Thursday, August 27, 2015

Do You Have a Genealogical Problem?

Attend the Salt Lake Institute in 2016 and learn how to solve them like a professional!

Michael Hait, the course coordinator, recently shared the following on his blog, Planting the Seeds:

"Perhaps most exciting for me, however, is my opportunity to coordinate my own course this year: Course 9: Solving Problems Like a Professional. This course focuses on practical problem solving skills used by professional genealogists, designed to meet standards of genealogical proof as defined by the Board for Certification of Genealogists. Myself and all three of the other instructors are full-time genealogists, each with our own experience and professional focuses. The course will also have short homework assignments for the first three nights, allowing students to take advantage of the Family History Library and apply the lessons learned during the day.

Students for this course do not have to be professional genealogists or have any desire to be so. The lessons learned will be applicable to all research problems, during any time or place."

Michael's course is filling up, so register now! With only eight courses left with seats remaining, now is the time to register. For more information, see More information on Michael can be found on his website:

[1] Michael Hait, "Upcoming educational opportunities you can't miss!," Planting the Seeds blog, posted 17 June 2015 ( : accessed 27 August 2015).

Monday, August 24, 2015

Michael Hait shares his favorite ances

In an interview with Thomas MacEntee, Michael answered the question "who is your favorite ancestor and why"?

It’s hard to pick a favorite ancestor. Some carry my interest because researching their lives involved breaking through significant brick walls. Others I am drawn to due to contributions to history. For example, I am directly descended from four Union soldiers, three Confederate soldiers, and one ancestor served in both armies during the Civil War. I am also directly descended from more than a dozen Revolutionary War soldiers, including a few officers. I have several ancestors who came to the U. S. before 1650, and have others who immigrated in the late nineteenth century. To me, it’s almost like asking a father to choose his favorite child. I love them all for different reasons.

One of the ancestors that I have spent quite a bit of time on would be “Elder” Henry Hait. He was a Primitive Baptist minister, first in Stamford, Connecticut, and then in central New York, ending up in Long Island. For years, both I and others researching his life thought he was born in Stamford. After all, his tombstone and the 1850 census both stated that he was born in Connecticut. But I struggled with this, because I could not find any reference to his father nor a reference to his own birth. Finally, I discovered, with the help of the Primitive Baptist Library in Carthage, Illinois, that he wrote an autobiography in a religious newspaper in New York. In the article he states that he was born in Bedford NY in 1779, but that his father died in 1780 and he was sent back to Stamford to live with his grandfather. Not only did the article clear up my concerns, and explain the negative evidence, it also provided a lot of insight into his personality. He was a very stern, religious man. I think that the amount of time, and the depth to which I combed through every aspect of his life in the course of researching him, adds to my appreciation of his life."

The entire interview can be found at Michael's course is filling up, so register now! With only eight courses left with seats remaining, now is the time to register. For more information, see

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

What is the best way to preserve your family history?

Writing a quality family narrative, of course!

SLIG is happy to have John Philip Colletta coordinate his course, "Writing a Quality Family Narrative" in January 2016. Using vivid examples and case studies, this course demonstrates how to compile your material; write biography; choose a numbering system; document, edit and proofread your text; and publish the saga of your family - on paper or electronically. Various lectures explore how to enliven your prose with family lore, treasured heirlooms, local history, maps, and illustrations. One in-class writing exercise with follow-up critique helps you improve practical skills, share your talents, and exchange ideas with the instructors and fellow students.

We caught up with John to ask him some questions, so that you could get to know him better.

When did you first start researching your family history? Was there a moment when you knew you were “hooked?”

One summer when I was 13 or 14 and whining about having nothing to do, my mother suggested I create a family tree. She had just read an article about it in Family Circle magazine. I began interviewing my two grandmothers and took to genealogy in a big way immediately.

Do you have a pet ancestor? Can you tell us a little bit about what makes this person so special to you as a researcher?

No, I have no “pet ancestor.” I feel particularly close to my mother’s mother’s parents, though, Andrew and Frances Noeth. They were born in Bavaria and came to Buffalo, New York, in 1886. Since my mother was very close to her grandparents (their back yards adjoined and the fence had a gate in it), I have heard more stories about Andrew and Frances Noeth than any other ancestors. It’s almost as though I knew them. Temperamentally, however, I feel a closer kinship to my father’s Sicilian ancestors.

You can read more about John's class at
There was an error in this gadget