• Kristin Wenger

SLIG 2021

This week I’m taking a deep dive into my regional and ethnic research specialty with the course “The Pennsylvania German and Research in the Keystone State” at SLIG (Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy) 2021.


I am honored to attend SLIG courtesy of a scholarship from Ancestry ProGenealogists.

Given the choice of five institutes, why did I choose SLIG and specifically this course?


To this point, my formal genealogical education has focused on methodology. In terms of sources and geographic expertise, I am self-taught. I wanted to identify knowledge gaps and fine-tune my understanding of and skills in lesser-used sources. This course, coordinated by Michael Lacopo, focuses on pre-1850 Pennsylvania research with an additional emphasis on first wave German immigrants who arrived in the 1700s. These are my people, and the course content is definitely fulfilling my learning goals.




A few of my favorite sessions from the first half of the week:

  • The German Immigrant Experience in the 18th century (Michael Lacopo)

  • An Essential Pennsylvania German Starter Kit (Luana Darby and her fabulous library)

  • Acquiring Land from the Penns (Jerry Smith)

  • Tax Records ("a tool for the thinking genealogist" - Michael Lacopo)


What I’m looking forward to on Thursday and Friday:

  • Church Records (Michael Lacopo)

  • Pennsylvania German Social History (Michael Lacopo)

  • Researching Your Ancestors in the City of Philadelphia (Michael Strauss)

  • Closing “banquet” (BYOF) featuring LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson


The pros and cons of a virtual institute:

(Both photos below are from my first and only in-person SLIG in 2019)


A big part of my motivation for selecting SLIG (before the 2021 courses had even been announced) was the opportunity to travel across the country to a conference hotel where the Family History Library’s amazing resources are just a short walk down the street.



Obviously, that’s a major loss, as is the ability to establish camaraderie, although the SLIG tech team has done a marvelous job creating the best virtual environment possible.


Anyone else now find themselves shocked by regular pre-pandemic photos?

What were we thinking? So many people! Standing so close together! And no masks! :)



On the "pro" side, I’ve been able to hug my husband and kids every evening and keep our household running smoothly. On second thought, that may be a con since I’m not getting out of doing any laundry or dishes this week. My teenage daughter deserves a shout out for cooking dinner each night so that we don’t have to eat on Mountain Time.


I have been looking forward to this week for a long time and can't wait to apply all that I'm learning! Thank you, SLIG team and faculty, for an excellent experience!


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