Sunday, July 3, 2016

GRIP: A Week in Review

This past week, I had an amazing week at GRIP: Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh!

I took "Fundamentals of Forensic Genealogy" which was primarily taught by Michael Ramage, J.D., CG; Kelvin Meyers; and Catherine B. W. Desmarais. Besides these three, Bethany Waterbury also taught two lectures. All four instructors were wonderful and I am already applying things I learned during the course.

GRIP offers three evening lectures each week to the public. This photo is from Thursday night's lecture by F. Warren Bittner, CG, titled "Understanding Illegitimacy: The Bittner Bastards of Bavaria." (Bittner is still being introduced at this point.) This lecture hall was being reconstructed last year, so it was nice to have it finished and available for us to use. I'm usually too tired, "brain-dead," and have homework so I haven't attended very many lectures. But, Bittner's lecture was great.

This photo of the cafeteria was taken at the beginning of breakfast on the last day of GRIP and the crowds have not gathered yet. I've really enjoyed the food the past two years, but didn't think this year's food was as good. The ice cream, however, was great as always! The acoustics in here are horrible; you have to practically yell to be heard even across the table. But, this is a great place to meet "old" friends and start "new" friendships, and I enjoyed doing both.

Taken in the lecture room, this is my friend Jill and me. We were in the same class three years ago and roomed together last year. Since she lives in Pennsylvania and I live in Texas, GRIP has become our yearly get together. When I came the first year, I didn't know anyone. Now, a big part of GRIP is getting to catch up with the friends I've made over the years.

Although the week started out unusually hot, a cool front came in Wednesday and the weather was amazing. In fact, most of Wednesday was actually quite chilly! I love being in Pennsylvania in the summertime, and the Texas heat was quite a shock when I stepped out of the airport on Friday.

Now to decide what course to take next year...


  1. I've heard Warren give that lecture before and I thought it was so fascinating. It made me realize how important it is to know and understand the social history of an area. Sounds like a great institute.

  2. It was a great institute and Warren's talk was insightful. And, it is a wonderful reminder to understand social history. Also, to try to leave our biases out of our research! I can't wait for next year's institute.

  3. Replies
    1. I'm going again this June. It's such a wonderful "vacation" for genealogists! And, you meet great people and learn new skills. :)


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