It's been nearly a year since my last blog post, but I thought I'd peek my head out from under my global COVID-19 pandemic blanket fort to mark this special occasion! It's been three years since I took the leap and made this dream official. Happy birthday, Keep Family History Services!
Although I've been keeping a fairly low profile, my work has continued over the past year. One of the first things I did at the beginning of the shutdown was carve out a more official office space. I moved furniture around, painted an accent wall with leftover paint, and found a wonderful old library table to use as a desk. This has enabled me to offer several classes to local genealogical societies and other organizations via Zoom. I applaud everyone who worked hard to pivot and adapt with short notice in those early months! I've also been able to participate in several online conferences and courses. I just finished participating in a Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) course called Corpus Juris: Advanced Legal Concepts for Genealogy, which was fantastic!
Although libraries and archives have remained closed, I am still able to continue doing client work with digitized records. Over the past year this research has taken me through many time periods in places ranging from Mid-Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana, to California and Scotland. I've also been learning about the 1918 influenza pandemic, which had many parallels to our current times. One of my favorite things about using Zoom for Side-by-Side Client Work is being able to share screens. This allows us take a closer look at records together and I can guide clients through any situations they may have found challenging. I'm looking forward to doing more of this work in the year to come.
I'll admit that my mind has been less preoccupied with the past, and more cognizant of the present during these times. The events of the past year have been very challenging for so many of us. I started keeping a "COVID diary" last March, where I take notes on what I've done during the day and included important local or national news. I know that one day my descendants will be wondering what this was like for us.
I'm sending out virtual hugs, with a candle lit in my heart for better times ahead.
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!
I'm Ginger Ogilvie, and I am absolutely, hopelessly hooked on genealogy!
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