in Northwest Germany (Roger Minert)
  • Austrian Internet Research (Heidi Sugden)
  • Tools and Methods for Austrian Research (Heidi Sugden)
  • German Research in Areas Now in Poland (Marek Koblanski)
  • Onsite Research in German Archives (Warren Bittner)
Waiting List Signup Form

Course 5: Researching in Washington D.C. without Leaving Home
Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA and Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA
This course presents some of the massive resources that are available in Washington, DC-area and other federal repositories and how to access many of them through the Family History Library (FHL), websites, and published sources. Records from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Library of Congress (LC), the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Library, and many other repositories will be explored. Students will learn to use finding aids, online catalogs, websites, interlibrary loan, and the holdings of the FHL to find, analyze, and understand federal records spanning the eighteenth to twenty-first centuries..
Coordinator: Richard G. Sayre, CG and Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL
            Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL
            Richard G. Sayre, CG
            Claire Mire Bettag, CG, FUGA
            Angela McGhie
  • Library of Congress Online Resources (Pamela Boyer Sayre)
  • Treasure in the Library of Congress Manuscript Collection (Claire Mire Bettag)
  • Navigating the NARA Website (Pamela Boyer Sayre)
  • Finding Individuals in the Serial Set, American State Papers, and the Territorial Papers (Richard G. Sayre)
  • Using NARA Finding Aids (Pamela Boyer Sayre)
  • Computer Lab in FHL (Richard G. Sayre and Pamela Boyer Sayre)
  • DAR Genealogical Research System Databases (Richard G. Sayre)
  • NARA Resources Outside NARA (Pamela Boyer Sayre)
  • Using FamilySearch to Find Federal Records (Pamela Boyer Sayre)
  • Computer Lab in FHL (Pamela Boyer Sayre and Richard G. Sayre)
  • Mining Washington-area Map Repositories Remotely (Richard G. Sayre)
  • Newspapers and Periodicals at the Library of Congress (Pamela Boyer Sayre)
  • Using NARA Regional and Affiliated Archives (Pamela Boyer Sayre)
  • Land Entry Papers: Federal Land Records at NARA (Angela McGhie)
  • Finding Ancestors in Published Documentary Editions (Claire Mire Bettag)
  • Federal Bounty Land (Richard G. Sayre)
  • Using Social Security Records (Pamela Boyer Sayre)
  • Finding Individuals in Military Archives and Published Sources (Richard G. Sayre)
Regular Price: $450.00 Member Price: $400.00 Seats Remaining: 11

Course 6: A Genealogist's Guide to the Internet Galaxy
Thomas MacEntee
As you work through your genealogy research projects, do you sometimes have trouble navigating the Internet highway? Perhaps you don’t know how to start your journey or the best route to take? What about the tools you need for your online research trip? Confused as to what works best and what should be avoided? And how about keeping up with all the new technologies that can improve your research and propel you into the next orbit?  You’ll learn not just what sites and applications work best, but how to get the most out of your time online.
A basic understanding of computer usage including desktop and laptop as well as how to connect to the Internet. Class will include wireless access and power supply connection (if possible) for devices so students can replicate online what is covered in each session.
Coordinator: Thomas MacEntee
            Thomas MacEntee
            Michael Hait, CG
            Kimberly Powell
            Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL and Richard G. Sayre, CG
            Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FUGA, FMGS
            D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS
  • An Introduction To Genealogy Blogs (Thomas MacEntee)
  • Clustering and More: Maximizing Your Online Searches (D. Joshua Taylor)
  • Creating an Online Family History Workspace (Thomas MacEntee)
  • Evernote for Genealogists (Thomas MacEntee)
  • Facebook for Genealogists (Thomas MacEntee)
  • Google Earth (Richard G. Sayre and Pamela Boyer Sayre)
  • Google Tools for Genealogists (Thomas MacEntee)
  • Managing Your Research Using Google Docs (Thomas MacEntee)
  • Lineage Organizations Online: Resources for Non-Members, Too (Paula Stuart-Warren)
  • Mobile Apps for Genealogists (Kimberly Powell)
  • Online Collaboration with Other Researchers (Thomas MacEntee)
  • Online Newspaper Research (Kimberly Powell)
  • Online Federal Records (Michael Hait)
  • Online State Resources for Genealogy: Beyond Ancestry and FamilySearch (Michael Hait)
  • Sources for Family History Books Online (Kimberly Powell)
  • Staying Safe Online (Thomas MacEntee)
  • They're Alive - Searching for Living Persons (Thomas MacEntee)
  • Tips for Finding Stubborn Ancestors in Genealogy Databases (Kimberly Powell)
  • Twitter - It's Not Just What's for Breakfast Anymore (Thomas MacEntee)
  • Utilizing Social Networks for Genealogy Research (Thomas MacEntee)
Regular Price: $450.00 Member Price: $400.00 Seats Remaining: 17

