The Genealogical Institute on Federal Records has long been advertised as “for experienced researchers.” And we were recently asked the question, “What does ‘experienced’ mean?”
There is no set of fixed prerequisites. But we have come up with this list of questions. The more frequently you can answer “yes” to these questions, the more likely it is that you will enjoy and benefit from the institute.
- Have you ever attended a week-long institute?
- Have you researched at repositories and/or archives and used finding aids?
- Are you familiar with federal records that are already available online?
- Are you willing to brainstorm, with staff guidance, about where to find your ancestors in records?
- Are you ready to give and get feedback from classmates?
- Are you interested in broader contextual information in addition to straight genealogical information?
- Are you ready to learn new lingo?
- Are you prepared to manage your research time within the constraints of a record pull schedule?
- Do you love hot weather?
That last one is a trick question. July in Washington,D.C. can be lovely!
You do not need to score 100% on the Yes Quiz. But you do need to be ready to push yourself a bit to get the most from Gen-Fed. The rewards are great.