Thursday, April 18, 2013

Forensic Genealogy Institute Re-Cap, part 2

See Forensic Genealogy Institute Re-Cap, part 1 here.

Now that I've shared the Forensic Genealogy Institute schedule, I'm going to tell you about then engine under the hood. Here's what you get for your registration fee:

Three full days of instruction
The 2013 Institute ran Thursday through Saturday (this may change in 2014). This sounds intense and scary, but the subject matter is extremely interesting. Also, the instructors kept everything moving, so I never felt bored, or tired. Often I lost track of time and was surprised when the day was over.

Small class size and instant professional network
The class size was about 25 people. That's it. This is cool because you get to know everyone and they become valuable qualified assets to your professional network. Before the Institute, we were instructed to bring business cards for exchange.

160+ page syllabus
Registered attendees received an electronic copy of the syllabus before the Institute. Paper copies were available by advance purchase. The syllabus is one of the best I've ever received. Each session hand an accompanying handout in the syllabus. A typical section included information on the subject (such as mineral rights), numerous links, resources and of course all the citations you need to find the information yourself.

Ample access to instructors
I really appreciated the availability of the instructors. While one was at the podium, the others were in the back of the room. They'd chime in to the discussion with their unique perspectives and experiences. If I had a question, the instructors were there during the breaks and meals. They were very forthcoming and honest, too. They even shared about mistakes early in their careers in the hopes attendees would not do the same.

Practical work experience
Each day we had a practicum where we were given the details of an actual forensic genealogy "case." We had some time at the end of the class day and our evenings to research the issue at hand. I can't share the specifics, but we were asked to find the heirs to a particular piece of land. Basically it was a matter of using the records of dead people to find living people.

Breakfast, lunch and snacks
My ticket to the Forensic Genealogy Institute included continental breakfast in the morning (fruit, pastries, coffee, juice, tea), lunch and afternoon snacks (often cookies).

A convenient location
The Institute was at a hotel next to Love Field in Dallas. People drove or flew in to either of the local airports. My room was very nice. There was a sports grill attached to the hotel.

That's it for the peek under the hood. For part 3 of the Forensic Genealogy Institute re-cap, click here.

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