My work this week? Final Preparation for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy Northern Plains Course.

The 29th annual Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) takes place January 22-26, 2024, virtually. With the increase in various viruses spreading, that virtual part is smart news. I am working on the final touches in my presentations for Course 8: “Researching Along the Northern Plains” that is coordinated by Gary Ball-Kilbourne. The syllabus material was turned in long ago and some extra pages for my sessions will be made available to students.

What are the Northern Plains? For this course, Gary has described it as “the entirety of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska, plus western Minnesota, western Iowa, and eastern Montana.”

Students are going to be amazed at the varied resources we have at our fingertips and by contacting and visiting the various repositories in our target states.

My sessions take place on Tuesday morning, January 23d.

Native Americans of the Northern Plains: Repositories, Records, and Connections, I & II

I cover methods for locating and using the abundant and rich sources to research Native American family history. The discussion and syllabus cover Indian census and annuity rolls, oral history, manuscripts, Indian school records, church records, and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and related collections at the U.S. National Archives locations in Washington, DC, Kansas City, and Denver. The importance of understanding the historical context of the records, and the lives they reflect, will be discussed.

Many are unaware of the connections between the original residents of these Northern Plains states and those who came later including marriage, children, businesses, trading, and farming. Learn about the records available at county, state, and national repositories, and the connections between the various areas of the Northern Plains. My work in these records for individuals, historical societies, law firms, and Tribes covers several decades.

To learn more about the other great sessions in this course, visit this link and scroll down to Course 8.

Free Board for Certification of Genealogists Sponsored 2024 Webinars

Registration for the Board for Certification of Genealogists’ (BCG) twelve monthly webinars in 2024 is now live at its partner website Legacy Family Tree Webinars. (  

BCG Upcoming Webinars Dates, topics, and speakers are shown below:

16 Jan 2024 Shannon Green, CG “The Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS): A Review”

20 Feb 2024 Jerry Smith, CG “Metes & Bounds Land Plats Solve Genealogical Problems”

19 Mar 2024 Jill Morelli, CG, CGL “Maternal Threads Unwoven: Identifying Margareta’s Mother in 18th Century Sweden”

16 Apr 2024 Anne Morddel, CG “French Emigrants: They Were Not All Huguenots, or Nobles, or from Alsace-Lorraine”

21 May 2024 Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, “Editing Your Own Writing – Part 1”

18 Jun 2024 Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG “Editing Your Own Writing – Part 2”

16 Jul 2024 David Ouimette, CG, CGL “Oral Genealogy in Asia-Pacific: The Essence of Personal Identity and Tribal Connections”

20 Aug 2024 Debbie Mieszala, CG “He Had a Brother Who Disappeared: Finding John H. Hickey, Formerly of Rockton, Winnebago County, Illinois”

17 Sep 2024 LaBrenda Garret-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG, CGL, FASG, “A Myriad of Slave Databases”

15 Oct 2024 Robbie Johnson, CG “Sense and Sensibility: The Power of Logic, Intuition, and Critical Thinking”

19 Nov 2024 Yvette Hoitink, CG “Dear Me: Writing Research Reports to Yourself”

17 Dec 2024 Mary Kircher Roddy, CG “Lost and Found: Locating Ancestral Origins with FAN Club and DNA”

“Education is one of the most significant ways of achieving BCG’s mission for promoting public confidence in genealogy through uniform standards of competence,” said President Faye Jenkins Stallings, CG. “We appreciate this opportunity to provide these webinars that focus on the standards that help family historians of all levels practice good genealogy.”

Following the free period for these webinars, BCG receives a small commission if you view any BCG webinar by clicking at our affiliate link: For access to all BCG webinars, see the BCG Webinar Library at Legacy Family Tree Webinars (

To see the full list of BCG-sponsored webinars for 2024, visit the BCG blog SpringBoard at For additional resources for genealogical education, please visit the BCG Learning Center (

Native American recognition in a movie and at the Golden Globes, Lily Gladstone!

