Wednesday, January 22, 2014

SLIG - Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy Part II

On Wednesday our schedule was for classes all day at the Radisson. We began with two morning classes by Josh, the first Clustering and More: Maximizing Your Online Searches and second More than Just People: Lessons and Hints from Public Directories. He has a true talent for using multiple resources to extract supporting information while researching. One of my classmates and I went downstairs to the onsite restaurant for lunch. We met two ladies waiting in line to be seated and agreed to share a table with them. Our visiting was fun and we found ourselves rushing back to class.

In the afternoon Debbie taught a class on Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Research: Resources, Methods, and Skills. She was followed by Paula teaching The Grey and the Blue: Beyond Pensions, which basically covered Civil War Research. After class we moved to another room and had time to work on our group project. We spent some time discussing what we wanted to look for and what we would be presenting to the class on Friday. When that was over it was time for some more R&R in our room. Leftovers from our dinner the night before at the Blue Lemon were enough for dinner.

When waking up at six the urge to get on with the research for the project pushed me downstairs to the hotel's business center. The place was literally unoccupied for the two and a half hours there working on a high quality computer and printer at its side. It was much faster than searches could be done at the FHL and the prints were much better quality. In my next post there will be a sharing of the process used and the items located. It was very satisfying to find over twenty documents from various records to share with our group the next day.

On Thursday morning our group was huddled in our corner of the room adding the new information to our timeline. Each of us had discovered several items to add to the information on our subject and his family. Debbie taught our first class on The Write Stuff: Family Histories with Substance and Appeal. Her approach was on gathering information, quality of written text and presentation of the material. Paula taught the second class on Researching the Occupations of Our Ancestors. She provided some excellent tips.

For lunch my original plan was JBs and skip the next class for more research time, but my group wanted to go to the onsite restaurant and work. It was hard when it was time for the next class to go back upstairs. We were on a roll and the project was coming together so well. Paula's next class The Three Rs: Reading, 'Riting, and Research in School Records was very good and made me so glad that my plans changed. Following the class we headed to the FHL for consultations. Then it was time to go back to scanning for my client. By the end of the evening there were a few minutes left to look up a couple things for the project. It was so fast and there was no time to make a copy. While waiting for my friends Paula passed by and we discussed what was found. The next day was highly anticipated to see the results of everyone's research. Back at the hotel we ordered in pizza as we were too tied to go anywhere.

On Friday we again hovered in our corner and decided we must have a copy of the last find. Paula taught a class, Finding Family Gems in Manuscript Repositories and Special Collections. Her syllabus are full of places to search and will be explored in the near future. She gave us a short break and we hustled downstairs to print the final item. The staff graciously made us three copies of everything we collected and our timeline, one so we could give Paula a copy. Each of the four groups was allowed to present their top three significant finds. Then we asked questions and discussed what we learned. What a terrific learning experience. One group made a power point of the professionals utilized by asking questions about how to research specific items. It was fun to view the specialties of several professional genealogists.

For the finale Paula gave out door prizes based on different genealogy questions. This time a poster was my prize. Then she presented us our certificates of completion. What an honor to have participated in such a fine training opportunity. While some people questioned my taking one of the "easier" courses, there is nothing easy in genealogy. For me it was the restful, relaxing and slow pace that was important. My stamina held up and in the end my life was changed by my attendance to this institute.

Friday afternoon, after a quick lunch of leftovers, was spent at the FHL finishing up the scanning project. In eight hours time eight hundred pages were scanned during this week. By the time it was finished there was little energy left, but we did walk back to the hotel.
That evening was the banquet, where people received awards and a great presentation was given by John Phillip Colletta. The food was excellent and the opportunity to visit was perfect. Returning to our room my roommate packed as she was leaving at 5:30AM, while we would be leaving at 10:30AM.

On Saturday it was nice to sleep in and spend some time reading in between packing. My packing was pretty good for this trip as most of my clothing was worn during the week. The snacks that we bought tided us over well and a few came back home. My notebook full of syllabus material with my certificate on the back are the most treasured in the suitcase. Our flights both ways were great, but going home we had wonderful views and the pilot took an unusual landing pattern. Upon arrival we made our way to the luggage area and after locating our luggage went to wait for our family members who were picking us up. A very pleasant surprise for me was my granddaughter Hannah came with my husband. She was so excited to see me and then spent the next two days at our home. It was fun to unpack with her as she discovered the surprises for her and our other grandchildren. They are the main reason for my interest in genealogy.

So if you have never been to an institute please consider doing so in the future. There are four now held in various parts of the US. It is a forever memory and will uplift and motivate you in your research.

P.S. One thing I would not do again is buy a meal plan. There are too many other options and getting back for class was difficult. Next year the conference will be at the Hilton, costing a little more, but with more convenient local places to eat at.

Look for Part III the Research Project coming soon.

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