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We’ll be online in 2020

Fact: Genealogists as a whole are members of a high-risk demographic for this dratted virus. The Legal Genealogist doesn’t feel elderly, not one bit, but the number of times the calendar has turned puts me in that high risk group.

Fact: Georgia has been hit hard by the virus the way a lot of states have. But the surge — the high point in terms of exposure risk and number of cases — hasn’t hit yet there, and may not for some weeks yet, particularly in Athens where the hospitals serve not just the city but the surrounding areas.

Fact: Bringing large groups of people from a high-risk demographic together in a place hard hit by the virus where the surge may not have fully passed and where social distancing is either not easy or flat-out impossible is … um … risky.

To put it mildly.

So… what’s a genealogical institute to do?

Why, go virtual.

Of course.

And that is the decision, announced today, by the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, hosted by the Georgia Genealogical Society at the University of Georgia.

We’re going virtual in 2020.

This isn’t what anybody would want as our first choice. We all want the virus to be thoroughly in check and life back to normal so we can literally put our heads together and learn from each other.

We want, so badly, to hug each other and sit close together and share notes and thoughts and even maybe a libation, for those of us who indulge.

But that’s clearly not going to happen — not safely — by July.

So we take a step back, and we do what we can — safely — in July.

And that will be online, in a virtual setting.

So… if you’ve ever wanted to attend an institute and haven’t been able to because of travel or other issues, consider whether this makes this institute possible for you.

Courses being offered in 2020 are (every course name is a link to its description):

Course 1: Methods and Sources, coordinated by Rebecca Whitman Koford, CG®, CGLSM

Course 2: Intermediate Genealogy and Historical Studies, coordinated by Angela Packer McGhie, CG®

Course 3: Advanced Methodology and Evidence Analysis, coordinated by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG®, CGLSM

Course 4: Writing and Publishing for Genealogists, coordinated by Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG®, FASG, FUGA, FNGS

Course 5: Genetics for Genealogists: Beginning DNA, coordinated by Patti Lee Hobbs, CG®

Course 6: Military Records III: Advanced Research and Methodology, coordinated by Michael L. Strauss, AG®

Course 7: Scottish Research: The Fundamentals and Beyond, coordinated by Paul Milner, MDiv, FUGA

Course 8: For Land’s Sake! Advanced Analysis and Platting, coordinated by Gerald H. “Jerry” Smith, CG®

Course 9: Research in the South: Cessions and Territories, coordinated by J. Mark Lowe, CG®, FUGA

Course 10: Advanced Library Research: Law Libraries and Government Documents, coordinated by Ben Spratling, JD and Patricia Walls Stamm CG®, CGLSM

Course 11: Researching African American Ancestors: Government Documents and Advanced Tools, coordinated by Deborah A. Abbott, PhD

Course 12: Intermediate DNA: Planning for and Conducting Research Using DNA and Documentary Sources, coordinated by Karen Stanbary, MA, LCSW, CG®

Course 13: Researching New York: Resources and Strategies, coordinated by Karen Mauer Jones, CG®, FGBS, FUGA

Registration is open now — the registration process begins here (

And because this has been such a crazy year, there are at least some slots open in every class.

Take a look… and we hope to “see” you — virtually and safely — this summer.

Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “IGHR goes virtual!,” The Legal Genealogist ( : posted 15 Apr 2020).

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