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2020 institute courses move online

A second major genealogical institute has moved its 2020 summer courses into the ether in light of the challenges posed by the current pandemic.

The Genealogical Institute of Pittsburgh informed its 440 students last night of the changes:

“Until recently, we were planning such wonderful in-person experiences for you! However, with the state of the pandemic, we want everyone to be comfortable and have chosen to distance-learn and not ask you to travel or to come together, even with recommended social distancing practices. We know that many of us were looking forward to being together in person, not only because it is so wonderful to be in the genealogy bubble, but also because it would celebrate the end of our sheltering in place. We cannot wait any longer to see if that would have been possible.”

GRIP banner

The institute noted that most courses would proceed, in a virtual form, during the weeks previously scheduled in June and July, but some could not be offered in that format and will be postponed to the summer of 2021. And one new course was added to the July line-up.

Classes proceeding in 2020 online are:

June 21-26:

Practical Genetic Genealogy with Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D., J.D.
Exploring American Quaker Records with Steven W. Morrison and Annette Burke Lyttle
Irish Research Part II, with David Rencher, AG, CG
Mastering the Art of Genealogical Documentation with Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, FASG
Women and Children First!: Research Methods for the Hidden Half of the Family with Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL

July 6-10:

Advanced DNA Evidence with Blaine Bettinger, PhD, JD
Documentation for Lineage Societies with Sandra Rumble
Gateway to the Garden State: Sources and Strategies for New Jersey Research with Melissa A. Johnson, CG
Tools and Strategies for Tackling Tough Research Problems with Kimberly Powell
Following Your Ancestors in Time and Place with Cari A. Taplin, CG (new course just added)

July 19-24:

Digging Deeper: Records, Tools, and Skills with Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA
Get Your Hands Dirty! A Workshop in Land and Property Records with Kimberly Powell
Introduction to Jewish Genealogy with Emily Garber

Courses postponed to the summer of 2021 are:

Chromosome Mapping with Karen Stanbary, CG
Beyond Fundamentals: Hands-on Forensic Genealogy with Catherine Desmarais, CG, Kelvin Meyers, Michael Ramage, J.D., CG
Who’s Your Daddy?: Using DNA to Resolve Recent Unknown Identity with Angie Bush and Eva Goodwin
Foundations of German Research with F. Warren Bittner, CG
Walking in Penn’s Woods: Pennsylvania Research with Amy E. K. Arner
Beyond the Golden Door: Immigrants to the U.S.A. after 1890 with Rich Venezia
Reading, Transcribing, and Abstracting Old Documents with Carla Cegielski, MSLS

Each student currently enrolled in any course proceeding this summer may continue without change or cancel; any student whose course was postponed may lock in registration for that course next year at this year’s prices or cancel. All dorm rooms and meal plans will be canceled and refunded without a cancellation fee. All persons enrolled for 2020 have been asked to verify their registration choices by May 10.

Note that many GRIP courses have seats available and others will have seats come open as current students make their registration choices, so if you’re ready to advance your genealogical education virtually this summer, go ahead and grab a seat — or at least a seat on a waiting list — for the course of your choice. Tuition is being held at the $475 early bird price.

More information is on the GRIP website at

The institute decision to proceed online followed the choice announced last week by the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, conducted by the Georgia Genealogical Society at the University of Georgia in Athens in July, to go virtual. So summer students have a lot of online choices in 2020.

Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “GRIP goes virtual,” The Legal Genealogist ( : posted 24 Apr 2020).

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