Intermediate Foundations

Thursdays, September 10–November 19
5:00–8:15 pm Mountain Time

Pre-Course Orientation and Tech Meeting: Tuesday, September 8, 5:00–7:00 pm

Sara Scribner, CG

Sara Scribner, CG

11 weeks of instruction

Students who select this course already have some experience in genealogy, either self-taught or from a beginner’s course. They’re looking to enhance their research skills from home around their busy schedule but still receive an in-depth, institute-intense course, and build on their existing knowledge and experience. The course will expand their ability to find and analyze intermediate record types such as local and federal land, military, immigration, and naturalization, and find the underlying laws. They’ll also learn how to conduct research using best practices and following genealogical standards.

Homework will allow students to practice new skills and to work in original records. Understanding will be enhanced by a homework review session in the week that follows, instructor presence in a closed Facebook group the week following their class session, and a homework key.

Level of Instruction


Technical Requirements

This course will meet online using Zoom Meetings. Sessions will be recorded for personal review and available for up to 30 days following the end of the course. Students are responsible to provide their own equipment and adequate bandwidth to participate actively in the course. Webcams and noise-cancelling headphones are strongly advised. Additional technical information will be sent to registered participants via email.

Required Online Accounts

Students should have a (free) FamilySearch account and either an Ancestry account or access to Ancestry at a nearby family history center or other facility.


Each class will have a homework assignment due the Wednesday following the Thursday class. Faculty members have designed homework to take the average student 2-1/2 hours. Depending on the student’s previous knowledge, the homework may take more or less time. Since there are two classes every week students should budget at least five hours each week outside of class to complete homework.

Other Requirements

The following books will be helpful to understanding materials presented in the course and to completing homework, but are not required: Board for Certification of Genealogists Genealogy Standards, 2nd ed.; Val D. Greenwood The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy, Part Two; Thomas W. Jones, Mastering Genealogical Proof; and Elizabeth Shown Mills Evidence Explained.

Facebook Group

There will be a closed Facebook Group dedicated to this course. Students may use it for discussion and announcements will be posted there by the Coordinator. Faculty members will periodically check and respond to posts in this group in the week following their presentation.

Certificate of Completion

Students will receive a certificate of completion if they have attended at least 17 of the 21 class sessions in person, unless otherwise approved, and either attended or watched each of the class sessions and submitted the required homework. The Technical Coordinator will maintain an attendance and homework submission roll. Registration to watch a recording will be considered adequate for “attendance” purposes.

Other Instructors

  • Angie Bush, MS
  • Melinda Daffin Henningfield, CG
  • Angela Packer McGhie, CG
  • Nancy A. Peters, CG, CGL
  • Gena Philibert-Ortega, MA, MAR
  • Kimberly T. Powell
  • Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL
  • Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA
  • Michael L. Strauss, AG
  • Cari A. Taplin, CG


  • Regular Price: $495.00
  • UGA Member Price: $475.00


Thurdays, 10 September–19 November 2019

  • 5:00–8:15 pm Mountain Time
  • Two 75-minute lecture/work periods, with a 15-minute break

Course Schedule

Times Class Title Instructor
Tuesday, September 8th
5:00–7:00 pm Pre-Course Orientation and Tech Meeting  
September 10th
5:00–6:15 pm Course Overview & Intellectual Property Concepts Scribner
6:30–7:45 pm The FAN Club (Friends, Associates & Neighbors) Henningfield
7:45–8:00 pm Introduction to the FAN Club Project Henningfield
8:00–8:15 pm Introduction to the Forman Immigration Project Scribner
September 17th
5:00–5:30 pm Homework Review Scribner, Henningfield
5:30–6:45 pm The Genealogical Proof Standard: Sources, Information & Evidence McGhie
7:00–8:15 pm Verifying BMD: Vital Records & Vital Record Alternatives Philibert-Ortega
September 24th
5:00–5:30 pm Homework Review McGhie, Philibert-Ortega
5:30–6:45 pm Planning, Conducting & Recording Genealogical Research McGhie
7:00–8:15 pm DNA Basics, Tests & Testing Plans for Genealogy Bush
October 1st
5:00–5:30 pm Homework Review McGhie, Bush
5:30–6:45 pm Using Authored Works Strategically Scribner
7:00–8:15 pm Federal Land (First Purchase) Sayre
October 8th
5:00–5:30 pm Homework Review (REMINDER: FAN Club Project due Midnight October 14) Scribner, Sayre
5:30–6:45 pm Newspaper Research: More Than Obits Taplin
7:00–8:15 pm Citations: Why & How Scribner
October 15th
5:00–5:30 pm Homework Review Taplin, Scribner
5:30–6:45 pm Local Land Records Powell
7:00–8:15 pm Census: Use Every Product Scribner
October 22nd
5:00–5:30 pm Homework Review Powell, Scribner
5:30–6:45 pm Evidence Analysis, Correlation & Conflict Resolution Peters
7:00–8:15 pm Immigration and Naturalization: Laws & Records Scribner
October 29th
5:00–5:30 pm Homework Review  (REMINDER: Forman Immigration Project due Midnight, November 4th) Peters, Scribner
5:30–6:45 pm Legal Strategies: Foundations of Genealogical Research Russell
7:00–8:15 pm Probate: Wills, Administrations & Court Records Scribner
November 5th
5:00–5:30 pm
Homework Review Russell, Scribner
5:30–6:45 pm Transcribing & Abstracting Documents Peters
7:00–8:15 pm Constructing Proof Statements & Proof Summaries Scribner
November 12th
5:00–5:30 pm Homework Review Peters, Scribner
5:30–6:45 pm Finding Genealogical Evidence in Military Records Strauss
7:00–8:15 pm Ethics & Educational Plans Scribner
November 19th
5:00–5:30 pm Homework Review Strauss, Scribner
5:30–6:00 pm Project Review (FAN Club & Forman Projects) Henningfield, Scribner
6:00–7:00 pm Educational Next Steps Scribner


