Thursday, September 11, 2014

Minnesota Genealogical Society - Call for Papers - 2015 Genealogy Webinars

The Minnesota Genealogical Society invites proposals for our 2015 genealogy webinars. The webinars are via our account on the 1st Wednesday of February, March, April, May, June, August, September, October, November, and December.

The MGS Education Committee especially encourages proposals for presentations with content relating to Minnesota and Upper Midwest resources and important Upper Midwest ethnic groups, including, but not limited to, Swedish, German, Norwegian, French Canadian, and Yankees.

The Committee invites proposals for any of three broad topical areas.

a) "how-to" lectures dealing with a variety of genealogical sources, including:

  • Midwest land and tax records
  • Immigration and naturalization records
  • Midwest church and cemetery records
  • Midwest State censuses
  • General courthouse research
  • Marriage records
  • Wills and probate records
  • DNA as a genealogy research tool
  • Midwest libraries and archives
  • Remote access to Library of Congress and National Archives records.

b) webinars demonstrating emerging technology for genealogy, including such topics as:

  • Social media as a research tool
  • Getting the most from updates in and FamilySearch
  • Creative Internet research strategies
  • Cloud computing for genealogy
  • software for managing, organizing and analyzing genealogical information

c) Lectures focusing on methodology and problem-solving case studies are also welcome.

Audience: Our audience includes beginning, intermediate, and advanced genealogists. Ideally, lectures should offer something of value for all experience levels.

Format: MGS uses GoToMeeting for webinar delivery. Webinars are scheduled for one hour. We prefer lectures of 45 to 50 minutes, leaving time for questions. Lectures should be illustrated, using Powerpoint or a similar slide presentation program compatible with GoToMeeting.

Handouts: MGS asks speakers to provide handouts for attendees in digital format (PDF). The length of handout can vary, but four pages should be adequate for most presentations. The handout must be emailed to the specified MGS representative at least 5 days prior to the webinar.

Compensation: MGS offers a $125 speaker honorarium. Speaker expenses are not reimbursed.

Submission Requirements: Submit your proposals no later than 9 October 2014 on the MGS PDF speaker lecture proposal form available at If you have a preference of months, please indicate. Use a separate form for each lecture you submit. After you have filled out the form, save it with your name and lecture title and email it to the address below:

Submit proposals to:
MGS Education Committee
c/o Tom K. Rice, CG

Please direct questions about the webinars or the call for papers to

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research to Offer Unique Opportunities in Genealogical Education

RALEIGH, North Carolina, 9 September 2014. Professional genealogists Catherine W. Desmarais, CG, Michael Hait, CG, and Melanie D. Holtz, CG, are pleased to announce the formation of the Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research (VIGR). VIGR is a unique educational opportunity for genealogists of all skill levels.

The Institute will offer courses on a wide variety of genealogical subjects, providing “Vigorous” year-round education for the genealogical community using a virtual platform. Each course will consist of a total of four 90-minute lectures, two each presented on consecutive Saturdays, extensive syllabus material, and practical exercises. Limited class sizes of only one hundred registrants per course allows for a higher level of class participation and instructor feedback than typically offered by genealogy webinars.

Courses are currently planned around the topics of genealogical writing, advanced methodology, DNA testing and analysis, and cultural, regional, or record-based research strategies.

Many of these subject matters—as well as the depth of instruction—have never before been offered in a virtual format and are ideal for genealogists around the world. “VIGR will allow genealogists who work a full-time job or have limited travel budgets to more easily advance their genealogical skills,” Institute co-administrator Melanie D. Holtz stated.

Registration for each course will cost $69.99 and includes digital video recordings of all four lectures, available within two weeks of the close of each course.

For more information on the Institute and to register for upcoming courses, visit and subscribe to the mailing list for updates on future courses.


