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The Forensic Genealogy Institute is not for the casually curious. This intensive course was designed by professional forensic genealogists for 
working professional genealogists who:
have experience with research, analysis, and reporting for paying clients,
who are either already engaged in the advanced specialty of forensic genealogy, or wish to acquire sufficient education to engage in the specialty.

Attendees should be competent in writing source citations and client reports which meet professional standards.

Foundations (2012, 2013 or 2014) is a prerequisite for the Advanced track.

Forensic genealogy is a demanding, but rewarding business.   This institute will provide the tools you need.

Wyndham Love Field Hotel,
3300 W Mockingbird Lane
Dallas  TX  75235


Foundations in Forensic Genealogy
March  2015

Twenty hours of instruction in three days to minimize expenses and time away from your business and family.

Foundations in Forensic Genealogy

Advanced Forensic Evidence Analysis

Registration fee includes enrollment in the Institute and all activities with break snacks each day.

One partial scholarship 
will be reimbursed to a 
non-CAFG attendee.  One CAFG Mentor Program enrollee will be reimbursed a partial scholarship. Scholarships sponsored by Forensic Genealogy Services, LLC.

The Wyndham is adjacent to Love Field and provides free shuttle service to and from Love Field.
How to register?

Watch this site for more information.   You may pay by VISA, Mastercard, Discover, PayPal, or check. 

The Forensic Genealogy Institute (FGI) is the educational arm of the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy.  Foundations in Forensic Genealogy offers a detailed overview of the profession.  The Advanced Forensic Evidence Analysis track presents opportunities to develop advanced skills.  Each track offers in excess of twenty hours of significant hands-on instruction with real-world work examples, resources, sample forms, and work materials. Completion of Foundations in Forensic Genealogy is a prerequisite to attending Advanced Forensic Evidence AnalysisThose who satisfactorily complete either course receive a Forensic Genealogy Institute Certificate of Completion.  

Please watch this page for more information as we develop FGI 2015!
Forensic Research Skills
  • Forensic Techniques for Genetic Genealogy:  Practical understanding of DNA and applications within forensic genealogy.  
  • Proof of lineal descent and kinship determination.
  • Searching for living people:  A unique skill set and the necessary research resources for the non-private investigator.
  • Types of work products:  reports, affidavits, charts, exhibits. 
  • Witness roles:  The roles of the disinterested witnesses and expert witnesses. 

A highlight of the Foundations track is a mock hostile examination of a forensic genealogist on the witness stand.  The demonstration is based on actual experience.

Legal and Ethical Considerations 
  • Contracts for research involving missing and unknown heirs, military, adoption, and missing person cases; ethics of contingent fees. 
  • Scope of practice for probate and real estate cases involving missing and unknown heirs,  including what the genealogist can and cannot do from a legal standpoint; intestate succession; due diligence (including Affidavit of Due Diligence and Expert Reports); evidence; burden of proof; use of DNA. 
  • The Expert Witness. 
  • Finding Missing Persons – the legal implications. 
  • Adoption Research.

The Role of the Forensic Genealogist in
  • Probate research missing and unknown heirs.
  • Real estate missing and unknown heirs including quiet title actions, mineral rights, and oil & gas leases.
  • Adoptions and guardianships.
  • Citizenship and emigration.
  • Capital mitigation.
  • Military repatriation.
  • Unclaimed persons and cold cases.

Business Aspects
  • Preparing yourself:  Education, training, experience, credentials. 
  • Business Management:  Structure, licenses, fees, data and records management, record keeping.
  • Elements of good client documents: Do I need a contract, retention agreement, or letter of engagement?  Scope of Work, rate sheets, and other forms.
  • Personal due diligence and risk management:  What to ask (and why) before taking on a case, know who the players are and what is expected, setting boundaries, and pitfalls to avoid.  Do you need Errors & Omissions  insurance? Included is an example of a real-life nightmare forensic case.
  • Potential markets:  Real estate, minerals (including oil and gas), citizenship, benefits (SS, Veteran, etc.), guardianships, adoption, military repatriation, unclaimed persons, capital mitigation, and more.   
  • Marketing:  How to identify potential markets and potential clients within those markets, examples of successful marketing efforts.

Forensic Genealogy Institute

Forensic genealogy is research,  analysis, and reporting in cases with legal implications.
© 2011-2014 Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy. All rights reserved.
Certified Genealogist (CG) and Certified Genealogical Lecturer (CGL) are service marks (sm) of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, conferred to associates who consistently meet ethical and competency standards in accord with peer-reviewed evaluations every five years.
2101 Cedar Springs Road   Suite 1050,  Dallas,  Texas  75201 | email:  info@forensicgenealogists.org | 
Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy
a professional business league 
Foundations in 
Forensic Genealogy
Participants explore items they need to consider before offering forensic services: experience, education, credentials, skill sets, legal and ethical considerations, business and tax structure, business plan, forensic-specific contracts, and marketing.  An embedded practicum offers an actual forensic case study for “hands on” experience. 

Advanced Forensic Evidence Analysis
  [The following is a summary of the 2014 Forensic Genealogy Institute advanced track  to provide information about the quality and types of courses offered in the Institute.]

Forensic genealogy includes a wide range of specialty areas, each with unique skill sets. Courses in the advanced track will change each year to reflect new developments and progressions in the field. Each advanced skills course offers hands-on learning experiences taught by experts in their respective specialties.

The 27 through 29 March 2014 program will explore the following topics:

Targeting the Oil & Gas Market: A How-to Guide for Forensic Genealogists 
This hands-on session will cover how to find clients and market your skills as a forensic genealogist to the oil and gas industry. This session will include an overview of the industry and how the genealogist fits into the overall picture. We will do hands-on research, discuss some of the complexities of intestacy in different states, draft a sample contact letter, cover expectations of the client, how to draft a recordable Affidavit, 
and more. 

Advanced DNA 
This multi-session segment will expand on the basics covered in the Foundations in Forensic Genealogy course. Examples of the information needed for a genetic genealogy report will be discussed. Hands-on exercises will include problems using autosomal DNA, Y-DNA, and mitochondrial DNA in situations likely to be encountered by a forensic genealogist. 

Military Repatriation
Special guest speaker James J. Canik,Deputy Director, Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL), Armed Forces Medical Examiner System, Dover AFB, DE. will present two sessions: The Central Identification Laboratory-JPAC: The Recovery and Identification Process and The Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory: DNA In the Identification Process.

Document Examination
Certified Forensic Document Examiner Charlotte Ware will introduce us to the advanced skills of this potential sub-specialty for forensic genealogists. She will discuss the history of papers, inks and handwriting. The significance of document examination and signature comparison in forensic genealogical work will be covered, as well as some hands on tips for historical document decipherment.  

Dual Citizenship,  Certified Translations, and Managing a Forensic Genealogy Project in Foreign Countries
Three complimentary presentations in support of foreign research. The application of forensic genealogical techniques used in researching and supporting a dual citizenship application process will be presented. Discussion of international documentation requirements and validity will be addressed.  Overview of certified translations of foreign documents will be discussed. Best practices in managing a foreign research project in multiple countries and languages, utilizing multiple sub-contract researchers.

Unknown Heir Research from Intake to Report
Gain real-life, hands-on experience in an actual unknown heir estate case. You will be given step-by-step research practice in small groups, then re-assemble to share your findings and obtain expert feedback. The case led to the discovery of unknown first cousins. Participants will receive the actual affidavit of due diligence, list of all citations, and invoices that show the steps taken to successfully complete the research.
Click here for instructor biographies.