I frequently write about the benefits of conferences and institutes to improve your research skills. This week I’m at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama for the annual Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research. I am one of the Lecturers for Course 10, Irish Genealogical Research. We just finished the first day and the material has been excellent. There’s always more you can learn and it’s great to get another perspective on your research.
David Rencher, CG, AG is the Chief Genealogical Officer for Family Search is the course coordinator. He kicked off this morning with a lecture on “Framing the Problem for Overseas Research,” and offered a second lecture in the afternoon on “Finding Your Scots-Irish Ancestors.” I’ve heard David speak many times, and always pick up something new. The other lecturer for today was David Ouimette, author of “Finding Your Irish Ancestors: A Beginner’s Guide” and Manager of Collection Management at the Family and Church History Department in Salt Lake City. David spoke on “Irish Immigration - North American Sources” and “Methodology for Using Name Clusters in Ireland.” He also hosted a session in the computer lab on “Irish Internet Sites.” To see the schedule for the week, click here.
There are nine other courses being held this week and the next Irish Course will be held in 2014 (it’s on a three year rotation with English and Scottish research). I can’t recommend the program at Samford highly enough and recommend you get on the mailing list for the schedule and announcements of future Institutes. You have to be quick on announcement day as most classes fill up immediately.
There are, of course, many other opportunities for education, including national and regional conferences and the program offerings of your local genealogical society. They are well worth the time and money. I hope you’ll consider attending one of these events.