Tag Archives: GRIP

GRIP 2019 Courses Announced

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It is hard to believe that the year is half over and I’m already looking ahead to my continuing education plans for 2019. In a little over a month, I will be attending the July week of the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) in Pittsburgh (as opposed to the July week in Amherst, NY) coming up soon, taking the course “Women and Children First” with Judy Russell.

Looking ahead to future educational opportunities, I want to point out that GRIP’s 2019 courses have been announced and you can read about them on their blog.

Two weeks will be held in Pittsburgh at La Roche College, which is a lovely and inviting setting for a week of study. The weeks are June 23-28 and July 14-19, 2019. Mark your calendars!

GRIP is one of my favorites. I hope to see you there!

This Year’s Plans (2018)

2018 Started with a BANG! I taught my first ever course at SLIG, co-coordinated with Kathryn Lake Hogan of Ontario, Canada. The course was “The Third Coast: Research in the Great Lakes Region.” It was a lot of fun and went very well. However, it was an intense process to prepare for such a large endeavor. Needless to say, I’m happy I did it and I’m equally happy that it’s done. And I will likely do it again in the future.

SLIG and a week of research at the FHL started this year for me, so I’m just now able to take a breath, take stock, and make plans for 2018 in terms of my speaking schedule and my own educational plans. My speaking schedule is light, which I chalk up to spending so much of my energy last year prepping for SLIG and not spending any time marketing myself or planning for 2018, with a few exceptions. I’m happy to have a bit of a break, however!

Here’s where I’m planning to be this coming year:

  • Beginning in April, I will be facilitating a discussion group on the topic of becoming a Certified Genealogist® hosted by Jill Morelli and the Seattle Genealogical Society. (For more information email: jkmorelli@gmail.com)
  • National Genealogical Society Annual Conference, Grand Rapids, Michigan, May 2-5 where I am presenting: W144 “Third Coast: How the Great Lakes Shaped America”; S423 “Casting the Net: Denominational, Ethnic, and Specialized Newspaper Research”;  S456 “Using PERSI Like a Pro”
  • Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR), Athens, Georgia, June 2-7 where I will be taking “Writing and Publishing for Genealogists” taught by Tom Jones
  • Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, July 22-27 where I will be taking “Women and Children First” by Judy G. Russell
  • International Society for British Genealogy and Family History (ISBGFH), Salt Lake City, Utah, October 15-19 where I will be taking “Researching Your Irish and Scots-Irish Ancestors” by Fintan Mullan and Gillian Hunt and my husband will be taking “Scottish Research: The Fundamentals and Beyond” with Paul Milner

There are some other items in the fall that are still materializing but this is what I have planned so far. I hope you make the investment to enhance your genealogical education plan with conferences and institutes. Nothing beats being in class with other genealogists!

And if your society is planning an all-day seminar, consider me for your speaker. I have a lot of topics to choose from. Check my Lecture Topics page for a complete list.

Genealogy Institutes – Part Three

This time in my series on genealogy institutes, I’m going to describe IGHR and GRIP. These are the two institutes I have actually attended so I have my firsthand experiences to also share. Both of these institutes take place on a college campus and come with all of the perks (or not, depending on your perspective) of campus life, dorm packages and meal plans.

2013-08-08 01.32.06 pmThe Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, also commonly referred to as “IGHR” (pronounced eye-jer) or “Samford,” takes place annually in June at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. There are typically ten courses offered for beginners to advanced researchers. The Samford campus is quite lovely with a lot of shade when walking from building to building. This year the temperatures were quite bearable and we experienced a few days of rain, not unpleasant for someone from Colorado where the days are mostly dry. You may choose to stay in the dorms (beware of the snakes) but there are also hotels nearby and the institute coordinates a shuttle service between the hotels and the campus. If you happen to drive, there is free parking on campus. They also have meal plans in their cafeteria or a student center with fast food, a carryout and a coffee bar.

At IGHR the courses being offered for 2014 and 2015 are posted on their website. Here is a quick look at 2014’s lineup by course number:

  1. Techniques & Technology
  2. Intermediate Genealogy & Historical Studies
  3. To Be Determined
  4. Advanced Methodology & Evidence Analysis
  5. Writing & Publishing for Genealogists
  6. Advanced Library Research: Law Libraries & Government Documents
  7. Virginia: Her Records & Her Laws
  8. Researching African American Ancestors
  9. U.S. Military Records
  10. Irish Genealogical Research

There are a lot of topics to choose from and for complete course descriptions you will want to check their website.

