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Registration is Wednesday!

So … you’re ready to fast-track your research and build your skills this year, right?

Then it’s time to put on your sneakers and pack a lunch. Because registration for the third of 2014’s major genealogical research institutes opens at noon eastern time on Wednesday, February 12th — and classes are going to fill up fast.

The Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) is the newest of the institutes, going into its third season at LaRoche College in Pittsburgh. And there’s a stellar line-up of courses, selected by co-directors Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL, and Deborah Lichtner Deal, offering in-depth immersion for an entire week — Sunday July 20 – Friday July 25 this year — in a topic that just might be what you’re looking for.

Here’s the line-up:

Law School for Genealogists
Coordinators: Judy G. Russell, J.D., CG, CGL and Richard “Rick” G. Sayre, CG, CGL, with instructor Marian L. Smith

From Freshman Orientation to Graduation, Law School for Genealogists covers the waterfront as to the elements of the law that directly impact genealogical research: the legal systems underlying the records; the court systems; record series resulting from the legislative and judicial process; and topical treatments of the law of wills and estates, property, marriage, divorce, military service, immigration and naturalization and more.

Practical Genetic Genealogy
Coordinator: Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL, with instructors CeCe Moore and Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D., J.D.

From the basics of genetic genealogy to advanced autosomal analysis to the integration of DNA into projects meeting the Genealogical Proof Standard, this course covers all aspects of DNA testing and the use of DNA in genealogical research.

Intermediate Genealogy: Tools for Digging Deeper
Coordinator: Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA, with instructors Debbie Mieszala, CG, and D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS

Are you beyond the beginning stages of researching your family history? You probably have checked the basic records and done online searches but still have blanks to fill in. Maybe you need to gain more leads and judge the records but need some analytical skills for that. We will delve deeper into a variety of records, some that you may have never heard about, and where they may be accessed. During the week there will be some hands-on projects, small group discussions, and full class interaction as we develop research plans, delve into the records, and learn what may get those blanks filled in. The camaraderie of solving problems as a group leads us to great insight and also some fun.

The class covers 19th through 21st century U.S. records and includes online resources. Prior to the course students will be able to send the coordinator a brief research issue of their own along with a listing of the U.S. places where their ancestors resided and what has already been researched. The course includes some “homework” that is optional but highly suggested. Students often find they like those learning exercises. An extensive syllabus including online resources is provided.

Finding and Documenting African-American Families
Coordinators: J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA and Debbie A. Abbott, Ph.D.

Discovering evidence of African American families can be difficult and sometimes impossible. Learn to follow proven strategies to gather and analyze a variety of record types while building upon strong foundations. We will use a framework of five cases to illustrate how to apply the evidence in each particular case. Records will require hands-on project discovery time.

Determining Kinship Reliably with the Genealogical Proof Standard
Coordinator: Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS, with instructor Karen Mauer Green, CG

Through lecture, discussions, and many hands-on activities, students will learn how to achieve genealogical proof by planning and executing focused research, citing the resulting sources, testing the evidence they contain, assembling that evidence into a conclusion, and explaining it clearly. This course is based on the content of Mastering Genealogical Proof (Arlington, Va.: National Genealogical Society, 2013) and uses exercises from that textbook. Family historians of various skill levels may find this course helpful.

Becoming an Online Expert: Mastering Search Engines and Digital Archives
Coordinator: D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS, with instructors Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA and Debra Mieszala, CG

Explore the online world of records and repositories by efficiently being able to search for them. Learn the methods and tools to overcome database index challenges and find information on your family that is hidden in layers of webpages. Mornings feature “Expert Insider Tricks,” featuring a professional genealogist’s personal tricks for making the most from a subscription website, while afternoons include in-depth discussions and hands-on learning.

Because this line-up is so solid, class space is going to go fast. If you want in, you need to be ready to go when registration opens Wednesday at noon Eastern, 11 a.m. Central, 10 a.m. Mountain and 9 a.m. Pacific.

There are tips for getting through registration quickly and registration instructions on the website that you’re going to want to read through in advance so you can be ready to go when registration opens.

Wednesday’s registration is only for the six courses to be offered at LaRoche College in July. There’s a second program called GRIP on the Road, scheduled for August 3-8, 2014, in Orchard Lake, Michigan, near Detroit, on the campus of the Orchard Lake Schools. Registration for those courses will take place on February 25th.

Good luck getting into the course you want!

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