Wednesday, June 20, 2012

British Institute: Advanced Methodology for Irish Research

This post is part of my continuing series of guest authors sharing their perspective on different courses at genealogy institutes. This one features Laurel Baty, CG writing about a course at the British Institute held each October in Salt Lake City, Utah.

A Unique Course: Advanced Methodology for Irish Research Taught by David E. Rencher

My first experience with Genealogy Institutes was in October 2007 when I attended David Rencher’s class, Irish Research: Sources and Methods for Research in Ireland, at the annual British Institute in Salt Lake City. I was a novice to Irish genealogy and learned so much during that first class and had a wonderful experience. I have attended the British Institute annually since 2007 and enjoyed every class I have taken. The British Institute, sponsored by the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History [ISBGFH], offers a unique format: lectures in the morning with instructor consultations and guided research in the afternoon at the Family History Library. Where else can you learn about records in the morning and have hands on research in the same records in the afternoon? The instructor consultations are a wonderful addition to the classes.

At the British Institute in 2011 I attended Advanced Methodology for Irish Research taught by David E. Rencher which will also be offered in October of 2012. I highly recommend this unique class. The other Irish classes I have taken from David Rencher were about the records of Ireland and how to locate them [Governmental Records of Ireland in 2009 and Making the Transition from Irish Church Records to Irish Land Records in 2010]. The Advanced Methodology class taught us what to do with the records once we found them and how to utilize Irish records to solve genealogical problems.

Each day was organized around a broad topic, with multiple lectures each day:
·         Monday: Strategies for a Sound Beginning
·         Tuesday: Strategy and Methods to Sharpen Your Skills
·         Wednesday: Research Methodologies for Catholic Research
·         Thursday: Strategies for Scots-Irish Research
·         Friday: Strategies for Church of Ireland Research

After a morning packed with lectures we headed off to the Family History Library in the afternoon to test our new found knowledge and consult individually with David Rencher, a world renowned expert in Irish genealogy who also happens to be the Chief Genealogical Officer of Family Search! The consultation is worth the cost of the class! Make sure to bring your Irish research problem—you may topple a few brick walls.

David’s classes at the British Institute inspired me to take three research trips to Northern Ireland and plunge into Irish research. His classes also started me on the road to certification by the Board for Certification of Genealogists. David will offer the class in 2012 with some changes. Visit the ISBGFH webpage to read the course description:
I will be attending Tom Jones’ class, From Simple to Complex: Applying Genealogy’s Standard of Proof to Your Work, offered for the first time at the British Institute in 2012:. There is currently space available in both classes as well as the two other classes being taught this year:

·         British Military, Its Regiments and Records taught by John Kitzmiller, II
·         Records and Strategies for Beginning English Research taught by Judy Jones.

Laurel Baty, CGSM

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