  • Michael Hait, CG, “Writing Logical Proof Arguments,” 1 November–8 November 2014
  • J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA, “Preparing the Field: Understanding the Agricultural Records of our Ancestors,” 24 January–31 January 2015
  • Maureen Taylor, “Family Photographs: Identifying, Preserving, and Sharing Your Visual Heritage,” 21 February–28 February 2015
  • Donna Moughty, “Strategies for Finding Your Irish Ancestors,” 7 March–14 March 2015
  • Blaine Bettinger, “(Finally!) Understanding Autosomal DNA,” 21 March–28 March 2015
  • Billie Stone Fogarty and Rick Fogarty, “Verifying the Family Legend of Native American Ancestry,” 18 April–25 April 2015
  • Melanie D. Holtz, CG, and Melissa Johnson, “Genealogical Applications of Dual Citizenship by Descent,” 2 May-9 May 2015
  • Paul Milner, “An In-Depth Look at the 'Big Four' Records of English Research,” 30 May -- 6 June 2015
  • Angela McGhie, “Digging in Federal Land Records,” 19 September-26 September 2015

CG, Certified Genealogist, CGL, and Certified Genealogical Lecturer are Service Marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluations by the Board and the board name is a trademark registered in the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Monday, September 8, 2014

2015 FGS Conference Special Early-Bird Price Ends September 12

Federation of Genealogical Societies 2015 Conference

Connect.Explore.Refresh — A Conference for the Nation’s Genealogists

September 8, 2014 – Austin, TX. Registration for the 2015 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference opened on August 27, 2014 with a special early-bird discount registration price of $139. That two-week special price ends on Friday, September 12, 2014. Beginning September 13, the price for a full FGS registration increases to $159. The upgrade pass to add-on RootsTech remains $39. Register now to pay the lowest registration price.

The FGS 2015 conference will be held February 11–14, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah in conjunction with RootsTech. Visit to learn how those two conferences will operate while sharing the Salt Palace Convention Center and to find out about sessions, speakers, luncheons, special events, and hotels.

Subscribe to the FGS Voice blog at and FGS social media channels (links available at to keep up with the latest news and announcements about the 2015 conference.

See you in Salt Lake City in February.

About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was founded in 1976 and represents the members of hundreds of genealogical societies. FGS links the genealogical community by helping genealogical societies strengthen and grow through resources available online, FGS FORUM magazine (filled with articles for the family history community), and Society Strategy Series papers, covering topics about effectively operating a genealogical society. FGS also links the genealogical community through its annual conference — four days of excellent lectures, including one full day devoted to society management topics. To learn more visit

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2015 Forensic Genealogy Institute Registration Opens September 9, 2014, at 1 pm EDT

FGI 2015 Set to Be the Largest Offering of Forensic Genealogy Training to Date

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Dallas, Texas – September 8, 2014 – Registration for the fourth annual Forensic Genealogy Institute (FGI) opens tomorrow, September 9, 2014, at 1 pm EDT online at With 100 seats available to registrants, FGI 2015 will be the largest-ever offering of forensic genealogy for intermediate and advanced genealogists.

The educational arm of the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogists (CAFG), FGI will be held March 26-28, 2015, at the Wyndham Love Field Hotel in Dallas, Texas. Registration for each course is $445, which includes 20 hours of instruction by expert forensic and genetic genealogists in just three days, minimizing travels costs and time away from family and work.

The 2015 FGI features two brand-new, concurrent courses designed for intermediate and advanced forensic genealogists:
  • Advanced Genetic Genealogy and Unknown-Parentage Cases
  • Forensic Genealogy Master Practicum
The “Advanced Genetic Genealogy and Unknown-Parentage Cases” course applies DNA and traditional genealogical research to uncovering the genetic heritage of individuals with unknown parentage. This area of forensic research is expanding rapidly, and genealogists who can use DNA to successfully address unknown-parentage cases are in great demand. Enrollment is limited to 60 students.

The “Forensic Genealogy Master Practicum” offers hands-on experience in researching various types of forensic cases, working with clients (including interviews and contracts), writing forensic reports or affidavits (students will write three reports), and participating in or observing a mock trial to defend a forensic report. Enrollment is limited to 40 students.

Courses are expected to fill, so early registration is encouraged at beginning at 1 pm EDT on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. The website also includes full details of each course’s curriculum as well as faculty biographies.

About CAFG

Established in 2011, the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy (CAFG) is a business league with a professional membership dedicated to the advancement of forensic genealogy, which is research, analysis, and reporting in cases with legal implications. CAFG promotes high standards of professional and ethical conduct, provides education and training opportunities, and assists in professional development though mentorship, full membership, credentialing, and awarding of fellowships. Learn more at