2013 Genealogical Institute of Pittsburgh Wrap-up

20130726_105525[1]In a weeklong institute, you cover a lot of ground quickly and it can be amazing when you look back over the 18 classes you’ve just completed.  With our feet firmly on the floor, we covered the topics of passenger arrival records and naturalizations from colonial times through current and the importance of documentation, not only for the reader, but for you too.  We even delved into the publication arena and discussed methods of publishing — print, EPub, self-publish, etc.

One take-away from the week… I love the short-cut that Michael Hait, CG gave us for citations using the Autotext function in MSWord.  I’m going to put that into use this week.  Currently, I use a document that contains a compilation of citation formats, but I’m open to learning a new option that’s “built in” to MSWord.

Unfortunately, the scheduled lecturer for Thursday evening had to leave early due to a family emergency.  The “fill-in” lecture was presented by Michael Hait, CG and entitled – Of Sound Mind and Body:  Using Probate Records in Your Research.  The lecture covered the necessary topics of the probate process and handout included a very helpful glossary.

Scan-130727-0001Friday arrived too soon!  While many of us were eagerly waiting for the “In-Class Critique” session, I was hesitant to be overly excited as it meant that our week with Dr. Colletta was drawing to a close.  However, as 8:30am came to be, the level of anticipation rose in our classroom to greet the writing assignment feedback.

My moment came as he spoke about a paper dealing with post-WWII immigration and President Truman.  Dr. Colletta mentioned that this was a first for him, along with my fellow classmates’ papers that dealt with coal mining ancestors.  Also, I am deeply touched that my assignment was discussed by himself and his mother.  While some might be put-off by the “red pen” on the page, I embraced his commentary.

20130726_115304cropOverall, my week was great!  As you can see from the comments I received, my nervousness from the “it’s due tomorrow” assignment was unfounded.  My creative prose can be lured out and put to work without me falling to pieces.  As a bonus, my father-in-law has told me that he is eagerly awaiting the next segment from this family history writer.

6 thoughts on “2013 Genealogical Institute of Pittsburgh Wrap-up

  1. I very much enjoyed your account of partaking of GRIP. Your writing style is clean and direct. One question, though — what are “A Files” and where did you find them?

    • Thank you!! Here’s the link to the USCIS Genealogy webpage . Scroll down to the bottom and to see info about each of the record groups for immigrants.

      To answer your question…
      A-Files, were opened or consolidated for every immigrant who arrived after April 1, 1944, or who naturalized after April 1, 1956. Immigrants who naturalized between 1944 and 1956 should not have an A-File. In 2010 USCIS began the process of transferring A-Files of immigrants born more than 100 years ago to the National Archives. The vast majority of A-Files remain in USCIS custody.

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