Alphabet Soup… What do IGHR, NGS, GRIP, FGS, NIGR, or CAFG have to do with your genealogical education?

G = Genealogy… a common thread for all of us.  But, what do those other letters which make up those acronyms mean to you?  If you’re drawing a blank or are thinking, I should have an answer to this question, then Stay Calm and Read On.

For some researchers, the pursuit of further knowledge is done in tandem with their family’s research as the compilation of generations grows.  This pursuit of education of one’s self can be done in many different ways in genealogy.  We have wonderful books on a plethora of research topics for those who like to self-teach.  Our local and state societies may offer varied presentations at their regular meetings or hold specialized workshops or offer Special Interest Groups (SIGs) for members.

However, as we eagerly attend local and state events, we may find ourselves asking “Is this all?”  Or, “Is there more for me to learn?”

Taking our genealogical education to the next level can be fun, exciting and literally eye-opening.  National conferences can astound the genealogists with the mere fact that you’ll be in a location with 1,000+ genealogists.

You won’t have to worry about boring some stranger with your family story at the lunch, because they’ll offer their family anecdotes in return.  Each year, two 4-day conferences featuring 100+ lectures and specialized workshops in locations around our country are offered by the National Genealogical Society and the Federation of Genealogical Societies.  So, if you like to travel in May or August, check out their calendars to see if one is near you or in a location you want to visit.

Four days isn’t enough for you?  What, you want more?!

Then, consider then a weeklong institute.  If you chose to attend these institutes, you will get your instruction in a formal classroom setting with nationally known genealogical educators.

Institute of Genealogical & Historical Research (IGHR aka Samford) began in 1962 and is held annually at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama.  The program offers ten specialized tracks and often sells out almost in its entirety every year.  It is a unique offering the opportunity for over 200 genealogists to learn with the best in genealogy.

National Institute on Genealogical Research (NIGR) was founded in 1950 and is an intensive weeklong program that focuses on the records of the US Federal records at the National Archives in Washington, DC.

New kids on the block… No, not the 90’s boy band!

The Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) and the Forensic Genealogy Institute hit the scene in 2012.  In July 2013, GRIP will hold its second annual institute.  For those who live in the northeast, including me, the opportunity to attend this educational venue is not to be missed.  This year’s offering includes six tracks which should appeal to many researchers.

Sponsored by the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy, the Forensic Genealogy Institute was first held in October 2011 in Dallas, Texas.  It focuses on the field of Forensic Genealogy through a three day format totaling over 20-hours of classroom instruction.

Wherever your interest lies, pursue the genealogical knowledge to strengthen your skills.  I’ll be heading to Samford and GRIP this year.  Hope to see you there!!

2 thoughts on “Alphabet Soup… What do IGHR, NGS, GRIP, FGS, NIGR, or CAFG have to do with your genealogical education?

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