Summertime, and It’s Time to Travel!

It’s summer, and I’m on the road again.

So far this summer I’ve attended my second season at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh at La Roche College in Pittsburgh’s North Hills. This time I was a student in Law School for Genealogists, led by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL; Rick Sayre, CG, CGL; and Marian L. Smith. Marian is the wonderfully knowledgeable woman from NCIS who works with their genealogical program and the author of those terrific Prologue articles that clarify so much about naturalization. (See, for example, Marian’s article on naturalization for women.)

The course was very well structured and informative. We started with an overview of common, civil, canon, and statutory law, then moved on to federal and state courts and their records. Next we examined the Library of Congress’ Century of Lawmaking website and its resources, and dug into the U.S. Serial Set, American State Papers, and Territorial Papers. After that we explored aspects of estate law. Next came immigration and naturalization law, followed by federal and state land law, military pension law, family law, and claims. We wrapped up with a session on prisons and investigation and case studies. All in all, this was a very well thought out and well presented course that will be of great value going forward.

In addition to the classroom activities, it was fun to see genealogy friends from previous institutes. As last year, one of the highlights of the week was the group viewing of the Who Do You Think You Are season premiere. So much fun exchanging significant looks with other genealogists and engaging in the collective oohs, aahs, and coaching–“You could have found out when she died by looking at her pension record.”

GRIP organizers Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL, and Deborah Lichtner Deal did their usual super job of making sure that everything ran smoothly and attendees had everything they needed. Two thumbs up for GRIP!