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On the Road in Gastonia, North Carolina

I’m in the town of Gastonia, North Carolina, on the road to the Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama.

This will be my third year in a row at Samford, hav­ing attended in 2008 to study mil­i­tary records with Craig R. Scott, CG; Rick Sayre, CG; et. al. Last year, I attended the class on “Virginia and Her Laws” with Barbara Vines Little, CG; Vic Dunn, CG; and Craig R. Scott.

I am return­ing this year to com­plete the sec­ond of the two Virginia classes: “Virginia’s Land and Military Conflicts & Their Effect on Migration” taught by Barbara Vines Little, Vic Dunn, and Craig R. Scott.

Each of these expe­ri­ences has been richly reward­ing. The instruc­tors “know their stuff,” and impart it well. I come out of each week with my head swim­ming with data and ideas. With new ways to approach the records, new repos­i­to­ries to search out, and, in some cases, some new research results dis­cov­ered in situ. There are few edu­ca­tional oppor­tu­ni­ties for geneal­o­gists and fam­ily his­to­ri­ans that can com­pete with a week at Samford.

A press release from Samford University notes that “A record total of 286 stu­dents and 40 fac­ulty mem­bers from 37 states and the District of Columbia will par­tic­i­pate in the pro­gram…” If you do genealog­i­cal research, and you are con­cerned about meth­ods, records, and repos­i­to­ries, you should brave the June weather in Birmingham, and join us at Samford some year.

In order to attend, you need to get on the Institute’s mail­ing list and be pre­pared to haunt your com­puter screen the morn­ing reg­is­tra­tion opens up. This year many classes filled up within 45 min­utes of the reg­is­tra­tion web­site open­ing; most were filled in the first two hours. It’s a highly sought after week. Hope to see you here next year, if you are not here this year.

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