Recorded courses on Civil War, New England, World War I, and Professional Genealogy now available

Recordings are now available for the following courses, held live since December:

Each of these recording packages includes video recordings of the full course of four 90-minute lectures (6 hours of instruction!), syllabus material for all four sessions, and the practical exercise.

You can purchase these courses and all of our other past courses, from other nationally recognized genealogy instructors, in the Virtual Institute Store.

Powell’s “Professional Genealogy II” to begin next week!

Registration is still open for “Professional Genealogy II: Becoming a Better Professional Researcher,” with Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL, to be held 12 March and 19 March 2016. Both Standard and Plus registrations are available.

This course builds on Elissa’s “Professional Genealogy I: Your Plan for a Genealogical Business” held previously. Recordings for “Professional Genealogy I” are now available in the Virtual Institute Store.

Whether you take clients or work to a professional level on your own family, you will want to learn how to be an efficient researcher. Education is a key to your developing skills and creating your personal education plan will help you direct your educational time and dollars to the learning opportunities you need. Developing a coherent, succinct research plan for each project you undertake saves you time and your client, money. The report writing process should be a part of the research process, making it time efficient. Learning how to clearly communicate and display various types of data.

Registration for the Standard course is $69.99. Registration for the Plus course is $99.99.

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Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL, a western Pennsylvania researcher for over 25 years, is the co-director of the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), and Professional Genealogy Course Coordinator at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR). She is the Professional Genealogy instructor for Boston University’s Genealogical Research Certificate online program. She was the course co-coordinator of the AG/CG Preparation Course at the 2013 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG). She is a regional and national speaker on such topics as Pennsylvania records, methodology, professional development, and society management.

She was honored in May 2010 with the NGS President’s Citation in recognition of outstanding, continuing, or unusual contributions to the field of genealogy. She was a Director for the Association of Professional Genealogists for six years; taught genealogy courses at the local community college for fourteen years; co-edited a cemetery book series and appeared on the PBS-TV show ANCESTORS2 cemetery episode and the Travel Channel’s Dead Files in “The Instigator” episode. She is Past-President and a former Trustee for the Board for Certification of Genealogists, and past Outreach Committee Chairperson. She is a past-President of two local Pittsburgh societies and a contributing author to many publications.

Last chance to register for “Professional Genealogy I” with Elissa Scalise Powell

Registration will close this Thursday night for our next course “Professional Genealogy I: Your Plan for a Genealogical Business,” with Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL. The course will begin Saturday morning, 20 February 2016, at 11:00am (U. S. Eastern).

Many people who have been enjoying genealogy as their hobby are interested in knowing if they can make a business from their passion. Transitioning from hobbyist to professional requires a certain mindset, abilities, considerations, and business decisions. Before you jump in, take the time to make informed decisions about how you will create and operate the business, what types of clients you want to attract, how and how much to get paid, and the ethics involved in working as a genealogy professional. Learn why communicating with your clients and educating them about the research process while setting their expectations is important to your reputation, business, and for the prevention of common problems. Time management tips will be discussed.

Elissa will follow this course with “Professional Genealogy II: Becoming a Better Professional Researcher,” beginning 12 March 2016.

Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL, a western Pennsylvania researcher for over 25 years, is the co-director of the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), and Professional Genealogy Course Coordinator at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR). She is the Professional Genealogy instructor for Boston University’s Genealogical Research Certificate online program. She was the course co-coordinator of the AG/CG Preparation Course at the 2013 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG). She is a regional and national speaker on such topics as Pennsylvania records, methodology, professional development, and society management.

She was honored in May 2010 with the NGS President’s Citation in recognition of outstanding, continuing, or unusual contributions to the field of genealogy. She was a Director for the Association of Professional Genealogists for six years; taught genealogy courses at the local community college for fourteen years; co-edited a cemetery book series and appeared on the PBS-TV show ANCESTORS2 cemetery episode and the Travel Channel’s Dead Files in “The Instigator” episode. She is Past-President and a former Trustee for the Board for Certification of Genealogists, and past Outreach Committee Chairperson. She is a past- resident of two local Pittsburgh societies and a contributing author to many publications.

Click here for more information and to register for the course!

Save on all Virtual Institute recordings this weekend!

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s hard to believe that our first course was about one year ago, over the first two weekends of November 2014. Since then, we have hosted 14 courses from some of the best instructors in the country.

