Continuing the series of posts by guest authors reviewing courses at genealogy institutes, LeRoy Atkins shares his perspective on the Research in the Midwestern United States at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy.
If you have never taken a course coordinated by Kory Meyerink, don't miss "Research in the Midwestern United States." The 2012 guest instructors included Jill Crandall, Luana Darby, Russ Lynch, Debra Mieszala, Gordon Remmington, Paula Stuart-Warren, Kelly Summers, and Linda Turner. All of them are well qualified, interesting people.
The course is content rich. You will be exposed to many new sources specific to the eight Midwestern states. Millions of people passed through, created records, and/or lived in the Midwest. (The strategy for the area is also useful in the Great Plains states.) In addition classes include methodology applicable to the Midwest and to genealogy in general.
- Religious and Ethnic Groups
- Immigrant Origins
- Finding Aids
- Local Histories
- State Census Records
- Cemetery Searching in the Midwest
- 19th Century Passenger Lists
- Public Domain and Local Land Records
- State and Local Vital Records
- Church Records
- Manuscript Collections in the Midwest
- Midwestern Archives
- Internet Sources for the Midwest
- Newspaper Research
- Big City Research
Maximize the value of the course. Come prepared with a research plan to answer a specific genealogical question about a Midwest ancestor. The course has no specific homework assignment. Use your evenings to implement the practical knowledge taught in "Research in the Midwest..." You should be able to supplement your research plan, and find answers to your questions. If you elect to do so you may submit your problem for recommendations from your classmates during one of the sessions. Kory is a very sharing and helpful coach and teacher.
One of the final sessions included an interactive case study. It started with a pedigree chart, limited known information, and a goal to learn details to extend the pedigree. That class demonstrated a practical application of the methodology covered during the week.
If you have ancestors that lived in the Midwest, or will assist others who do, I recommend this course.
A. LeRoy Atkins
A. LeRoy Atkins earned a B.S. in Accounting at Brigham Young University. He is a retired local government auditor and print executive. He began doing genealogy work in 1957. Currently he volunteers at the Mesa (Arizona) Family Search Library. He may be contacted at Lmatkins@cox.net.