Happy Veterans Day Weekend! It is a beautiful weekend in Pittsburgh–just right for raking leaves! Temperatures are in the upper 60s and we mostly saw just rain from Hurricane Sandy. There is much to be thankful for!
The course descriptions for the six 2013 courses have been added to the website www.GRIPitt.org under the “Courses” tab. Don’t miss the military records course coordinated by Craig R. Scott, CG. A bit different than other learning opportunities, Craig, along with Rick Sayre, CG, CGL, and Debra Mieszala, CG, will delve into the various types of records that captured our ancestors military careers – from how they were paid to perhaps being courtmartialed. What you learn may surprise you as it did me when I found my ancestor’s records who had served in Custer’s 7th Cavalry and was courtmartialed and jailed for going AWOL. But then I am here to tell the story because of it!
Talk about telling stories: Dr. John Colletta’s course “Your Immigrant Ancestors’ Stories: Writing a Quality Narrative” will capitalize on John’s two specialites, immigration records and writing. Along with Michael Hait, CG, the course will give good information on both topics with plenty of hands-on opportunities to “practice what is preached.” This is an invaluable course that your descendants will thank you for when they read the story you write because of it.
Not quite ready to write your family story? Perhaps the Intermediate course with Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, will be what you need. Paula and her instructors Debra Mieszala, CG, and D. Joshua Taylor will talk about various records and how to access them in lectures that are a little different from last year. More than that, Paula will also encourage her students to bring their family history problems for class discussion and brainstorming. Some of her students enjoyed this class so much last year they are planning on taking it again. Truly a practical course for digging deeper!
Was your ancestor a farmer? Did he own his land? Land was a key to wealth and assuring that the family would be fed. Learn all you can about land records and maps and how to analyze them for clues to your ancestors’ lives. Rick Sayre, CG, CGL, and Pam Sayre, CG, CGL, along with Angela McGhie will present all aspects of land research in the classroom and computer lab. You will be glad to know more about this important research aspect that may just be the key to your brickwall problems.
Speaking of land, did your people migrate? D. Joshua Taylor is coordinating the course which focuses on migration from New England through the states of New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio in the very difficult time period of 1780-1840. Debra Mieszala, CG, Rick Sayre, CG, CGL, Craig Scott, CG, and Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, all lend their expertise to this course as you learn how to track people in an era when records were scarce (but not impossible) to find.
Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, is presenting a new course at GRIP which will cover the five criteria of the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS). Tom has written a book on the topic which will be out in spring 2013. Be sure to look for it!
There you have it — a synopsis of the six courses being offered at GRIP 2013. We hope that you will find one of interest and begin to plan your week in Pittsburgh at La Roche College from Sunday, July 21 through Friday noon, July 26. Tell your friends to also begin planning because attending “summer camp” is best when shared!
As the Christmas ads take the place of political ads, remember that the gift of genealogical education is one that “pays it forward” and benefits future generations who read our family stories, accounts of military ancestors, migrating ancestors, or land-owning ancestors. They will be thankful for your attention to your heritage and passing well-documented stories, facts, and research to them to carry forward.