Wednesday, June 05, 2013

How the British Institute Changed My Life


by Laurel T. Baty, CGSM


In 2007 I made a choice that changed my life: I enrolled in the course “Irish Research: Sources and Methods for Research in Ireland” taught by David E. Rencher at the annual British Institute. I was looking for a class to guide me through the maze of Irish genealogy and discovered the British Institute through a Google search. As a self-taught genealogist, I was finding it hard to navigate Irish genealogy on my own. The trip to Salt Lake City in October of 2007 combined several firsts for me: my first trip to the Family History Library and my first formal course in genealogy. Education is transformative. I went into the class as a hobbyist and I left as a genealogy student with a thirst for knowledge. Last June I reached a milestone in my educational journey: I was granted certification by the Board for Certification of Genealogists.
Registration for the thirteenth annual British Institute is now open and classes are filling fast. This year there are four exciting courses to choose from:
·     From Simple to Complex: Applying Genealogy’s Standard of Acceptability to British Research – Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS
·     Irish Land Records and Fragmentary Evidence Correlation – David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FIGRS, FUGA
·     Sources for Tracing Pre-mid-nineteenth Century English Ancestors – Maggie Loughran and Paul Blake
·     Using the Cloud for British Family History Research – Graham Walter, MBCS
I attended Dr. Thomas W. Jones’ class last year and it was excellent. I have taken four courses at the British Institute taught by David E. Rencher and highly recommend his classes. This year I plan to attend either the course offered by Maggie Loughran and Paul Blake or Graham Walter’s course. I am having a hard time making up my mind! Whichever class I take, I am sure to learn a great deal. The British Institute is the only Institute to offer lectures in the morning followed by afternoon research at the Family History Library and consultations with instructors. Bring your research challenges with you. Many students make exciting breakthroughs on their research during the library sessions. 
Come join us this October in beautiful Salt Lake City. The weather is lovely in October and the library is usually not crowded. The small class sizes make it easy to meet new friends who share your interests and really get to know the instructors. And, who knows, maybe the British Institute will change your life too!

©2013, copyright International Society for British Genealogy and Family History

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