Sunday, January 8, 2017

How's 2017 Treating You So Far?

Well, we've made it through the first week of the New Year. How are your resolutions going?

You may have noticed, among the posts at A Family Tapestry, that I'm not a particularly enthusiastic fan of New Year's resolutions. If I make them, they will fail. And I find failure somewhat distasteful, thus I steer clear of such danger zones.

I do, however, make plans—and January's plans are rocketing toward me at lightning speed. The highlight of the month will be my return to Utah to attend the week-long Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy—"SLIG."

Genealogy institutes are an entirely different experience than the usual conference venue. Rather than selecting from the overload of a smorgasbord of enticing class subjects, institute attendees register in advance for one—and one only—class on a specific genealogical topic. The week long sessions are designed for nearly eight hours daily of focus on that one topic.

Needless to say, this is not an endeavor for the faint of heart. And not a good place to start off, if a beginner. Still, it gives a wealth of knowledge to those craving a deeper understanding about a particular facet of genealogical research.

While SLIG is the institute I've chosen to return to this January, it is by no means the only such program available. In the United States, there are several options. One of the earliest, formerly known as the Samford Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, has now re-invented itself as the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at its new home in Athens, Georgia, where it will be accepting registrations starting next month for their July 23 session start. Another option, the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, holds two week-long sessions over the summer. There's even "Gen-Fed," formerly known as the National Institute on Genealogical Research, conducted onsite at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. And for those not wishing to mix the joys of learning with the rigors of cross-country travel, you can even learn from the comfort of your own home: there's the Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research, too!  (Not to mention, you know there's an entry at Cyndi's List cataloging the possibilities.)

There are several reasons I opted to return to SLIG. First, of course, was the ease of travel: a simple two-hour non-stop flight and I'm there. A significant second was the range of topics offered and the impressive selection of faculty. But most important to me was the chance to work further on my research skills specific to use of genetic genealogy. My goal is to work on specific techniques manipulating the data retrieved from DNA testing. For that, I'm so excited to be able to attend that week's sessions taught by CeCe Moore.

No event such as this can occur without much advanced preparation, and you can be sure I'm working on my end to get everything set up beforehand, so I can glean everything possible from this week of learning. I've familiarized myself with the websites of three of the major DNA testing companies, and have had gracious relatives willing to allow me to work with their test results for the various techniques we are going to use during the class sessions. I've been uploading our results to GEDmatch, as well, since we'll be using some of the tools offered on that site, as well.

While this may sound like a breezy review of my to-do list, don't think this is a casual listing. Some of the tasks I'm looking forward to, I find particularly mind-bending at times. I'm hoping practice will make...well, if not perfect, at least a little more proficient. In the meantime, in the weeks leading up to the anticipated event, you can be sure I'll be spending a good deal of time, reviewing and readying everything possible.

With a start to the month like that—not to mention, beginning an entirely new year—who has time to dither with resolutions? I know I'll be too busy to wrestle with the inevitable fail that resolutions seem to invite. Schedules and plans do seem to trump even the best of intentions.    


  1. Jacqi, I am so envious of your SLIG week. I'll be interested in your blog posts about what you learned!

    1. I will be doing a few posts on the experience, Marian. Wish you were able to join us at SLIG. I really enjoyed my experience last year. I'm definitely a convert to the institute way of learning--at least for something as technically concentrated as genetic genealogy.

  2. 2017 has been ... "uneven" but we hope it will be better than 2016.

  3. You always come back so invigorated! Have fun!! :)


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