We are thankful for all of our instructors and for all of the students who have taken advantage of the Virtual Institute’s offerings.

To celebrate the holiday season, we would like to offer everyone a 20% discount on all recordings of our past courses!

To receive the discount, just use the coupon code HOLIDAY20 at checkout. The coupon will be good from Thanksgiving Day through Wednesday, December 2, 2015.

Audio/video recording packages of the following courses are currently available:

Each package contains all six hours of instruction as well as all syllabus material and all practical assignments.

For more information and to purchase some of these recordings, visit http://vigrgenealogy.com/store

Have a great holiday!

Warren Bittner, CG, to teach genealogical evidence and proof

The Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research is proud to announce “Genealogical Evidence and Proof,” the latest course from one of our most popular instructors, F. Warren Bittner, CG. This new course will cover the essential skills of analyzing sources, comparing records for agreements and discrepancies, resolving conflicts, and compiling proof—skills essential for the successful genealogist. The course will benefit those at beginning, intermediate or advanced levels.

As with Warren’s previous courses, “Genealogical Evidence and Proof” will be presented on four consecutive Mondays at 8:00pm U. S. Eastern Standard Time, beginning 23 November 2015 and ending 14 December 2015.

F. Warren Bittner, CG, is a genealogical researcher and lecturer. He is a trustee for the Board for Certification of Genealogists. He holds a Master of Science degree in history from Utah State University. His master’s thesis looked at the social factors affecting illegitimacy in nineteenth-century Bavaria.

Warren Bittner was a winner of the National Genealogical Society 2011 Writing Contest, with his article “Without Land, Occupation, Rights, or Marriage Privilege: The Büttner Family from Bavaria to New York.” This article was also awarded the  National Genealogical Society, Award for Excellence, 2012 which is presented annually for an outstanding article published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly.

He has coordinated German research tracks at the Samford University’s Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research in Birmingham, Alabama, and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. For six years he was the German Collection Manager for the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. He has done research in more than fifty German archives and in more than forty U.S. archives and record repositories.

Click here for more information

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Hurricane Joaquin fights the Civil War!

We at the Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research had to make a difficult but necessary call to postpone Michael Strauss’s course, “Drafted, Deserted, and Volunteered: A Comprehensive Study of your Civil War Ancestors.” All currently registered students were notified of our decision privately yesterday morning.

Michael is on the east coast this week, in the path of Hurricane Joaquin. He has already had to leave the area to avoid a loss of electricity and/or flooding. The moderator for the course is in the same situation. For everyone’s safety, the best course of action is to reschedule.

The course is now tentatively rescheduled for December 5 and 12, at the same times (11:00am and 1:00pm Eastern (New York) Time). We will make another announcement once the dates have been confirmed.

The good news is that there is still time to register for this course. Go beyond just the volunteer army records that are so often discussed and learn about records of the other branches of the military!

Thanks for understanding!

Last chance to register for “Digging in Federal Land Records” with Angela P. McGhie

Registration will close this Thursday night for our next course “Digging in Federal Land Records,” with Angela Packer McGhie. The course will begin Saturday morning, 19 September 2015, at 11:00am (U. S. Eastern).

Millions of Americans obtained land from the federal government either by purchase, donation, bounty land, or homesteading. The records created by these land transactions can be valuable for locating an ancestor in a particular time and place, and may also contain useful family information. Some land files include a detailed description of improvements to the land, evidence of military service, proof of naturalization, or testimony from neighbors.

This course will cover the distribution of land in the thirty public land states to individuals from 1798 to 1976. The sessions will take an in-depth look at the process for obtaining land, the records created, and the genealogical value they contain. You will learn about the surveying process and legal land descriptions, the Acts of Congress that authorized different types of transactions, the process for applying for land, and what can be found online and only onsite at NARA. We will examine records from each type of land transaction, including private land claims, bounty land warrants, cash and credit entries, homesteads, and donation land.

Angela Packer McGhie is a professional genealogist who has focused her career in genealogy education. She is the coordinator for the Intermediate Genealogy course at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) at Samford University, and the coordinator of the Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG). She served as the administrator of the ProGen Study Program from 2008-2014 and is now on the board of directors. Angela has been an instructor at the National Institute for Genealogy Research (NIGR) in Washington, D.C., the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), and Howard Community College in Columbia, Maryland.

Click here for more information and to register for the course!