Angie Bush, MS

Angie Bush, MSAngie Bush, MS (Biotechnology), BS (Molecular Biology), is the Director of Region 1 for the National Genealogical Society. She is a professional genetic genealogist and has been researching her own family since she was 8 years old. She regularly provides advice regarding genetic genealogy to other genealogists in the Salt Lake City area. Prior to her involvement with genetic genealogy, she pursued a career in molecular and clinical genetics. Between obtaining her bachelor's and master's degrees, she spent several years working in the biotech industry where she gained an in-depth, working knowledge of the technologies used in DNA testing. Angie has helped many adoptees to find their biological family through autosomal DNA testing, and is particularly focused on using DNA as a genealogical record to reconstruct relationships and break down brick walls – whether they are recent or several hundred years old.

Angie is a member of the Association for Professional Genealogists, International Society of Genetic Genealogists and Utah Genealogical Association.

Melinda Daffin Henningfield, CG

Melinda Daffin Henningfield, CGMelinda Daffin Henningfield, CG, is a professional genealogist, lecturer, and author. Her educational background includes a BA in History Education, a BS and an MS in Nursing, and a certificate as a Nurse Practitioner. She belongs to the National Genealogy Society, the Association of Professional Genealogists, and many regional, state, and local genealogical societies. She specializes in solving complex genealogical problems involving DNA, separating and identifying individuals with common names, as well as migration, and immigration. She has written articles published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, OnBoard, Crossroads, and other genealogical publications. A native of Florida, she has deep southern roots on her mother's side and northeastern and southern ancestry on her father's side.

Angela Packer McGhie, CG

Angela Packer McGhie, CGAngela Packer McGhie, CG, has a passion for teaching genealogy. She is the Education Director for the National Genealogical Society and the vice president of the Board for Certification of Genealogists. Angela enjoys coordinating courses for the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and she teaches at several other genealogy institutes. She served as the administrator of the ProGen Study Program for six years and is now on the board of directors.

Angela speaks at national conferences and has published articles in Crossroads, the APG Quarterly, and the NGS Magazine. She is a past president of the National Capital Area Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists and currently serves a trustee for the Board for Certification of Genealogists Education Fund.

Nancy A. Peters, CG, CGL

Nancy A. Peters, CG, CGLNancy A. Peters, CG, CGL, is a full-time professional genealogist and coeditor of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. She serves on the executive committee and as a trustee for the Board for Certification of Genealogists and is the former editor of its newsletter, OnBoard. She lectures at conferences and is an instructor for SLIG, SLIG Academy, and BCG Education Fund workshops on skill-building topics and genealogy standards. Her published work has appeared in the NGSQ, other genealogical journals, and Professional Genealogy: Preparation, Practice, & Standards (2018). Nancy’s client and personal research focuses primarily on England, Germany, New York, and the southeastern United States.

Gena Philibert-Ortega, MA, MAR

Gena Philibert-Ortega, MA, MARGena Philibert-Ortega, MA, MAR, is an author, researcher, and instructor whose focus is genealogy, social and women's history. She holds a Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Psychology and Women's Studies) and a Master’s degree in Religion. Her published works include three books, numerous articles published in magazines and online, two volumes of Tracing Female Ancestors (Moorshead Publishing), Tracing Your Ancestors: Hispanic Research (Moorshead Publishing) and a QuickGuide from Legacy Family Tree. She is the editor of the Utah Genealogical Association’s magazine, Crossroads. Her writings can be found on her blogs, Gena’s Genealogy and Food.Family.Ephemera as well as the GenealogyBank and Legacy Family Tree blogs. She is a course instructor for The National Institute for Genealogical Studies and has written courses on topics involving websites, social media, and ethics. She has presented to diverse groups worldwide including the National Genealogical Society Conference, the Alberta Genealogical Society Conference, the Geo-Literary Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Legacy Family Tree Webinar series. Her research projects include Sowerby’s British Mineralogy: Its Influence on Martha Proby and Others in the Scientific Community during the 19th Century for the Gemological Institute of America, as well as genealogical research for the first season of PBS’s Genealogy Roadshow and the Travel Channel’s Follow Your Past. Her current research includes women's repatriation and citizenship in the 20th century, foodways and community in fundraising cookbooks, and women's material culture.

