Monday, January 13, 2020
It's Finally Here!
It's finally time for SLIG—the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, of course. I've been waiting for this week, ever since I registered for Barbara Vines Little's course, Virginia from the Colonial Period to the Civil War, back in July. That's a long wait.
You know I've been preparing for this learning and research adventure. For months. Sometimes, it feels like I'm never quite ready to actually go do the research; I keep wanting to complete just one more thing before I hit a library as comprehensive as the one I'll be visiting. But this is the week.
I'm here with plenty of company. There are well over four hundred other learners here to benefit from SLIG's 25th anniversary event, from—if I remember the stats from last night's welcoming ceremony—at least forty three states and five countries, including Canada, Mexico, Australia, and Ireland.
The lineup for the week includes sixteen different courses, including two separate sessions for the Virginia course, filling the week with seventeen separate classrooms devoted to their one specific topic in depth. Church records, land records, federal records, early immigration records—all are specific courses devoted to that one, and one only, topic. Besides my Virginia course, there is another course (I was sorely tempted) on research in Maryland. And courses on genetic genealogy, Chinese, and Hispanic research.
But my goal this week is to learn all there is to learn about researching my colonial Virginia ancestors. And that is the difference between an institute and a conference, the format we are more familiar with, which is more of a smorgasbord of learning opportunities served up, one hour-long bite-sized piece at a time. In contrast, by the time I emerge at the other end of this week's twenty seven hours of information, this institute will have given me a thorough introduction to all there is to know about how to find my family's early Virginia settlers.
The next challenge is to keep up the energy level to insure I don't fall asleep from exhaustion on the cushy shuttle bus ride to the Family History Library after class is done. I have some ancestors I'd like to pursue.
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 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.