Wednesday, December 25, 2013

2014 Forensic Genealogy Institute

I have written before about the fantastic educational opportunity that the Forensic Genealogy Institute offers.  Now, keep in mind that when I say "forensic" as applied to genealogy, I mean it in the true definition of the word:  "genealogical research, analysis, and reporting in cases with legal implication" (from the Web site of the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy).  I don't mean merely using science in your own genealogical research, such as when you compare the results of your DNA test with someone else's to determine if you might be related, or if you analyze the backs and edges of photographs to figure out if they were printed at the same time.  Neither of those is forensic genealogy (no matter what a book might be called), because there's no legal implication in the results.  Scientific?  Sure.  Forensic?  Nope.

So now that we have that out of the way, the 2014 Forensic Genealogy Institute, to be held in Dallas, Texas from Monday–Saturday, March 24–29, offers in-depth instruction in tools and techniques for genealogists who are doing or want to do forensic research, along with real-world examples and business advice.  Two tracks are offered:  "Foundations in Forensic Genealogy" and "Advanced Forensic Evidence Analysis."  More details are now available for the two tracks.  The early-bird discount ends December 30, 2013 (only a few days from now!).  A discount is also offered to those registering for both tracks.

In "Foundations in Forensic Genealogy", which will run Monday–Wednesday, March 24–26, 2014, the sessions to be offered include:
• How to establish a forensic genealogy business
• How to evalute the ethics of a case
• How to deal with the legal profession in complex research cases
• How a forensic genealogists establishes credibility as an expert witness
• A mock witness cross-examination, conducted by Michael Ramage, JD, CG
• "Forensic Techniques for Genetic Genealogy", which will explain the concepts of DNA and how it can be utilized by the forensic genealogist, taught by Debbie Parker Wayne, CG

The "Foundations" track is a prerequisite for "Advanced Forensic Evidence Analysis", which will follow immediately after, running Thursday–Saturday, March 27–29, 2014.  Sessions will include:
• Current advances in DNA technology and application of the science by a forensic genealogist, taught by Debbie Parker Wayne, CG
• Department of Defense methods used to identify and confirm missing military personnel through the use of DNA and forensic genealogical work
• Finding missing heirs in an ethical and professional manner, taught by Michael Ramage, JD, CG
• A case study of heir searching with international consequences and lessons to be learned, taught by Catherine Desmarais, CG
• Insight into the process of dual citizenship, from clients to contracts to international case studies, taught by Melissa Johnson
• How to manage research projects and subcontracted researchers in foreign countries, taught by Catherine Desmarais, CG
• Who, what, when, where, and why forensic genealogists might need the services of a certified document translator

The instructors for the Forensic Genealogy Institute combined have more than 70 years experience in the field and its related specialties.  The "Foundations in Forensic Genealogy" track is a comprehensive course of study covering research techniques, methods, business preparations, business forms, work products, legal and ethical courses with case studies, and more.  The new advanced track is designed to present a new set of challenges and instructions each session.  This year's "Advanced Forensic Evidence Analysis" will include instruction found nowhere else concerning allied and subspecialty fields to aid the forensic genealogist.  Both tracks are designed as learning opportunities for those already experienced in the field, as well as for the professional considering accepting forensic cases.

So far, among those registered to attend the 2014 Forensic Genealogy Institute are:
• More than half of the genealogists who attended the original two Foundations tracks are returning for the new Advanced track.
• About a dozen people have signed up for the combination Foundations and Advanced tracks.
• Among those registered are 17 full-time forensic genealogists, several new forensic genealogists, three investigators, five attorneys, one journalist, and two paralegals.
• We have one Accredited Genealogist (AG), seven Certified Genealogists (CG), and one Fellow, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (FSA).
• Attendees will be coming from Canada (1), Germany (1), and 22 U.S. states, including one person from Hawaii.

Come join this diverse group of professionals (including me!) at the 2014 Forensic Genealogy Institute.  And if you're on Facebook, Like the Institute's page there to keep up with the latest announcements.

If you are considering going, make your hotel reservation as soon as possible.  Rooms may be scarce during the Institute due to sporting and other events in Dallas.  Please use the hotel reservation link found on the Institute Web site.  Rooms may not be available if you delay making your reservation.

1 comment:

  1. The Advanced Forensic Evidence Analysis track has added a special guest speaker. James J. Canik, the Deputy Director of the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL), Armed Forces Medical Examiner System, will be the presenter for the sessions on Department of Defense methods used to identify and confirm missing military personnel and on the use of DNA and forensic genealogical work in the identification process. Presentations of this type are not open to the general public and are a rare opportunity for researchers. More details are available on the CAFG blog:


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