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Heritage Inn, 1700 Fox Farm Road, Great Falls, Montana
September 20, 21, 22, 2018

Hosted by the Montana State Genealogical Society

and the Great Falls Genealogy Society

Click Here for Complete Schedule and Registration Form

There will be an Open House at the Great Falls Genealogy Society Library, located on the 3rd Floor of the Great Falls Public Library from 2 - 4 pm, Thursday, September 20, 2018. A complimentary Shuttle will run from the Heritage Inn to the Library starting at 1:40 pm and every 20 minutes after that until 4:00. The bus will have "Great Falls Church of the Nazarene" on its side. If you prefer to drive, a map is linked here.

Featuring Pamela Boyer Sayre and Rick Sayre


PAMELA BOYER SAYRE, CG, FUGA, is a professional researcher, educator, author, and lecturer. She developed, coordinated, and taught the Methods and Resources course at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research from 2007-2017 and she continues to co-ordinate and teach in several courses at Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh. Pam is former NGS director of education and publications, a former board member of NGS and FGS, and a former editor of APGQ.  She is a popular seminar presenter who has spoken at genealogy conferences and seminars nationwide and on international cruises.

RICK SAYRE, CG, CGL, FUGA, is a long time genealogical researcher and instructor currently serving as president of the Board for Certification of Genealogists. He coordinated and taught in advanced methodology, land, military, and beginning courses at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research from 2003-2017. Rick co-ordinates advanced land courses with Pam Sayre and legal courses with Judy Russell at Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) and Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP). He also lectures at national conferences and presents nationwide seminars.

Topics presented on Friday & Saturday are:

OUR NATIONAL TREASURE: THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS – Pam Boyer Sayre. Even if you never visit Washington DC, you should explore the holdings of the Library of Congress.  We’ll mine the online collection for its wealth of documents, maps, books, photographs, even sound recordings and learn to successfully search online catalogs.

MAPPING THE WEST Rick Sayre.  As American mapmaking moved from the engraving era to the lithographic era, a wide range of maps became available.  Today we have moved to the world of Geographic Information System-GIS. There are many map tools and repositories with collections that support genealogical research in the Western US (for this presentation this includes the mountain & Pacific states).

THE AMERICAN WEST – Publications of the National ArchivesRick Sayre. Success in finding pertinent information among the millions of records held by NARA is dependent upon several factors. In the past, the lack of comprehensive finding aids has posed a significant challenge. A recently published NARA subject area guide, The Trans-Mississippi West, 1804-1992, unlocks millions of records applicable to the settlement of the West. Many of these records provide genealogically relevant information for the family historian.

WEST FROM MISSOURIPam Boyer Sayre. This lecture focuses on why emigrants converged on Missouri in the 1800s to leave for points west. It explores the importance of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers for transportation of goods, and the role of St. Louis & Missouri as “the Gateway to the West.”

DID HE SERVE? RESEARCHING MILITARY SERVICE RECORDS - Rick Sayre. Military records offer many opportunities to discover information that supports kinship determinations. Soldiers had requirements to provide next-of-kin information in the event of death or disability, and beneficiaries of military benefits had to establish kinship. Military records are most effective when correlated with other sources. Some examples will be presented that use a variety of records.

NARA WEBSITE AND MORE - Pam Boyer Sayre. Amazing records can be accessed at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), but maneuvering your way through the labyrinth to locate them requires knowledge of the available resources. What is a DP, PI, RG, or RIP, and when should use ARC or OPA or AAD? Where is that NARA database you found just yesterday? This session presents some simple methods for understanding the NARA research process & navigating NARA finding aids & website.

COOL TOOLS FOR THE CEMETERY - Rick Sayre. Discover tools to capture and record headstone information. Locate cemeteries and graves and put them on an appropriate map or digital device. Understand the differences of popular websites Billion Graves, Find a Grave, and Explore the various websites that record military deaths, to include the Veterans Administration grave locator, the American Battle Monuments Commission, and the new ANC Explorer developed by Arlington National Cemetery.

THE LOWDOWN ON DOWNLOADING - Pam Boyer Sayre. Learn to download digitized books, forms, or family trees from such online sites as NGS, Google Book Search, Heritage Quest, Library of Congress, FamilySearch, Ancestry, Footnote, or your public library. Keep the file for future use, search every word of text-based files, and print just the pages you need. Demonstrates simple step-by-step instructions for downloading & using PDF, image, GEDCOM, or text-based files & online cloud storage services such as Dropbox.


The Conference will be held at the Heritage Inn, 1700 Fox Farm Road, Great Falls, MT. 
The room rate for a King or Double Queen Room is $94.00. Rooms are limited – Reserve Early
For Reservations, call 406 761 1900 and mention MT State Genealogical Society before August 29, 2018.

For more information contact page updated 18 July 2018