25 May 2008
Genealogy research requires skills that many of us did not learn in high school, college, or our chosen career paths. Because of this, we continually search for ways to obtain the education needed to perform some of our research. In past columns, I have recommended local seminars and national conferences as a way to obtain this education. There are other opportunities for advancing your genealogy education. Below is a list of general and specialized classes that will help you to further your genealogy knowledge.
National Genealogical Society's (NGS) American Genealogy: A Home Study Course, 3108 Columbia, Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia, http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/eduhsc.cfm.
The Home Study Course has 16 lessons, taking students through all the major records groups used for American genealogical research. The course is on CD, and can be graded or self-correcting. NGS also has a variety of shorter online courses.
Samford Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR), Samford University Library, 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, Alabama, http://www.samford.edu/schools/ighr/.
IGHR is held for a week every June in Birmingham, Alabama on the campus of Samford University. Eleven courses are offered. All courses are taught by nationally known genealogy instructors. The Institute is co-sponsored by the Board for Certification of Genealogists.
National Institute on Genealogical Research (NIGR), P.O. Box 118, Greenbelt, Maryland, http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~natgenin/.
NIGR is held for a week every July at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. This program is for experienced researchers who want to gain hands-on experience with the federal records held at Archives I in Washington, D.C., and Archives II in College Park, Maryland. Some of the subjects covered are census, military, naturalization, immigration, African-American, American Indian, federal land records, and cartographic records. The Institute is also co-sponsored by the Board for Certification of Genealogists.
British Institute, P.O. Box 350459, Westminster, Colorado, http://www.isbgfh.org/institute.htm.
The British Institute is every October in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is sponsored by the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History. Four courses are offered on British, Irish, and Scottish research focusing on resources, methodology and skill improvement.
Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, P.O. Box 1144, Salt Lake City, Utah, https://www.infouga.org/.
Sponsored by the Utah Genealogical Society, the Institute is held for a week in January in Salt Lake City, Utah. There are 10 courses offered.
Elderhostel®: Adventures in Lifelong Learning®, 11 Avenue de Lafayette, Boston, Massachusetts, http://www.elderhostel.org/.
Elderhostel is a nonprofit organization that offers low cost learning vacations for adults age 55. Last year, two programs were hosted by the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society in New York City. In 2008, there will be one in October at Williamsburg, Virginia. Genealogy tours are not always on the list, but programs are added periodically, so check the Web site often for new opportunities.
Education should be a lifelong endeavor for all of us. It can be a fun and rewarding experience as we gain the knowledge and skills to search for our ancestors.