Monday, January 14, 2019
Goin' Southern on Y'all
To be a genealogist means to always be learning. At least that's my opinion, and I've been chasing my family's history for almost my entire life. And still learning.
Ever do something, just as a special treat for yourself? This week is one of those special times for me. I'm spending the next five days in Salt Lake City, where the Utah Genealogical Association is hosting the annual Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy just a few blocks away from the largest genealogical library in the world.
I know, I know: some people pamper themselves with a day at the spa. A romantic weekend getaway. A trip to Hawaii. Me? I go to Salt Lake City in January.
Since the first hour of SLIG registration last summer—where I sat, poised at my computer with my trigger finger on my mouse, prepared to pounce on my class selection the minute registration opened—I've been preparing for this week's experience. I had heard great reviews of one particular SLIG instructor, years ago, from fellow blogger Michelle Taggart, and when I saw he was one of the 2019 speakers, my goal became to get into J. Mark Lowe's Advanced Southern Research class.
To prepare for this class, I knew I had to attend to my sorely-forsaken maternal grandmother's family tree, for it is her McClellan line—and related kin in Florida—on whom I'd like to focus for this week. For the past half year, that has been my primary research project, which will either sound like an impressive claim, or give you an idea of just how badly my attention was needed on this branch of the family tree. (Hint: go with the latter.)
Now that Monday, SLIG, and I have all coincidentally arrived at the same place, I'll not only hear from the well-recommended Mark Lowe, but also receive research guidance from Anne Gillespie Mitchell, familiar to many through her position as product manager at Ancestry.com and blogger at (and evangelist for) Cluster Genealogy. And since SLIG uses a team-teaching approach for many of their courses, I'll also get treated to instruction by Deborah Abbott and LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, featured speaker at the plenary session this evening.
That is just the first of five glorious days of genealogical instruction—my week-long immersion in all things southern at SLIG 2019.