Hybrid Chapter

Next Meeting: February 28, 10:00 AM MT

Speaker: Jenna Smith

Topic: Solving Complex Problems with Indirect Evidence: A Midwestern Case Study

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Jenna will use a case study to demonstrate tips and techniques to solve complex research problems using indirect evidence. The research goal was to prove the identity of an early Oregon settler from Ohio using documentary and DNA research. This webinar will focus on the documentary research used to identify Jane's parents and their ten children. Various record collections were used, including state and federal census records, newspaper articles, deeds, and a Civil War pension application.

Jenna Smith Jenna Smith is a forensic genealogist who specializes in solving complex cases involving probate, real estate, and oil and gas cases. She started college as a math major with a computer science minor who took genealogy classes for fun. After many detours, she graduated from BYU in April 2016 with a degree with an emphasis in family history and genealogy (and a minor in math). She has thirty-five years of research experience and enjoys helping friends and family solve tough research problems.

Jenna first attended Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy in 2017 when she unknowingly registered for the advanced practicum. She survived and returned for many more institutes, including both forensics courses in 2021 and the DNA Dreamers series in 2022-2023

She is a mentor for the Association of Professional Genealogist forensic special interest group. She serves as a family history consultant in her community – helping new and experienced researchers develop more advanced skills. She has lectured on a variety of topics, including developing a research plan and solving difficult problems.

She loves living less than fifteen minutes from the family history library after being away for 25 years. She is happiest when she is relaxing on the beach, playing pickleball or spending time with her husband, three sons, and three daughters-in-law.

March Meeting: March 27, 10:30 AM MT at the FamilySearch Library

We will be doing Heritage Hunt (formerly escape room)

April Meeting: April 24, 10:00 AM MT

Speaker: Morag Peers

Topic: British Reformatory Schools – What were they and who were the children sent there?

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The mid-19th century was a time of rapid social change in Britain. The industrial revolution brought thousands into towns and cities looking for work, the British Empire was at its peak, a devastating famine hit Ireland driving even more movement into Britain’s cities and there was growing concern about the effects of alcohol and poverty on crime figures. Drawing on experience from France, the government passed legislation to allow the establishment of Reformatory Schools, to rehabilitate young criminal children, well away from the influence of their parents.

Morag’s talk will explore the ideas behind the Reformatory School movement, and how it developed over time. We’ll look at what sort of crimes saw small children sent to Reformatories, and discover the daily routine in a typical Reformatory. Using case studies, we’ll explore the stories of some of the children sent to Reformatory, and discuss where these records can be found and how you can use them to give depth to families found in your own family tree.

Morag Peers Morag Peers is a freelance genealogist based in Glasgow, Scotland. She started getting interested in her own family history as a teenager when a visiting uncle from America shared a huge, hand written family tree tracing her paternal line back to the early 17th century. She spent the next few decades researching both sides of her ancestry, finding deep roots in the Scottish Borders on the paternal line, and Ireland on the maternal line. In 2020, she started studying for the MSc in Genealogical Studies at Strathclyde University in Glasgow, completing large research projects on two Scottish Reformatory schools, and Scottish passport records.

Morag now has her own genealogy business, helping people discover their own Scottish or British roots, looking into house histories and offers ancestral tourism services for overseas visitors keen to visit the places their ancestors lived, worked and went to church. Away from genealogy, Morag has three teenage children, and is interested in crafts and visiting as many parts of the world as possible.

May Meeting: May 22, 10:00 AM MT

Speaker: Allyson Maughan

Topic: Add a Snapshot to Research

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Researching our ancestors involves a variety of records. Let’s add photographs to our list. Pictures can tell us many things about our ancestors. As we spend time with our family photos, we can find information to help add and move our research forward.

Allyson Maughan Allyson is a research consultant, speaker, and writer. She graduated from Idaho State University in secondary education in 2001. She completed Gen Proof in 2023, ProGen 53 in 2022 and a Genealogy Research and Writing Certificate from Salt Lake Community College in 2019. She passed her Level 1 December 2023 and will be testing in February 2024. She enjoys historical pictures and poetry writing and shares tips on familypicturesandpoetry.blogspot.com. If she is not researching, she is with her husband and three girls enjoying family time in Salt Lake City.