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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