Kimberly T. Powell

Kimberly PowellKimberly T. Powell is a professional genealogist, author, educator, and volunteer. She is a past president of the Association of Professional Genealogists, serving seven years as a Director and on APG’s Professional Development Committee. She is on the faculty of the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, and Boston University’s Genealogical Research Certificate Program.

Kimberly was the genealogy expert for from 2000 to 2016 and is the author of several books, including The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy, 3rd ed. (Adams Media, 2014). She has published articles in BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? magazine, Family Tree Magazine, NGS Magazine, and the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly. She is the proud recipient of the Utah Genealogical Association’s Silver Tray award for genealogical publishing (2012) and the Grahame T. Smallwood Jr. Award of Merit from the Association of Professional Genealogists (2017). You can find her online at LearnGenealogy.

Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL

Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL"The Legal Genealogist," Judy G. Russell, is a genealogist with a law degree. She writes, teaches and lectures on a wide variety of genealogical topics, ranging from using court records in family history to understanding DNA testing. A Colorado native with roots deep in the American south on her mother’s side and entirely in Germany on her father’s side, she is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the National Genealogical Society and numerous state and regional genealogical societies. She has written for the National Genealogical Society Quarterly and National Genealogical Society Magazine, among other publications.

Judy is on the faculty of the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research in Georgia, the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, and Boston University’s Center for Professional Education. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, from which she holds credentials as a Certified Genealogist and Certified Genealogical Lecturer. Her blog – chosen as one of the American Bar Association’s top 100 in 2013 and 2014 – appears at The Legal Genealogist website.

Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA

Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGARick Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA, is a long-time researcher and instructor in genealogical topics. He coordinates the Using Maps in Genealogy course at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at the University of Georgia. He also instructs in the Advanced Methodology course, the Techniques and Technology course, the Advanced Military courses, and a variety of other IGHR courses. Rick and his wife Pam coordinate the Advanced Land course offered by the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) and the Advanced Land course at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP).

Rick co-coordinates with Judy Russell, JD, CG, CGL, the Law School for Genealogists at GRIP and the FHL Law Library course at SLIG. He also lectures at national conferences and presents nationwide seminars. His areas of expertise encompass records of the National Archives, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Daughters of the American Revolution, including military records, land records, using maps in genealogy, urban research, and government documents. Rick is experienced in the localities of western Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Sara Scribner, CG

Sara Scribner, CGA genealogist with extensive experience in American, Canadian, and English sources, Sara focuses on impeccable research methods and in-depth problem analysis. Scribner retired from a forty-plus year career in public and academic research libraries to open Scribner Genealogy, a Salt Lake City-based research firm. Her "No Name, No Number: Identifying George Holmes's Orphans of Washington and Jefferson Counties, Georgia," appeared as the lead article in the peer-reviewed National Genealogical Society Quarterly September 2015 issue. She lectures regularly at national genealogical conferences on a wide variety of subjects, including delivering the 2017 BCG Educational Fund Lecture “Make Your Case: Constructing and Writing Proof Arguments.”

Born in Macon, Georgia, to a Southern mother and a first generation Canadian-American father, she soon discovered the joys of Quaker and Loyalist research, and the sorrows of research in the south. Her traditional educational background prepared her for nit-picking old, hard-to-read documents, and always aiming for excellence. She holds an AB in Drama from Vassar College, a BFA in Drawing from the California College of the Arts, and an MS in Library Science from Simmons University.

Michael L. Strauss, AG

Michael L. Strauss, AGMichael L. Strauss, AG, is a professional Accredited Genealogist and a nationally recognized genealogical speaker. He has been employed as a forensic genealogist for 25 years and has a BA in history and is a United States Coast Guard veteran. Michael is also a qualified expert witness in the courts in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, and an approved genealogist with the United States Army to locate DNA qualified persons MIA from Korea, Vietnam, and World War II. Strauss has been a faculty member of IGHR, SLIG, and GRIP and has been involved in Civil War reenacting for more than 25 years and also reenacts the Mormon Battalion with the Utah Living History Association.

Cari A. Taplin, CG

Cari A. Taplin, CGCari A. Taplin, CG, is related to Roy Rogers. Or at least that’s what her family told her. As a result, finding her true heritage has been her focus since the year 2000. She is a native of Wood County, Ohio but migrated to Wyoming, Colorado and now Pflugerville, Texas which is just outside Austin. Cari holds the Certified Genealogist credential and has served in a wide variety of volunteer and leadership positions for state, local, and national societies. She currently serves on the boards of the Association for Professional Genealogists and the Federation of Genealogical Societies. As the owner of GenealogyPANTS, she provides speaking, research, and consultation services. Cari focuses on midwestern and Great Lakes states and methodology.