GRIP Day 4 & 5

F4379081-42E6-4345-976D-8CBACEEDD43Asome of the new books I acquired this week at GRIP.

Day 4  of GRIP continued the whirlwind of knowledge acquired at GRIP. It included lectures on NYC Urban Centers of Research. Different special holdings of libraries and museums and I absolutely loved our Case Study of Joseph Johnson Chase and it really opened my eyes to the importance of doing a case study to lay out all the facts. I knew they were important but actually seeing one progress was fabulous. I also loved Karen Mauer Jones’ quote of not being a source snob and using those unsourced items as clues and hints to move forward.

After classes on Thursday, I went and perused the samples of Board of Certified Genealogists portfolios they had for review and it was great to see real samples of client reports and the depth of knowledge required to become certified.

Thursday evening was another lecture this one by the Legal Genealogist, Judy Russell, CG, CGL. It was about telling the stories of the children. The children who did not survive and the effects they bring on to families. This one had me laughing and crying and wanting to dig deeper. It also had me wishing I could attend the July Session for her course on Women and Children.

With Friday it was Day 5 of GRIP and time to pack up and go home but first we had 2 lectures to complete. The first was about Vital Records and different alternatives. The second was about the importance of reading Genealogical Journals and Case Studies and how they can be useful even if they aren’t about your family. Also loved Karen’s prod to submit articles and not be afraid to submit. Editors are  your friends and will provide guidance.

So with that we earned our certificates and it was time to go home. I will be doing a wrap up post in the coming days but for now I want to dive into research and work on some brick wall problems.

I will say after taking this course I feel more adept at tackling my brick walls and have a few research trips planned to get some boots on the ground things done.

GRIP Day 3


Day 3 of GRIP was a bit of a  whirlwind. We covered wills, transportation and military. I was able to glean a few sources out of this overloaded mind of mine. I am sure it will get better when I type up my notes.

Wednesday evening a group of us DAR ladies met up and it was definitely fun to meet a group of daughters from different states. As there was no evening lecture I decided to use some of the newfound knowledge I learned and see if I could find some wills. I found one that was of interest and since I have a Have Written from the DAR I decided to work on it. It was a bit difficult as I didn’t have the letter or the documentation I originally sent. I am now tracing out the lines of the patriot and of his daughter’s family to see what is out there.  I have been writing lots of  notes in a notebook of the research I found but it definitely is not my usual set up making it a bit more difficult. I am thinking a trip to the Essex County Courthouse is in order unless I can convince my loving family who is going to Clinton County in August to go there.

Well it is time for me to have some breakfast before Day 4 of GRIP starts. This has been a wonderful experience so far and I am definitely thinking I want to return.

Have a great Thursday.

GRIP Day 1


Day 1 of GRIP is in the books. It was a long day for me. Number 1, I did not sleep well and was up way before 6am. I was able to get a workout in way before 6:30. I was actually in the common area by 7am since I needed to get out of the room.

I am taking Researching in New York: Resources and Strategies. The morning opened with an overview by Karen Mauer Jones, CG, FGBS.  We then moved to a tract on the North River from the Verazanno to Albany by Jane E. Wilcox. My head was swimming by my lunch break.

After lunch we dived back in with Judy Russell, JD, CG, CGL aka as The Legal Genealogist. We learned about New York’s crazy legal system and my head was ready to explode but I found a couple of resources I want to check out so the headache was worth it. If you ever have the opportunity to hear Judy speak grab it. She was one of the reasons I signed up for this track.

Last but not least for the day was Jane’s talk about the Tenant Farmers of NY. Now while I do not have any tenant farms in my lines it was interesting to learn.

By this time I was ready for a nap but ran to Target for a pillow. Should of brought some of the things on the supply list because the accommodations are sparse but heck I don’t have Jimmy snoring in my ears so it is all good.

After dinner, there was a talk given by David Rencher of Family Search and oh my goodness. Let me tell you I am seriously underutilizing this resource and it is my goal to get better at it. There are so many cool collections and features.

Now I am winding down and am going to read through tomorrow’s lessons before crashing. I am seriously so happy to be here and am a bit overwhelmed with the amount of information being thrown at me but am seriously glad to not be in a class with homework.

Genealogical Institute of Pittsburgh

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I am sitting in a dorm room at LaRoche College in outskirts of Pittsburgh, PA, struggling to stay awake. I had trouble sleeping last night as Jimmy (my son with non-verbal autism) did not want to settle down for the night and when he finally did he was snoring in my ear. Awwww, motherhood at it’s finest.

This morning my wonderful husband dropped me off at LaGuardia for my flight to Pittsburgh for this trip. I got in the rental car and followed my Maps app directions. Let me just tell you it took me on some interesting roads.

When I arrived at the Campus, I registered and found said dorm room. Unpacked and headed over to the Campus Center. Everyone is super friendly. I had dinner with some lovely new friends. Chatted with some Boston University Alum. I happened to be the most recent graduate. (I will have to find the picture to share with everyone). I came back to the room after dinner and read over my materials for tomorrow. I am taking a course on New York Research presented by Karen Jones, Judy Russell and Jane Wilcox. Hoping to see if I can get some insight into the black hole of genealogy that is New York.

This kind of reminds me of the scrapbooking retreats I used to do and being with people who have the same interests.

I am going to try and post a daily update while here to share the experience. Have a great night.