Announcing the Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research (VIGR)

header-logo2The latest announcement by the newly founded Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research (VIGR) is bound to excite genealogists looking to further their knowledge, as well as those with with limited time or resources to attend courses in person.

VIGR will offer courses on a comprehensive list of genealogical subjects, giving genealogists access to a great curriculum year-round through the VIGR virtual platform. I’m proud to announce that I will be a speaker for the VIGR, and I look forward to interacting with the online genealogical community though my course on autosomal DNA. I am honored to be listed among the incredible speakers below.

No fewer than nine upcoming courses are already listed on the VIGR official website, the earliest commencing in November this year. Each will consist of a total of four 90-minute lectures, presented two each on consecutive Saturdays. Each course will also have extensive syllabus material and practical exercises, as well as time for Q&A. The institute intends to keep class sizes small, which allows for more interaction with instructors and a greater depth of instruction as compared to more typical genealogy webinars.

If you’re a genealogist looking for courses with flexible hours for your busy schedule, the VIGR is just what you need.

To register for courses or for more information, visit the VIGR website at and subscribe to the mailing list to be notified about future courses. You can like the VIGR Facebook page at and follow the Twitter account @vigrgenealogy.


Press release: Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research to Offer Unique Opportunities in Genealogical Education

RALEIGH, North Carolina, 9 September 2014. Professional genealogists Catherine W. Desmarais, CG, Michael Hait, CG, and Melanie D. Holtz, CG, are pleased to announce the formation of the Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research (VIGR). VIGR is a unique educational opportunity for genealogists of all skill levels.

The Institute will offer courses on a wide variety of genealogical subjects, providing “Vigorous” year-round education for the genealogical community using a virtual platform. Each course will consist of a total of four 90-minute lectures, two each presented on consecutive Saturdays, extensive syllabus material, and practical exercises. Limited class sizes of only one hundred registrants per course allows for a higher level of class participation and instructor feedback than typically offered by genealogy webinars.

Courses are currently planned around the topics of genealogical writing, advanced methodology, DNA testing and analysis, and cultural, regional, or record-based research strategies.

Many of these subject matters—as well as the depth of instruction—have never before been offered in a virtual format and are ideal for genealogists around the world. “VIGR will allow genealogists who work a full-time job or have limited travel budgets to more easily advance their genealogical skills,” Institute co-administrator Melanie D. Holtz stated.

Registration for each course will cost $69.99 and includes digital video recordings of all four lectures, available within two weeks of the close of each course.

For more information on the Institute and to register for upcoming courses, visit and subscribe to the mailing list for updates on future courses.


Michael Hait, CG, “Writing Logical Proof Arguments,” 1 November–8 November 2014

J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA, “Preparing the Field: Understanding the Agricultural Records of our Ancestors,” 24 January–31 January 2015

Maureen Taylor, “Family Photographs: Identifying, Preserving, and Sharing Your Visual Heritage,” 21 February–28 February 2015

Donna Moughty, “Strategies for Finding Your Irish Ancestors,” 7 March–14 March 2015

Blaine Bettinger, “(Finally!) Understanding Autosomal DNA,” 21 March–28 March 2015

Billie Stone Fogarty and Rick Fogarty, “Verifying the Family Legend of Native American Ancestry,” 18 April–25 April 2015

Melanie D. Holtz, CG, and Melissa Johnson, “Genealogical Applications of Dual Citizenship by Descent,” 2 May-9 May 2015

Paul Milner, “An In-Depth Look at the Big Four Records of English Research,” 30 May – 6 June 2015

Angela McGhie, “Digging in Federal Land Records,” 19 September-26 September 2015

CG, Certified Genealogist, CGL, and Certified Genealogical Lecturer are Service Marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluations by the Board and the board name is a trademark registered in the US Patent and Trademark Office.






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