Welcome to the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania!

We are quite excited to be able to offer TWO week-long learning opportunities in 2017!  Choose to attend one week or the other or both: June 25-30, 2017 or July 16-21, 2017, both held in Pittsburgh.

Registration dates are:
Wednesday, February 22, 2017, for the June courses
Wednesday, March 8, 2017, for the July courses

The listing of the six courses in each week (total of twelve) can be seen here. Details of all eighteen sessions in each course will be available in November. Family Historians will find courses for all levels and interests from novice to advanced and professional.

We want to thank everyone who attended GRIP in 2016. We had 150 students in six courses in June and 195 students in seven courses in July. We celebrated our five year anniversary by honoring the 28 people who have attended GRIP each of its five years since its inception in 2012. We learned until our heads felt they would explode and met new friends and new cousins we didn’t know we had. Some people relaxed on the beautiful college grounds while others went to North Park to kayak, walk, or swim. Fun, food, friends, and full courses of learning in a fellowship of genealogy.

UPDATES: To receive notifications of GRIP news, please subscribe to email changes in the right-hand column. Your email will only be used to notify you when the website changes. You may unsubscribe yourself at any time by using the same subscription box. Check us out on Facebook or LinkedIn or Twitter: @GRIPitt.

REGISTRATION: Choose one course you would like to take and then go to the REGISTRATION page which has instructions and links to the registration system, one for each of the two weeks. Please note that for any course that has reached capacity, there is a link to request a wait-list spot on the registration page. Cancellations do occur and you will be notified in the order in which you asked to be placed on the wait list.


WHAT: Picture a week (from Monday morning through Friday noon) of delving into your favorite genealogical topic with like-minded classmates whose eyes don’t glaze over when you talk about your family history. Now picture a campus environment in which meals and classrooms are under the same roof and dorm rooms are 50 steps away. Interesting courses of all levels are offered concurrently: from DNA to methodology to records to ethnic / foreign research to efficient techniques to help you find your elusive ancestors. Each incorporates hands-on learning in a state-of-the-art and friendly community atmosphere where socializing during meals or in the evenings may lead you to distant cousins or a new-found research buddy. (Please see the Courses page for details on the 18 sessions in each course.)

WHO: The instructors are all experienced genealogical researchers, lecturers, and writers who bring their expertise into the classroom with case studies and problem solving exercises. (Please see the Faculty page for biographies of faculty and staff.) The students come from a wide variety of backgrounds but all share their passion for family history and for learning how to efficiently break down “brick wall” genealogical puzzles. In 2014 we had 203 students on campus one week in Pittsburgh from 40 different states and three foreign countries.

WHEN and WHERE in 2017: Two different weeks: Sunday, June 25 through Friday, June 30 at noon and Sunday, July 16 through Friday, July 21 at noon in Pittsburgh at LaRoche College, 9000 Babcock Blvd., Pittsburgh, PA 15237 (Please see Location page for directions and photographs of LaRoche College.)

WHY: The demand for in-depth genealogical education is so high that week-long courses sell out shortly after registration opens, disappointing many potential students. At the same time genealogists who have taken many courses want new content. Since 2012, the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) has offered week-long courses of high quality with internationally recognized instructors to address these needs.

HOW: To learn more stay tuned to this webpage,, as we share more information. Each of the titles in the black toolbar above leads you to one or more pages of information. Please feel free to explore them all. You may also sign-up for email notifications when a website update is published. See sidebar for sign-up box and also Facebook and LinkedIn connections.

DIFFERENT THAN CONFERENCES: Institutes allow you to gather with your classmates in a classroom for five days and the course coordinator and guest instructors come and go. The course is a progression of topics on the same subject, be it Intermediate level methods, Irish research, Genetic Genealogy, New England research, Proof Arguments or some other, allowing you to experience progressive and hands-on learning during the week.

At a conference, you travel from lecture room to lecture room choosing which subject you will hear that hour from a menu of five to ten lectures each session. Your schedule is your own and you can hear many subjects at various levels in a given day. National conferences are four days while state or regional conference may be two or three days. Local seminars or workshops are typically one day with a nationally-known speaker who gives four lectures.

14 Responses to GRIPitt HOME

  1. Liesa Healy-Miller says:

    This looks super! I especially like the “hands-on” approach. Lecturing is, of course, essential for the transfer of information. So, too, is applying that knowledge – and it’s especially enjoyable and constructive to do it in a group setting!

  2. Sarah Boehm says:

    Thank you for doing this! I’m very excited to attend. I’m not sure where I’ll be, skill-wise, by then (Intermediate or Advanced), but I’ll be sure to follow this site’s updates for more info. Thanks again!

    • admin says:

      Sarah, I know your knowledge will grow as time goes on. Taking an intermediate course lets you fill in any knowledge gaps and gives you a good opportunity to practice problem solving skills. It gives a good foundation on which to stand for the advanced course. Depending on what experience you gain between now and next year, you may indeed be ready for the advanced course.

      More details will be coming on the course content to help you decide.

  3. admin says:

    GRIP and other venues of genealogical education serve your interest by allowing indepth exploration of the course topic over a full week of study and hands-on exercises. You may also want to look around your local area for a genealogical society who has monthly program meetings geared to developing genealogical how-to knowledge. There are many avenues to take. A video lecture that explores the various genealogy educational opportunities is located at under the tab for “Choosing the Best Continuing Education Opportunities.”

  4. S Hood says:

    Since I have only being searching for family history for a little over a year, I am concerned that most of the classes will be over my head.

    • admin says:

      Read the description of the Intermediate Course and perhaps by July 2012 you will feel more comfortable that this is where you belong.

      Learning is about growing and stretching. Keep reading, researching, and gaining experience in records and you will be ready.

      Best wishes,

  5. I am looking forward to the possibility of attending this conference and will mark my calendar today.

  6. Marilyn Clark says:

    YES! I want to go! The hardest part will be choosing which course to take. I want them all. Thanks for this!

  7. Noreen Manzella says:

    It’s not too bad a ride from New England (or CT, at least!) ! And for all the teacher-genealogists out there, summer is the best time! Kudos to all the organizers and instructors!

  8. Mimi Reed says:


  9. I don’t live in Pittsburgh but my whole maternal line comes from Pittsburgh. Very psyched about this program. I’m going to try to make it happen for next year. I wish I still had relatives in Pittsburgh that I could stay with.

  10. Joan M. Pipich says:

    Very interested…I live in Pittsburgh

  11. K. Thanos says:

    Thank you for doing this. As genealogists we need to have more in depth courses in order to improve our research skills.

  12. cjsperl says:

    Sounds like a great week to me…..I am very interested in this course. I live in the Pittsburgh area.

Comments are closed.