Now that I am (for the moment, ha ha!) caught up with my 52 Ancestors posts, I wanted to share a little bit about my first experience with the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), which is run by the Utah Genealogical Association. This year it ran 21-26 January. I was fortunate to find an open spot in the class "The Third Coast: Research in the Great Lakes Region," which was offered by Cari Taplin, CG, and Kathryn Lake Hogan, PLCGS. Believe me, the irony of leaving a Great Lakes state for this experience was certainly not lost on me. I'll admit it - I was also looking for a reason to go home.
I went early so that I could catch up with my family and get settled in, but you know what Robert Burns says about the best-laid schemes, right? I came down with the flu during my flight - probably somewhere over Nebraska? - and I spent all the extra time resting instead. I was fortunate to be able to join my class on the first day as planned, but was still recovering. It took a high level of concentration to keep up with the fast-paced course - Cari and Kathryn really know how to pack in all the info! French and English colonial history, the War of 1812, shipping and timber industries, native people, church records... on and on! We were also treated to guest lectures by Judy Russell, JC, CG, CGL; David Ouimette, CG, CGL; and John Philip Colletta, PhD, FUGA. By the end of the week I felt much better prepared to serve my adopted state of Michigan, and people with family history on both sides of the Great Lakes. I even learned more about one of my Canadian Loyalist families!
The fun didn't stop there! Every day after class there was some kind of event scheduled. One evening we took over the Family History Library (aka Genealogy Mecca), where I made a little progress on some of my research projects. Another evening we went to the Utah State Archives, where not only did I run into an old friend, but also made an excellent find about my great-great-great grandfather George B. Ogilvie (which I'm sure I'll be posting about later). One evening we were generously hosted by AncestryProGenealogists at their downtown SLC office - what a treat!!! The last night was a banquet where all of us who had worked so hard, learning or presenting, celebrated making it through the week!
Now that I am home and have had a chance to restore order to my life (and caught up with my blog posts!), I am so glad that I took the big leap and made this experience happen. Not only was I able to finally meet two of my classmates from the online BU course in genealogical research, I also made new friends. I am crossing my fingers that I will be able to attend another SLIG course next year - the biggest challenge will be deciding which one to take!