Have you had the opportunity to watch the movie, Killers of the Flower Moon? It is based on a true story about the discovery of oil on Osage Nation Land in Oklahoma. Members of the Osage Nation were being murdered, many involved in supposedly trying to solve the murders were not honest, and finally the FBI did step in. The murders were committed by people determined to gain access to any wealth of Osasge members due to their ownership of valuable mineral rights.

Another issue I had previously learned from historical research is that the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and its handling of the mineral rights of Tribal members across the U.S. was not without graft, lies, and cheating. Many Native Americans were not receiving all their mineral right funds in a timely fashion from the BIA. It was sad to read that people died while the BIA and other government officials took their time in these matters. Some were cheated out of what was rightfully their own income due to bureauocracy. The National Archives holds BIA material related to correspondence, payments, and inheritance rights for much of Indian Country.

Lilly Gladstone, who has Indigenous roots, was a star in the movie and won the Golden Globe award for Best Female Actor in a Drama Motion Picture. I watched it live and highly recommnd it. You can watch and listen to her wonderful acceptance speech at the Golden Globes this past Sunday.

Emerging from a quiet genealogy blog time

Yes, I have been quiet on my blog. Yesterday, 7 January 2024, our family finally had our Christmas, not just for 2023, but for 2020, 2021, and 2022, too! Pandemic and family illnesses cancelled previous years. Some of us did get together in smaller groups.

My oldest son and family, my daughter and family, my bonus granddaughter, and my bonus son were finally all in the same place at the same time. I do have one more son, but he has chosen to stay away from the family for many years. We have learned to not let that rule our get togethers. Fingers crossed he’ll show up one day in the future.

First, we all went to the 9-year-old’s hockey in Princeton, Minnesota and saw him score a goal! He is on a traveling hockey team out of Saint Cloud. Then we met for a late lunch, gifts, and games at a local restaurant. One of the best days ever as we shared hugs, stories, kidding each other, lots of laughter, and sharing some memories.

Between genealogy client research and consulting work, getting ready for my 2024 upcoming presentations, and my renewal project for my Certified Genealogist® credential, it’s been a wild last few months. I made my deadline for turning in my renewal work for judging with four hours to spare.

My 2024 speaking calendar has been updated and there are still some open dates. Let me know if your organization is seeking a webinar or seminar speaker and I will provide details


It’s time! 2024 Legacy Family Tree Webinars registration is now open!

Registration is now open for an amazing year of genealogical presentations with topics for the U.S., Canada, and other countries. 112 speakers for 2024 from 14 countries! Education from the comfort of your own desk or easy chair. Do you know a lot about genealogy research and records? I bet you don’t know everything and that’s why genealogical education is vital. The 2024 lineup is at

My affiliate link to register…

Which genealogy site is the best for your research?

While working on a research project recently, I ended up with a long list of original (mostly digital) records I had checked for the group of individuals. I had also consulted family trees posted by other people and few had sources. Nothing pointed me to learning more about the background of some of the people before they were in the target place. THEN I did a few searches on

We can’t guess which one will provide the most help at a given time and with what search parameters you use. Genealogy standards include reasonably exhaustive research. To that I add, check once, twice, and then again and again.

That led me back to some trees on Ancestry that had not come up in other searches. I did learn where the ancestors were in the 1700s into the early 1800s and that led to some great historical material in the U.S. and Canada. So, which is the best of these and other genealogy sites to join? Every dang one of them as your budget allows. Don’t forget to check public, academic, and historical society libraries to see what genealogy subscriptions they may hold. Check to see what may be at the FamilySearch Library in Salt Lake City or at a local FamilySearch Center. Then look at what a specific country may offer via its libraries and archives. It does take time, but whichever place we overlook may have been the one that led to some clues.

