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Join us at GRIP in June

How many times have we struggled, mightily, to find even a single piece of information about a woman in our ancestry whose very identity is hidden in the records of her husband?

How many times have we found ourselves, years later, discovering that a child in our family had even existed?

How many times have we all wailed about the trials and tribulations of researching these hidden members of our families?

Well, there is help, y’know.

A whole intensive week of help, as a matter of fact.

GRIP 2020

This year is the year for that course at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP): Women and Children First! Research Methods for the Hidden Half of the Family, June 21-26, at LaRoche University.

And registration for this course opens Wednesday, February 5, at 11 a.m.

The Legal Genealogist has a special fondness for this course. Of all the classes I ever teach, this one tugs at my heartstrings in its emphasis on the women of our families — mothers, sisters, wives — and the children they bore and raised… and so often lost. Every single time it’s offered, I watch students light up as they realize that this set of records or that research plan could help them with an issue in their own families.

We cover a lot of ground in Women and Children First! — from understanding why we should — and how we can — research women and children first, through records of marriage and divorce, military pensions, the schools, the almshouses and other records of the poor, widowed and orphaned, courts of all types including probate and the criminal courts, business and the workplace, citizenship, and even manuscripts and newspapers.

With instructors like Blaine T. Bettinger, JD, PhD (“DNA and the Hidden Half of the Family”), Catherine B. W. Desmarais, CG (“‘Can you hear me now?’ Women’s Voices in Historic Court Records”), Kelvin Meyers (“Apprenticeships, Indentures, and Binding Out”), Michael Ramage, JD, CG (“The Right to Conduct Business: Was Your Ancestor a Feme Sole Trader?”), and Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA (“‘In the Line of Duty’ — Women and Children in Pension Records”), plus a few others from yours truly…, this course offers insights you just can’t get anywhere else.

GRIP itself is summer camp for genealogists. Held on the lovely and welcoming campus of a small university in the rolling hills outside of Pittsburgh, it’s like a week-long party with like-minded researchers who never ever roll their eyes when you talk about that third great grandmother.

Registration information can be found here on the GRIP website; early bird tuition is $475 if registered by April 1 and $550 afterwards. On-campus housing, including meals, for the week runs $450 in a private room and $350 per person in a room shared with one or two others. Free evening lectures during the week will include Kelvin Meters on “Draper and Shane; Historians or Hoarders?” and David Rencher on behalf of FamilySearch.

So come on out and join us, June 21-26, at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh — and see what you can find out about Women and Children First! Research Methods for the Hidden Half of the Family.

Remember: registration opens Wednesday, February 5, at 11 a.m.

Don’t miss out.

Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “Finding the hidden half,” The Legal Genealogist ( : posted 3 Feb 2020).

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