Tuesday, January 12, 2016

And We're Off!

...To an information-packed week of learning (or at least reviewing) the ins and outs of genetic genealogy. I—and well over three hundred others—am attending the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, held this week at (where else?) Salt Lake City, Utah. Of the many week-long classes offered this week (choices ranged from church records to focus on the U.S. South), I chose to take a closer look at how DNA testing can boost genealogical research results.

Not that I haven't had any training in using this resource. After all, I live barely a half hour's drive from one of the directors of ISOGG, and make it a practice to snarf up all educational opportunities offered by that director and associates. Besides, one fortunate outgrowth of living in sunny California is relative proximity to attend the DNA Day at the annual SoCal Jamboree. For that, I can drive six hours and think nothing of it.

As I've heard it mentioned before, though, there is one drawback to those fabulous conferences and seminars: being one-day events, they often turn into homecoming celebrations, reuniting e-friends who haven't seen each other since the last time they all got together. The briefer sessions at conferences also prevent a more in-depth examination of the topic. If anything, genetic genealogy is a topic that takes some time to wrap your head around.

I took my cue, a couple years ago, from a tip offered by a fellow blogger (I think it was Michelle Ganus Taggart): while conferences are great for being treated to a breadth of knowledge in an area, you can't beat those week-long genealogical institutes for gaining in-depth knowledge about one specific focus.

For those fortunate to live in a more centrally located region of the country, there are several targets of opportunity for seeking that in-depth goal. But for people like me, way off on the west coast, our best bet is to gain the double treat of training at SLIG while being situated within walking distance of the world's largest genealogical library. What more could an avid genealogical addict researcher ask?


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