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Evaluation of Three Genealogy Education
Options for the Northwest

by the PS-APG Committee of:
Steven Morrison, and Winona Laird and Eric Stroschein.

The Association of Professional Genealogists - Puget Sound Chapter (PS-APG) is searching for ways to improve genealogical education locally, as an alternative to local genealogists traveling to attend major events in the east. Over the past two years a PS-APG committee looked at three radically different ways to bring high quality genealogical speakers to the Northwest. Their report is now complete and we are interested in sharing these observations with other genealogical societies.

The report is titled Evaluation of Three Genealogy Education Options for the Northwest. It explains each of the three options, discusses the variables that may be important to the Northwest, and explores some pros and cons. The three options were as follows:

  1. Bid for a national genealogical conference to be held in the Northwest,
  2. Create an annual or semi-annual regional conference, and
  3. Create a northwest genealogical institute taught by nationally recognized instructors.

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Genealogical Educational Opportunities

The Northwest Genealogy Conference 2015. Sponsored by the Stillaguamish Geneological Society. August 13, 2015-August 15, 2015. Location: Byrnes Performing Arts Center; 18821 Crown Ridge Blvd.;Arlington WA 98223. Click here for more information and to Register!

These genealogical educational opportunities occur annually and are recommended by PS-APG members:

British Institute is sponsored by the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History (ISBGFH). Click here for more information. They hold their institute in Salt Lake City at a hotel that is close by the Family History Library. The classes are held in September or October. They hold the classes in the morning and spend the rest of the day at the Family History Library. The focus is on how to do genealogy in the British Isles.

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Forensic Genealogy Institute (FGI) is sponsored by the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy (CAFG). Click here to visit the Institute. They are featuring two tracks in March 2014. They are based in Texas.

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The Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) is four different week-long genealogical courses which incorporate hands-on learning. It will be held at the LaRoche College in Pittsburgh and many experienced genealogical researchers will be the instructors. For more information and schedules go to this link: http://www.gripitt.org/

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The National Genealogy Society has two levels of courses Online and Home Study. Their Online Courses cover Family History Skills, Using Census Records, Special Federal Census Schedules, Transcribing, Extracting, and Abstracting Genealogical Records, and Working with Deeds.

The other level is their NGS American Genealogy: Home Study Course. They have made extensive changes to this course since our Past President, Bonnie Jean MacDonald completed it and graduated back in 2003. Our Secretary, Claudia Breland, completed the course. It is now all on CD-ROM and interactive. This is a good course to take to determine if you really do wish to pursue genealogy as a profession or to simply improve your skills in genealogy and research. It is a lot of work but very rewarding. On-going.

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National Institute for Genealogical Studies based in Toronto, Ontario. This online institute offers over 150 courses for the beginner or the professional. You can see their course offerings at www.GenealogicalStudies.com. They state that they are the oldest comprehensive web-based certificate program in Genealogical Studies and have been operating since 1999. They always have a booth at major genealogical conferences like NGS and FGS. They are associated with the University of Toronto. The courses are ongoing so you do have to go to their website to see starting dates.

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The Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy is held in January in Salt Lake City, Utah each year. Go to this link for more information: http://www.infouga.org/. It is sponsored by the Utah Genealogical Association.

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Boston University continues to offer their "Certificate in Genealogical Research," and also has online courses in genealogical research. Information can be found at this link: http://professional.bu.edu/cpe/Genealogy.asp. Call 866-633-9370 or 617-353-4497 for more information and starting times.

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June: The Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research (IGHR) is based at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. PS-APG members who have completed the course report that this is an outstanding educational experience.

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July: National Institute of Genealogical Research (NIGR), Washington D.C. This course has limited enrollment. This course is designed for experienced genealogical researchers.

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September: University of Washington Certificate in Genealogy and Family History. This course begins in during Fall quarter all at the University of Washington and includes 3 quarters of intensive classes and study. Several members of PS-APG have graduated from this course.

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