“Over the top” and “an institute of unforgettable magnitude” are just a few of the participant reactions to the inaugural week of the newly-branded Genealogical Institute on Federal Records (Gen-Fed), held July 11-15, 2016, at the National Archives in Washington, DC. Attendees overwhelming agreed that the institute met their educational needs by providing an in-depth look at federal records in a setting that maximized the on-site experience. When asked what they valued most about the experience, they cited the balance between theory (lectures) and practice (pulling textual records) and the increased exposure to new ideas, resources, procedures, experts, and peers. One attendee commented that “the one-on-one with attentive and helpful archivists at NARA was worth the price of admission.” The experience was recommended to those “ready to take his or her skills to the next level” because “a strong base of knowledge of federal records is a must for every genealogist today.”
The Class of 2016 offered exciting Tales of Discovery like this one:
“In a bounty land file, I found a widow ancestor’s War of 1812 pension application that included proof of two marriages, the deaths of both husbands, and the wartime service of the first husband including affidavits from distant FAN club members. It was a goldmine of genealogical information.”
The Institute is set for July 9–July 14, 2017. Online registration for 2017 Gen-Fed will be held on Saturday, February 25. To receive news about next year’s program, sign up for announcements by entering your email address in the Subscribe box on the bottom right at the institute website, http://www.gen-fed.org.