Friday, February 3, 2012

Choosing a Genealogy Event

I am considering attending a genealogy institute or conference this year. I'm trying to line them up side by side so that I can make comparisons. The big factors for me are cost and location. Ironically, the programs closest to me are more expensive than the ones farthest away. I'll also have to take into consideration my family's schedule. But this is a good start. Registration has started or is starting soon for some of these programs so I'm hoping I can make a decision by the end of the weekend.

Here are the programs I am considering:

Boston University Summer Intensive Program - Advanced Forensic Genealogy
Boston University Summer Intensive Program - Writing Narrative Family Histories and Other Genealogical Works
National Institute of Genealogical Research (DC)
GRIPitt (Pittsburgh)
NGS Conference

Here is my comparison chart:

Drive Distance
Hotel / Dorm
Reg start
1 hour
$795 *
1 hour
$795 *
8 hours
10 hours
$245/$280 wk
14 hours
$60/$110 night

* discount available for APG members
N/A - I have someone I can stay with

The program I choose will depend very little on course content unfortunately and very much on my family schedule.

Let me know if you have any thoughts, tips or advice on how to make my selection!


  1. It may be tough to choose Marian. I really, really wanted to go to Gripitt but I'm attending a family wedding in Miami so....
    Good luck!

  2. I'm not a professional genealogist like you, but if I were I'd think about the ones that would look the best on my resume. Which are the ones best recognized by your colleagues as "impressive" on your CV?

  3. Obviously, I have an affinity for any of the BU programs. As a matter of fact, the forensic program sounds very interesting... I might try to get up for it. The programs you are looking at are allbvery different. Aside from your family obligations, I think you need to decide what it is you really want to get out of a program. Weigh out the pros and cons of each program and see what it is that you are most looking for right now. Including the location and dates. That's how I figure things out. Talk to you again from back on the other side!

  4. I am planning on attending NIGR this year to keep my costs down. It is less than a 50 mile drive for me but due to the traffic, it would not be practical for me to commute from where I live (each wway would be over 2 hours during weekdays) so I do plan on staying near NARA. I have heard very good things about this program and if you've never been to the DC National Archives, it is worth the trip. The class is held right onsite and the buidlig is awesome.

  5. I should mention that I didn't include SLIG on the list because it has already taken place this year. Also, Samford is not on the list because registration opened awhile ago and I imagine all the slots are full.

  6. I like your chart, Marian.. Thank you! I've never been to a conference, but I'm thinking of the one in Cincinnati, it's closest to me and the timing is good. Have you been to one before?
    I listened in yesterday to the Keynote, but didn't today. It does seem like a person would get more information about everything.

  7. Thanks again Marian for provide great info for all. Even though I don't like to give up beach time in the summer GRIPitt looks so interesting I might consider it.

  8. I have to pop a vote for NGS in there simple because it means that I may actually get to say hello to you in person! That said, I am hearing some wonderful things about GRIP this year. I wish that it was in the schedule for me. Hopefully it will be next year. NIGR is on my list for possible 2013 or 2014. I really need my own chart! What works best for your family's schedule? As much as we would love to focus on the meat and materials sometimes the schedule trumps all.