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.


October 19, 2015
8:00 am : The Elements of Research

(All Levels) Since James' first attempts at historical research, in high school, over fifty years ago, he has been actively involved in research in some form or another. He has learned that simply doing research does not necessarily give someone the insight to analyze and understand the process. After reading and studying methodology and processes involved in discovering family relationships and of course, his years of active participation as a trial attorney have also influenced his understanding of analysis. This class will lend you support and understanding based on his years of experience.

5:30 pm : The Ins and Outs of Evidence for Genealogists Using the Census

(All Levels) Fundamentally, genealogists are concerned with history and historical sources. These historical sources are finite and scattered across the world. The activity of genealogical research is to find these scattered sources, extract the information contained therein about a limited set of ancestral families and then analyze, evaluate and record that information in some reproducible format. This activity is highly personal in nature. There may be opportunities for collaboration, but most genealogists are involved in a solitary pursuit. The fact that genealogists record their information publicly does not particularly imply that they arrived at their conclusions any differently than they would have had they kept the information to themselves.

October 21, 2015
8:00 am : The FamilySearch Research Wiki: The most valuable online genealogical resource for genealogists today

(All Levels) This class will focus on the structure and content of the FamilySearch Research Wiki and why it has become the most valuable genealogical resource on the Internet. The class will include an introduction to the concept of wikis as collaborative Internet-based programs, demonstrating how the Research Wiki works to provide a user contributed collaborative environment for providing huge amounts of genealogical information. The class will also explain how the Research Wiki operates, with an introduction to Wikitext and namespaces, including how the Research Wiki integrated into the FamilySearch Historical Record Collections to become a meta-catalog.

8:00 am : Search Strategies for Discovering your Ancestors Online.

(All Levels) Learn how to locate and understand what the records contain, where they are, and how to glean the most evidence from them. There are three main ways of searching that depend on the type of online sources you are trying to locate. The class will explain all three types and give insights into strategies to maximize search results.

5:30 pm : Building Your Family Tree with Sources

(All Levels) Sources are the basic units of building a credible, organized and reliable family tree. This class will cover the basic idea of adding sources through citations to the individuals in your family tree and show how to incorporate sources from the large online database programs such as FamilySearch.org, Ancestry.com, MyHeritage.com and Findmypast.com. All of these four programs now have automated search capabilities that will produce research hints. The class will show how these research hints can benefit your own family tree.