On the Road in Gastonia, North Carolina

I’m in the town of Gas­to­nia, North Car­oli­na, on the road to the Insti­tute of Genealog­i­cal and His­tor­i­cal Research at Sam­ford Uni­ver­si­ty in Birm­ing­ham, Alaba­ma.

This will be my third year in a row at Sam­ford, hav­ing attend­ed in 2008 to study mil­i­tary records with Craig R. Scott, CG; Rick Sayre, CG; et. al. Last year, I attend­ed the class on “Vir­ginia and Her Laws” with Bar­bara Vines Lit­tle, CG; Vic Dunn, CG; and Craig R. Scott.

I am return­ing this year to com­plete the sec­ond of the two Vir­ginia class­es: “Vir­gini­a’s Land and Mil­i­tary Con­flicts & Their Effect on Migra­tion” taught by Bar­bara Vines Lit­tle, Vic Dunn, and Craig R. Scott.

Each of these expe­ri­ences has been rich­ly reward­ing. The instruc­tors “know their stuff,” and impart it well. I come out of each week with my head swim­ming with data and ideas. With new ways to approach the records, new repos­i­to­ries to search out, and, in some cas­es, some new research results dis­cov­ered in situ. There are few edu­ca­tion­al oppor­tu­ni­ties for geneal­o­gists and fam­i­ly his­to­ri­ans that can com­pete with a week at Samford.

A press release from Sam­ford Uni­ver­si­ty notes that “A record total of 286 stu­dents and 40 fac­ul­ty mem­bers from 37 states and the Dis­trict of Colum­bia will par­tic­i­pate in the pro­gram…” If you do genealog­i­cal research, and you are con­cerned about meth­ods, records, and repos­i­to­ries, you should brave the June weath­er in Birm­ing­ham, and join us at Sam­ford some year.

In order to attend, you need to get on the Insti­tute’s mail­ing list and be pre­pared to haunt your com­put­er screen the morn­ing reg­is­tra­tion opens up. This year many class­es filled up with­in 45 min­utes of the reg­is­tra­tion web­site open­ing; most were filled in the first two hours. It’s a high­ly sought after week. Hope to see you here next year, if you are not here this year.