News update on GRIP (GRIP Genealogy Institute) for 2024

More genealogical education planning for your 2024 calendar! The coming year’s edition of GRIP will feature one week of courses online in June and in July an in-person lineup of courses in Pittsburgh. View the course titles for each week at In case you haven’t heard yet, the founding directors of GRIP, Debbie Lichtner Deal and Elissa Scalise Powell, have retired from GRIP. They founded GRIP in 2012 and it’s still going strong. The National Genealogical Society now runs GRIP. In a few weeks, complete details on each course will be online.

I am still coordinating and teaching in the Digging Deeper course that I began in 2012. Each year there are some updates and 2024 will have them too. I will be doing some sessions in the other two courses listed below. All three will be virtual the week of June 23-28. Sunday evening is a Welcome session, followed by full days on Monday-Thursday, and a half-day on Friday.

  • Digging Deeper: Records, Tools, and Skills (Coordinator and instructor)
  • Not Just Farmers: Records, Relationships, and the Reality of Their Lives
  • Midwest Family History Research: Migrations and Sources

2024 peek at Legacy Family Tree Webinar presenters: genealogy galore!

I hope you have your Legacy Family Tree Webinar membership ready to go for 2024. Today they released the photos of the big lineup of 2024 speakers. The speakers are in alphabetical order by first name. I follow Paul and Paul and am followed by Paula. As always, that makes me sing a few bits of the 1963 song “Hey Paula” by Paul and Paula. It was a song of my teens and friends often forced me to dance with another friend who was named Paul.

Now, back to the important matter at hand. Watch for the full details soon. One hint: I present a new lecture at the end of summer. A full year’s membership is still a bargain at $49.95 and you get to view all the past webinars. My affiliate link for joining is

Legacy Family Tree Webinars genealogy education 50% off for new members

2,106 excellent webinars on genealogical education. 8,030 pages of syllabus. Where? Legacy Family Tree Webinars. If you don’t have a membership, this offer is for you. What offer? A half price fee through December 15, 2023. 50% off the usual fee of $49.95. You may then watch and listen to the growing list of webinars for one year. Then rewatch them to make sure you haven’t missed anything. Please let others know about this offer.

New memberships only and the offer is just through December 15, 2023. Use my affiliate link to join and help support this blog. Thank you.

Tip: Watch for the usual end of the year announcement about the 2024 new webinars.

Native American Heritage Month should be observed every day

November was designated as Native American Heritage Month. I was not able to fit in a blog post about it because I was doing some Native American research for a client. I am doing the post now because too many people in the U.S. and elsewhere ignore the Indigenous heritage of our lands on which we reside. Some of you may know that I am a fan of baseball, soccer, and hockey. What does that have to do with Native American Heritage Month?

I applaud sports teams that have some game days designated to honor many specific groups including Native Americans, Black Lives Matter, Stand Up to Cancer, and the LGBTQ+ community. One sport seems to quash much of this that players wish to observe. That would be the National Hockey League.

I recently observed one of our NHL Minnesota Wild goalies, Marc-André Fleury, and the honor he paid to his wife Véronique and their children who have Abenaki and Mi’kmaq heritage. He wore a specially designed face mask that was designed just for this purpose. He (and the team) was threatened with fines and more by the NHL, but it was important to him to show his support. The mask was then auctioned off for charity and that benefitted the American Indian Family Center in Minneapolis and the Minnesota Wild Foundation. I love that the mask was specially designed by a member of the Prairie Island Indian Community, Cole Redhorse Taylor. It’s a Mdewakanton Tribe here in Minnesota.

Fleury’s own French-Canadian heritage might have drawn my attention too. One of my Great Great Grandfathers was French Canadian.

I understand a sport league’s need to have guidelines for what is worn during games but to honor a group and deny any outwardly visible representation is not an honor. It’s not the NHL’s first flub on such directives. Two of the many articles about all of this are linked below. It’s also where you can see a photo of the beautiful mask.