Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Advanced Library Research Course at IGHR

As part of my continuing series of guest authors reviewing courses at different genealogical institutes, Laurel Baty, CG writes about the Advanced Library Research course at Samford University's Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research. This course is scheduled every other year, so will be available again in 2014.

 Advanced Library Research:

 Law Libraries & Government Documents

You’ve found your family in the census, searched for probate and deed records, read the neighborhood newspapers, and located any applicable military records. Are you ready to write your family history, sure that you have mined all available sources? Well you might first explore the records that exist in government documents and law libraries! The class Advanced Library Research: Law Libraries & Government Documents will provide you with the skills you need to explore these under-utilized records.

This class challenges you to determine who in your family interacted with the federal, state, and local government. If you have not yet explored government documents and published court cases you will be surprised to find how many of your ancestors left records hidden among the vast published records of the courts and government. During the one week course I located:
·         The appointment of my husband’s grandparents as postmaster of a small South Dakota town 
·         A case appealed to the Georgia State Supreme Court by my  paternal 2nd great grandmother 
·         A private act of the State of Georgia created to settle the estate of my paternal 3rd great   
·         A case appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court by my maternal 2nd great grandmother 
·         A case appealed to the United States Supreme Court by my maternal 2nd great granduncle 
·         A case appealed to the Mississippi Supreme Court by my maternal 3rd great grandfather

Thanks to access to an expensive online database normally available only at law schools, but provided to the students of the Advanced Law Library class through June 30, I am still searching! I highly recommend this class, offered in alternate years at IGHR. One of the course coordinators, Ann Carter Fleming, announced her retirement at the Thursday night banquet but I am sure the course will continue under the able leadership of Benjamin B. Spratling and the talented team of lecturers for the course: Claire Mire Bettag, Kay Haviland Freilich, Ruth Ann Abels Hager, Brenda Jones, and Patricia Walls Stamm. 

Laurel Baty, CGSM

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