Is it Worth Going to a Genealogy Institute?

Last week was the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy or SLIG, in SLC. I attended the Advanced Genealogical Methods course with Dr. Thomas Jones.  Susan Bankhead of Susan’s Genealogy Blog sat next to me and she has already covered our week of study on her blog, so I will share about why you should attend next year.

                                                                                                                              Last year was my first year at SLIG and I made some great friends. Carolyn and I ended up doing an exchange, where I did a look-up at the FHL for her and she did a look-up in Minnesota for me. She found the death certificate and 3 page obituary of my 4th great grandfather that totally changed my view and perspective of him. Priceless!
This year was no different and meet some great new people that I am already looking forward to seeing at Rootstech in a few days and next year at SLIG.
Making genealogy friends at the institute helps you in many ways:
They share resources and inside information.

They get your genealogy jokes.
They can commiserate with you when you hit a brick wall or are doing late night homework from Dr. Jones class.
Genealogists are a fun bunch of people to know period…some people might say a funny bunch of people – po-ta-toh / pa-tah-toe.

                                                                                                                      Attending a week long institute taught by such outstanding instructors really push your understanding of genealogy principles to the next level. PLUS there is the added bonus of studying at the world famous Family History Library. It doesn’t get better than that!

Next Year    
                                                                                                                                So you missed this years…plan now to attend next years and take advantage of a wonderful opportunity to learn, grow and have fun! Next years courses are:
  • American Research and Records: Focus on Localities, with Paula Stuart Warren, CG, FUGA
  • Bridging the 1780-1830 Gap: New England to the Midwest (and points in between) with D. Joshua Taylor
  • English Research
  • German Research
  • A Genealogist’s Guide to the Internet Galaxy, by Thomas MacEntee
  • Researching in Washington DC Without Leaving Home, with Rick Sayre, CG and Pam Sayre CG, CGL
  • Advanced Genealogical Methods, with Thomas Jones Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA
  • Hanging out a Shingle: Genealogy Marketing and Business Practices, with Crista Cowan
  • Producing a Quality Family Narrative, with John Philip Colletta Ph.D., FUGA
  • Principles of Forensic Genealogy, with Melinde Lutz Byrne and in partnership with Boston University
  • Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum, with Angela McGhie
  • Problem Solving, with Judith Hansen, AG, MLS

The next SLIG will be held January 14-18, 2013.  Registration opens June 2, 2012, so circle that date on your calendar and register early as courses fill up fast!
Check out for UGA’s website for details about SLIG and other great learning opportunities, like their free online Virtual Chapter’s monthly webinars.


  1. Great post, Valerie! I’m seriously thinking about Samford for 2013.

  2. Nice post Valerie! It was great to meet you and hang out in Dr. Jones class with you. Last night at the banquet, UGA announced the final lineup for next year. There’s a great Forensics class added. You can see the list at my blog: I’m looking forward to seeing you soon!

  3. Valerie, this sounds like a great experience…except for the homework part. 🙂 I don’t know if its right for me, but I do want to look at one of the Family History retreats I’ve seen advertised. See you in a couple of days!

  4. Tonia, I hear Samford is great…someday. Thanks Susan, already have it posted.
    Jenna, not all courses have homework. Dr. Jones’ course is a more rigorous course and the homework helps to understand and practice the principles taught. I hear good things about the retreats, but no experience with them. Can’t wait to meet up at Rootstech!

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