Course 7: Principles of Forensic Genealogy
Forensic genealogy combines modern science and classic research skills to solve genealogical cases dealing with legal rights. This introductory through intermediate level course presents lectures by leading practitioners followed by hands-on experiences. Compelling case work and pioneering methods will be presented by nationally acclaimed educators.
Coordinator: Melinde Lutz Byrne, FASG
            Mary Ann Boyle, Ph.D., CG, P.I.
            Colleen Fitzpatrick, Ph.D.
            Melinde Lutz Byrne, FASG
Please note that topics in this course will be provided in longer modules rather than traditional 75-minute classes.
  • Introduction to Forensic Practice (Mary Ann Boyle)
  • Questions that Require a Genealogical Investigation (Mary Ann Boyle)
  • Determining When to Accept the Case (Mary Ann Boyle)
  • Introduction to Forensic Genealogy (Colleen Fitzpatrick)
  • The Importance of Details: A series of historical photographs will be investigated to confirm or dispute provenance (Colleen Fitzpatrick)
  • The Investigation Plan: How to Solve Your Clients' Problems (Mary Ann Boyle)
  • Writing an Objective and Plan for an Investigation via Case Studies (Mary Ann Boyle)
  • How to Find People: Innovative resources and methods for finding people (Colleen Fitzpatrick)
  • Adoptive Searches (Colleen Fitzpatrick)
  • Sources of Data (Mary Ann Boyle)
  • What Not to Believe--How to Spot a Fraud (Colleen Fitzpatrick)
  • Unknown Dead: Effective Strategies to Name the Unknown (Melinde Lutz Byrne)
  • Burial Practices in a 17th century Graveyard (Melinde Lutz Byrne)
  • Analysis of Data (Mary Ann Boyle)
  • Achieveing Your Professional Goal (Mary Ann Boyle)
  • DNA Part 1 – What is DNA? (Colleen Fitzpatrick)
  • DNA Part 2 – Case Studies (Coleen Fitzpatrick)
  • Pathological Cases (Colleen Fitzpatrick)
Regular Price: $450.00 Member Price: $400.00 Seats Remaining: 10

Course 8: Producing a Quality Family Narrative
John Philip Colletta, PhD, FUGA
This course explores the different ways to compile the genealogical information you have gathered, write a narrative history of your family, and distribute it on paper or electronically. Using vivid examples and case studies, it demonstrates ancestor numbering systems, proper documentation, editing and proofreading, indexing, and how to weave oral lore, treasured heirlooms, and pertinent local history into your family’s story. It shows how maps, charts and illustrations enliven your prose. Solid genealogical scholarship and narrative family history writing need not be mutually exclusive. They can be complementary. Students submit one in-class writing exercise.
This course is for any genealogist who has already gathered a substantial amount of information and wants to produce a quality finished product for future generations.
Coordinator: John Philip Colletta, Ph.D., FUGA
            John Philip Colletta, Ph.D., FUGA
            Michael Hait, CG
  • Preliminaries: What, Why, How, and For Whom Are You Writing? (John Philip Colletta)
  • Turning Biographical Facts into Real Life Events:How to Build Historical Context (John Philip Colletta)
  • Principles of Good Writing and Good Storytelling (John Philip Colletta)
  • How to Use Artifacts in Genealogical Writing (John Philip Colletta)
  • In-class writing exercise (John Philip Colletta)
  • Lineage Presentation and Numbering Systems (Michael Hait)
  • Creating a Genealogy or Family History on a PC (Michael Hait)
  • Editing and Proofreading (Michael Hait)
  • Indexing (Michael Hait)
  • How to Create a Narrative of Biographical Facts (John Philip Colletta)
  • Documentation: Important for Readers . . . and the Author, too! (John Philip Colletta)
  • Using Newspapers and Cartographic Materials for Historical Context (John Philip Colletta)
  • Evaluating Evidence and the Genealogical Proof Standard (Michael Hait)
  • Electronic Venues for Publishing Gen. and Fam. His., Part 1 (Michael Hait)
  • Electronic Venues for Publishing Gen. and Fam. His., Part 2 (Michael Hait)
  • Publishing Your Genealogy or Family History as a Paper Book (fundamentals of self-publishing and subsidized publishing) (John Philip Colletta)
  • In-Class Critique and Discussion of Writing Exercise, Part 1 (John Philip Colletta)
  • In-Class Critique and Discussion of Writing Exercise, Part 2 (John Philip Colletta)
  • Writing a Quality Family Narrative: The Pitfalls and Snares (John Philip Colletta)
  • The Larger Literary Possibilities of Family History (John Philip Colletta)
Regular Price: $450.00 Member Price: $400.00 Seats Remaining: 5

Course 9: Advanced Genealogical Methods
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Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS
Students in “Advanced Genealogical Methods” will learn how to use and assemble evidence to rediscover ancestral origins, identities, and relationships that have been forgotten in the passage of time. The course will address advanced use of evidence from a variety of genealogical records and research in populations for which the usual records are in short supply (including female, enslaved, and impoverished ancestors). Students also will learn how to develop written proof summaries to show their conclusions’ accuracy and create a credible record of their findings for present and future generations of family historians.

