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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