James L.   Tanner

Is a retired attorney and business owner with over 33 years of experience in genealogical research. James was an intelligence officer during the Vietnam War, has a BA Degree in Spanish, a Masters Degree in Linguistics from the University of Utah, and a JD Degree in Law from Arizona State University.


April 13, 2015
8:00 am : Why Property Documents are Important in Genealogical Research: It all Starts with the Land

(All Levels) Land records are among the best-preserved, largest, and most comprehensive genealogical record groups in the United States. Because land was inexpensive and readily available, 90% of adult free males were landowners before 1850. Many of the genealogical knots we encounter in early american history can be untangled by examining the land records. Attend this Retreat to begin untangling your genealogy.

April 15, 2015
8:00 am : Understanding Real Property Legal Descriptions

(All Levels) You may be familiar with the history of the first president of the United States, George Washington, but you may not be familiar with his early career as a surveyor and lifelong interest in maps, geography and cartography. Surveying and surveyors have been an integral part of our cultures and legal systems since ancient times. In this class we will look at metes and bounds, rectangular survey, land measurements, and subdivision survey records to help us begin to understand real property and how to use these resources to increase our family history research success.

8:00 am : Learn more... Locate Land and Tax Records Using Catalogs, Wikis, and Search Engines

(All Levels) Learn how to effectively use catalogs, wikis, and search engines to locate books and other resources online. This class will guide you to understanding how to search more effectively and efficiently for the records available online and elsewhere.

8:00 am : Internet Sites and Programs I Use Every Day

(All Levels) Modern genealogical research is computer intensive. Come and learn about websites, some of which are not usually considered to be genealogy websites, that are essential to make progress in searching and understanding the huge numbers of genealogical resources now online.

April 17, 2015
8:00 am : Where Did Your Ancestors Live?

(All Levels) You may not be aware that beginning in the 1700s or even much earlier, books that listed the names, addresses and ethnicity of all of the businesses and people in a town or city was very common. It was natural, when telephones were invented, to add the telephone number of residents. Telephone directories are a fairly new item in comparison. Also, local tax records usually indicate where and when people lived in a particular place. Since determining the exact location of an event in an ancestor's life is often crucial in determining his or her identity, any resource that can give an exact location is invaluable. This class will focus on city directories and parcel maps.

8:00 am : Letting MyHeritage.com, Ancestry.com, & FamilySearch's Family Tree offer Research Assistance

(All Levels) This class is a live Internet activity. We will discuss the specific event topic while using MyHeritage, Ancestry, and FamilySearch. Questions asked during the presentation point the direction of the discussion. This class always brings up new details each time it is offered.

8:00 am : Use Cadastral Mapping to Find Your Ancestors

(All Levels) Very few genealogical researchers are aware of cadastral mapping. The term "cadastre" is defined as follows: an official register of the quantity, value, and ownership of real estate used in apportioning taxes. Since taxation is historically a common issue, therefore these maps exist and can be used by genealogists to locate ancestral lands and identify the boundaries. This class will focus on the cadastral survey, historical cadastral mapping and modern use of these maps today. We will look at websites and how to use them with family history research projects.