Prerequisites: This intense course is targeted to “high intermediate” genealogists who have completed an intermediate-level methodology course or who have equivalent experiences, and whose research includes original or microfilmed land and probate records. The course will include required prereadings and three optional homework assignments.
Coordinator: Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS
Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS
Richard G. “Rick” Sayre, CG     
Claire Bettag, CG, CGL
*  Developing an Evidence Orientation (Tom Jones)
*  Developing Research Questions and Hypotheses; Planning an Exhaustive Search (Tom Jones)
*  Archival Research (Claire Bettag)
*  Military and Pension Records Strategies: Analysis, Interpretation, and Correlation (Rick Sayre)
*  Transcribing, Abstracting, Extracting, Quoting, and Documenting Sources (Tom Jones)
*  Bringing Law to Bear on Complex Genealogical Problems (Tom Jones)
*  Census, Census-Substitute, and Name-List Strategies: Analysis, Interpretation, and Correlation (Tom Jones)
*  Federal Research: Government Documents (Claire Bettag)
*  Probate Strategies: Analysis, Interpretation, and Correlation (Tom Jones)
*  Tax Roll Strategies: Analysis, Interpretation, and Correlation (Tom Jones)
*  Local Land Records: Analysis, Interpretation, and Correlation (Tom Jones)
*  Special Problems I: Identifying Landless, Enslaved, Peasant, and Other Impoverished Ancestors (Tom Jones)
*  Special Problems II: Finding Immigrant and Migrant Origins (Tom Jones)
*  Special Problems III: Identifying Female Ancestors (Tom Jones)
*  Resolving Conflicting Evidence (Tom Jones)
*  Correlating Sources, Information, and Evidence to Solve Genealogical Problems (Tom Jones)
*  Federal Land Records: Analysis, Interpretation, and Correlation (Claire Bettag)
*  Rural and Urban Map Strategies: Analysis, Interpretation, and Correlation (Richard G. “Rick” Sayre)
*  Writing Genealogy (Tom Jones)
*  Continued Advancement (Tom Jones)
Waiting List Signup Form

Course 10: Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum
**PLEASE NOTE: If there is enough interest a second session of this course will be opened. Interest will be gauged by the waiting list, so if you are interested in taking the course please sign up for the waiting list**
This hands-on course is an opportunity for advanced genealogists to put their research skills into practice. Participants will work on at least five complex genealogical research problems—a new one each day. Each case will require careful evidence evaluation and/or additional research to solve. The objective is to give each student experience in conducting research on complex problems, analyzing and correlating evidence, and reaching conclusions. The research problems will be varied, offering students the challenge of stretching their mind and skills in directions that their research may not normally take them.

Participants will work individually on the cases to analyze documents and evidence provided, and research online and at the Family History Library. The first case study will be distributed Sunday at orientation, and then class will meet from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. each day. This will be an opportunity to discuss the case with fellow classmates and the expert instructor. Participants will compare strategies and methodologies used, discuss difficulties encountered, and receive guidance from the case study author. Students will learn from each other as well as the instructors.

This course is designed for advanced genealogists who have sufficient experience and education to work on complex genealogical problems.
Cases for 2013 will be all new and presented by:
  • Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS
  • Stefani Evans, CG
  • William Litchman, Ph.D., CG
  • Mark Lowe, CG
  • Jay Fonkert, CG
Regular Price: $450.00 Member Price: $400.00 Seats Remaining: 6

Course 11: Problem Solving
Judith Hansen, MLIS, AG
Coordinator: Judith Hansen, AG
**Because of the advanced work necessary, please email Judi Hansen at for special permission to enroll late.**
Have a brick wall in your research? This unique course is tailored to your individual research needs! Enhance your problem solving skills while working with your personal research project for a particular ancestor or ancestral couple. Develop methodology, analysis, and research skills while focusing on your own needs and using the resources at the Family History Library. Students will be divided into small groups depending on the project submitted and will meet for two hours each day to review research progress (with two consultants and about five other students). Expert consultants are available for many geographical areas and are not limited to US Research. Students pay regular tuition plus a consultant fee.
Student involvement in problem solving requires a major commitment and advance preparation. It is divided into three parts:
  1. Pre-Institute: choose project focus goal: ancestor, time period, geographical area, and research questions and put together in a short summary. Then put together a project submission, including summary, time line, pertinent pedigree and family group sheets, research logs, maps, and short research paper detailing what is known about the ancestor including discussion of sources already utilized and what want to accomplish. THIS is DUE BY OCTOBER 31, 2012. Assigned consultants will return an initial analysis of the proposed research before Institute begins.
  2. Institute: Under guidance from assigned mentor consultants, conduct research and discuss research progress each day in assigned group. Learn from your peers in your group as they share  problems, progress and insights.
  3. Post-Institute: Update your records and research paper including what was learned during the week. Share findings with others including your PS group. 
Contact the coordinator, for questions concerning feasibility of possible research focus, request for detailed information for the required project information or other course information.
Regular Price: $515.00 Member Price: $465.00 Seats Remaining: 22