Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Monday, September 23, 2013

What is a genealogical research retreat?

I will be attending two genealogical research retreats in the near future. The first is a sold-out retreat in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois October 18th and 19th, 2013. The next one is a retreat at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah from the 28th of October to the 1st of November. Both of these events are sponsored by Family History Expos. This will be my second retreat at the Family History Library and my first in Nauvoo. I believe there are still a few openings for the Family History Library Retreat. I understand from Holly Hansen of Family History Expos that registration for the next Nauvoo Retreat in April, 2014 will be open soon. You will need to check back on the website or watch my blog for the announcement.

A research retreat is basically a chance to get hands-on help in learning research techniques. If you were to visit a place such as Nauvoo, Illinois that is steeped in history, you might not have had the experience of visiting such a place for the purpose of doing research. During the Retreat, there will be experienced and expert researchers there to give instruction, in classes and onsite. We will visit historic sites, but also be visiting the Hancock County Courthouse, local museums and libraries including a visit to the historic Pioneer Cemetery. But this is more than tour, it is an opportunity to learn about the process of doing research. It is true that in two days or so, it will not be possible to do much actual research, but the object is to learn about the techniques of doing research; how to ask questions and setting research goals.

The Retreat at the Family History Library is even more intensive. It has a similar format as the Nauvoo Retreat, but for a full week. Every day there are classes in both the morning and the evening. In between, the researchers will get first-hand help from the Family History Expos staff. That staff includes researchers and teachers such as Arlene Eakle. Now, you may not recognize that name, but she is very well known in genealogical circles. She was the co-author of the first edition of The Source back in 1984. She has such a vast amount of experience that after sitting there listening to her explain research principles and sources last Spring in Salt Lake, I was literally amazed and that is an understatement.

See Eakle, Arlene H., and Johni Cerny. The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy. Salt Lake City, Utah: Ancestry Pub. Co, 1984.

There might still be some openings for the Salt Lake Retreat but you will have to wait until next year if they are full.

1 comment:

  1. hi..Im student from Informatics engineering, this article is very informative, thanks for sharing :)