Also, if you are interested in attending IGHR, there is a scholarship available to pay for your tuition. It is the Birdie Monk Holsclaw Memorial Scholarship. According to the Colorado Council of Genealogical Societies website, “Distributions are awarded to those who have an interest in genealogy and wish to pursue genealogical related education at the Samford University Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR). Application is open to all genealogists and consists of a short resume listing genealogical experience and a 150-200 word essay describing how IGHR will help advance their genealogical research skills. Deadline for Applications is October 1 each year.” There is a downloadable application on the site. Don’t miss this amazing opportunity!

-4The Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (or “GRIP”) takes place annually in July at La Roche College, located a few mile north of downtown Pittsburgh. La Roche College is a small college, easy to locate, with amenities near by. They too offer a dorm and cafeteria package. There are hotels nearby but they do not have a shuttle service yet. If you rent a car or drive to the conference there is also free parking available. This institute offers courses for varying levels of experience. The line-up and course descriptions for 2014 is posted on their website but here are the titles and instructors:

  • “Intermediate Genealogy: Tools for Digging Deeper” with Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA
  • “Determining Kinship Reliably with the Genealogical Proof Standard” with Thomas W. Jones, PhD., CG, CGL
  • “Becoming an Online Expert: Mastering Search Engines and Digital Archives” with D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS
  • “Finding and Documenting African-American Families” with J. Mark Lowe, CG, and Deborah Abbott, PhD.
  • “Practical Genetic Genealogy” with Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL, CeCe Moore and Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D., J.D.
  • “Law School for Genealogists” with Judy G. Russell, J.D., CG, CGL and Richard G. “Rick” Sayre, CG, CGL

These institutes are very similar in structure. The classes run from about 8:30am-4:30pm. There are set break times with free snacks provided and a great time to get up and stretch your legs and network with your classmates. Both of these institutes offered optional evening sessions on various topics. At GRIP this year we got to watch the first episode of Who Do You Think You Are? (full episodes available on tlc.com) which is a lot of fun when you do it with a huge room of genealogists!

Both of these institutes are top notch, offer a wide variety of topics and activities. They are both located in some very scenic locations with a lot of history to explore. Be sure to plan time for site-seeing and fun!

Genealogy Institutes – Part One

IMG_3920_1024This summer I attended two outstanding genealogy institutes, IGHR and GRIP. I attended my first last summer and I am hooked. If I had unlimited resources, I’d attend them as much as possible! Genealogical institutes are great because you get to delve into one topic, in-depth for a full week. Also, being in the same class with the same people all week allows for networking and relationship building that one might not get at other educational events. Plus, there tends to be more time to ask questions from the instructors that might not be available at national conferences when they (or you) might need to rush off to another lecture.

Over the next several posts, I am going to share some of the information I have collected to help those of you who have never been to one know what to expect, what to pack, things to consider ahead of time and other tips to enjoy these great opportunities for genealogical education.

Before you go there are few things you’ll want to consider. First of all, you will want to consider your travel arrangements. Depending on where the institute you will be attending is located, you may want to fly. However, taking a car, train or bus are also viable alternatives. You will want to decide if you will stay in the dorms, a hotel or on a friend’s couch (or guest room). Will you want to take advantage of the cafeteria meal plan, eat out or pack your lunch. Also, when you are there, depending on where you stay you will want to determine if you will need daily transportation to and from the venue. I usually have to locate the nearest coffee shop when I travel. And don’t forget to plan some extra time for sight-seeing. Why go all that way if you can’t see some of the local attractions while you are there?

Here is my packing list (besides toothbrush and underwear):

  • banquet clothes (often there is a banquet and you might want to dress up a bit)
  • comfy clothes (for sitting in class all day, all week)
  • walking shoes
  • computer or iPad or other electronic devices
  • power cords (you don’t want to forget these, been there)
  • business cards (if you have them as there are plenty of networking opportunities)
  • highlighters, pens, pencils, notebook, sticky notes, etc.
  • backpack/bag to carry your stuff in all week
  • cash (my trip to Pittsburgh this year included a day of sightseeing that encountered many “cash only” establishments)
  • camera (if you don’t use your phone)
  • extra reading materials (plane rides are excellent times to catch up on NGSQ reading)
  • an umbrella (if you think you’ll melt, I personally don’t own one as I have never needed it here in Colorado, some might want one though)

While I’m sure there are other things to bring. If you have been to an institute and would recommend something else, please feel free to add it to the comments below. Over the next several posts I will be looking at the 5 major institutes and give some of the unique details about each.