Five Reasons to Attend a Genealogical Institute 2

In January, I attended the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), for the second year. A fantastic experience once again. Genealogical institutes are an excellent way to further your genealogical education and experiences. Here are five reasons to attend one. Warning: after conferring with numerous attendees, I’ve concluded genealogical institutes may be addictive!

  • First and foremost, they provide in-depth and extensive instruction on a particular subject and/or time frame. For example, 1780-1840, military records, advanced methodology, southern research, or producing a family narrative. If you are looking to increase your knowledge and skill level in a particular area, a weeklong institute is an excellent way to go.
  • The instructors are among the best in the business. Typically a course or “track” has a coordinator who does most of the instructing during the week. Several other experts will run other sessions over the course of the week.
  • The networking opportunities are endless with attendees and instructors. Since you will be spending every day for an entire week with the same group of people you get to know them, their experience, knowledge base and connections. One of my classmates is with the Daughters of the American Revolution and was able to provide advice, assistance and direction on who to contact regarding issues I’ve run into with my application.
  • Lasting friendships develop when you spend the day with the same people all week.
  • I repeatedly observed genealogists helping genealogists. Discussions held over lunch resulted in new leads to follow. One classmate looked up some records in her area of expertise for another classmate. An instructor provided key advice to a student on a genealogical problem. It was invigorating atmosphere to be a part of.

In the case of SLIG there is a big bonus reason to attend. The Family History Library!

Here is a list of institutes with links to their websites for more information.

I hope you will be able to attend one in the not too distant future.

Michelle Goodrum

About Michelle Goodrum

Writer, family historian, and researcher Michelle Roos Goodrum has been researching her family for over 20 years. Being the caretaker of over 135 years of her family’s papers and photographs, Michelle enjoys piecing her ancestors’ stories together. Michelle is also a Teaching Assistant for Boston University's Genealogical Research Program. Follow Michelle on her blog The Turning of Generations ( ) Michelle is the author of IDG’s monthly column, Timeless Territories.

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2 thoughts on “Five Reasons to Attend a Genealogical Institute

  • karen stroschein

    I agree with the article. Have made some awesome friendships via institutes. The Forensic Genealogy Institute is in March not April however.

    • Michelle Goodrum
      Michelle Goodrum Post author

      Thanks for the correction to the Forrensic Genealogy Institute. It is in March this year. There are a couple of other corrections to the post that need to be made and we will be doing that shortly.