Intermediate Foundations

Tuesdays, September 10 - November 19
11:00 am - 2:15 pm Mountain Time

To view availability, please visit Summary of Seats Available by Course.

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, a homework key, and written class homework summary comments.

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.

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 Sunday following the Tuesday 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.

Certificate of Completion

Students will receive a certificate of completion if they have attended at least 17 of the 21 class sessions in person, 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
  • Rebecca Whitman Koford, CG, CGL
  • Angela Packer McGhie, CG
  • Nancy A. Peters, CG, CGL
  • Kimberly T. Powell
  • Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL
  • Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA
  • Michael L. Strauss, AG
  • Cari A. Taplin, CG

Technical Coordinator

  • Irene Rossman


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


Tuesdays, 10 September - 19 November 2019

  • 11:00am - 2:15pm Mountain Time
  • Two 75-minute lecture/work periods, with a 15-minute break

Course Schedule

Times Class Title Instructor
September 10th
11:00 - 11:30am Introductions & Questions Scribner
11:30am - 12:45pm Introduction: Logistics, Homework, & Best Practices Scribner
1:00 - 2:15pm The FAN Club (Friends, Associates &Neighbors) Henningfield
September 17th
11:00 - 11:30am Homework Review Scribner, Henningfield
11:30am - 12:45pm The Genealogical Proof Standard, Sources, Information & Evidence McGhie
1:00 - 2:15pm Vital Records & Substitutes Koford
September 24th
11:00 - 11:30am Homework Review McGhie, Koford
11:30am - 12:45pm Research: The Question, the Plan & the Log McGhie
1:00 - 2:15pm Census Research: Expand Your Research to Every Census Product Scribner
October 1st
11:00 - 11:30am Homework Review McGhie, Scribner
11:30am - 12:45pm Transcribing & Abstracting Documents Scribner
1:00 - 2:15pm Federal Land (First Purchase) Sayre
October 8th
11:00 - 11:30am Homework Review Scribner, Sayre
11:30am - 12:45pm Citations: Why We Must and How We Can Scribner
1:00 - 2:15pm DNA: Basics, Tests, and Testing Plans for Genealogical Questions Bush
October 15th
11:00 - 11:30am Homework Review Scribner, Bush
11:30am - 12:45pm Local Land & Tax Records Powell
1:00 - 2:15pm Authored & Compiled Works: Trust and Verify Scribner
October 22nd
11:00 - 11:30am Homework Review Powell, Scribner
11:30am - 12:45pm Newspapers: More Than the Obits Taplin
1:00 - 2:15pm Evidence Analysis, Correlation & Conflict Resolution Peters
October 29th
11:00 - 11:30am Homework Review Taplin, Peters
11:30am - 12:45pm Legal Strategies Russell
1:00 - 2:15pm Probate Procedures and Records: Wills, Administrations & Court Records Scribner
November 5th
11:00 - 11:30am Homework Review Russell, Scribner
11:30am - 12:45pm Immigration & Naturalization Laws & Records Scribner
1:00 - 2:15pm Constructing Proof Statements & Proof Summaries Scribner
November 12th
11:00 - 11:30am Homework Review Scribner
11:30am - 12:45pm Finding Genealogical Evidence in Military Records Strauss
1:00 - 2:15pm Ethical, Legal & Educational Issues for Genealogists Scribner
November 19th
11:00 - 11:30am Homework Review Strauss, Scribner
11:30am - 12:45pm Review FAN Clubs and Student "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 where she lives with her husband and two descendants. 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.

Rebecca Whitman Koford, CG, CGL

Rebecca Whitman Koford, CG, CGLRebecca Whitman Koford holds credentials as a Certified Genealogist and Certified Genealogical Lecturer. Her focuses are Maryland and military records at the National Archives, especially those of the War of 1812. Rebecca has been taking clients and lecturing since 2004. She has spoken for the National Genealogical Society Conference (NGS), Association of Professional Genealogists Conference (APG), RootsTech, webinars for Legacy and APG, the Maryland State Archives, and for groups in surrounding states. She has published articles in the NGS Magazine, APG Quarterly, SAR Magazine, and the Maryland Genealogical Society Journal. Rebecca is also the Course 1 coordinator for The Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research (IGHR). She is a former board member of the Maryland Genealogical Society. She is a graduate and former group coordinator and mentor of the ProGen Study Group, an online peer-led study program based on the book Professional Genealogy by Elizabeth Shown Mills; she was appointed ProGen Administrator in January 2015. She has recently been appointed as the Executive Director of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, July 2018. Rebecca lives in Mount Airy and volunteers at the Family History Center in Frederick, Maryland.

Angela Packer McGhie, CG

Angela Packer McGhie, CGAngela Packer McGhie, CG, is a professional researcher, lecturer, and instructor. She coordinates the Intermediate Genealogy course at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, and the Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum course at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. Angela is an instructor at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, and the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records. She speaks at national and regional conferences, and is an instructor for the Boston University Genealogical Research Certificate program.

Angela served as the administrator of the ProGen Study Program for six years and is now on the board of directors. She is a past president of the National Capital Area Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists and has published in the APG Quarterly and the NGS Magazine. Angela 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.

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 DNAqualified 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.