Getting ready for the first Virtual Institute course!

We at the Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research are very excited about our first course taking place tomorrow morning!

If you have registered for “Writing Logical Proof Arguments” with Michael Hait, you should have received an email providing links for live attendance and the syllabus material for all four sessions. The email was sent to the address used for the registration purchase. If you did not receive this email, please contact us at [email protected].

We look forward to seeing you all there!

New courses announced!

The Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research would like to announce four new courses for next year.

F. Warren Bittner, CG, “Reading German I: The ABCs of Gothic,” 23 February, 2 March, 9 March, and 16 March 2015

F. Warren Bittner, CG, “Reading German II: Reading German Church Books,” 13 April, 20 April, 27 April, and 4 May 2015

Craig R. Scott, CG, “A Day in the Revolution: Researching Your Soldier,” 1 August and 8 August 2015

D. Joshua Taylor, “New England Research: Has It All Been Done?,” 7 November and 14 November 2015

The courses with Craig Scott on the American Revolution and Josh Taylor on research in New England will follow the familiar Saturday-morning format. We look forward to both of these courses. More details will be announced as the course dates draw near.

The two German courses with Warren Bittner, however, will run a little bit differently. Because the courses will have more practical work with old documents, it has been split into four days with just one lecture each rather than two days with two lectures. It will also be held on Monday evenings rather than Saturday mornings.

Welcome, Warren, Craig, and Josh to the Virtual Institute!

Website update: Cancellation Policy and FAQ

We here at the Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research would like to thank everyone for a wonderful reception into the genealogical community. We are excited that so many people agree that the Virtual Institute will be a welcome addition to the field of genealogical education!

We have added two new items to our Registration page that should interest many of you: our Cancellation Policy and a Frequently Asked Questions. Please take a moment to review the new information, and if you have any other questions that are not covered, please let us know at [email protected].

Registration is also still open for our inaugural course offering, “Writing Logical Proof Arguments.” Just two weeks after our initial announcement, the course is already over 2/3 full! Registration will be open until October 15, or until all the seats are taken. If you’re interested in taking the course, don’t wait until the last minute—seats are only guaranteed to those who register!


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. The Virtual Institute 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. “Virtual Institute 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.


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.