Saturday, June 29, 2019

Countdown to Continuing Education

It's Saturday, the very last weekend in June. In two weeks, at 8:00 a.m. Pacific Time, I'll be hunched over my computer with my finger over the "go" button, ready to register for my first choice learning opportunity at next January's week-long Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. Granted, there are fifteen different courses to choose from, leaving the avid genealogist with far too many temptations than can be handled in one heady moment. That's why I have been lusting over this list for far too long already. I'm ready to make my decision—but I'll have to wait two more weeks.

As a logical progression to follow up on the class I chose last January—the Southern Research course with J. Mark Lowe—I am seriously eyeing the course on Virginia research. The time frame is right—from the colonial period to the Civil War—to work on several family research projects I've had to set aside. For one thing, returning to the saga of my Broyles family in South Carolina, their previous home was in Virginia, the location I'll have to address as I press back another generation. But for that pesky little matter of documentation, the back country of Virginia may well hold the key connecting another line of my family to their official designation as descendants of the Mayflower passengers. And it is the Virginia roots of another line in my family which ultimately produced the descendant whose international crime spree nearly cost him his life in an Ontario jail.

Virginia may be a location figuring prominently in the family history of many other researchers, as well—all the more reason why I want to insure my place in the registration line. There are, however, fourteen more learning options for those who don't care for the intricacies of early Virginia research. There will also be a week-long class on research in the state of Maryland—another location I'm tempted to pursue. There are courses on church records, land records, and federal records. For those pursuing their roots from other countries, there will be a course on U.S. immigration, Hispanic research, and Chinese research. And those seeking to up their research skills can avail themselves of courses in introductory DNA and advanced uses of DNA evidence, technical writing, and advanced research techniques.

That list alone is sufficient to explain my point about acting like a starved refugee set in front of a smorgasbord. I want to inhale it all—now!

Disclaimer: While I am certainly honored to be designated as an Ambassador for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy 2020—and have shared about their impressive offerings for several years now—this year's designation comes to me with receipt of a modest discount to the upcoming registration fee. Nevertheless, my focus is on objectively sharing what aspects of the Institute readers at A Family Tapestry would likely find helpful, and I welcome the opportunity to continue serving as eyes and ears on site during this event for the benefit of my readers.


  1. Barbara Vines Little is a fabulous speaker. I will never forget her early morning session on Virginia. Most people were half sleep. She was introduced, pounded on the table- really loudly - and yelled "Virginia is the center of the universe!" No one was asleep after that and the talk was great.

    1. Well, that will give a jolt to a sleepy early morning audience! What a great story, Linda! I'm looking forward to hearing her teach.

    2. My in-laws are from Virginia. They have never had a moment's doubt about the location of the center of the universe.


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