Friday, 30 May 2014

Preparing for the National Institute on Genealogical Research (NIGR) ~

By:  Tina Marie

Over the past month, I have been very excited about attending the National Institute on Genealogical Research (NIGR).  Although I have been working on my family history for many years, I have never attended a formal institute.  Most of my learning has come through reading, local study groups, library research, webinars and mentoring from more seasoned genealogists.  This year, I enrolled and was accepted to the NIGR that will be held July 14 through 18, 2014, in Washington, DC.

The NIGR was founded in 1950 and incorporated as a nonprofit in 1989.  It is well known in the United States as being one of the premier leaders in genealogical education.  It offers an annual week long institute in Washington, DC.  The course focuses on federal records held at the National Archives with optional lectures in the evening at the Library of Congress and the Daughters of the American Revolution Library.

The institute is an intensive program and is not an introductory genealogy course for newcomers.  For the most part, the lectures run from 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday with time for personal research before and after the daily course work.  Although most of the day-time lectures are held at the National Archives in Washington, DC, one day of lectures is held at the National Archives II in College Park, Maryland.

To prepare for the program there is a number of assignments given from registering online for a visitor’s card to reading material on each library.  The topics of the lectures include military, land, immigration, naturalization and American Indian records (just to name a few).  On Friday, the last day of of the course, there is an evening Alumni-sponsored Banquet in Arlington, Virginia to welcome the new alumni group.

Although I am excited about the institute, I am more excited about the military records section of the course.  As a veteran and an employee of the Veteran’s Administration, I have a great love for military history and have planned my own research itinerary.  I hope to view the Revolutionary War and Civil War records of three of my direct ancestors at the DAR Library and the National Archives respectively.  I have complied my dad’s World War II records to hand deliver to the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress.  I have two family graves to visit at Arlington National Cemetery, and my trip just would not be the same without visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.  It will be a jam-packed trip and I will surely be exhausted by the end, but I am really looking forward to it.

National Archives, Washington DC


  1. You are sure to ave a wonderful time. Sounds like hard work but so worthwhile.

  2. This sounds as if it will be an inspiring and stimulating experience - not just from the course content but in also meeting and sharing knowledge with fellow genealogists. Enjoy yourself and we look forward to reading all about it in future posts.

  3. What an exiting thing to do. Good luck! And thank you so much for the link to the Veterans History Project. I hadn't heard of it, but it looks like something I want very much to do as a way to honor my veteran ancestors.


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