Angela Packer McGhie, evening presenter at GRIP
Jet-lag just “doesn’t work” here at the Genealogical Institute of Pittsburgh. Attendees converged at La Roche College Sunday afternoon and were in the classrooms early Monday morning for the first sessions. I wasn’t the only one who traveled across time zones to get here. The daily conference newsletter reported that genealogists came from 34 states and one foreign country:
- Pennsylvania: 38
- Ohio: 15
- New Jersey: 10
- Maryland: 9
- Virginia, Indiana: 8 each
- Colorado, Massachusetts, New York: 7 each
- Washington: 7
- Michigan: 5
- Texas: 4
- Delaware, Georgia, Ilinois, Minnesota, West Virginia: 3 each
- Arizona, California, Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Missouri, South Carolina, Wisconsin: 2 each
- Italy, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, NewHampshire, Tennessee, Vermont: 1 each
The institute sessions this year include six courses taught by a roster of outstanding genealogy educators. I’m taking Dr. Tom Jones inagural course based on his new book, Mastering Genealogical Proof.
I’ve heard a few people refer to GRIP as Genealogy Camp, and it does have a bit of the Camp atmosphere because of the small group setting with 150 students. The classrooms, dorms, and cafeteria are all situated together at LaRoche — convenient and congenial. But the atmosphere is more like graduate school, with “focus and discipline” (as Dr. Jones notes) as the goal.
That is, except for MOVIE NIGHT! I remember those much-anticipated evenings at summer camp, and Tuesday evening, GRIP directors Elissa Scalise Powell and Deborah Lichtner Deal arranged a special showing of the season premier of Who Do You Think You Are? following the evening genealogy presentation by Angela Packer McGhie.
It was great fun to follow Kelly Clarkson on her family history journey and watch her reaction to learning about her ancestors. But, the biggest round of applause was reserved for GRIP instructor and WDYTYA researcher Josh Taylor. You don’t always get to go to camp with a movie star!