Last summer, a genealogy course at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) set me on the GEG-bound journey. Worth every hour and every dollar, it proved something important to me: the wholly self-taught genealogist is doing it the hard way.
The Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR)
I strongly recommend the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) for GEGs in the making. The IGHR packs the days with opportunities to learn from our nation’s best genealogists. You leave IGHR on a Friday miles ahead of where you were the Sunday before. Your family tree will thank you.
Last year, I took “Course 1: Methods and Sources,” a beginning-level genealogy course coordinated by Pamela Sayre. She brought in experts on handwriting, DNA, historical context, court and church records, and many other areas. This course kept me engrossed and learning from beginning to end, even though I was not really a beginner. Repeatedly, I found myself thinking, “I wish I’d known that ten years ago.” (See my Wish-I’d-Known Series topics.)
This year, I am taking “Course 2: Intermediate Genealogy & Historical Studies,” under Angela Packer McGhie. In this genealogy course, we will go deeper into evidence, cluster research, DNA, problem-solving, and the major record sources. Like last year, Angela will be bringing in industry experts to ensure we get the best instruction available. She sent a reading list and an assignment already, so she’s serious about making our time count.
Genealogy Course Diary: Sunday, June 12, 2016
I drove an hour northeast this morning from Tuscaloosa to Birmingham for IGHR orientation at Samford University. Samford has hosted this conference every summer for more than a half-century. This year, though, IGHR meets here for the last time, making this a very special year. In July of 2017, we will start a new IGHR era at the University of Georgia, hosted by the Georgia Historical Society.
Today, waiting to get my orientation materials, I met people from Arizona, California, and Mississippi. A quick scan of the student directory shows people from all the southern states, and then, let me see . . . Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Colorado, New York, Utah, Michigan, Washington DC, Maryland, Washington state. Well, I give up–we are coming from everywhere.
Bonus tidbit: the book snake
Samford’s Special Collections Library opened on a Sunday — a rare treat. Archivist Rachel Cohen saw me struggling to type while keeping a book open. She pulled out a colorful, weighted cloth tube she called a “book snake.” Some of their book snakes actually look like snakes, which has spooked a patron or two. But I love it and plan to make one of my own.